A good copper preserving pan is the one that does what you want it to do, many pans are great for one persons needs but totally unsuitable or lacking for another's needs.
So, the best thing to do before you embark on a marathon search for the perfect Jam pan, is make a list of what you would like to do with it, how often and how much volume you envisage making.
Jam pans like this are used for making:
1. Preserving Fruits, Jellies, Jams, Fridge jams
2. Chutneys, Pickles (Branston Types)
3. Toffee, Fudges, Nougat, Sweet Making and Sugar Craft
They all traditionally use plain copper pans without any lining.
How often will you be using it? Commercially, domestically or very occasionally - just when the strawberries are just right or Seville oranges are in the greengrocers?
Then you can decide how heavy, wide and thick you would like it to be.
Generally, the heavier the pan the better the pan, the more use it will get the heavier and thicker it needs to be. Thin copper can burn easily if left unattended, where as thick copper will give you a good even distribution of heat throughout the base.
If you are making a few jars of jam a year then a small thin gauge pan will do nicely. Although if you want a heavy, professional pan that looks fabulous hanging up then go for it!
There is one sure way of working out if a pan is right for you. The weight. That will give you a good idea of the thickness of the copper and how robust and hard wearing it will be. (and how much you really should be paying for these too!)
For a 36cm pan about 14 inches holding 7 litres about 6-7 quarts, there are the everyday copper pans like the ones Baumalu, from eastern France sells today. They weigh in at a lightweight 1.25 kilos just under 3 pounds. Lovely pan, thin walled, great for any sort of jam making on an occasional domestic level. They cost upwards of 30€+ or about $35US.
On the other hand a Mauviel, from Villedieu les Poeles, pan made today 36cm about 14 inches weighs over 3 kilos over 6 1/2 pounds. This could be used on a daily basis with no problems. A new Mauviel pan will cost 238€+ or $279.99.
Same width - different quality.
So in conclusion - it's horses for courses, whatever you want to do in the preserving business there is a jam pan for you.
............There is one thing I forgot to mention - if you want a really good pan, a robust beautiful, generous, fabulous looking confiture or preserving pan - go for vintage or even antique, like the ones at Normandy Kitchen Copper!
©Fidelma Cox Normandy Kitchen Copper 2017
All prices correct at time of publication
Thanks to Distinctive Decor and Gourmet Web