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How To Make Delicious Strawberry Jam

Updated on September 30, 2016
Homemade preserves: Strawberry Jam in Half Pint Jars
Homemade preserves: Strawberry Jam in Half Pint Jars | Source

Strawberry Jam - Delicious and Fun

I love making delicious, homemade strawberry jam. I have a lot of fun with it albeit there is usually a sticky mess that goes along with the process. You will need only a simple recipe, a little bit of time, and a little bit of know how to complete the project. You have to follow a strict regiment but -- RELAX -- jam is not that complicated.

This is a great way to get started in canning if you have ever wanted to try it. I used to help my mother make great jam and other canning goods when I was a little girl. It was a neat way to spend time as her little helper. I usually got to stir the pot for her and help cut up the fruit. I always got the messy jobs.

When spring hits strawberries are in season and super cheap at the market. I tend to buy them anyway throughout the year. Sometimes, I have some that may turn on me before I can use them up -- so I pop them in the freezer. You can use fresh or frozen berries for this recipe if you like. The recipe and methods are the same.

Source

Pressure Canners as Water Baths

I am using my pressure canner as a water bath for this process. Strawberry jam is a low acid food so there is no need for it to be pressurized. Before you start pulling all the ingredients out for your jam making, wash your canner with hot soapy water, rinse well, and fill it at least half full with water. Set it on your stovetop on medium heat. You will want the largest burner you have under it for consistent boiling. As the water heats up your water bath will be hot enough when your jars are filled and ready for processing.

Presto 1755 16-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker/Canner

Presto 1755 16-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker/Canner
Presto 1755 16-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker/Canner

The Presto Pressure Cooker I bought is a 16 quart job. WIth it I am able to can and seal 12 pint half-pint jars at once. It is big enough to hold quart jars, too, if you want to use them for larger batches of preserved foods. The cooker can be used as a pressure cooker or a water bath canner.

You can preserve meats, can your own veggies and fruits and pressurize your canning jars for healthier food items in your pantry with this process canner.

 

First Things First!

Make sure all the equipment is ready before jumping into the recipe. Things go a lot smoother when these projects are organized.

Sterilize Your Equipment!

Sterilize Your Equipment!
Sterilize Your Equipment! | Source

Sterilize Tools & Equipment

For Safer Food Processing

Set up a production line for canning. Sterilize most of the items that will be used. I put my jars in the dishwasher after I wash them by hand. This not only cleanses the jars but it adds an extra precaution against bacteria and organisms being present. All of my ladles, rings, jars, and tools will be dropped into the water bath for added sterilization.

Just like sterilizing baby bottles -- drop the items into boiling water and let set for about 10 minutes. Remove and let air dry. I generally set the jars back into the canner to keep them hot for when the jam is ready to scoop into them.

Keeping the jars hot is important. When the jam mixture is put into a hot jar it will not suffer the possibility of breakage due to temperature changes. You can use the jars straight out of the dishwasher but you have to keep the door on it closed. If you open it the jars will cool off.

Canning Tools

Canning Tools - lids, lid lifter, spacer, jar grabber, funnel, tongs, new canning lids
Canning Tools - lids, lid lifter, spacer, jar grabber, funnel, tongs, new canning lids | Source

Necessary Canning Tools

During processing a few canning tools can help avoid burns. The jars and the water bath are going to be extremely hot so use caution around this equipment. There are specialized tools for each step in canning.

  • The jar grabber is the most important tool in this group. It helps get those hot, heavy jars in and out of the canner easily and has a special rubber coating to help grip the slippery glass jar.
  • The lid lifter has a magnet in the end of it so the lid sticks to it and holds it snug while setting it on the jar.
  • The spacing tool has slots on the end of it for checking the head room required in a processed jar. Each food has a different requirement. It can also be used to slide into the interior side of the jar to remove air bubbles. The spacing on strawberry jam is 1/4".

A complete kit of canning tools is a great way to get all of the ones you want and need in a set. The boxed set includes the Jr lifter, spacer tool, lid lifter, and funnel for around $7 to $9. They are available on Amazon or in your local retail shops like Walmart.

Simple Strawberry Jam Recipe

A strawberry jam recipe contains

only 5 simple ingredients!

Rate This Recipe

5 stars from 1 rating of Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam Ingredients

  • 5 quarts Strawberries - fresh or frozen, Mashed
  • 1 package Pectin
  • 7 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Cook Time

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 1 hour 45 min
Ready in: 2 hours 30 min
Yields: about 12 half-pint jars

Instructions

  1. Rub the side of a large stock pot with the butter and let the butter stay in the pan. This prevents boil overs and adds a nice favor to the jam.
  2. Add the mashed berries, pectin, and lemon juice to a large stock pot. Bring them to a boil.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and mix it into the strawberry mash. The jam will darken as it simmers back to a boil.
  4. Remove foam as needed. When the mixture reaches a rolling boiling point, let it roll for about 10 minutes.
  5. Fill a hot jar with mixture leaving a 1/4" space between the top and the jam.
  6. Wipe the lip of the jar off to insure proper sealing.
  7. Snug the ring down just til it stops turning. The ring should not be too tight.
  8. Place in water bath canner for 10 minutes of boiling time. The water in the canner should be at least 3" above the jars.
  9. Remove the jars and let set overnight on dishtowels. Do not move the jars until they set.
  10. Mark the dates on the lids. The jam will keep up to a year.

Strawberry Jammin' - Video For Jam Making - Step By Step Guide For Strawberry Jam

The steps you need to take to preserve your own strawberry jam are featured in this video. This was the actual process I followed when I made this batch of tasty jam!

Preparing Strawberries

Cut Or Thaw Fruit

You can see from the recipe you are going to need a lot of strawberries! 2 quarts mashed down is about 5 store bought pints. I happened to have set aside just that amount of strawberries in the freezer. When doing fresh berries, cut the tops off of them and remove any dark or greenish white spots. Rinse the berries well before you cut them up and drain the water off of them

For strawberries that are frozen (you can buy frozen berries to do this!) let them thaw out overnight in the fridge or put them in a pan of cold water and separate them. Drain excess water out. You do not want the jam watered down.

Adding Pectin

For Sugar And Sugar Free Jam

Stirring is a large part of the work that goes into making homemade jam. If your Pectin is lumpy don't worry, it will dissolve as the jam heats up. Stir until you get a soft boil. When this happens it's time to add all of that sugar!

There are sugar-free Pectin powders available on the market. If you want to use one of these for your jam instead of sugar, I recommend using the sweetener Stevia. It is a naturally produced sugar substitute and it will not leave you with a chemical aftertaste.

When the sugar is added you are about half-way done with cooking the jam!

About reduced sugar pectin...

If you have seen these, they are less sugar because they are only 1/2 of a full batch of jam so be aware of that. They make only 6 half-pints where this recipe is for 12 half-pints.

Scoop Foam From Jam
Scoop Foam From Jam | Source

Foaming Will Occur

As Jam Is Brought To A Boil

Foaming will naturally occur as the sugar and fruit begin to heat to the boiling stage. Remove this with a wooden spoon. Never use a metal utensil with preserving. The metals interfere with the acids in the food and cause problems.

Scoop the foam off and set it aside in a container. You can use this later. It is edible. It is unsightly in the sealed jars and it is customary to just take it out. We put it on toast or eat it on pancakes. Sometimes its the taster that everyone eats before the jars are processed!

Cut down the foam by adding a tablespoon of butter. This adds a nice buttery flavor to your jam, too. Butter wiped around the top inside 2" of the pot will help reduce the chance of boil over.

The darker color of the jam means it is almost ready.
The darker color of the jam means it is almost ready. | Source

Time To Put The Jam In Jars!

Careful, This Stuff Is HOT!

When you have a slow rolling boil in your jam you will notice the jam is darker. It is a nice glaze and it is ready to go into the jars and be sealed with the lids and rings for processing. Take care when moving through this step. The jam, the jars, and the water bath are extremely hot. You will suffer burns if you are not cautious! So tread carefully, my friend!

I put a bowl out so I can set the jar in it and keep my area a little neater. You will be making a mess! Thankfully it wipes up easy when its done. If you don't get it all over the place it isn't any good so go at it!

Place a hot jar in a bowl, drop the funnel into the jar and scoop the hot liquid into it. Leave a 1/4" space in the top. Strawberry jam does not expand when it sets. Wipe off the top ridge and set a hot jar lid on top of it. Add a ring to it and snug down just till it tightens. Do not over tighten the band.

Set the jar back in the middle of the stove to keep it hot. When you fill all of your jars you may move them to the water bath. 10 minutes of boiling time and you are done!

Spoon Mixture Into Hot Jars
Spoon Mixture Into Hot Jars
Wipe The Edges Down Before Adding The Seal
Wipe The Edges Down Before Adding The Seal
Sealing Lids Set In Boiling Water - At Least 8 minutes
Sealing Lids Set In Boiling Water - At Least 8 minutes

Half -Pint Jars After Processing

Strawberry Jam In Pints after processing:
Strawberry Jam In Pints after processing: | Source

Remove Jars

Let Sit Covered For 24 Hours

Covering the jars after you have removed them from processing helps them cool slowly. It also prevents a mess if you have a jar that explodes. Yes, they do that if you have one with a flaw in it. This does not happen very often, no worries!

I love the sound of the popping when the seal sets. They will salute you as they set.

Let the jars sit for about 24 hours before you move them to give them time to settle. It gives you time to plan how you are going to devour all that yummy jam!

Always Write The Date of Processing on the Lid

Always mark the lids with a date for tracking quality. This also helps for when the jar has been opened. You can reuse the lids for storage only, not reprocessing.
Always mark the lids with a date for tracking quality. This also helps for when the jar has been opened. You can reuse the lids for storage only, not reprocessing. | Source

Start your canning experience with delicious, homemade Strawberry Jam and you will be able to move on to other preserving easily. The steps for canning are very similar to the jam process. From this you can move on to bottling fruits and other preserves.

I hope the instructions were clear enough to help you along and you have what you need to start canning on your own now.

I have 9 jars of jam left, who wants one?

Thanks for visiting!

Comments - & Review

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    • MBurgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Burgess 

      4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      @sousababy: It is wonderful! This is my jam project from last year. I shot new video last night and will be editing it to add soon. The smell of this is heavenly! Appreciate your visit, Rose! Have a great day, dear! =)

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 

      4 years ago

      Homemade jam is the best - thanks for an excellent tutorial (wonderful photos too).

    • MBurgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Burgess 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      @hntrssthmpsn: That last statement made me smile, Cassandra. Pardon the phone call at the end of my video. It will walk you through the major elements of jam making. You certainly will need to make preserves with all the fruit you have available. Thanks for your visit today, my friend!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 

      5 years ago

      When I was a kid, my mom used to make plum and strawberry jams and orange marmalade every year. I have a couple of plum trees, a pineapple guava tree, and a blood orange tree, and plan to attempt canning for the first time this year! Strawberry's one of my favorites, and is sure to make the list. Your instructions are wonderful, and I plan to use them! I'll let you know how it goes... I'm pretty optimistic, as I've rarely met a homemade jam I didn't like.

    • MBurgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Burgess 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      @momsANDkids: That's awesome! I want to make more of it with fresh berries soon. Every now and then I get a thin batch but it is great on waffles or as an ice cream topping! Thanks for the comment and visit!

    • momsANDkids profile image

      momsANDkids 

      5 years ago

      It's strawberry season in my location. It's time to make those jams and wine too.

    • MBurgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Burgess 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      @katiecolette: That's the way to get the best strawberries! Occasionally I run across great deals on berries and into the jars they go. Appreciate your comment!

    • MBurgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Burgess 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      @takkhisa: Thanks takkhis!! Appreciate your visit and comment! =) I hope the directions are clear enough for you two to do your own strawberry jam soon!

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 

      5 years ago

      I made my own strawberry jam for the first time last year, but we didn't can it - just poured it in jars and kept it refrigerated, and it was all gone within a month. We have a "pick your own strawberries" patch in our area, so we might pick a few extra pounds of strawberries this year, so that I can can it :) Great lens, well done!

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 

      5 years ago

      Great lens!!! Thanks for sharing and i bookmarked this lens for my mom. Blessed by takkhis :)

    • MBurgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Burgess 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      @ryokomayuka: It's fun and a really great tasting mess when you are done -- but it is so worth the efforts! Thanks for your visit and comment!

    • ryokomayuka profile image

      ryokomayuka 

      5 years ago from USA

      Looks interesting. I'm not a big fan of jam but it looks neat and sounds like a great idea.

    • MBurgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Burgess 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      @anonymous: Thank you! Appreciate the visit Auntie Judy! =)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      very comprehensive, great job

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