When I was a kid we used to make jams and pickles all the time, and we would get the jars to seal by baking them in the oven and relying on the laws of physics as the jars cooled to do the rest.
But with this canning gizmo you can ensure that all your jars pop, every time. And actually, Vicious Sweet Tooth pre-empted me on this one and was featured in Freshly Pressed. I am totally trying her vanilla and nectarine preserves.
So you boil your lids as usual.But instead of sterilizing your jars and heating them in the oven you can do both steps at once in the canner. It’s basically an enormous pot full of water, and the jars sit in a handy little cage you can lift out by the handles.So you boil those, and while they’re doing their thing you work on your jam.
Bring your goo to a boil. In this case we’re making grape jam. Once it’s boiling you add your sugar and pectin and make it go all foamy and thick.Once you remove it from the heat you scrape off all the foam. You can eat it. It’s yummy.So when it’s ready for canning, you pull your jars out of the water and drain them.Fill the jars with your jam up to 1/2″ from the top of the jar.Clean off the tops of the jars. They have to be super clean. Be careful not to burn yourself.Put on the lids and tighten them so they’re “fingertip tight” — this means that they are on but not tightened as far as they can go.Then you pop them back in the canner and bring the water to a boil once again. Leave ’em about five minutes.Then you bring them out, and as soon as they cool a little bit, hey presto — POP.