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best way to fill jam jars with home made jam

(8 Posts)
missingmyflatbelly Mon 11-Jul-11 23:08:28

hi

ive made jam three times in breadmaker and its turned out pretty good each time, and im learning more with each attempt! the thing im having difficulty with is filling the jam jars and getting the seal in the lid to work properly. it works sometimes and other times it doesn't. is there anything i could be doing wrong? i'm using old jam jars and the old lids, with a wax seal to line the lid.

thanks

bellavita Mon 11-Jul-11 23:12:45

Not sure about the seal? We have used old jam jars before and haven't had a problem. Are you filling the jars to near the top?

You need a metal funnel - you can buy them in Lakeland on the jam making section.

AlsoAvailableSober Mon 11-Jul-11 23:15:56

I never use wax seals, just make sure the jars are sterilised. I sterilise in a low oven and then fill the jars when hot with hot jam. The seal seems to work as when the air inside cools it contracts and 'pulls' the lid on.

Oh, and like Bella i use a metal funnel

missingmyflatbelly Tue 12-Jul-11 00:14:16

Thanks for your replies. How near to the top should I fill? Sorry if that's a silly question! I thought I was filling to where it seems bought jam goes up to but maybe I need to add a little bit more?

How long do u put the jars in the oven for? I've been sterilising in a dishwasher the day of making and then rewarming wih boiling water just before filling. But maybe the way im doing it doesn't warm the jars up enough?

Does it matter if u don't use wax seals, does the jam last as long? Is there a higher risk of potential mould growth or does it not really matter?

I have a metal funnel butjust wondering if a Plastic one will do? Aside got my sister into jam making now but she doesn't have all the kit as yet!

Thanks so much for your replies and sorry for so many questions!

bellavita Tue 12-Jul-11 07:44:14

Fill to where the neck goes smaller - so when the lid is on, it looks like the jam is to the top although it isn't - there are just no gaps between lid and jam.

Ummm not sure about the plastic funnel.

DH is the jam maker in this house, he puts the jars in the dishwasher and then in the oven for maybe an hour - the jars are very hot.

I asked him about the lid sealing and he says the little button on the lid doesn't always pop but that is why you have the wax seal because it melts into the jam and protects it.

MoreBeta Tue 12-Jul-11 07:57:07

I fill to about 5mm from the top. I wash the jar and lids of old jam jars on the maximum setting in the dishwasher and take them out the moment before I fill them and screw the lid on as tight as possible. That way they are sterile. The cooling jam causes a vacuum to form in the small space above the jam just like when you buy it in a shop.

Excess fruit I pick in the autumn I tend to freeze rather than make into jam immediately. I tend to use less sugar than recommeneded in recipes so I make a small amount of jam at a time, keep it in the fridge and use up quickly once open.

The old way of sterilising jars was to wash them and them carefully, place them open end down in a shallow pan with slightly simmering water so the steam goes up into the jar. Then take them out of the pan one at a time and fill immediately, cover with wax and a cloth lid but that seems a bit of a faff.

shanghaied Tue 12-Jul-11 08:01:45

Also have a DH jam maker. He fills almost to the top, screws the lid on and then turns the jar upside down to create a seal. Seems to work but have no idea why. We have managed to store jars for rather a long time without any mould or anything forming. For sterilising, he just pours boiling water over the jars and lids in the sink.

missingmyflatbelly Tue 12-Jul-11 12:15:53

this is so helpful thank you everyone. i think i have not been filling the jars enough so there is too much space at the top. i think i might do the dishwasher/oven combo method. the jars are hot but i wouldn't say very hot so that probably hasn't helped.

i saw a youtube video where they tipped the jars upside down, i tried this the first time and the jam stuck to the lid and wouldn't fall back down again. but maybe this isn't a problem when i start filling the jars full enough next time so i will probably try that again as well.

thank you grin

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