The ingredients used and the technique when making a jam influence the final result, but if you have the right utensils, the chances of achieving a perfect jam multiply. These are the 11 gadgets to prepare recipes that will make your life easier.
Preparing homemade jams is a great option to take advantage of surplus fruits or vegetables and, in addition, having them on hand at home can always cheer up many breakfasts or snacks. However, like everything in life, preparing a good homemade jam also has “secrets”. Having the appropriate utensils to prepare it guarantees a satisfactory final result.
The traditional jam – the one that has been made for centuries to preserve the fruit – is nothing more than a cooking of ripe fruit with sugar or sweetener that we beat according to the desired texture. However, currently it is preferred to prepare healthier versions of jams , such as raw jams (raw with chia seeds to make you fat) or sugar-free jams with sweet alternatives such as xylitol, coconut sugar, raw agave, apple concentrate , dried apricots, dates or other dried fruits or stevia.
Despite the difference, today’s jams differ little from the classics both in their production process and in their preservation (in a water bath). But, what utensils do we need to get a perfect jam? Although time and technology offer us novelties as pasteurizers, the reality is that we can make delicious homemade jams like our ancestors only with the help of some very simple but tremendously useful utensils.
1. A GOOD KNIFE OR PEELER TO PEEL CERTAIN INGREDIENTS
Whether or not to peel the fruit before making the jam is a decision that depends on the type of fruit and personal tastes. We do not need to peel the very ripe apricots or plums – because they will unravel when cooked and will disappear when beating – but we still prefer to peel the apples and pears whose skin is thicker.
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Although some skin is always good because, together with the seeds, it is the part of the fruit that contains the most pectin. In order not to take all the skin ahead, we need a good peeling knife that allows us to direct the cut well.
The pitters are not essential, but they make the task a lot easier when it comes to preparing cherry jams. They also serve for olives
3. CASSEROLES OR POTS
The wider the better – always adapted to the size of our fires – because we can better stir the jam and prevent it from sticking to the bottom and because it facilitates the evaporation of the liquid. It is only half full, or slightly more, so it doesn’t overflow when it starts to boil. Regarding the materials, we bet on safe materials such as stainless steel or ceramics free of toxic and heavy metals.
4. WOODEN SPOON TO STIR
With this natural material we prevent some types of casserole from being grated.
5. SKIMMER TO “FROTH”
Foaming consists of removing the foam that comes out when some fruits are cooked. They can be made of metal or silicone because they only touch the food and not the casserole as in the previous case. It is recommended to froth the jam at the end and not do it constantly while it cooks so as not to lose pectin.
6. ARM MIXER
To beat the resulting cooked fruit pieces depending on the desired texture: from very homogeneous to with pieces of fruit. Be careful because hot jam can cause serious burns in the kitchen!
7. GLASS JARS FOR PACKAGING
Glass is the most non-toxic and resistant material for canning. There are different types of containers to choose from by size, shape and types of lid. From the classic screw-on cans to the so-called “thousand-use jars” that close hermetically by means of a special self-sealing system and the food is always in contact with the glass. They are stackable, hygienic and very versatile (suitable for freezing, storing food, baking or serving desserts individually because they withstand very high temperatures).
8. SPECIAL FUNNELS
There are funnels made of steel, silicone or plastic without BPA that adapt to the different widths of the cans, avoiding splashes and making the task much easier. It is a small investment that is worth it.
9. “MERMELADEROS”: BREAD MACHINES AND KITCHEN ROBOTS
Although there are no specific appliances for making jams, there are other multifunctional appliances that allow us to make the entire jam process and not just pasteurization. We are talking about electric bakeries whose functions include cooking the jam for the necessary time or kitchen robots that cook and beat at the same time.
10. CONTAINERS TO SERVE THE JAM
The decorative containers are used to serve our homemade jams and show off at the breakfast or tea table.
Whether in a classic or more technological way, seasonal jams will continue to be one of the sweetest options to preserve the fruits of nature.
11. ELECTRIC PASTEURIZERS
Although homemade jams last for several days to weeks in the fridge, depending on the amount of sugar or type of sweetener, the best option to preserve them during tables is pasteurization. It involves boiling the jars filled with jam and tightly closed in a saucepan with boiling water for about 20 minutes.
- These devices control the temperature with a thermostat – they cover from 0 to 100º- and optimize the boiling process. They are suitable for people who make a lot of preserves or who are looking for very easy handling and not carrying weights. Ideally, have them near a sink.
- They are also used to prepare stews or stews in large quantities and broths that can be served individually using the tap.
The market offers us pasteurizers of different capacities, 12, 19 or 28 liters that will make this stage more comfortable, clean and safe because we place the cans inside these steel containers filled with water, we adjust the temperature and time – according to their instructions. -, we turn on the button and it works automatically without splashing boiling water and without risks. Afterwards, the water is emptied by means of a tap.