Making preserves at home is a rewarding hobby, not to mention very addictive. And while seasonal produce is best for preserving, having good jars on hand is also a must. In this guest post, Cornersmith founder and owner Alex Elliot-Howery shares why choosing high-quality equipment is important when preserving food.

Discover how to live homegrown! Join our Homemade Preserves and Jam workshop and learn the fundamental canning techniques you need to know to enjoy seasonal produce year-round. 

Cornersmith is a family-run business with three cafes and retail stores in Sydney. Its school also offers hands-on workshops and courses, teaching all things homemade, from pasta to bread to cheese. In one of its online classes, Alex Elliot-Howery discusses the art of pickling and tomato preserving and covers topics such as seasonal eating and reducing food waste. Here are some of her top picks when making pickles and preserves from scratch.

High-quality jars and equipment

Cornersmith is quite particular with the ingredients and equipment they use when making preserves. On top of using seasonal produce, their favourite Australian vinegar, and local sea salt, owner and founder Alex Elliot-Howery believes in the importance of using good quality glass jars. She particularly loves using Kilner Jars and preserving accessories.

The succeeding post was reproduced with permission from Kitchenware Collective.

Pickling Preserving Alex Elliot-Howery

Good quality jars are paramount to successful preserving. In our classes, on our retail shelves and in our online school, we use Kilner.

Kilner is a UK-based company that has been producing the best quality jars and preserving equipment since 1842. Its long-lasting popularity is owed to its unique pressure seal, iconic design and overall quality. Put simply, households all over the world have trusted it to successfully preserve and pickle their fruit and vegetables for over 177 years!

Kilner get our tick of approval because their products last a lifetime, meaning you buy them once and use them for the rest of your pickling days—unless you give them all away! Those lucky enough to have received one in our preserving classes know how handsome they look on your shelves. Made from ‘A’ Grade soda lime glass, the clarity of the jars is clearer and they have an even thickness of glass to ensure there are no weak spots. This is essential when sterilising and heat processing and you can be confident your Kilner® Jars are up to the task.

This is what we look for when shopping for equipment. Don’t risk your precious preserves by using low-quality storage with ill-fitting lids that can lead to breakages and food waste.

Kilner® has a wide selection of jars for many different preserves. The wide mouth preserve jars for asparagus spears and rhubarb, the twist top jars for chutney or mustard, the tomato-shaped jar for tomato jam, and the hexagonal twist top bottles for our homemade ketchup. Regardless of their good looks and shape, we know they will withstand the heat levels required when sterilising and heat processing.

We also stock all the equipment that make preserving at home a breeze—a stainless steel jam pan perfect for thickening jam, chutneys, and heat processing; preserving clamps for picking up hot jars; and funnels to make sure you get all your preserves in the jar without the mess.

Alex Elliot-Howery, Cornersmith Founder and Owner

Different types of jars

Kilner offers a range of jars for all your pickling, preserving and storing needs but how do you know which will jar with work best for you? Here are a few handy hints to consider when you are searching for the perfect jars to store your homemade preserves.

Preserve jars

The Kilner Preserve Jars are a good all-rounder. They have a two-piece lid and unique pressure seal. We like using these for all our preserves. One of the benefits of this type of lid is the vacuum seal. You will know you’ve heat processed them properly because the lid will stay on the jar even when the band is unscrewed. They come in a few different styles.

  • Genuine preserve jars. The shoulder in the jar helps keep produce in place and, in the case of canned tomatoes, keep the tomatoes under the juice.
  • Wide mouth preserve jars. Perfect for preserving whole fruits and vegetables as the wider opening allows for easy filling. These jars have very handy volume indicators embossed on the side of the jar.
  • Fruit preserve jars. Fill these jars with jam, chutney, or relish for the sweetest little gift. These little jars shaped as a tomato or strawberry are the perfect size for a present!

Twist top jars

These are a classic, and we think the easiest to use. With a coated pressure seal lid, they are designed to make home preserving easy. These are made in England from high quality, 30% recycled glass. Plus, you’ll look like a real preserver with their cute gingham patterned lids!

  • Hexagonal twist top bottles. Tall, hexagonal shape is perfect for storing and serving homemade sauces including tomato ketchup.

Clip top jars

Clip top jars are ideal for storing dry foods as well as preserving fruits and vegetables. They feature an airtight rubber seal and high-quality, stainless-steel clip engineered to ensure the slip tension is 100% perfect, ensuring an ideal seal every time. What’s better is that the orange rubber bands are replaceable so the jar can last forever.

Pickling Preserving Alex Elliot-Howery

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