How to make and can strawberry jam (with giveaway)

How to make and can strawberry jam (with giveaway)

This giveaway has ended and is closed to new entries.

A couple of weeks ago, I made my first batch of strawberry jam (from the organic strawberries we’d picked at a local farm) and tried my hand at canning for the first time as well. It was a lot of fun, but also a very time-consuming task as I learned the ropes. I decided to write up a how to guide with pictures up the wazoo to hopefully help someone else with their first foray into jam-making and canning. I think pictures would have helped me a lot.

I know some people are firmly against it, but I decided to use pectin in my jam, though not just any pectin. I found Pomona’s Pectin at the farm where we picked our fruit. Pomona’s is a natural pectin made from 100% pure citrus. Its jelling power is activated by calcium, not by sugar content, which allows you to make low-sugar or even no-sugar jam*. For my batch of strawberry jam, I used only 3/4 cup of honey as a sweetener. For the batch of peach jam I made, I used 3/4 cup of agave nectar. I thought it was fabulous to avoid the usual 5 or 6 cups of sugar required to make jam. (My kids don’t need all of that!) Oh, and both taste amazing!

Please note: The step-by-step guide below is for making jam with Pomona’s Pectin. If you have another brand of pectin or are making jam without pectin, this guide to making jam will not work for you. However, the process of canning should still be the same. :)

How to make strawberry jam with Pomona’s Pectin:

Get out all of your delicious organic strawberries:
Freshly-picked organic strawberries

Wash and hull the strawberries:
Washing the strawberries

While you work on making the jam, wash jars/lids in soapy water, then sterilize them in boiling water. The rack I had to put the jars in was too big for the size jars I was using, so I put two cookie racks on the bottom of my pot which kept the jars up off the bottom of the pot:
Sterilizing the jars and lids

Mash the strawberries (Cute helpers optional):
Mashing up the strawberries Mashing up the strawberries Ava helps mash the strawberries

Measure out 4 cups of mashed strawberries:
Measuring the mashed strawberries

Measure and add 2 teaspoons calcium water (included with Pomona’s Pectin) into the strawberries:
Calcium water

Measure out 1/2 cup to 1 cup honey (or agave nectar) or 3/4 cup to 2 cups sugar. Put in small bowl:
Measuring out the honey

Add and mix 2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder into the honey, agave or sugar:
Pomona’s Pectin Stirring pectin into the honey

Pour strawberries into pot. Add the honey/agave/sugar/pectin mixture to the strawberries:
Adding honey and pectin to the strawberries

Bring to a boil and stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin. Return to a boil and remove from heat.:
Stirring the strawberries vigorously

Remove hot jar and lid from boiling water. Carefully fill jar to 1/4 inch of top. Use a funnel if you have one. (I didn’t at the time, but I do now.):
Filling a jar with jam

Wipe the rim of the jar clean:
Wiping the rim of the jar

Place lid on jar and screw ring on until finger-tip tight:
Tightening up the jar

Using tongs, place the jar into the canning bath. Repeat until all jars have been filled and placed into canning bath. About an inch of water should cover the jars:
Jam in the canning bath

Boil 5 minutes (add 1 minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level). (I believe the amount of time varies for each recipe.)

Using your tongs, remove the jars from the water:
Putting jam into canning bath

Let jars cool completely for several hours. As they cool, the lids will suck down and you will probably hear a popping sound as the vacuum seal forms. Pop!

Once the jars are completely cooled (several hours), unscrew the ring and lightly pull on the lid to check the seal. Any jars not sealed will need to be reprocessed or refrigerated and consumed first.

Admire your finished product. Makes 4-5 cups jam:
The finished product - strawberry jam!


Win It!
Pomona’s PectinNo, I’m not giving away a jar of my jam, but I am offering you a chance to make your own! Leave me a comment telling me what kind of jam you like best and you will be entered for a chance to win a box of Pomona’s Pectin. The deadline to enter is Friday, Sept. 19. The winner will be chosen using and notified via email, so make sure you leave a valid email address or a link to your blog where I can reach you. Good luck!


Pomona’s Pectin is generally available at health food stores, food co-ops or farm stands. If you can’t locate it locally, you can purchase it online. They also have a JAMLINE for questions or assistance with converting recipes. (Doesn’t that rock?) And their boxes are made from recycled cardboard and the paper the recipes are printed on is recycled as well.

* From Pomona’s site: “Some other possible sweeteners are honey, fructose, sucanat, concentrated fruit sweetener, maple syrup, agave nectar, frozen juice concentrate, stevia, xylitol, Splenda and other artificial sweeteners.”


  1. What fun!!!!! I am so loving that you totally included the kids!

  2. Oooh enter me please! We love raspberry or blueberry jam :)

  3. My family LOVES jam and strawberry is one of their favorites. I don’t use pectin in any of my jam, but the pectin you used sounds interesting.

    I have several low sugar recipes that call for “some” unripened fruits, which increases the natural pectin.

    I’d love to win a copy of the book – please sign me up!

  4. Ooh, I love strawberry anything. Actually the jam doesn’t look to hard to make – I’ll give it a go. The pictures at every stage are really helpful.

  5. I used Clubhouse brand gelling powder – reduced sugar (available in Canada, not sure if it is in the States), and made strawberry, raspberry, and peach freezer jam. There is no pectin in the gelling powder, it uses carageenan. I’ll have to try Pomona’s Pectin for my canning jams.

  6. Strawberry or blackberry jam are my faves. YUMMMMM!!!!!

  7. I love Pomegranite jam/jelly/preserves and persimmons jam/jell/preserves. My sister’s grandmother used to make those and send them to us all the time! YUUMMMMMMMOH! Please enter me to win! LOL!


    but my kids love grandma’s plum jelly!

    ‘sider yourself stumbled.

  9. That’s just the coolest thing ever! Thanks for sharing your technique and photos. That’s super-helpful!

    Please enter me. My favorite is apricot. Thanks!

  10. First — if I win, please pick again, because I already have some Pomona’s in my pantry!

    I just want to add that I followed the same recipe this spring and was very very pleased with the results. I made 4 batches experimented with the 1/2 to 1 cup of honey and even the 1/2 cup was plenty sweet with ripe strawberries.

    Everyone with whom I’ve shared the jam has gone ga-ga over it and hinted at more…the only negative being that I am now hoarding my jam, as my goal is to get us through the winter on our own preserves. I can’t yet fathom a 100% local diet, but I can do strawberry jam and grape jelly!

    I also never heard that last tip about checking on the seal by screwing off the ring…has it worked for you? Have you ever had a jar that didn’t seal? I am always have an itty bitty fear with canning that I will be the death of my family.

  11. My favorite jam is strawberry freezer jam. My mother in law taught me to make it shortly after I was married. I like making it because I don’t have have the fancy canning stuff but I do have the jars and a freezer.

  12. You’re so lucky to have strawberries so late! Ours are all gone by the end of June. Strawberry preserves are my favorite, please enter me in the drawing! :)

  13. I love strawberry jam, but I’d love to try making some peach jam. We have great peaches in these here parts. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Strawberry jam all the way!

  15. Oh, I have to get some of that. I was going to make freezer jam out of some of the peaches on my counter.(We picked today) but I’d rather not take up the freezer space and we don’t do sugar!

    Thanks for sharing,

  16. wow grate prize and well what kind of jam do i like any kind as long as it’s not grape . strawberry rubbarb ,blue berry you name it i love it and i love to win this so i may make all kinds of jam’s its been years since i made some and well i love toget started doing so once more thanks

  17. I did jam this year for the first time, it was fun! I love your site too!!

  18. I’ve been interested in canning and making jellies/jams lately and have enjoyed following your strawberries on their journey!

    We like strawberry jam best, raspberry second, apple butter and grape jelly (homemade only though). I cannot wait to try my hand at each one in the future!

  19. I used to say strawberry, but after discovering the wonders of apricots this summer and making freezer jam, I’ll have to go with apricot. And that pectin would be great. I wondered why my jam came out more like sauce and now I’m thinking its because I didn’t use the recommended amount of sugar. Hmmmm….

  20. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE strawberry jam with LOTS of chunks of fresh organic strawberry!!!! LOVE IT!

  21. It’s like Christmas every day here! :)

    I loved the illustrated guide, esp. since the boys and I are going picking raspberries today! So raspberry jam all the way, hope I win some pectin!


  22. We used Pomona’s pectin last month to make apricot, strawberry, and blackberry jams and they turned out so good! This pectin is great and love the low sugar recipes. My favorite is raspberry jam.

  23. Great guide, thanks! I made grape jelly today w/ low sugar pectin but it’s still SO much sugar! I was looking into Pomona’s and found your blog.

    As for my favorite? Definitely raspberry.

  24. Ooohhh! Yum, yum! I love strawberry jam! I would love to try my hand at making some! Enter me please?

  25. Strawberry jam!

  26. I love apricot and marionberry jam! Yum- Yum…

  27. ummm can I enter if I cant decide ???
    I hope so
    I am thrilled to see so many alternatives. I do not care for bleached sugar, or the fake unhealthy substitutes.I prefer splenda agave, honey, fruit juice, ect. thank you for this site
    hmmmmm what is my favorite
    lets see I love a good strawberry ohh but wait blueberry with no sugar is awesome. mmmm
    Oh and apricot , and raspberry,
    oh but there is apple butter, pear butter.
    Ok I am weak I love to be reminded of summer in the dead of winter, with fresh unadulterated flavors.
    how about this I am craving unsweetened apple butter and Pear butter.
    good luck to all who enter and keep up the good work of staying healthy.

  28. ummm can I enter if I cant decide ???
    I hope so
    I am thrilled to see so many alternatives. I do not care for bleached sugar, or the fake unhealthy substitutes.I prefer Stevia , agave, honey, fruit juice, ect. thank you for this site
    hmmmmm what is my favorite
    lets see I love a good strawberry ohh but wait blueberry with no sugar is awesome. mmmm
    Oh and apricot , and raspberry,
    oh but there is apple butter, pear butter.
    Ok I am weak I love to be reminded of summer in the dead of winter, with fresh unadulterated flavors.
    how about this I am craving unsweetened apple butter and Pear butter.
    good luck to all who enter and keep up the good work of staying healthy.

  29. please ignore the first post my computer tried to post before I was done and I thought I stopped it. Note to self don’t discuss things while typing it causes typo-glycemi
    thanks all

  30. Apricot is my favorite!

    I also wanted to say…thanks for posting all of this info! We just went raspberry picking and I want to try making jam with it. I’m thinking I might have to order that Pomona’s online (not sure where they sell it around here…if at all). But then again, maybe I’ll get lucky and win some. ;)

  31. Strawberry truly is my favorite. I’ve been thinking about this post and now I’ve got it in my mind to make strawberry jam, preserves, anything.

    I’d love to have that pectin to be able to use honey in the jam instead of sugar.

  32. Never heard of Pomona, we have Certo here, a lite Certo also, but still all the sugar. A hint about sterilizing, I put the jars & lids in the oven at 225 degrees, it works well and no hot water mess. I was looking for a recipe for pear jam using a strawberry jelly powder, have not located one so will try on my own, my husband bought a case of pears in the Okanagan, so am using them up. We love home made strawberry jam best. Love your blog.

  33. Hi! Do you know how to make strawberry or grape freezer jam with something other than pectin and w/out cooking?
    Thank you,

  34. I make jam every year…. Love to know what is in what my family is eating.

    I personally don’t use pectin… I find the longer you cook the fruit on the stove (continually stirring) it will thicken up to the desired consistency that YOU want! A friend of mine has a giant apricot tree and does not like them. Fortunately she lets me pick as much as I want… This year was the best year yet with size and flavor of the apricots! My only regret? I should have canned more!

  35. Mmmh that looks so elicious. i bet it tasts much better tahn the stuff you can buy in the supermarket.

    and i think it is a great expirience for your kids

  36. A precious lady at our church taught me to make Peach Peel Jam (which she learned to make during the Depression). Simply go around peaches with a knife and take off the fuzzy skin. Peel thickly, as to get some of the flesh off too. Cut into pieces and process, as you would regular jam. You can also add some cinnamon . . .it is by far the very best jam I have ever had!

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