how to make perfect strawberry jam

Easy Strawberry Preserves Recipe

This “Easy Strawberry Preserves Recipe” is one of our family’s favorite things to eat!  When made with homegrown berries, it’s even MORE of a treat!  Let me show you how to make perfect strawberry preserves every time!

Making fruit preserves is one of the first canning skills I learned because it’s so simple.  Preserves are simply a proportionate combination of fruit, juice, sugar and pectin.  Different fruit require different amounts of sugar, depending on it’s sweetness and juice content.  Some fruit can be made into preserves without pectin, but strawberry preserves is best made with it.

Here’s everything you’re going to need:

strawberry preserves ingredients

ingredients

First, cap your strawberries.  I take the cappings out to my chickens, they love them!

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mashing strawberries by hand

Next, mash your berries until the fruit is barely recognizable.  I prefer to do this by hand – why? 

Well, I like slow food and I refuse to rush when making food, it produces negative energy. 

As I mash my berries, I like to think about the people who are going to be enjoying my easy strawberry preserves!

However, you are welcome to gently pulse your fruit in a blender (here’s the one I use) if you want to.

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adding Sure-Jell to strawberry jam mixture

Once your berries are mashed, put the fruit and all of the juice into a pot.  Add your pectin and slowly bring the mixture to a boil while you stir.

cute canning labels

strawberry preserves on stove

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Cooking Strawberry preserves

Once it reaches a boil that won’t stop when you stir, it’s time to add the sugar.

sugar for strawberry preserves

I recommend pre-measuring your sugar so that it’s ready for this step.  Dump the entire amount in at one time.

Pouring sugar into preserves

Bring the mixture back to a boil and turn the heat down slightly to a medium-high heat.

Timer on stove

Once you obtain a full boil again, let it boil for one full minute.  I recommend setting a timer.

strawberry jam boiling

Once the minute is up, remove the preserves from the stove.  I like to put it on pot holders on my counter, so that I can fill jars.

pouring strawberry jam into jars

Slowly, fill your jars up with preserves with 1/2 inch of head space.  After this, using a clean cloth dipped in hot water, wipe the rim of your jars clean.

This recipe easily makes 8 cups of preserves, so have your jars ready.  However, if you have some leftover, we like to put it in a bowl to enjoy right away and store in the frig.

hot canning lids

 

cute canning labels

 

jars of strawberry preserves

Using tongs, remove the lids from your saucepan and gently lay them on the jars, then add the rings to seal.

How to Process Preserves in a Water Bath Canner

water bath canner

Place your sealed jars into a water bath canner, making sure your jars are covered with 2 inches of water, then bring to a boil.  Let jars process for 10 minutes, and then remove and let cool on counter.

You should have perfect jars of strawberry preserves to enjoy, barter with or sell!!

 

5 from 1 vote
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Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe

Prep Time 2 hours

Ingredients

8 cups of strawberries, washed and ready to cap

  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1 box Sure-jel pectin
  • 1 good paring knife
  • 4-8 pint/jelly jars, washed and sterilized
  • 4-8 lids and bands
  • 1 funnel
  • 2 medium-sized bowls
  • 1 water-bath canner

Instructions

  1. Cap strawberries and smash them in a bowl.

  2. Once your berries are mashed, put the fruit and all of the juice into a pot. 

    Add your pectin and slowly bring the mixture to a boil while you stir.

  3. Once the mixture reaches a boil that won’t stop when you stir, it’s time to add the sugar.

    (I recommend pre-measuring your sugar so that it’s ready for this step.  Dump the entire amount in at one time.)

  4. Bring the mixture back to a boil and turn the heat down slightly to a medium-high heat.

  5. Once you obtain a full boil again, let it boil for one full minute.  I recommend setting a timer.

  6. Slowly, fill your jars up with preserves with 1/2 inch of head space.  After this, using a clean cloth dipped in hot water, wipe the rim of your jars clean.

    This recipe easily makes 8 cups of preserves, so have your jars ready.  However,

    if you have some leftover, we like to put it in a bowl to enjoy right away and store in the frig.

  7. Using tongs, remove the lids from your saucepan and gently lay them on the jars, then add the rings to seal.

  8. Place your sealed jars into a water bath canner, making sure your jars are covered with 2 inches of water, then bring to a boil.  Let jars process for 10 minutes, and then remove and let cool on counter.

    You should have perfect jars of strawberry preserves to enjoy, barter with or sell!!

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Comments (11)

  • LISA From SW PA Reply

    Hi Kelly,
    I’ve been enjoying your blog🙂 thanks for the tip on strawberries & chives. I have both but in separate places. Once the weather warms I’ll move the chives!
    I’ve been making strawberry jam for decades, but I’ve never used a canner. Why do you?

    April 21, 2021 at 1:47 am
    • admin2 Reply

      Hi Lisa,

      Using a canner insures that your jam will last at least a year without spoiling. I know there are many who don’t take this extra step because the amount of sugar in the recipe itself is a preservative. However, since I gift and sell my jam, I want to make sure. Great question!

      May 4, 2021 at 11:52 am
      • Emily Reply

        5 stars
        Super easy and delicious recipe! FYI: I used my Instapot as my water bath canner and also to sterilize my jars and keep hot until ready to use. My 6 quart pot holds 7 half pint jars.

        May 29, 2021 at 10:41 am
        • kmorris Reply

          Hi Emily!

          That’s so awesome! I haven’t used my Instapot for canning just yet, sounds cool!

          May 30, 2021 at 2:48 pm
  • linda morris Reply

    i added some crushed red pepper to jar
    just because

    May 17, 2021 at 4:27 pm
  • Marsha Reply

    Followed directions but mine didn’t gel. What happened?

    May 18, 2021 at 3:54 am
    • kmorris Reply

      Hi Marsha,

      It happens to the best of us at times. Probably what happened is that your juice/pulp ratio was a bit off, which can happen with extra juicy fruit.

      Empty all of your jars into large pot, bring to a boil, add another box of pectin, boil again for another minute and it should set up in your jars this time!

      Kelly

      May 21, 2021 at 5:23 am
  • Rita Kehoe Reply

    I can’t find an option to print the recipe. Am I missing something?

    May 23, 2021 at 4:09 pm
    • kmorris Reply

      Hi Rita!

      I’m so sorry, the printable recipe is at the bottom of the post! Hope this helps!

      May 24, 2021 at 12:22 pm
  • Sharon Blancarte Reply

    This is the second time I have made this and it didn’t gel. What is the berry juice ratio? All mashed 8 cups went in at the same time. I don’t know if I have it in me to all start over. Should I add 2 boxes next of pectin? It tastes great but you to use a spoon instead of a knife?

    May 27, 2021 at 2:26 am
    • kmorris Reply

      OH my goodness! I’m so sorry, Sharon, that’s so frustrating!

      First off, please know this happens to even experienced canners. I had a batch of pineapple jam this year that simply would not set after two tries! I finally changed my expectations and decided to call it topping for ice cream.

      As much as I hate to say it, making jam isn’t just a matter of following the recipe. There are many factors that go into making jam gel, not just sugar/juice ratio.

      Everything from the size of your pan, humidity and even elevation can influence whether your jam sets up or not.

      For now, I would use your runny batch as ice cream topping.

      But in the future, I want to encourage you to use the “plate test” to insure success in your jam making, described below.

      Don’t give up, it’s unlikely to happen often.

      https://foodinjars.com/blog/canning-101-how-to-ensure-that-your-jam-sets/

      May 27, 2021 at 11:18 am

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