Recipe for Strawberry Jam

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Strawberry Jam recipe without commercial pectin.

This is a very simple recipe for strawberry jam. Strawberries and sugar…. that is it. Combine this jam with other fruit jams for gourmet gift baskets. This is a small batch recipe. It only makes 5 – 1/2 pints. (that is 5 half-pint jars)

It is VERY tempting to double this recipe for strawberry jam and make more. However, it is difficult to make double batches of jam. If you want to make more at a time (I don’t blame you) simply have two batches going at the same time in different pots.

Image of strawberry jam canning label, links to printable canning labels to purchase.
Use these specially made canning labels to dress up your gift giving.
Strawberry Jam Canning Labels


This is what I always do. I just can’t see running a canner for five – half pints. Strawberry Jam can be processed safely in a Water Bath Canner.


  • 2 quarts crushed strawberries
  • 6 cups sugar

Start by preparing jars, and get water in your canner heating. You want your canner hot but not boiling when your jars are ready to process. (see Water Bath Canning for full directions)

Recipe for strawberry jam

Place a spoon in the freezer, you’ll use this later. Wash and core strawberries and remove any bruised portions. I use a strawberry corer(actually it is technically a tomato corer but it works perfectly for strawberries)

Place strawberries in a large pot. Crush with a potato masher to get the juices flowing.

Mashing strawberries with a potato masher.
Mash strawberries lightly with a potato masher as they cook and soften.

Add sugar and heat while stirring constantly.

When sugar is dissolved bring to a boil. Boil rapidly until it thickens and reaches a gelling point. This may take 35-40 minutes. Stir frequently! Once it has started to boil you will need to just stand there and continue stirring.

A foaming pot of strawberry jam about to boil over.
Be cautious! It grows as it boils. Don’t overflow. It makes a mess!

Gelling Point.

Allow your jam to boil hard until it reaches the gelling point. One way to test this is the cold spoon test. Take your cold spoon and scoop up a bit of jam. The jam will cool quickly and you can tilt the spoon to see if it has thickened or jelled. It should be thick as it drops off the spoon. This is referred to as ‘sheeting’. If it is runny just cook a bit longer.

Another much easier way to tell if your jam is ready is by measuring temperature. First, you’ll need to figure out the gelling point for your elevation.

  • Determine the boiling point temperature by holding a candy thermometer in boiling water.
  • Add 8 degrees. This is your gelling point.

When you are cooking your jam, place the candy thermometer right in the pot. When jam has reached your gelling point it is done. Remove the pot from the heat and continue with your recipe.

When the jam has thickened skim off any foam with a large spoon. Another option is to add 1/4 tsp butter to your pot when you start cooking. This helps keep the foaming down.

Let your kids dip bread or crackers in the foam…. yum, a great snack and treat if they have been helping you.

How to can Strawberry Jam

My son Garrett helping me make jam.

Fill hot jars with hot jam leaving 1/4 inch head space.

Processing time 1/2 pints or pints process for

10 minutes if you are below 6000 ft elevation.

15 minutes if you are above 6000 ft elevation.

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Strawberry Jam

This is a very simple recipe for strawberry jam without commercial pectin!
Print Recipe
Three small jars of red strawberry jam.
Prep Time:1 hour
Processing Pints (adjust for altitude):10 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 10 minutes


  • 2 quarts Strawberries crushed
  • 4 cups Sugar


  • Start by preparing jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed.
    See full water bath canning instructions here.  

For a Hot Pack

  • Wash and core strawberries, removing stems and bruises. 
  • Put strawberries in a large pot. 
  • Crush strawberries with a potato masher to bring on some juice 
  • Stir in sugar. Heat slowly, stirring constantly. 
  • When sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil. 
  • Boil rapidly, stirring constantly. If it foams up a lot, add ¼ tsp. butter.  
  • When jam has reached gelling point, skim off foam. 
  • Fill hot jar with hot jam, leaving 1/4” headspace. 
  • Remove air bubbles, wipe rim clean, and place seal and ring. Place the jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars. Process according to the chart below.  


Processing with a Water Bath Canner
Place the jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars placing them in the canner.
When all the jars are filled, bring the water in the canner to a boil.  When a boil is reached that is when you’ll start your timing.   Process for the length of time on the chart below.  Adjust for your altitude. 
 After your time is over, turn the heat off remove the lid and allow the canner to rest for about 5 minutes. Then bring your jars up out of the water.  Allow them to rest for another 5 minutes. Then remove the jars and place them a few inches apart on a thick towel to cool completely.  Leave them alone for about 12 hours.  
When they are cooled remove the metal bands, check the seals, label the jars and store them away! 
Processing Times for Water Bath Canner (Hot Pack) 
Altitude – Half Pints and Pints are Processed the Same  
0-6,000 ft – 10 minutes 
Above 6,000 ft – 15 minutes 
Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation
Servings: 5 half pint jars

So… Much… Sugar!

LOL One of the most common comments I get on this page is: Way too much Sugar! And I have to agree. This recipe for strawberry jam is certainly NOT a health food. But is is the recipe I use on a regular basis. And it turns out great. However, I’m like many others and working hard on getting sugar out of our diets. This low sugar method of making jam is what I’ve turned to recently. Try it, you may like it. Low Sugar Jam.

More things to do with Strawberries

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Strawberry Jam

Page last updated: 1/28/2021

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