If you have ever fancied making your own preserves and pickles but don’t know where to start, look no further. Making jam and sterilising jam jars couldn’t be simpler with our quick, easy to follow guide. Whether you are trying to use up an abundance of home grown fruit and veg or simply just wanted to give it a go, this is a fabulous guide to get you started.
What do you need to make jam?
Step 1: Sterilise your jars
Sterilising your jars is an essential part of the preserving process. It will remove all bacteria, fungi and organisms from the jar so that when you use it for preserving, the food will remain fresh within the vacuum.
There are two methods you can use for sterilising Kilner clip top jam jars, bottles, Kilner preserve jars, lids and seals and it is up to you which method you choose but we recommend the water bath method as the most suitable.
Top tip: Check jars and bottles thoroughly for damage such as cracks, breaks, and chips. If you find any of your jars or bottles are damaged you must discard them.
Method 1: Water bath
Remove the lids or rubber seals from your jars and put to one side. Next place the jars into a deep jam pan and fill with water until jars are covered. Bring to the boil and keep at the maximum temperature for 10 minutes, turn the heat off and cover the pan to keep the jars warm until you are ready to fill them.
Place vacuum seal lids or rubber seals in a small pan and fill with 4 inches of water, heat and simmer at 82 degrees for 10 minutes, turn the heat off and cover the pan until you are ready to seal the jars.
Method 2: Dishwasher
Remove the lids or rubber seals from your jars and place everything into the top rack of your dishwasher and run it on a hot wash. No detergent or cleaning solutions should be used. Time your dishwasher cycle to finish just as you are ready to fill the Kilner jars or leave the jars and lids or seals inside the dishwasher to keep warm until you are ready to fill them. Finally wipe the rim and threads of the Kilner jar to remove any food debris.
Top tip: Always sterilise more Kilner jars than you think you will need because inevitably you will always have more recipe than Kilner jars if you don’t.
Important note: Do not attempt to sterilise your Kilner bottles and jars by pouring boiling water into them. And always take care when sterilising jam jars and handling hot jars and lids, please use the appropriate equipment
Step 2: Make your easy jam recipe
We’re choosing a strawberry jam recipe but you can choose any you like. Kilner have some great jam and chutney recipes to choose from. Using your jam making equipment, here’s our easy strawberry jam recipe:
You will need:
- 900g of fresh strawberries – washed and hulled
- 800g of caster sugar
- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Start by adding the strawberries to the saucepan and crush with potato masher
- Add the sugar and lemon juice
- Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved
- Bring the jam to boil and continue to stir
- Leave to slightly cool
Step 3: Fill your jars
Once your recipe is ready carefully remove your jars from the vessel keeping them warm. If they contain any water tip it away carefully. Place the empty jars onto a heat proof surface such as a chopping board and place a funnel, if using, into your first jar, then using a ladle, transfer your recipe from the pan to your jars making sure to fill them to the point indicated by your recipe. Once each jar is filled use a non metallic spatula to remove any air bubbles by running it around the inside of the jar between the food and the jar. Finally wipe the rim and threads of the jar to remove any food debris.
Step 4: Seal your jars
Now your jars are filled you need to close them whilst the contents are still hot. If you are using a Kilner preserve jar, place the discs onto your jars, add the screw top band and tighten.
If you are using a Kilner clip top jar, place the rubber seals onto the top of the jar and close the clips. Place the jar in a large pan and cover the whole jar with water. Bring to the boil for 30 minutes. Once boiled, leave the water and jars to cool completely before removing. The process of boiling the jars in water is adding extra heat to the contents, which is allowing a vacuum seal to form.
The water bath method is only required if you are using clip top jars.
Step 5: Check that the airtight seal has formed
Now your jars are closed you need to leave them to cool for 24 hours untouched. After the 24 hour cooling period, check your jars to make sure an airtight seal has formed.
To check the seal of a screw band Kilner jar; undo screw-band and lift the Kilner jar by the lid only. If an airtight seal has formed the lid will not move, now fasten clip and store. If the lid moves an airtight seal has not formed and you must reprocess your jars or eat the contents immediately (yummy, yummy).
To check the seal of a clip top Kilner jar; undo the clip and lift the Kilner jar by the lid only. If an airtight seal has formed the lid will not move, now fasten clip and store. If the lid moves, an airtight seal has not formed and you must reprocess your Kilner jars or eat the contents immediately.
Why not use the Kilner Jam Jar Sealing Kit 108 Piece to help decorate your jars?
Step 6: Store your creations
Once the seals have formed, store your preserve jars in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. Once the jars have been opened only store your jars in the fridge and consume the contents within 2 weeks.