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Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe with no pectin

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Who’s ready to make an easy Strawberry Jam with all those sweet delicious strawberries in season right now? You’re in luck, this simple No Pectin Strawberry Jam Recipe is made with only strawberries, sugar, and a bit of lemon. Couldn’t be easier!

Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe with no Pectin.

The Best Homemade Strawberry Jam Recipe

Have you ever wondered how to make Strawberry Jam? It’s surprisingly easy. I have an amazing small batch strawberry jam recipe to share with you today. I make this jam every year after we visit our local strawberry farm.

The beauty of this simple homemade strawberry jam recipe is in the use of fresh strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar instead of pectin to make the strawberry jam set.

Why this Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe Works

  • Simple IngredientsAll you need is strawberries, sugar, lemon juice! The sugar and lemon juice work together with the natural pectin already found in strawberries and lemon to make the strawberry jam set. (Lemon juice also helps prevent the growth of bacteria.)
  • Fast – Takes only about 20 minutes!
  • Tastes amazing – The flavor of homemade jam just doesn’t compare to store-bought!

Didn’t the strawberry jam turn out gorgeous!? I’m not kidding when I say this jam recipe is easy. And only takes about 20 minutes to cook!

How to make Strawberry Jam

Ingredients in this Small Batch Strawberry Jam Recipe

Want to give this recipe a shot? To make the Strawberry Jam, you need 3 ingredients. (Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full printable recipe card.)

  • Strawberries | Fresh or frozen berries work for this recipe, hulls removed. If you use frozen, thaw them first, or you will need to allow for extra cooking time since you will be cooking from frozen
  • Sugar | Granulated sugar. 
  • Lemon juice | Fresh is best, but bottled works too. Ingredients in strawberry jam

That’s it! No pectin, no water, no extras. Making jam is super simple. All it takes is a bit of time stirring your pot on the stove. 

Instructions to Make Strawberry Jam

  1. In a heavy bottom saucepan, mix strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. small batch strawberry jam ingredients
  2. Stir over med-low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Increase heat to med-high and bring mixture to a full rolling boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, stirring frequently, mashing the strawberries as you stir. Continue to simmer, until the jam is thickened and bubbles completely cover the surface of the jam. (about 10 minutes.) how to make strawberry jam with no pectin
  5. Transfer jam to a jar and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Seal jars and store them in the refrigerator. 
strawberry jam recipe

FAQ’s

I’ve gotten a few questions and comments about this recipe over the years. I’ve tried to get them answered all in one place for you today, feel free to leave a comment if you have a question I have not answered. Also, be sure to check the comment section- tons of good info there! 

How To Know When Jam Is Done 

The simplest way is to use a thermometer to check the temperature. You will want the jam to reach 220°F. 220°F is the heat point at which the sugar bonds with the pectin and forms a gel. Keep in mind, it can take 24-48 hours for the jam to fully set up. So if your jam is still on the thinner side, don’t worry. Know that as it sits in the fridge it can set up more. (more info below on what to do if your jam never sets up.)

Another method to test if the jam is ready is the “plate in the freezer” method. (Remove jam from heat while conducting the test.) Place a small plate in the freezer when you begin cooking your strawberry jam. When you’re ready to test to see if the jam will set, remove the plate from the freezer and place a quarter size amount of the jam in the center of the plate. Place the plate back in the freezer for one minute. After a minute, run your finger through the jam on the plate. If it wrinkles and is gel-like, the jam is ready. If the jam “fills in” the line you made with your finger, you should cook the jam for another few minutes.

Can I Double this Homemade Jam Recipe?

Yes, you can double this Strawberry Jam recipe. Keep in mind you will need to cook the jam for longer if you increase the ingredients. (see tips above on how to know if your jam is done.

Can I make this recipe Sugar Free?

If using artificial sugar, you can help your jam gel by adding 2.5 tablespoons of chia seeds at the end of the cooking time.

Can I Freeze Strawberry Jam?

Yes, you can! The even better news is that you can freeze it right in the jar. Just make certain that you leave some space at the top as it will expand a tiny bit when freezing. This way, you can make several jars in batches and just pull one from the freezer to unthaw when you’re running low.

How Do You Can Strawberry Jam For Pantry Storage:

This recipe is perfect for water bath canning. I have the Ball Home Canning kit. It contains everything you need for water bath canning. How to can your strawberry jam:

  1. Wash jars and lids (I use the sterilize function on my dishwasher. Use whatever size jar you like. (I prefer the 8 oz jars for this recipe.)
  2. Spoon the strawberry jam to the jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Use a skinny spatula to help remove air pockets.
  3. Wipe down jar rims and add the lids. Seal to fingertip tightness. (Screw the lid on till you feel resistance. Too loose, jar won’t seal, too tight air won’t release properly.)
  4. Process for 5 minutes in the boiling water bath. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove jars and let cool 12 to 24 hours. Check the seal by removing the band and pressing the center of each lid. If you are able to indent the lid, your jam did not seal properly. Store in a cool dry location for 1 for best quality, but maybe good for up to 2 years. Be sure to test your jar for spoilage before using it. 

Keep in mind, higher altitudes affect boiling and you will need to process the jam differently. (I believe I read boiling points are lower at high altitudes.)

How Long Does Homemade Strawberry Jam Last In The Fridge?

For best results use the opened jar of jam within 10 to 14 days. Sealed and unopened, your homemade should keep in the fridge between 1 to 3 months. In the freezer, it should last about a year. 

Can I Use Frozen Strawberries To Make Jam?

Yes, you will most likely need to increase the cooking time as frozen strawberries tend to be more watery (and they are frozen rather than room temp.) You can also use a thermometer to help determine when your jam is done. (When the jam reaches 220 F, it should be ready.)

Can I Use This Strawberry Jam Recipe With Other Fruits?

The cooking process of this jam will work fine with other fruits, but you will need to take into consideration the sweetness level of whatever fruit you are using. If it’s not very sweet fruit, you may need to increase the amount of sweetener that you’re adding during the cooking process. Check out my Blueberry Jam Recipe and my Peach Jam Recipe.

Why Didn’t My Strawberry Jam Set Up? (And How To Fix It)

There can be varying reasons as to why your jam didn’t’ set up properly.

  1. It might have needed to cook longer or there is the chance that sometimes strawberries don’t have enough natural sugar (it’s the cooking time, sugar, and lemon that help it gel) and they just need a little more pectin added.
  2. If you followed the directions and it didn’t set up properly, let the strawberry jam sit overnight in the fridge. If that step still doesn’t get it to stiffen up and set, you can try re-cooking it for a bit longer and either adding in a bit of pectin or a bit more sugar and lemon (not much, just give it a taste test.) For best results though, use a thermometer and make sure your strawberry mixture reaches gets to 220 degrees F.
  3. Another method to test if the jam is ready, is the “plate in the freezer” method. (Remove jam from heat while conducting the test.)
    Place a small plate in the freezer when you begin cooking the jam. When you are ready to test to see if the jam will set, remove the plate from the freezer and place a quarter size amount of the jam in the center of the plate. Place plate back in the freezer for about a minute. Run your finger through the jam on the plate. if it wrinkles and is jell-like the jam is ready. If the jam “fills in” the line you made with your finger, you should cook the jam for another few minutes.
How to make Strawberry Jam

Simple Ideas to Use Strawberry Jam

In no time at all, you can have a sweet and simple strawberry jam that you’ll want to put on everything. My mind can probably go on forever when thinking of ways to use homemade strawberry jam but some of my favorites are:

  • crusty bread with cream cheese
  • on top of pancakes or waffles with whipped cream
  • over plain or vanilla yogurt
  • drizzled over ice cream or cheesecake
  • a filler for homemade muffins or cupcakes
  • DIY Christmas or hostess gift

My entire family thinks this strawberry jam is the best thing ever. I also have a great peach jam and easy blueberry jam recipe, if you want to try making jam using different fruit.

Easy Strawberry Jam recipe with no pectin

More Fresh Strawberry Recipes For All Those Strawberries:

Tried this Strawberry Jam Recipe?

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easy strawberry jam recipe with no pectin

Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe with no pectin

  • Author: Jamie sanders
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: about 1 3/4 cups
  • Category: jams and jellies
  • Method: stovetop

Description

An Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe with no pectin!


Ingredients

Units
  • 16 oz strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a heavy bottom saucepan, mix strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
  2. Stir over med-low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Increase heat to med-high and bring mixture to a rolling boil.
  4. Stir frequently mashing the strawberries as you stir, continuing to boil, until jam is thickened and bubbles completely cover the surface of the jam. (about 10 minutes.)
  5. Transfer jam to a jar and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Seal jars and store in refrigerator for about 10 days (or freeze)

Notes

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

Additional tips:  If you have a candy thermometer when the jam reaches 220 F, it’s ready.
If you want a less chunky jam, you can process fruit in a food processor before cooking or use an immersion blender while fruit cooks.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 tbs
  • Calories: 27
  • Sugar: 66
  • Sodium: 0
  • Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 7
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 0

Keywords: strawberry jam recipe, strawberry preserves, how to make strawberry jam, strawberry jam no pectin

Enjoy!  What are some of your favorite uses for jam?

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185 Comments

  1. Omg just made this it is so yummy won’t last long in the fridge I’ll be gone

  2. Could you use honey instead of sugar?

    1. I don’t know, you might be able to Google that question. If you do you might need pectin.

  3. Has anyone else used this recipe with other fruit? I have 20 lbs of nectarines coming and want to make jam

    1. Rachel Wood says:

      I was wondering the same or can you mix fruits

  4. So u can put it on the shelf instead of fridge

    1. Only if you properly can it, otherwise it needs to go in the fridge or freezer.

  5. Just made this jam and it is awesome! I used a candy thermometer, like you said, and took it to 215 degrees, perfection. This recipe is a keeper. Now I want to use this recipe just with peaches.

  6. Stephanie Reynolds says:

    Super bummed. I followed this recipe to a T and it was runny. Tasty but runny. Definitely not jam.

    1. It’s hard to say why it did not gel up properly. It might have needed to cook longer. Sometimes strawberries don’t have enough natural sugar (it’s the cooking time, sugar and lemon that help it gel) and they just need a little pectin.
      I recommend letting it sit overnight in the fridge, if it does not stiffen up more, you might try re-cooking it for longer and either adding a bit of pectin ar a bit more sugar and lemon (not much, just give it a taste test.)

  7. Hi, would lime work instead of lemon?

    1. You COULD use lime but will produce different results.

      Lime has less pectin than lemon and the combo of the sugar and natural pectin in the lemon is what helps it gel. So in theory using lime might produce a runnier jam. Also lime has a more “intrusive” flavor – not bad, just more distinctive. (personally, I do not care for lime, but everyone is different.) Of course, I have never tried it with lime and this is all just “theory.” If you use enough added sugar, you won’t taste the lime anyway and the jam will totally gel. (Because sugar is magic, lol.)

      Come back and let us know if you try it.

  8. Hi there! Does this have to be sealed if using right away? Just wondered if I can put it in a jar in the fridge without sealing first 🙂 thanks!

    1. You don’t need to seal it if you plan on using it up in the next week or so (and store it in the fridge)

  9. This recipe is fantastic! Perfect consistency, the fruity flavor of the strawberries shines and is not overwhelmingly sweet. So simple to make! Thank you!!!

  10. This is the jam I always make. I add half of the normal amount of pectin just to make it a bit stiffer. I have put this in my freezer in small glass jars without problems. Well….. there was a problem of wanting it RIGHT NOW and having to wait till it thawed.

  11. What can be done if it tastes like it’s burnt?

    1. If you burned the strawberries, I doubt you can fix it.

  12. Rebecca Jones says:

    Does it have to be refrigerated?

  13. Excellent recipe, thanks so much!

  14. I thought it was a little on the sweet side, next time I will use less sugar.

  15. I made this last night and followed directions completely. But my jam did not set up and is still very runny. Any tips to fix or correct? Maybe I didn’t let it boil long enough? I should add I made a large batch, 8lbs of strawberries. I am very willing to open every jar and dump it back in the pan to cook longer if that would help becAuse it really tastes SO good but its too runny for toast. Please help!

    1. yes, when you increase the recipe, you will need to cook longer. You might want to use a thermometer or try the freezer plate method to test if your jam is ready.

  16. Wow this is the best jam I’ve ever made. I’m never buying the premade stuff again. Would this recipe work for making boysenberry jam, just replacing the amount of strawberries with boysenberries?

  17. Wendy Armitage says:

    Hi can i put this through the sieve to get the jam to be clear without any of the lumpy bits that get stuck in my teeth?

  18. As a healthier substitute for those that are sugar sensitive has anyone substituted fruit juice for the sugar? I am thinking that would result in a spread similar to the Polaner all fruit jams. Just wondering if anyone has had success / failure with this before I try it.

    1. not sure how that would work out and fruit juice is full of sugar too. I have successfully used Swerve as a sugar substitute. (http://amzn.to/2kKlK22 – I have even seen it at my local Safeway and other health food stores.)

  19. Can I use frozen strawberries?

    1. If you follow the directions for canning, you can store it on the shelf.

  20. Not sure what you mean? But you should definitely use clean/sterilized jars and keep them in the fridge.

    1. I think she is talking about when canning you normally put your jam in the sterilized jars and then submerge them in boiling water to sterilize the outside of the jar also and it helps seal the jars. So, I am assuming you do not do that, instead you just put the jam in sterilized jars and put them in the fridge. Which if it still works that is great. Because then you don’t need to store your jam on a shelf in a cool place. Instead you can put them in the freezer without anything going bad.

  21. This jam was excellent! My kids enjoyed making it and we used it up right away! I found this on Pinterest for my Pinterest Challenge!

  22. Hi Ricki, I'm on a trip this week, but I know this info is in my ball canning book. When I get home, I'll look it up and post it, In the meantime, check the ball canning website, they may have it there too.
    ~Jamie

  23. This sounds great! I always want to make my own jam but don't have pectin, so I love that you have the recipe without it. Yum!