Ball FreshTech Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker {Review} & Canning Kit {Giveaway}!

I grew up spending a lot of time with my grandparents who are avid gardeners. My grandmother would can, freeze and preserve all the produce from their massive gardens each summer, and my cousins and I learned to work a farm….from feeding the ducks, chickens, pigs to helping milk the goat. I remember many days in the kitchen by my grandmother’s side assisting her, and I fell in love with Ball canning jars. Actually any type of mason jar and glass bottles….especially cobalt blue. My summers spent in West Virginia with my grandparents and cousins are some of my most treasured and special memories!

So when I was contacted to see if I wanted to review Ball’s new FreshTech Jam Maker, I jumped at the opportunity! I love making homemade jams and fruit sauces, but I have to admit it only usually happens a few times a year because of the amount of time it seems to take. Chopping fruit is not an issue, but the time standing at the stove, stirring and monitoring to get the jam the right consistency…..all the while guessing at the proper temperature to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot can be a pain.

It’s a guessing game I don’t mind playing because I love the outcome of fresh fruit jam. But now this new automatic jam maker takes all that guesswork out of the equation….3 simple steps later and you’re done. And no babysitting the jam!! Did I mention it’s quick….under 30 minutes quick.

Photo courtesy of Jarden Home Brands

When we returned from Disney over the weekend, I was greeted with my new jam maker. I couldn’t wait to get it out of the box to check it out, and to peek through the small recipe booklet it comes with and start making jam! I was happy to see no assembly was required. I had also been wondering about size, but am thrilled to share that it’s about the same size as the new slow cookers out there so storage won’t be an issue.

All you need is fruit, sugar, pectin, a small bit of butter, and with some recipes lemon juice is needed. It turns out that I had 2 mangos and a drawer full of apricots that were ripe and just begging to be made into jam (recipe coming in next post) I peeled and cut them up into small pieces. After plugging in the jam maker, I sprinkled Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin over the bottom of the pot with the stirrer attached.

Then I added the fruit, the juice of one lemon and 1/2 teaspoon of butter. I pressed the JAM button, and pressed enter. 4 minutes later the jam maker beeped. I added the sugar slowly and then covered the pot with the glass lid. 17 minutes later the jam was ready….it was that quick and easy!

I ladled the jam into half pint jars and marveled how the ripe mango and apricots that were surely destined for the trash were now transformed into 4 lovely half pints of mango apricot jam! Wow…..incredible. My mind started conjuring up different jam possibilities. This is where you can get really creative! ;)

I imagine people with a large garden harvest or an abundance of fruit trees would get a lot of use out of this jam maker. I’m also excited about the speed of making jam….a great gift to give others at holiday time or anytime. The jam will last for 3 weeks in your fridge, or did you know you can freeze it right in the canning jars? I didn’t!

Mango Apricot Jam (recipe coming in next post!)

And if you want to can your jam so that it will keep for a full year, Kmart has a full assortment of everything you need for canning….canning equipment, canning jars, pectin, food mixes etc. Click over and check it out….I love looking at canning items!! The FreshTech Jam Maker is only available online at Kmart.com, not in stores.

For beginners, try the Ball Canning Discovery Kit to get started. It contains:

  • Polypropylene rack with separate, fitted lifter that works in large stockpots at least 7½” tall and 9½” in diameter
  • 3 x 1-pint jars
  • Illustrated, simplified canning instruction Recipe book

For canning experts, here are some new items to get excited about that Kmart is carrying:

  • 1.5 pint jars – based on consumer demand, just right for hearty soups and longer vegetables like asparagus or cucumbers.
  • Ball Sure Tight Band Tool – takes the guesswork out of sealing jars “fingertip tight”.
  • Citric Acid (in-store only) - doesn’t change the flavor of tomatoes the way lemon juice does, and is pantry-ready.
  • Pectin & Food Mixes (in-store only) - for easy pickles, salsa, pasta sauce, jams & more!

 {Giveaway}

Photo courtesy of Jarden Home Brands

The generous folks at Kmart have offered you guys a chance to win the Ball Canning Discovery KitI want one of these myself! I think it’s cool that with this kit you can turn any large stock pot you already own into a canner. No need to store an extra pot if you don’t need it!

To enter: Just leave a comment telling me if you can or would like to learn how to can and why.

For additional entries:

1) Follow Creative Kitchen on Facebook (1 entry)
2) Follow Creative Kitchen on Twitter (1 entry)
3) Follow Kmart on Facebook (1 entry)
4) Follow Kmart on Twitter (1 entry)
5) Follow Creative Kitchen on Pinterest (1 entry)

For a total of 6 entries. Make sure you do the mandatory entry by commenting once. Additional entries are optional. Winner will be chosen by random on Tuesday June 12th at noon, and notified by email. Giveaway limited to US residents only.

Twitter Party
If you’re interested in learning more about canning from Kmart canning experts join in the #KmartCanning Twitter chat held from 12-1pm CT on Wednesday, June 6. Info & RSVP

Disclaimer ~ As I mentioned, I was given a Ball FreshTech Automatic Jam Maker for the purpose of reviewing. There was no monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions expressed in this post are my own. Two of the above photos were supplied by Jarden Home Brands.

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84 Responses to Ball FreshTech Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker {Review} & Canning Kit {Giveaway}!

  1. katie says:

    I’ve never canned before and I would love to learn how too! I think I would make seedless raspberry jam to start with!
    katie recently posted..Orange-Poppy Scones

  2. katie says:

    I follow Creative Kitchen on Facebook!
    katie recently posted..Orange-Poppy Scones

  3. katie says:

    I follow Creative Kitchen on Twitter via @KatiesCucina
    katie recently posted..Orange-Poppy Scones

  4. katie says:

    I follow Kmart on Facebook via @Katie A-J
    katie recently posted..Orange-Poppy Scones

  5. katie says:

    I follow Kmart on Twitter via @KatiesCucina
    katie recently posted..Orange-Poppy Scones

  6. katie says:

    I follow Creative Kitchen on Pinterest.
    katie recently posted..Orange-Poppy Scones

  7. I would love to have this because I just recently started talking to my hubby about canning things this year and this would be so helpful. So far I’ve only made freezer jam because I don’t have a canning kit! would love to win this
    Angie @ Big Bear’s Wife recently posted..Shepard’s Pie #Sunday Supper

  8. I Follow Creative Kitchen on Facebook (1 entry)
    Angie @ Big Bear’s Wife recently posted..Shepard’s Pie #Sunday Supper

  9. I Follow Creative Kitchen on Twitter (1 entry)
    Angie @ Big Bear’s Wife recently posted..Shepard’s Pie #Sunday Supper

  10. I Follow Kmart on Facebook (1 entry)
    Angie @ Big Bear’s Wife recently posted..Shepard’s Pie #Sunday Supper

  11. I Follow Kmart on Twitter (1 entry)

  12. I Follow Creative Kitchen on Pinterest (1 entry)

  13. Kelli Cooks says:

    I keep saying that I really should start canning some of our fresh veggies and such!
    Kelli Cooks recently posted..Emmi Swiss Cheese Sliders

  14. Laura says:

    I have never canned, but I’ve always wanted to learn how. I want to make my grandmother’s strawberry and fig preserves!

  15. Hezzi-D says:

    I started canning last summer and I love it! i can’t wait to make more salsa and jam!

  16. Hezzi-D says:

    I follow you on Pintrest.

  17. My mom just started canning and she loves it. I have made some curds before and salsa. I would love to have the kit to make spicy peach jam. I think they make great foodie gifts at Christmas.
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  18. I followed you on Twitter via @MooshuJenne
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  19. I followed you on Pinterest via MooshuJenne
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  20. I liked you on Facebook via Jenne Kopalek
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  21. I followed Kmart on Twitter via @MooshuJenne
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  22. I liked Kmart on Facebook via Jenne Kopalek
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  23. Loretta Chasteen says:

    Even though my husband and I no longer have a huge garden, we do have an ever growing blueberry patch and culrivated blackberry vines. Also, much to my delight, we quit cutting all of the wild vines that grow on our summer mountain home and find that this year, for the first time, we will have a crop of rasberries. Oh, and how I do love rasberries.
    As the blueberry bushes are quite loaded this year and since we were not in residence last June, thus missing the crop, I do need to resupply our store of jam. The news of this new gadget comes at a great time, as a back problem makes it uncomfortable to stand for long periods of time for the making of much jam on the same day.
    Thanks, Denise, for seeing that your grandmama got the word! See you in July.

    • Denise says:

      Hi Grandma!! I’m SO glad to hear this new jam maker will be of help to you. When I clicked through the Kmart link, it was on sale for $89.99 (down from $99). I think it also ships free, and is eligible for free ship to store (I think). It was SO easy…and I love mine! :)

      Thanks for sharing about all your vines and berries. Now I see where I get my love of raspberries from. Mmm…….

      See you for the reunion!! Love you!!!!

  24. Loretta Chasteen says:

    I follow on Facebook.

  25. I have ALWAYS wanted to can! What a great giveaway! Come over to my blog and check out my giveaway too! :-)

  26. Wow! An automatic jelly maker!? I never knew such a thing existed. I bet it takes the worry out of making jelly. A great giveaway!
    Deliciously Organic recently posted..Green Beans with Prosciutto

  27. Tracy says:

    I haven’t canned for years but I love to garden and think canning would be a wonderful activity to do with my kids (ages 5 and 7).Hope I win…I love a gadget:)

  28. Melanie says:

    I would love to learn to can!

  29. Melanie says:

    I follow Kmart on Twitter

  30. Corie says:

    I really want to learn how to can. I think it’s a great way to start working on food storage.

  31. Corie says:

    I follow Creative Kitchen on FB

  32. Corie says:

    I follow Kmart on FB

  33. Corie says:

    I follow Creative Kitchen on Pinterest

  34. Gini says:

    I watched my grandmother and neighbors can for years, and always thought it was a long and tedious process. The Ball FreshTech has made canning look fun! I would actually look forward to canning and serving my guests the fruits of my labor. This would be awesome to win!

  35. Rosa says:

    I would love to learn to do this! It’s on my list of things to learn. Hope I win!!

  36. Rosa says:

    I follow you on twitter!

  37. Rosa says:

    I follow Kmart on twitter!

  38. Kesha says:

    I have been wanting to learn how to can! In the months that fresh veggies and fruits is over, I could still have those fresh items by canning them!

  39. Kesha says:

    I Follow Creative Kitchen on Facebook

  40. Kesha says:

    I Follow Creative Kitchen on Twitter

  41. Kesha says:

    I Follow Kmart on Facebook

  42. Kesha says:

    I Follow Kmart on Twitter

  43. Kesha says:

    I Follow Creative Kitchen on Pinteres

  44. Alyson says:

    I have not canned before but would love to learn how! I am very interested in preparing foods myself so that I control the ingredients. :-)

  45. Chineka says:

    I would love to learn how to can and make fresh jams just as I saw my Grandma do so many times. You can do so much with jams in baking. 8-)
    Chineka recently posted..Giveaway: Digital Kitchen Scale

  46. Laura says:

    My grandparents also used to can things and I have great memories of watching my Grandma work and come up with great treats afterwards. I’d love to learn how to do it and I’d probably start with strawberry jam and try all kinds of things.

  47. Laura says:

    I’m following you all on Facebook.

  48. Laura says:

    I’m following on Twitter.

  49. Michele G says:

    I have canned jam in the past many years ago. I have just gotten back into making jam this spring. I love the fact that I can control the ingredients when I make and prepare food myself.
    Michele G recently posted..Moonflower

  50. Michele G says:

    I follow you on FB
    Michele G recently posted..Moonflower

  51. Michele G says:

    I follow you on Twiiter
    Michele G recently posted..Moonflower

  52. Michele G says:

    I am following Kmart on Twitter
    Michele G recently posted..Moonflower

  53. Michele G says:

    I am following Kmart on FB
    Michele G recently posted..Moonflower

  54. Michele G says:

    I follow you on Pinterest
    Michele G recently posted..Moonflower

  55. Lethea B says:

    I make jams, jellies and preserves and I would just LOVE to try this=)
    What an awesome giveaway, thank you!

  56. Pingback: Mango Apricot Jam & Adventures in Jam Making! | Creative Kitchen

  57. I would like to make fruit jam that also has herbs or savory bits in it, too. I love complex flavors!
    Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious recently posted..Funfetti Rice Krispies Treats

  58. jill wragg says:

    I would LOVE to try this new kitchen machine! I LOVE to make jam and have even won awards recently in the county fair. I LOVE to give jam away as gifts! I also LOVE to have kitchen gadgets!!!

  59. jill wragg says:

    I follow you on Pinterest

  60. jill wragg says:

    I follow you on Facebook

  61. jill wragg says:

    I liked Kmart on Facebook

  62. Rochelle says:

    I have never canned before but I want to learn because I’ve had homemade jam and it tastier than store bought. Thanks!

  63. Rochelle says:

    Liked you on Facebook under Rochelle Martin

  64. Rochelle says:

    Liked Kmart on Facebook under Rochelle Martin

  65. Rochelle says:

    Following you on Pinterest under http://pinterest.com/romapr/

  66. Julie says:

    I have just started canning :)
    thanks

  67. Julie says:

    like u on fb Julie A Scott Laws

  68. Julie says:

    like Kmart fb Julie A Scott Laws

  69. Robin says:

    I’d love to learn to can. As you know, it’s been on my list for a while now and this kit would be perfect for me.

  70. Robin says:

    I follow you on facebook.

  71. Robin says:

    I follow you on twitter.

  72. Robin says:

    I follow you on pinterest.

  73. Robin says:

    I started following Kmart on twitter.

  74. Robin says:

    I liked Kmart on Facebook.

  75. Mary Hennig says:

    I really enjoyed helping my mom can when I was a little girl. Now that she is gone, I have a new interest in canning and trying some new recipes. I think that canning your own produce is healthier and more nutritional than anything you can buy. I found this entry while searching online for a strawberry rhubarb jam recipe to make in a water bath canner…not a freezer jam.
    I would really like to have one of the new jam makers and the discovery kit. How amazing that we are getting new twists on an old love…canning.

  76. Amy says:

    My mother used to can when I was growing up and I used to help but I’ve never done it by myself. I took a canning class last year but that’s all I’ve really done so far. I bought some supplies and I’m looking forward to “putting up” my garden this year. I REALLY want the automatic jam & jelly maker!

  77. Jen says:

    I know this giveaway is over but I just wanted to add… I used my new Ball Automatic Jam and Jelly maker for the first time this evening and LOVE the results. I tweeked the standard strawberry jam recipe and ended up with five 8oz jars of the best strawberry balsamic vinegar cracked black pepper jam I have ever tasted. Imagine a small round of fresh local goat cheese covered with this jam and served with crackers. Instant sophisticated appetizer ! YUM.

  78. I followed on pinterest
    Liked K-mart and creative Kitchen,
    Would love to start canning and making my own sugar free jellies. =)

  79. Donna Buckmeier says:

    I have been making jam on the stove top for years – love homemade jam! The reviews are fabulous for this item, thinking it would make a perfect gift for a friend who is nervous about making jam but thoroughly enjoys eating it.

    Pick me and I will pay it forward!

  80. Have been trying – without success – to find out if this machine has any altitude adjustment on it. We’re at over 8,000 ft, and have to make a lot of time adjustment to achieve proper setting.
    Any ideas if this has been built in to the automatic jam maker?
    Thanks.
    Judy

  81. Denise Schonacher says:

    My mother taught me how to can,,,I haven’t canned in years, but plan on doing so this summer! This will definitely make it easier!

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