This Homemade Strawberry Jam with pectin recipe is a classic. It has all of the sweetness, bright strawberry flavor, and texture that I love in a good jam. Plus, this recipe is made for water bath canning. So make a batch now and enjoy summery strawberry goodness all year long. (And if you love homemade jam, also check out my recipe for Blueberry Lemon Jam.)
Strawberry jam is one of the first canning projects I usually tackle when canning season begins to roll around. It really starts to feel like summer is on the way when those first sweet strawberries appear. And after eating my fair share of fresh strawberries, I make sure to make a few batches of jam. I like to have a good supply to always have a fresh jar to pop open throughout the year. And in our house, we love the flavor and texture of a classic strawberry jam. And by classic, I mean the sweetness, bright strawberry flavor, and texture that we expect in a strawberry jam. Much like the old-fashioned store-bought jam – only better!
Why use added pectin in this recipe?
Now I know there are folks who have strong feelings about not using pectin in their jams, and I totally get it. We should all do things the way we like to. And don’t get me wrong, I never met a strawberry jam I didn’t like, pectin or no. But for me, pectin (either store-bought or homemade pectin) has a time and place, including in this version of my homemade strawberry jam.
Strawberries are naturally low in pectin, so a batch without pectin requires a longer cooking time to reach a gel stage than a strawberry jam made with added pectin. And while still delicious, long-cooked jams definitely have a different flavor than the bright fruit flavor of a jam that is cooked quickly. The added pectin reduces cooking time by about 75% and so preserves the fresh strawberry flavor and also color. In addition, since much of the juice is cooked off during the cooking of a long cook jam, using added pectin increases the yield and results in more jars of finished jam. And I don’t know about you, but when I make jam, more is better. But if you would like to make your jam without adding pectin, check out these instructions by the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
Is this a low-sugar jam recipe?
I would say this is a moderate-sugar jam. Many jam recipes often call for as much sugar cup-for-cup as fruit (and sometimes even more). In our family, we like a sweet jam, but not one that is so sweet that it overpowers the fruit flavor. So in this recipe, I use about half the amount of sugar by volume as fruit.
But taste preferences aside, there is another reason to consider using a bit of sugar in your jam recipes. Sugar acts as a preservative and helps prolong the shelf life of the jam, helping to retain its quality during storage. And after opening your jar of jam and popping it in the fridge, the sugar helps the jam stay good longer here, too, by slowing down the formation of mold. This article by Simply Canning sums up the preservative role of sugar in jams and jellies nicely.
But I know that some people avoid sugar for health reasons or other personal reasons. So if you are looking for canning jams with low or no sugar, I will refer you to this article on canning with less sugar by the Penn State Extension.
Tips for Making Homemade Strawberry Jam with Pectin:
Use good fruit. Use good-quality strawberries to make your jam. You don’t want to use fruit that is too overripe, underripe, mushy, or moldy. Cut off any bruised or blemished spots. The best quality fruit makes the best quality jam.
Keep down the foam. Of all of the jams I make, strawberry jam likes to foam up the most while cooking. You can minimize this by adding a small pat of butter to the jam while it’s cooking. You can also skim the foam off. Of course, the foam is not harmful, so you don’t really need to worry about a small amount of foam in your jam. Try to avoid a large amount of foam, however, as might cause problems down the road with the longevity of your jam in storage.
For me, I typically skip the butter. To remove most of the foam, I remove the finished pan of jam from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Then I skim the foam from the top of the jam and proceed with ladling it into hot jars. If I have enough foam left over, I put it into a jar and pop it into the fridge to use with toast or waffles.
Water bath can or freeze your jam. You will need to preserve your jam. If you don’t know how to water bath can, you have two options. You can freeze this jam in freezer-safe containers for up to 12 months. I like to use BPA-free plastic pint containers for this like these containers (affiliate link). The other option is to learn to water bath can. It’s very easy and there is nothing to worry about when using safe, approved canning methods. This tutorial by Ball gives great instructions for getting started. And I highly recommend this book by the USDA. It gives good, solid information for both beginners and experienced home canners.
Store any extras in the fridge. When making jam, you’ll often find that you don’t have quite enough towards the end of the batch to fill a whole jar. If this happens to you, simply ladle the extra into a jar and store it in the refrigerator and eat it up before opening a jar (though I guarantee it won’t be around for long!)
Keep it safe. Boiling-hot jam is like molten lava. Because of the added sugar, jam boils at a temperature higher than water and sticks to everything (including skin and clothing). So please be careful while making jam and be sure not to splatter yourself or get the hot jam onto your skin. Keep kids and pets away from the kitchen, and keep your kitchen free of distractions.
Label your jars. It’s so tempting to believe that you’ll recognize the contents of the jar and so skip the labeling part. I’ve been there and done that, and trust me when I say that it’s not a good idea. Unless strawberry jam is the only homemade jam you have in your pantry, you will likely run into a problem sorting out which jar is which when it comes time to pull one off the shelf. So save yourself the trouble and go ahead and label those jars (and include the date, too!)
So I hope you try this Homemade Strawberry Jam recipe. If you do, please leave a review and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
I hope you enjoy!
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase.*
Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam (with Pectin)
- Total Time: 0 hours
- Yield: Approximately 6 Pints 1x
A classic Strawberry Jam bursting recipe with strawberry flavor.
- 4 pounds of strawberries
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons low or no-sugar needed powdered pectin
- 4 cups of granulated sugar, divided
- Wash and hull and the berries. Add them to a large bowl and crush them with a potato masher. Stir water, pectin, and 1/4 cup of the sugar into the berries.
- Pour the crushed berry mixture into a large, deep-sided saucepan or Dutch oven, and heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Bring the jam mixture to a boil, then add the remaining sugar. Stir continuously and boil hard for 1 minute.
- Remove jam from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Skim off any foam.
- If you are canning the jam, ladle jam into hot clean jars, allowing 1/4-inch headspace. De-bubble and wipe the rims clean. Place lids and bands on each jar and adjust to fingertip-tight. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
- For freezing, allow the jam to cool for another 10 minutes, and then ladle it into freezer-safe containers, leaving an inch or so for expansion. Freeze for up to 12 months (but the quality is best by 6 months.)
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
Keywords: strawberry jam, preserving jam, strawberry recipes
Terri JonesJune 21, 2022 at 7:23 am
I love homemade jams and this recipe sounds like a keeper! Could I use peaches instead of strawberries with this recipe? Not that I don’t love strawberries, but I just ordered 25 lbs. of peaches.
MelissaJune 21, 2022 at 6:19 pm
Hi Terri, I haven’t tried this recipe with peaches so I can’t say for sure if it will work. Most peach jam recipes call for added lemon juice, although I suspect this is probably to keep the peaches from turning brown. I like this recipe by Sure Jell for peach jam. Also, be sure to use only yellow peaches for jam as the white peaches are too low in acidity for water bath canning. I hope this helps!
Sarah LJuly 15, 2022 at 10:39 pm
I just received my 25 pounds of peaches. I peeled them and cut peaches and used my seal a meal to seal them and put them into my freezer. Then I took my peelings and pits and covered in water and brought to a rapid boil and boiled them for 30 minutes. Then strained the juice out with a fine strainer or cheesecloth. I put juice up overnight in my refrigerator. Next day I prepared my jars. And used filling recipe to make jelly.
3 1/2 cups of the juice
1/2 tsp of real butter
1 box of pectin
Bring to a rapid boil
Then add 4 1/2 cups of sugar and keep stirring untilit reaches a rapid boil again. The boil for 1 minute. Then set aside from burner and ladel into your jars. This make 6 half pint jars.
I still have more juice to process in my refrigerator. And will continue the recipe until I use up my juice and what I have left will make some peach syrup for pancakes.
Miz HelenJune 29, 2022 at 7:53 pm
Your awesome post is featured on Full Plate Thursday,594!Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us and come back to see us real soon!
MelissaJune 30, 2022 at 8:06 pm
Thank you, Miz Helen! I hope you have a happy July 4th!
JamieAugust 11, 2022 at 7:25 pm
In the instructions (#4) you say to process for 10 minutes. What does that mean? Let them sit? Or something else? Thank you 🙂
MelissaAugust 12, 2022 at 4:39 pm
It actually means to process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. You don’t want to just allow the jars to sit. They lids may seal, but that’s a possibly unsafe process known as open kettle canning.The National Center for Home Food Preservation has safe and easy instructions for proper boiling water canning that you can follow here. If you don’t want to can the jam, you can just pop it in the freezer.
ChasityAugust 17, 2022 at 3:24 am
What do I do when my jam doesn’t set and is still runny? I followed the recipe. I had some peach jelly to do that one time and I just emptied it into a pot and boiled it until I did the sheet test on the back of a spoon. Would that process work on this jam too?
MelissaAugust 17, 2022 at 5:10 pm
I’m sorry the jam didn’t set for you. Unfortunately, it does happen sometimes. There are 2 things you can do. The first thing is to just wait. I recently made a batch of blackberry jelly that didn’t set right away. I allowed it to sit in the jars on my counter and after 3 days it set and became firm. The other thing is to do exactly what you just said you did with the peach jelly. Here is a link to the instructions from the National Center for Home Food Preservation: Remaking Jams and Jellies. I hope this helps
DonnaJanuary 17, 2023 at 3:51 pm
i plan to use your recipe when the really frsh strawberries are in season I have some questions in order to ensure success- when using pectin do i need lemon juice too< and does the jam need to reach 220 degrees, and could you please recommend a particular pectin? Thanks in advance!
MelissaJanuary 20, 2023 at 6:12 pm
You don’t need lemon juice for this particular recipe. And you won’t need to use a thermometer to check the temp. Simply bring the jam to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. As for brands of pectin, I typically use Sure Jell or Ball. But you can use any powdered pectin as long as it is one that is formulated for using less sugar or no sugar. Hope that helps!
DonnaJanuary 28, 2023 at 3:31 pm
Thank you so much! I can’t wait for the strawberries !
MaryMarch 8, 2023 at 7:52 pm
I’m preparing to make this but ended up with 6 pounds of strawberries. I assume I should go with 6 cups of sugar. How should I adjust the water and pectin?
MelissaMarch 9, 2023 at 8:10 pm
It can be tricky to increase the quantities in a jam recipe. For some reason, the jam sometimes doesn’t set properly. If you want to use all 6 pounds of strawberries, I would use 6 cups of sugar, and 1 1/2 cups of water. But I would double the pectin to 8 tablespoons, just to be sure to get a good set. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!
LametaMarch 9, 2023 at 7:37 pm
Can you tell me how to break down pounds by cups? Or can you? I don’t have a scale
MelissaMarch 9, 2023 at 8:05 pm
It will be about 15-16 cups of strawberries. Here is a guide that should help: Strawberry Measures and Equivalents
LindaMarch 31, 2023 at 11:09 pm
I am in the middle of making my strawberry jam, but you said to; crush them with a potato masher, I am having a hard time with this, for as they are not mashing well?
MelissaApril 2, 2023 at 6:41 pm
You can use any utensil that works for you to crush the strawberries. And it’s OK if they aren’t completely mashed and are still a little bit chunky.
AshMay 15, 2023 at 6:10 am
Is it possible to use regular pectin in this recipe or does it have to be low sugar?
MelissaMay 16, 2023 at 7:07 pm
It needs to be pectin made for low-sugar or no-sugar recipes, otherwise, the jam probably won’t set. The reason for this is that this recipe doesn’t contain as much sugar as many classic jam recipes do. However, low sugar pectin should be easy to find at your local grocery store. I like both the Sure-Jell and the Ball brands.
KristyMay 27, 2023 at 9:48 pm
What size canning jar do you use and how many?
MelissaMay 28, 2023 at 4:49 pm
The recipe makes *about* 6 pints. So you’ll need 5-6 pint jars, or 10-12 half pint jars.