So, you’re ready to learn how to can strawberry jam at home? You’re gonna love how easy it is!
With strawberry season just around the corner, I’m busy emptying our freezer of what’s leftover from last year’s farm picked strawberries, and making yummy jams and syrups. I love that you can make strawberry jam any time of the year, using fresh or frozen berries.
Here are simple, step-by-step instructions to make sure your first batch is perfect!
How To Can Strawberry Jam
Ingredients (makes a dozen pints)
- 15 c. or approx. 1 gallon strawberries, crushed
- 3/4 c. lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
- 21 cups sugar (you can use a sugar substitute with no-sugar pectin)
- 3 boxes powdered pectin
- Water Bath Canner ( read my article on Canning Without A Canner if you don’t have one)
- 20 qt. Stainless Steel Stock Pot
- Pint or Half Pint Canning Jars w/ Lids
- Wide-Mouth Funnel
- Magnetic Lid Lifter or tongs
Start with fresh or frozen strawberries which have previously been washed and hulled. Place them in a large stockpot, turn heat to med-low.
Use a potato masher to help crush whole strawberries and extract their juices as they warm up.
Once the strawberries are crushed enough for jam, add the lemon juice and pectin. Stir, bringing to a full rolling boil. Continue stirring to prevent scorching.
Add full amount of sugar all at once. Return to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Remember to stir constantly to prevent scorching. Boil hard for 1 minute.
Meanwhile, have the jars and lids simmering in hot water. It’s best to have a rack or a cloth in the bottom of the pot to keep the glass jars from resting directly on the heat source, to reduce chances of breakage. Do not boil the lids or you risk damaging the sealing compound. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to sanitize.
Alternatively, you can sanitize your jars and keep them warm in a dishwasher.
Remove the jam from the heat source. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving at least 1/4″ headspace.
I like to fill several jars at a time, keeping the remaining jars in hot water until I’m ready for them.
Use a wet cloth to wipe the rims and around the tops of the jars to remove any drops of jelly which would prevent the lid from sealing.
Using a lid lifter or tongs, retrieve lids from the simmering water and place them on the jars.
Screw on the bands as tightly as you can with your hands, finger-tight.
Place filled jars in a water bath canner full of boiling water. Make sure the jars are covered by 1-2″ of water once submerged. Add water as needed to cover jars.
Cover. Bring to a rolling boil, and allow to process for 15 minutes.
Carefully remove the rack and jars from the canner. They’ll be extremely hot so use caution! Place the jars on a cooling rack to cool. Periodically check the bands on the jars to make sure they’re still tight. Sometimes they loosen as they cool.
Allow the jars to cool for 24 hours before testing the lids to make sure they sealed properly. To do so, remove the band and pull up on the lid. It should not come off easily. If the lid does come off, place that jar in the fridge to be eaten right away.
Jars can be stored with or without the metal bands. Place a piece of cardboard between jars when stacking them on top of one another to prevent seal damage. Don’t forget to write the contents and date on the lid with a Sharpie. Home-canned jam will stay good for many years. I try to use ours up within 5 years for best flavor and quality. Store in a cool, dry place such as a basement or pantry.
If you’re itching to do some canning and don’t want to wait for strawberry season to begin, head to your local grocery store and pick up a couple bags of frozen strawberries!
To be honest though, it must be said that nothing beats the taste of freshly-picked, fully ripened strawberries from the field. It’ll be April before we’ll taste that goodness around these parts again. I’m glad we have this delicious jam to tide over our taste-buds ’til then! Not only is it amazing spread on homemade bread, but we also love strawberry jam swirled in from-scratch oatmeal and unsweetened yogurt.