ISSUE 35  |  The Last Gasp of Summer

Risky Business: Oven Canning Jam

August 29, 2012 3:45 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

If you mention the topic of oven canning, prepare to get an earful of advice against trying the technique. Warnings include: Your jars will blow up! You’ll get botulism! It’s old-fashioned! To which we reply, really?

We’re big fans of oven canning–Alexa swears by it, in fact, after taking a class at Blue Chair Fruit Company–if you’re making jam with fruit that has high sugar levels to prevent the growth of bacteria. Alexa has oven-canned batches of blueberry, strawberry, plum and apricot jams, as well as blood orange marmalade:

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Above: Alexa follows recipes in The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders; it’s $25.08 from Amazon. Image via Hand Jobs for the Home.


Above: At Blue Chair Fruit Company, Ms. Saunders teaches Jam Making 101. For class information, see Blue Chair Fruit. Image via Shutterbean.


Above: The basic technique for oven canning: While preparing the fruit mixture on the stovetop, sterilize jars in the oven at a low temperature for 30 minutes. Pour fruit mixture into jars, and return them to the oven for 15 minutes. For step-by-step instructions, see Shutterbean.


Above: There are caveats. For instance, your oven should heat evenly to ensure all the jam is finished at a consistent temperature. Image via Shutterbean.


Above: Ms. Saunders leading a Jam Making 101 class in Oakland, CA. Photograph by Blue Chair Fruit Co., via Flickr.


Above: Alexa’s favorite flavor of oven-canned jam? Apricot-Rose. Image via Shutterbean. For more, see “10 Easy Pieces: Canning Essentials.”