Strawberry Jam DIY Canning Process

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DIY Strawberry Jam

strawberry jam

Summertime brings out beautiful flower gardens, bountiful fruit and vegetable harvests, and my favorite. Pick your own berries! Strawberries are my favorite as the taste of a fresh picked strawberry comes without explanation. There’s no better tasting strawberry, then one straight from the plant. This year my family picked 36 pounds of berries. Of course, you will never need that much to do some light canning, but we can A LOT of jam. My kids eat them by the bowl full. I cut the tops off, and freeze a bunch too. When canning jam, it’s best to get the dark very ripe berries as they mash better than a sturdy berry. You need about 2-3 lbs. of berries for each 8 jars of jam. We love Ball products, so we buy the Ball jelly jars, but they are all very similar, so any brand will do. We can a lot, so last year we invested in a canning pot, but any big pot will do.

Use Vinegar in the Strawberry Jam Process

The best tip I have is when you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider probably work best) and ten parts water. Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted I find you can’t taste the vinegar) and pop in the fridge. The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit and they will last so much longer in the fridge. This work on ANY berries, not just strawberries.

To prepare your strawberries for canning, you’ll need to cut the top off, and add them to a large bowl. I do a handful at a time to ensure that I don’t prepare too many for my recipe. I mash and measure as I go. You’ll  need 5 cups of mashed berries. To mash, I simply use a potato masher and it works great.

Strawberry Jam Ingredients:

  • 5 Cups Crushed Strawberries
  • 7 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Box of Fruit Pectin (Sure Gel)

  1. Before beginning, make sure to sanitize your jars. We use the dishwasher, as the water and heat dry sterilizes them perfectly.
  2. In a small saucepan, add a couple cups of water and your canning lids and bring to a boil; about 5 minutes. This sanitizes the lids for canning.
  3. In a large Canning Pot, fill the water about 1/2 way and bring to a boil. This will be your water for your hot bath to seal all of your jars for storing.
  4. In another large pot, add your 5 cup crushed strawberries and fruit pectin. Turn the stove on med-high, and bring your mix to a rapid boil, stirring constantly. Add the 7 cups of sugar, continue stirring, and bring to a rapid boil. Once it begins to boil, boil for exactly one minute. If you have any foam on the top, you can always use a large spoon to spoon off any excess foam before adding to jars.
  5. Remove from the heat and pour mixture into your 8 hot jars, leaving 1/8 of an inch in the top of the jars for expansion and sealing.  We use a funnel. Wipe off any excess jam from the rim, and add the lid and rings tightly.
  6. In the large canning pot of boiling water, add your jars. They should all be fully submerged below the water line. Boil jars for 10 minutes and remove. We have this nifty jar lifter that makes adding and removing hot jars so much easier. Set jars on a towel on the counter overnight, and they should all seal.

It really is that easy to make strawberry jam and this stuff stores perfectly for a year or longer. There’s nothing like fresh jam. You can even buy cool ribbons and labels to make these attractive for gift giving, or to sell at your local farmer’s market. Canning is as lot of fun. Check out this great book to learn all about canning and preserving.  This book is a MUST read if you are new to canning.

jam jars


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