Canning jam is a great intro into canning in general. And strawberry jam is perfect since it’s one of the first berries available each year.
Strawberry jam has been a staple in our home for as long as I can remember. My mom would make freezer jam from strawberries each year. My favorite use for it was to scoop a big dollop of jam over vanilla ice cream. Summertime was always complete with vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberry jam.
When my husband and I married and moved into our new home, I knew I wanted to carry on the tradition of canning and preserving food. Including the jam my mom always made. Since it was just my us two in a new home, I decided on canning the jam instead of making a freezer version, because I knew we’d go through it slower and didn’t want to risk freezer burn.
Canning jam is truly such a simple process that just takes a bit of time. I put on my favorite music, a podcast, or have an old movie I’ve watched a million times playing in the background as I work. It’s a soothing, productive way to spend an afternoon.
What you’ll need:
Step 1: Clean strawberries
Dump strawberries into a clean sink filled half way up with cold water. If you have a lot of berries, do this in batches. I have the faucet running on low, and two bowls on the side of the sink. I get an assembly line going and this task is fairly fast.
After swishing the strawberries around in the water to remove most of the dirt and debris, I removing each berry by hand, giving it one more rise under the running tap water, slice off the top and place the discarded top in one bowl, then take the strawberry and slice it in half, and toss both pieces in the remaining bowl. Continue to do this for all the berries.
STEP 2: ADD IT ALL TOGETHER
In large saucepan, combine strawberries and lemon juice. Stir and mash while simmering. Slowly add pectin and stir until a rolling boil. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let come to a rolling boil for three minutes before removing from stove and adding to sterilized jars. If you want more of a smooth jam, use an immersion blender to remove any chunks or large berries.
STEP 3: GET YOUR JARS, LIDS, AND WATER BATH CANNER READY
While the strawberries are simmering down go ahead and wash your jars with hot, soapy water. I usually run mine through the dishwasher by themselves, then I fill them with water in the water bath canner which I have on medium high heat and let them set there until ready to use. NEVER place hot jam in a cold jar. You risk it exploding due to the drastic change in temperature. Also you want the jars and contents as hot as possible when submerging into the water bath canner.
While jars are getting clean go ahead and fill up the water bath canner so that when you place the jars in it there is an inch of water over the tops of the jars. You can take a wild guess with this and always add more water at the time of canning if necessary. Always error on the side of more water vs. less. Turn on high and let the water get to a roiling boil. Turn down just a tad before adding the jars so you don’t get hot water spatter on yourself when placing the jars inside.
In a small saucepan place the lids in simmering water. You do this so the rubber seal along the sides adheres to the glass wall of the jars.
STEP 4: FILL UP JARS AND PLACE IN CANNER
Remove hot jars from canner, gently dumping the water that was in them back into the water bath canner. Pour jam into prepared pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch air space. Wipe rim and threads of jar with a clean damp cloth.
Place lid and rings on jars and tighten. Place jars in large pot and cover with water one to two inches over jars. Boil for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove jars and place away from drafts on a counter with a towel placed down under them and one over them. Leave for 12-24 hours without disturbing.
After 12+ hours go ahead and check to make sure all jars sealed. Press on center of lid. It should be firm, pulled down and not flex. Remove bands at this point so they don’t rust into place or give the false impression of a seal. Never reuse lids to can with again as the seals are compromised after canning. Bands can be reused as long as there is no presence of rust.
- 5 cups crushed strawberries
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 6 tbsp classic pectin
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
- Fill water bath canner and turn on med-high heat. Place jars in simmering water until ready to use.
- Cut and clean strawberries, place in large saucepan with lemon juice and butter. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and mash strawberries until desired jam consistency. Add sugar into mixture and stir until dissolved. Boil hard for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is tight.
- Process in boiling water hot water canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool on counter for 12-24 hours. Lids should "pop" as they seal. They should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
- Makes about 4 pint jars or 8 half pints
I also whipped up one batch of strawberry rhubarb since rhubarb is a favorite of mine, and I had some growing in my yard. It’s very similar to typical strawberry jam, with just a few tweaks.
Strawberry rhubarb jam
- 4 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 4 cups Rhubarb, trimmed & sliced
- 5 1/2 tbsps. Pectin
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
Use the same instructions as for the traditional strawberry jam. I made these into half pints since I’m the only one who likes this kind in my house!
ENJOY your strawberry jam
That’s it! Enjoy the delicious strawberry jam, fresh from the farm to your kitchen!
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