Step-by-Step Process for Canning Jam

process to can jam

I put up jam every year because my family loves homemade jam. This year, I made plum jam and peach jam. Last year I did a lot of strawberry jam. If you haven’t had a chance to put up jam, it’s really easy to do.

I mentioned in my Canning Tomatoes from the Garden and Canning Peaches posts that you’ll need some supplies such as a water-bath canner. Both Amazon and Walmart have canners for about $20. I also recommend purchasing a Home Canning Utensil Set, which is about $13. The utensil set makes it easier to can items. You’ll also need half pint jars (8 oz.) with lids and rings, fruit of your choice (see recipes below), sugar, Original/Classic Fruit Pectin, and lemon juice. Then you’ll be ready to go. Here is the step-by-step process for canning jam.

1. Fill the water bath canner half way with hot water and start to heat it up. Wash and rinse jars. Leave them in hot water in your sink until you need them.

2. In a medium-size pan, fill with hot water and place on the stove to simmer. Place lids in the simmering water (not boiling) and keep them there until needed.

3. Prepare fruit (as outlined in the recipes below) with lemon juice (if specified in the recipe), and place it into a large pot over high heat. I like to puree the fruit it in the blender so there aren’t any chunks. Stir in 6 Tablespoons of Original/Classic Fruit Pectin. Add 1/2 teaspoon butter to reduce foaming. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Be sure to stir constantly.

4. Add the entire measure of sugar (as outlined in the recipes below) and stir to dissolve. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil again, and boil hard for 1 minute. Be sure to stir constantly. Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off foam if necessary.

5. Remove one jar from the hot water in the sink. Ladle the hot jam into the jars and leave 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the top and threads of jar with a clean, damp cloth. Remove one lid from the simmering water with tongs and place it flat on top of the jar so the sealing compound is against the jar. Screw a band down firmly.

6. As each jar is filled, stand it on the rack in the canner of hot, not boiling, water. Once the rack is full, lower it into the canner. The water should cover the jars 1 to 2 inches. Add more hot water if necessary. Place the cover on the canner, and bring the water to a boil. Process half pints for 20 minutes at a gentle but steady boil.

7. After the processing is complete, turn off the heat and remove the water bath canner lid. Let jars stand in canner for 5 minutes.

8. Remove jars from canner and set on a cloth on the counter. Place the jars several inches apart from each other. Do not retighten bands. Allow to cool about 12 hours. Remove bands and test seal. Wipe off the outside of the jar, label and date the top, and then store jars in a dry, dark, and cool place.


Fruit Recipes

Apricot (Makes 8 half pints)

  • 5 cups apricots, pitted and chopped (about 3 1/2 lbs. or 35 medium apricots)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 6 Tablespoons Original/Classic Fruit Pectin
  • 7 cups sugar

Berry – Such as Blackberry, Boysenberry, Raspberry (Makes 8 half pints)

  • 5 cups berries, crushed (about 3 lbs. or 8 containers that are 6 oz.)
  • 6 Tablespoons Original/Classic Fruit Pectin
  • 7 cups sugar

Peach or Pear (Makes 6 half pints)

  • 4 cups peaches or pears, finely chopped (about 3 lbs. or 9 medium peaches or pears)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 Tablespoons Original/Classic Fruit Pectin
  • 5 cups sugar

Plum (Makes 9 half pints)

  • 6 cups plums, pitted and chopped (about 4 lbs. or 20-30 medium plums). Place chopped plums in a large pot and add 1/2 cup water. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • 6 Tablespoons Original/Classic Fruit Pectin
  • 8 cups sugar

Strawberry (Makes 8 half pints)

  • 5 cups strawberries, crushed (about 3-4 containers that are 1 lb.)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 6 Tablespoons Original/Classic Fruit Pectin
  • 7 cups sugar


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