Canning jam - two questions

jennieboyer(8)October 8, 2012

Hi All -

I canned strawberry jam for the first time today and, all in all, relatively easy. But, one BIG question - how in the world do you "hard boil so it can't be stirred down" while "stirring constantly" without getting it all over you and your kitchen? I used the biggest pot I have, which was less than half full, and I still got it all over my stove, me, and my walls! Beyond the mess, it's just plain HOT when it splatters on me. What am I missing?

Also, I have one jar that I dropped as it came out of the canner. Didn't break, but the lid/ring dented up. Can I just put this one in the fridge and use right away?

Thanks in advance for your help!


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LOL Jennie. I have no advice for you. I just wanted to let you know you brightened my day. I thought I was the only one who had to scrub my walls every time I made something. You should have seen my kitchen after my orange marmalade this year. Hubby asked me if I just cut open the bag of sugar, poured it on the stove top and started the burners.

If anyone has any advice, I would sure love to hear it!

I would put the dropped one in the fridge to use first just in case the seal broke. It can't hurt.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 11:00AM
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Well, if pot was less than 1/2 full that's about right, just as it foams up (berry jams foam - apple butter just forms volcanoes and spits!), if you can't stir it down, blow on it and lower the heat as you're stirring. It only needs to be at a vigorous boil until it foams, then you can turn it down a little and as the jam starts to thicken you'll see it darken and the bubbles will be smaller and slower to break instead of foamy, that's when you'll really want to turn down the neat, stir to avoid scorching, and even pull off the heat to test (if you're making no-pectin-added jam). You'll get the hang pretty quickly.

I bought a 6-qt Nesco roaster at Goodwill for my apple butter - I still have spots on my ceiling (which had been painted just a year earlier) from 2 years ago!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 1:03PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree. Just turn the heat down. You don't need full heat to have a boil that can't be stirred down so once it is up to a good boil, just reduce the heat. Some low erupting is to be expected so wearing an oven mitt helps and setting the lid about half to 3/4 on so you can still stir will also help.

The one that the lid popped on can just go into the fridge with no problems.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Once you've made jam and jelly a few times, you get the hang of the whole process and it becomes easier and less messy. I always turn down the heat when it starts to boil furiously. I also find it helps to stir the whole time with a long handled wooden spoon (wearing an oven mitt, of course)...the constant stirring stops it from boiling over.

If you are using snaplids and they didn't seal, refrigerate the jars and use up first.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 11:04PM
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My grandmother taught me to stir a teaspoon of butter into the jam pot to reduce foaming. I had thought it was an old farm wives tail until i read it on the certo or surejel box. It does work.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 8:07AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

If you make a lot of jam a preserving pan is the way to go. It has a very wide base and flairs out at the top to accommodate the expanding boiling jam. I have to say I never find I can turn the heat down if I want to get it up to setting point. I have to have the burner up as high as it will go. I also have a very long handled wooden spoon.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 4:26PM
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