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How to Make Strawberry Jam

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Looking for a delicious way to preserve your strawberries? Here’s how to make strawberry jam with full canning instructions It’s such a classic treat and tastes perfect on your morning toast. 

Image shows several mason jars of strawberry jam sitting on a wooden cutting board. The front jar is open, revealing the jam, and several fresh strawberries sit nearby on the board. Text above reads "How to Make Strawberry Jam"

With spring coming on, this is the perfect time to make sure you know how to make strawberry jam. I also even make jam in the winter. Why? Because during peak season, I get so overwhelmed with fruit that I just do the quick and easy thing – throw it in the freezer. Then during the winter, I can make a batch of jam here and there when I have time. 

It may not be the most efficient way to preserve fruit, but when you’re in crisis, you do what you have to do. 

I’ve talked before about growing strawberries in the South, and when you do it right, 50 strawberry plants can yield a stunning volume of berries. 

This strawberry jam recipe uses pectin. I know there are many tutorials for how to make strawberry jam without pectin, but for me, it leaves out all room for error. Where the volume of pectin in the fruit itself can vary, powdered pectin in a known quantity, and I’ve never had a batch fail using it. 

The key to making strawberry jam without pectin is making sure your mixture reaches 220º (if you’re at sea level), which can be time-consuming, evaporate a lot of your jam away, and risk burning your jam. For me, it’s just not worthwhile. 

Ingredients for strawberry jam

Image, taken from above, shows several bowls on a white counter with the ingredients to make strawberry jam. A bowl of sugar, frozen strawberries, pectin, and some butter.

Jam is very simple. 

Traditionally, you only need strawberries, sugar, pectin, and optionally, lemon juice, and a smidge of butter to help keep it from foaming. 

Believe it or not, butter can make a huge difference in how much foam your jam produces as it boils, but the trick is getting it in before the foaming starts. 

Foam isn’t the worst thing – it’s still jam, and you can eat it – but you won’t can it with the rest of your jam, so for me, less foam is better – especially if I’m making multiple batches of jam because it really adds up fast!

Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe

As for the strawberries themselves, you want to pick nice, ripe strawberries. You can also use frozen strawberries, as mentioned above. 

In either case, you’ll want to slice/mash/blend them to release the juice. I like pretty chunky jam, so If I do blend my strawberries, I reserve some to dice and add in after blending. 

If I’m using frozen strawberries, they usually release quite a bit of juice as they thaw, and I just mash them with a potato masher, leaving quite a few chunks. 

Here are the exact quantities you need for this small batch of strawberry jam: 

  • 6 cups capped fresh strawberries or frozen
  • 1 1.75 oz. box of powdered pectin (Sure Jell)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime or lemon juice (Fresh lemons is ideal, but bottled juice also works)
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 7 cups granulated sugar
  • 9 half-pint jars with lids and rings. (I use Denali canning lids because they seal every time)

How to make strawberry jam

  1. Crush strawberries. You can use a blender, food processor, immersion blender, or potato masher for this.
  2. Pour the strawberry mash into a large (at least 4 quart) pot, and stir in powdered pectin and lemon juice or lime juice until pectin is dissolved.
    crushed strawberries in a kettle with powdered pectin
  3. Add butter (optional but highly recommended) and heat over medium heat to bring to a full boil that can’t be stirred down. It may not look like much of a boil if your strawberries are thick and saucy, but when you stir it, it will continue bubbling.
  4. At this point, stir in the sugar.
    sugar in the kettle of boiled crushed strawberries
  5. Continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Bring to a full rolling boil again. This time, it shouldn’t be any doubt about whether it’s boiling.
    a kettle of boiling strawberry jam
  7. Set a timer and continue boiling for 1 minute.
  8. Remove from heat and skim the foam from the top of the jam. Save it in a bowl to use fresh
  9. Ladle strawberry jam into sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace, wipe rims, add lids, and screw down rings firmly. 

How to can strawberry jam

  1. Fill your water bath canner with 5-6 inches of hot water.

    A canner doesn’t have to be a dedicated pot that says “canner” on it.

    In the case of water bath canning, it just needs to be taller than your jars, have a lid, and you need to be able to fit some sort of rack in the bottom to separate the glass jars from the bottom. In a pinch, you can use a kitchen towel. For a more narrow pot, you might be able to use an instant pot accessory or something like that. For a larger stock pot, you a probably fit the rack from your pressure canner. I have this canner and sometimes swap the more cumbersome rack that came with it for my pressure canner rack.
  2. Once your canner is prepared with hot water and a rack, lower the jars gently.
  3. Add more water if necessary so that it reaches at least an inch over the top of the jars.
  4. Cover, and bring to a rolling boil.
  5. Boil for 10 minutes, remove from heat, and let cool.
Image shows several jars of strawberry jam on a wooden cutting board. Fresh strawberries sit nearby on the board.

If you don’t have time to can the jam directly after making it, that’s okay!

  1. As you transfer jam into jars and fit them with lids, turn them upside down for two minutes. this will make sure the hot jam sterilizes the lids.
  2. Turn them back right side up, and let them cool. This alone will probably seal jars as they cool.
  3. When you’re ready to can them, use the same process in a boiling water bath as described above, but fill the canner with cool water instead of hot, and let the water and jars warm up together as you heat the pot. 

That’s it! Your jam is done. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Can I double this homemade jam recipe? 

Absolutely! Double it, triple it – just make sure you have a big enough pot before you commit to giant batches. 

Can I make this jam sugar-free? 

Yes and no. You won’t want to use this exact recipe because most non-sugar sweeteners such as honey or Stevia, don’t act in the same way as sugar. Make sugar-free strawberry jam with this recipe instead. 

Can I freeze strawberry jam? 

Absolutely! Just skip the canning and ladle into freezer-safe containers or jars, leaving some room for expansion as it freezes. 

Photo, taken from above, shows the tops of several mason jars of strawberry jam. A small bowl of fresh strawberries sits nearby on the table.

How long does homemade jam last? 

Canned or frozen jam is good for upwards of a year. 

Once a jar is opened, store it in the fridge to discourage the growth of bacteria for about 2 weeks. 

Can I use this jam recipe with other fruits? 

Other fruits have different sweetness levels, as well as pectin levels, etc. So while the basic method is the same, the quantities of fruit and sugar differ a bit. 

One of the reasons I like to make this raspberry peach jam recipe is that peaches tend to not set up as well, and the raspberry helps balance it out. 

You’ll also notice the quantities in this blackberry freezer jam are a little different than this homemade strawberry jam recipe. 

Some recipes though, you’ll find are completely different. This apple jam recipe is one of those. And also, making apple jelly from juice is different (and quite frankly, easier). 

My jam didn’t set up – now what? 

Although rare, it does happen. The most likely cause is that the pectin didn’t reach its gel temperature. 

The basic method for fixing a failed batch is simple: 

  1. Dissolve a package of Sure Jell in 3/4 cup of cold water
  2. Stir into 8 cups of jam and bring to a boil, stirring
  3. Add 1 cup of sugar, and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly
  4. Continue boiling for 30 seconds
  5. Skim off foam, ladle into jars, and process as before

Typically, I haven’t had a problem with strawberry jam setting. Usually, the only ones I have trouble with are peach (as mentioned above) or orange jam. 

Simple ways to use your jam

Image, taken from above, shows a small bowl of strawberry jame with a spoon in it. It sits on a wooden cutting board next to a jar lid, some fresh strawberries, and two jars of jam.
  • On toast, of course! We have a fantastic gluten-free sandwich bread that makes excellent toast.
  • On a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This is my kid’s favorite! They love homemade sourdough bread with peanut butter and strawberry jam.
  • On pancakes or waffles. My husband introduced me to putting jam on gluten-free waffles. Before that, I was a syrup-only kind of girl.
  • Melt and drizzle over ice cream sundaes. The height of luxury.
  • On cheesecake. So indulgent!
  • Give as gifts. I don’t know about you, but I love sharing my homemade jams and jellies with friends and family. It’s fun to be able to give a high-quality gift you know will be used and appreciated. 

We love this jam, and you will love knowing how to make strawberry jam.

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How to Make Strawberry Jam

Simple homemade strawberry jam recipe with canning instructions

  • Author: Elise
  • Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes, + 15 cool time
  • Total Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Yield: Varies

Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 cups capped strawberries
  • 1 1.75 oz. box of powdered pectin (Sure Jell)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 7 cups granulated sugar

Equipment:

Instructions

  1. Crush strawberries. This is easiest with an immersion blender, or for soft strawberries (such as frozen, thawed berries), a potato masher
  2. Pour strawberry mash into a large (at least 4 quart) pot, and stir in powdered pectin and lemon juice until pectin is dissolved.
  3. Add butter (optional, but highly recommended) and heat over medium heat to bring to a full boil that can’t be stirred down.
  4. Stir in sugar
  5. Continue stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  6. Bring to a full, rolling boil again.
  7. Set a timer and continue boiling for 1 minute.
  8. Remove from heat and skim off the foam. Save it in a bowl to use fresh
  9. Ladle strawberry jam into sterile jars, wipe rims, add lids, and screw down rings firmly. 

 

Canning Instructions:

 

  1. Insert rack into bottom of water bath canner, and fill your with 5-6 inches of hot water 
  2. Lower jars gently into canner, taking care to space them so they do not touch.
  3. Add more water if necessary so that it reaches at least an inch over the top of the jars.
  4. Cover, and bring to a rolling boil.
  5. Boil for 10 minutes,
  6. Remove from heat, remove lid and let canner cool naturally for at least 15 minutes (it’s totally fine to let it cool completely before removing jars. If you need to use the canner again however, proceed with step 7)
  7. Carefully remove jars from hot water using canning tongs
  8. Place jars on a towel-lined surface away from drafts or activity, and cover with a second towel to insulate hot jars until they cool. 

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