anyone use a jam thermometer?

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Mo
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anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by Mo »

I've been trying and it seems completely useless.
Should the tip be at the bottom of the saucepan, at the side or in the middle?
Mine is a long rod twice the height of the pan with a dial at the end, and the temperature it shows seems to go down as well as up while I'm boiling the jam. I read 105C, 220F but it never reached 100, and I seem to have made glue not jam, if the difficulty I had getting the last part jar bottled is anything to go by.
I had another one that was a glass thermometer with a metal flat bit behind it, but that was impossible to read, if you lifted it out of the jam so that it was eye level it cooled.
Back to the saucer method?
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p.penn
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by p.penn »

I have two, a glass tube thing and an old brass one. I too can never read the damn things
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HedgeHugger
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by HedgeHugger »

I've only ever used a saucer. Side plate to be more precise :P. I also put the plate in the freezer beforehand to help with the cooling.
Mo
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by Mo »

It was really difficult to spread for breakfast. Don't know what the full jars are like.
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HedgeHugger
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by HedgeHugger »

Could you try to rescue it?
Reboil and add water. Not entirely sure how much, or how long, just know it is possible.
Mo
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by Mo »

I'm hoping it was just the last bit, scraped from the sides of the pan that is really gluey. If the rest is I might have a go at that.
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fabindia
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by fabindia »

Image
This is the one I use for all sorts of things in the kitchen. Use it to measure temp of milk for yogurt making (where I only take to 83c), for checking the temperature of oil when frying, etc.
They are pretty cheap to but from that really big online retailer.
Michael
Mo
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by Mo »

If you use it for jam where in the pan do you put it?
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Mo
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by Mo »

HedgeHugger wrote: Could you try to rescue it?
Reboil and add water. Not entirely sure how much, or how long, just know it is possible.

When I opened the first full jar it was like trying to spread jelly cubes (straight from the packet before adding water to make up the jelly).
So yesterday I did tip it all out and dissolved it in water. That was quite a job, squishing all the lumps between a knife and spoon. Brought it to the boil to sterilise it again. Got more bottles than before - but not as much as the greengage jam that I made at the same time, so I may still not have added enough water. We shall see.
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BilliDavis
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by BilliDavis »

Yes sometimes, not in my use regularly.
KarenE
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by KarenE »

I've got runny jam that didn't really set properly - can I try reboiling it with more pectin do you think?
I tried using a jam thermometer but never really get on with it. The saucepan test usually works for me, but obviously not with this batch...
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by manda »

KarenE wrote: I've got runny jam that didn't really set properly - can I try reboiling it with more pectin do you think?

Sorry only just spotted this.
Short answer is yes:-D
Long answer is...what I have got below from my wanderings around the internet.
You need:
The jars of jam to be remade
No-sugar-needed type pectin. If you use regular pectin, that may make the jam or jelly too sweet!
Lemon juice
Sugar
Supplies
New lids for the jars (you can reuse the rings and wash the jars.) unless you used commercial jam jars.
You can't reliably make batches of jam larger than 6 cups of raw fruit (of course, but the time you add sweetener, lemon juice, etc. it will be more than that). No matter how much you stir, you won't get effective heat penetration in larger batches, so some pectin gets overcooked, while other pectin is not activated. So, to reliably fix the jam, you will need to split it into batches of less than 7 cups each.
So
Step 1 - Add up the volumes of all the jars to be reworked
2 pints = four 8oz jars = eight 4oz jars) then empty the contents of the jars that are too runny into a pot in no more than 2 pints at a time.
Then clean the jars and discard the used lids or if you're using commercial jam jars wash them as well. I just bung mine in the dishwasher but whatever works.
Sterilise the jars and lids again (then keep the lids in hot, steamy (but not boiling) water.
Step 2 -Determine how much jam or jelly needs to be remade
Measure the jam or jelly to be recooked. Work with no more than 4 to 6 cups at a time.
Add up the volumes of all the jars to be reworked
1 quart = 2 pints = 4 cups =four 8oz jars = eight 4oz jars).
Step 3 - Measure out additional pectin, water, sugar and lemon juice
If you are using powdered pectin:
For each quart of jam or jelly to be fixed, mix 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water or white grape juice, 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons powdered pectin in a large pot.
If you read across the lines they're in this orer (can't get them in a table) as I've got at home but you'll work it out.
Amount to re-make sugar water/grape juice lemon juice pectin
2 cups (1pint) 4 tsps 4 tsps 1 tbsp 2 teaspoons
3 cups 6 tsps 6 tsps 1.5 tbsps 3 teaspoons
4 cups (1 quart) 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 2 tbsps 4 teaspoons
5 cups 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 2.5 tbsps 5 teaspoons
6 cups (1.5 quarts) 1/3 cup 1/3 cup 3tbsps 6 teaspoons
7 cups 1/3 cup 1/3 cup 3.5tbsps 7 teaspoons
8 cups (2 quarts) 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 4 tbsps 8 teaspoons
Step 4
Add the jam or jelly to the pectin mixture and bring it to a rolling boil, over high heat, stirring constantly. Keep in mind that one reason jams and jellies don't set is because people try to double batches, and there is non-uniform heating. That results in some pectin becoming over-cooked and some pectin in the batch is under cooked. Never make a new batch of jam or jelly starting with more than 6 cups of crushed fresh or frozen fruit; and never try to remake a batch larger than 2.5 quarts.
Once it is a rolling boil, then boil it hard for 45 to 60 seconds. A "hard boil" is distinctly different from a "rolling boil". A rolling boil is simply the production of bubbles but is not all-encompassing and may even be stirred down.
A hard boil often produces foam and the jam expands, rises to fill more of the pot, and cannot be stirred away
Don't "overboil" Just 1 minute of a "hard boil"
Step 5 - Testing for "gel" (thickness)
I keep a metal tablespoon sitting in a glass of ice water, take it out, shake off the water and then take a half spoonful of the mix and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon. in a minute or so. If it thickens up to the consistency I like, then I know the jam is ready. If not, I mix in a little more pectin (about 1/4 to 1/2 of another package) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute.
Step 6
Remove from heat, and quickly skim the foam off jam or jelly.
Fill sterile jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust new lids
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KarenE
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by KarenE »

Great thanks Mnada, I wouldn't have thought of the lemon juice etc so thanks so much for that
I only ever make smallish quantities of jam, I don't have any massive pans:-D
Will give this a go tomorrow!)t'
Karen
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by Freeranger »

I've been thinking about your question of how to position the thermometer, as I've never been sure either.
Logically, the jam will be hottest at the bottom and edges, cooler in the middle and top. So:
1) If aiming for a temperature of 'at least X' then at the coolest part?
2) If aiming for a temperature of 'no more than X' then at the hottest part?
or otherwise, either
3) take it off the heat, stir it around and quickly take the temperature anywhere? or
4) take an average of 1) and 2) temperatures?
This is entirely guess-work based on how I'd analyze it as a problem to solve - maybe someone else knows the actual answer.
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Re: anyone use a jam thermometer?

Post by KarenE »

Jam remade and set - thanks Manda:-D
Karen
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