A jam funnel is an important piece of jam making equipment commonly used in home canning. Jam funnels allow jam makers and preservers to fill empty jars with freshly produced homemade jams and chutnies without spilling the produce onto the rim of the jar or down the sides. A jam funnel varies from a regular funnel as it has a wide mouth designed to rest in an open jar.
Jam funnels are made from various materials, and come in a variety of sizes and finishes. Among these are stainless steel, aluminium, non stick and plastic.
The most common UK brands of jam funnels are Kitchen Craft and Tala.
Stainless Steel Jam Funnel
Stainless steel jam funnels are the type of funnel most favoured by preservers. They contain a minimum of 11% chromium, thus are not significantly susceptible to staining, rusting and corrosion. They are extremely hygenic and minimise the chances of bacteria accumulating during the potting process. A handle is often found on the side of the funnel to steady it during use and prevent contamination of the funnels inner surface. A jam funnel can be reused many times and, with proper care, should last many years.
Aluminium Jam Funnel
Aluminium jam funnels are often overshadowed by their stainless steel counterpart, however they are cheaper and offer many of the same benefits. They can be sterilised easily, are very hygenic and will last a long time. Aluminium is not as robust as stainless steel, so these funnels dent easier. However this does not affect their functionality and is purely aesthetic.
Non Stick Jam Funnel
Non stick jam funnels are very simmilar to the stainless steel type, although they have a non stick coating on the inner surface to aid the jar filling process.
Plastic Jam Funnel
Plastic jam funnels are sometimes criticised as being inferior by preserving aficionados. While it is true that a plastic jam funnel does not offer the same hygenic standards as stainless steel, they are much cheaper to produce and are suitable for use with preserves that are going to be used immediately rather than being sealed.