If you want to start making jam, you are likely wondering whether you really need a preserving pan or not. After all, these are really large pans that take up a lot of space, and if you only intend to make a few small batches of jam, it might not be worth it.
Below, we’re exploring preserving pans, whether you need them, what makes them special, and a few other jam pan topics to help you decide whether buying one of these pans makes sense.
Do You Need a Preserving Pan?
You do not need a preserving pan to make jam. In fact, any large saucepan will do the job just fine. However, preserving pans are designed perfectly for the job.
If you aren’t sure how to make jam, having the right tools for the job is a great place to start. Using a preserving pan does make it a bit easier, but you don’t have to have one to make good jam.
What Type of Pan Do You Need to Make Jam?
When making jam, you need a lot of fruit, and you need a way of boiling this large amount of fruit. So, you need a big saucepan.
A heavy-based saucepan is ideal for this. The heavy base heats up slowly but maintains an even heat. This is vital when making jam.
Any fruit at the bottom of the pan is going to cook quicker than the fruit in the middle of the mixture. So, by using a heavy-based pan, it prevents this fruit from burning if you forget to stir it.
So, the pan you use to make jam should be big; most jam pans are about 8-9 litres in size, so a saucepan of that size is ideal.
It also needs to have a thick bottom to keep a consistent heat without burning the fruit.
Finally, the saucepan should also have a pouring spout to make it easier to transfer the jam into jars. You can just use a jam funnel for this, but a pouring spout will massively help even if you have a funnel.
What Makes a Preserving Pan Special?
Preserving pans are specially designed for making jam, so they have all of the characteristics we mentioned above.
Thick bases and sides
They have thick bases and thicker sides than usual saucepans. This means that they heat the fruit very evenly and consistently.
Pouring spouts and measurement markings
They also have pouring spouts, and most have measurement markings inside the pan, making it easy to follow jam recipes.
Usually made from stainless steel
Preserving pans are also made in a variety of materials. Most are now made from stainless steel and can be used on any hob, including induction.
This also means that preserving pans are no longer a one-trick pony. Jam pans can be used for loads of cooking tasks, but more on that in a moment.
Designed for making jam
Preserving pans are special because they are made for making jam. They make the whole process much easier.
While you can use a normal saucepan, they are usually designed for boiling water as quickly as possible. So, they have thin bases so that the heat can transfer quickly from the hob into the water.
This makes them great for loads of cooking tasks but not really suitable for jam making. As we said, you can use a saucepan for making jam, but it makes it difficult.
Jam pans are still the best thing to use. The thick base, pouring spouts, secure handles and the measurements inside all mean they are geared towards making jam and making the process of making the jam much easier.
Can You Use Preserving Pans for Other Tasks?
Preserving pans are very large, and if you only intend to make a few batches of jam, the pan is going to take up a lot of valuable space in your kitchen.
Don’t worry, though; preserving pans have loads of uses, more than some saucepans, actually.
You can take advantage of the jam pans size and cook stews, broths and stocks in it, for example. They are perfect for making batches of soup too.
You can, of course, use a preserving pan for boiling water too. However, unlike many saucepans on the market, preserving pans have metal handles most of the time.
This means you can use jam pans in the oven, in the grill, on the BBQ and even on open fires. So, anything you would use a large saucepan for, a jam pan can do. And many other cooking tasks to boot.
Most people wanting to make jam are probably going to need to buy a new pan to do it. Many of us don’t have saucepans large enough to make jam at home already.
If you need to buy a new saucepan anyway, you may as well buy the best tool for the job and buy a preserving pan.
It will make making jam much easier, and you can use it for every other cooking task you need a big saucepan for as well.
We hope this look at preserving pans has been helpful. While you don’t need a jam pan to make jam, it does make life easier and allows you to focus on the jam recipe and not worry about burning the fruit.
Why not take a look at the best jam pans in the UK while you’re here. We have tons of other cookware articles for you to explore to create the perfect cookware toolkit for your needs too.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.