Jam Diagram

 

Jam is a mixture of fruit, sugar, acid, and pectin cooked until the fruit is super-soft and the mixture is thickened.

Pectin is a natural substance in ripe fruits and vegetables that’s also a thickener. Recipes use liquid pectin (made from apples) or dry pectin (made from apples or citrus) because fruit often doesn’t have enough natural pectin to gel properly.

Headspace is the space left between the surface of the food and the rim of the jar.

Process(ing) is the method used to safely seal food in jars. Use the method and length of time specified in the recipe.

Jars are glass home canning jars, not old jars from mustard, mayonnaise or anything else you bought at the store. Canning jars in good condition may be re-used so long as they’re the size and shape specified in your recipe.

Lids are flat metal disks with a rubber sealing ring on one side. They will form a seal only once, so get new lids each time you process a batch of jam.

Bands are rings that hold the lids in place. They may be re-used.

Jar Funnels have a wide mouth that makes filling the jars less messy.

Jar Lifters are wide tongs with a rubber coating used to get jars into and out of the canner.

Waterbath Canner or Kettle is a very large (20+ quart), deep pot with a lid. You can use any large pot with a lid that allows jars to be covered with at least 1 inch of water while processing.

Rack is a wire rack that fits inside of the canner and keeps jars off the bottom of the pot, so they stay upright and don’t break during processing.

Dry Towel is where the jars sit to cool after they come out of the canner. Setting hot jars on a kitchen counter may cause the jars to crack.