This is an anti-kitchen glam post. It reflects the realities of my actual kitchen and not the fantasy kitchen that I was hoping you'd all believe that I have.
See this pot? It's my new jam pot.
[On my actual stove. With the actual permanent burned spots around my favorite burner from not having the stove perfectly perfectly clean before I use a canner on it when it's turned all the way up. Also the chip marks from bumping the heavy cast iron pans into the edge of the stove. Also, the actual spatter spots on the kettle. And the actual cast iron skillet that is Eric's favorite pan in the whole wide world - the one that always looks dirty [it's seasoned, Rob, not dirty.] and which takes me both hands to lift.]
Why did I need a new jam pot, you ask? Because I started some pear jam in my old jam pot last year and then walked away and sat down at the computer and lost track of time until I smelled the scorching and by then it was too late. Far too late.
The jam was fine, but when I got to the bottom of that pan, it was black. All over. I scrubbed some, but it was a total loss. And I mean loss. I've burned things in that pot before and had to scrub and scrub and scrub and this burn was far beyond those.
I was super upset. So I called Eric and cried and moaned and groaned and raged and bless his heart, he stopped by Walmart and brought this beauty home.
It's nothing special. Just a big stock pot. A big stainless steel stock pot with handles that Don't Get Hot. No matter how high the burner is.
I love it. It's my new favorite jam pot.
It's not heavy duty. It's just a cheap stainless stockpot. It's deep, so I have to use long handled spoons and spatulas to stir with. It has a wide bottom that really spreads the jam out so it cooks a lot faster. The high sides keep the spatters in. Also, it doesn't burn as easily as the enamel on the Le Creuset stockpot that I burned. [I heard you gasp. It was all I could do to admit what pan I burned out loud.]
You don't have to spend a fortune for an excellent jam pot.
If you're looking for a stainless stockpot, check these out. The prices are all over the place, but you're sure to find one that will work for you.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering what I did with the Le Creuset. When Eric got home, he scrubbed at it for a while and got as much out as he could. Frankly, I couldn't even look at it without crying. Then he did some internet research and saw that some folks had used a combination of baking soda soaks and vinegar soaks to work the burn off. For days he alternated treatments. A couple of inches of water in the pan and a couple of glugs of vinegar one day. Then a couple of inches of water and a couple spoons full of baking soda the next. Heat it up and let it simmer on low for a couple of hours, then turn it off and let it sit. Scrub, scrub, scrub every night and do it all again. In the end, we discovered that the vinegar soaks took out the sugar burn best and we only did the vinegar soaks every night until we got the whole burn off.
He got the whole burn off!
Eric rescued the pot! The enamel is darker, but the burn is all off. Whew. I use that pot only for soup now and stick with the cheapo stockpot for my jam. I'm sure you understand why.