Strawberry Jam

Making homemade strawberry jam is a gift that gives in two ways - it's rewarding to you, the cook, and it's super rewarding for the friend you give it to. It may sound overwhelming, but it's a fun project that is not overly difficult. Give it a try!

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Strawberry Jam

  • Prep Time: 30 m
  • Cook Time: 15 m
  • Canning Time: 20 m
  • Total Time: 1 h 5 m
  • Servings:
    Makes 6 - 8 ounce jars


  • 6 8-ounce jam jars
  • 5 cups strawberries 3 pounds, hulled and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons pectin
  • cups sugar


  1. Start by preparing your jam jars. You can do this in your dishwasher using the sterilize cycle or you can simmer the jars and lids in water on the stovetop for 15 minutes.
  2. Place 2 or 3 small plates in the freezer. You will use these later to test the gel point of the jam.
  3. Heat a large (6-quart) stockpot over low heat. Add the strawberries and lemon juice. Stir in the pectin until dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil – a boil that is vigorous enough that it continues to boil even when stirred.
  4. Add the sugar all at once. The mixture may bubble up, but it will settle and the sugar will dissolve. Swirl the pot to dissolve the sugar but do not stir with a spoon. Turn up the heat and bring everything back to a strong boil. Once it is at a strong boil, continue to boil vigorously for 1 minute.
  5. Turn off the heat and skim away any foam that rises to the surface.
  6. Test to see if the jam has set by dropping a teaspoon of jam on one of the plates that have been in the freezer. If the jam has reached its gel point and you have added enough pectin, the jam will set up quickly on the plate. If it is a good consistency, proceed to the next step. If the jam is too runny, simply continue to boil it, checking every 5 minutes with a new plate.
  7. Using a wide funnel, fill the sterilized jars with hot jam, leaving ¼-inch of room at the top. Wipe any jam from the top and sides of the jars with a clean towel. Screw on the lids, but do not over-tighten.
  8. Preserve the jam for long storage by using the water bath canning method (see remaining instructions), or simply refrigerate the jars and eat within a few weeks.
  9. If you want to use the water bath caning method, bring a large 8- to 10-quart stockpot full of water to a rolling boil. Place a rack in the bottom of the stockpot.
  10. Submerge the filled jam jars in the simmering water and bring the water back to a boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jars stand in the water for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove the jars from the stockpot using tongs or a jar lifter. Check to see if the lids are tightly sealed. As the jam cools, the lids should pop inward – you might hear this as they cool. Store jams with inverted lids at room temperature until you open them. If the lids of any jars did not invert and are popped upward, store in the refrigerator and consume within a few weeks.
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Comments (14)Post a Reply

  1. Do you know if the recipe is affected if I add less sugar? Not just the flavor being less sweet.

    1. Hi Mary Anne. Sugar does have a bigger role in jams than just sweetening. Sugar reacts with the pectin and acid to form the gel structure that makes up the jam. It also acts as a preservative, keeping the jam’s color longer and preventing the growth of mold. It’s important to use the right amount of sugar for a jam if you want it to turn out exactly as intended. On the other hand, if you’re willing to have a jam that is a little looser (I prefer looser jams myself), then you can reduce the sugar a little. It will take a little trial and error. The nice thing about jam is that if it doesn’t set the first time, you can boil it again with more sugar and give it a second chance.

  2. Love the simplicity of this jam. Can I ask you where you bought that apparatus for dicing your strawberries? That looks like a nifty appliance. Thanks.

    1. That is an electric mandolin that was part of Cook’s Essentials product line, available on QVC. I am not sure if it is still available though.

    1. Hi Nancy. You can use frozen strawberries, just make sure there was no sugar added to them before freezing. Let the strawberries defrost in a colander to drain before making the jam.

  3. Do you think I could use the same recipe for blackberries, also being diabetic can it be made successfully with a sugar alternate like Stevia?

    1. Blackberries are high in pectin so it should work fine in this recipe. You can substitute Stevia for sugar, just use the substitute amounts on the package.

    1. You could use either sugar substitute to sweeten your jam. Stevia® is a natural sweetener alternative which many people find beneficial over Splenda®, which is an artificial sweetener.

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