Homemade Strawberry Jam (Using Frozen Strawberries!)
Making homemade strawberry jam is quite simple and you can even use frozen strawberries. This means that you can make it all year long, even when strawberries aren’t in season. I also love that this jam isn’t cloyingly sweet, since I use significantly less sugar than most recipes call for.
Homemade strawberry jam is my absolute favorite and I love how convenient and easy this recipe is. Not only can you make this jam when it’s strawberry season and you have an abundance of glorious strawberries, but you can also use frozen strawberries.
When I lived in New York, our family would go strawberry picking every year and come back home with buckets and buckets of gorgeous red beauties. If you’re ambitious and have extra time, you can make jam right away, but another option is to freeze the berries while they are still at their best. You can use it for smoothies all throughout the year and then make jam when you have some pockets of free time in the midst of your busy life.
Another really special thing about this recipe is that has HALF as much sugar as most typical recipes. I know that you need a lot of sugar for the jam to set properly, but I’ve finally made a recipe that works. The jam sets just enough, it’s not too cloyingly sweet. My whole family loves it. It’s so much better than store bought jam. I love using this jam in many recipes, especially as a filling in yeast buns, danishes, puff pastries and more commonplace ways like on toast and crepes or as a topping on yogurt.
Video of How To Make Homemade Jam With Frozen Berries
Can You Make Jam From Frozen Fruit?
Yes! I have been making jam from many different varieties of frozen fruit and berries for years and not only does it work, but it’s so much more convenient. Frozen fruits and berries are picked at their peak of freshness, which means they are ripe and full of flavor.
Often supermarket berries aren’t all that great when they aren’t in season – you probably know what I mean, kind of bland and watery. I also freeze berries when I do go picking in season, so I have a large stash in my freezer at all times. You will love how this cuts down on prep work, since the berries are already washed and hulled.
- strawberries (frozen or fresh)
- In most of my local grocery stores, you can find 4 lb bags of strawberries, so you don’t even have to weigh the berries. (That’s why I developed the recipe this way, to use up the whole bag.)
- granulated sugar (I have not experimented with sugar substitutes, so I don’t know what else can be used instead)
- lemon juice and zest (the addition of the lemon is wonderful here)
- The lemon juice not only gives acidity to the jam, but also prevents the growth of bacteria in the jam. Most importantly, it has something really important – pectin. Pectin is what makes sure that the jam gels properly and isn’t a runny mess.
How To Make Homemade Strawberry Jam Using Frozen Strawberries
- Place the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Do you realize how easy this recipe is? I like to use a dutch oven, because it is wide, big and very sturdy.
- Bring everything to a boil. Cover the pot and while you’re waiting for everything to boil, stir every once in a while. Since the berries are frozen, it will take a bit of time until the sugar starts to dissolve and the berries begin to melt. Keep the pot covered until everything comes to a boil.
- Simmer the jam until it thickens. Now you can uncover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Keep simmering the jam for 35-45 minutes. Skim the foam off the top while the berries are cooking.
- The jam is finished cooking when it has thickened and reached 215-220 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mash the berries in the jam or puree with an immersion blender. It should be really easy to do it, since the berries are really soft at this point. You can make it as chunky or smooth as you like.
- Fill sterilized jars with the jam and close with sterilized lids. Store at room temperature up to a year for best results. Refrigerate after opening. If you’re using unsterilized jars, store in the refrigerator.
Sterilizing the Jars For Homemade Strawberry Jam
- Wash the jars and lids in hot and soapy water. Place the glass jars in a 200 degrees Fahrenheit oven for about 15 minutes. In a medium pot, place the lid rings covered with water. Bring the water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the lids. You can let them stand in the boiled water until you are done canning, at least 10 minutes.
- Pour the hot jam into the hot and sterilized jars. Wipe the edges with a wet cloth to make sure they are clean. Place the lids on top of the jars and close with the lid rings.
- Place the jars into boiling water and make sure they are covered with water up to the top of the jars. Boil for at about 10 minutes. Take the jars out of the boiling water. Cool the jars in a towel for about 12 hours. The lid should be concave.
Storing Homemade Strawberry Jam
I am not an expert canner and am only sharing how we do this in our family. My mom is the one who taught me all I know and she has been doing this for decades. My own house storage options for food are very limited, so I don’t can a lot to be stored at room temperature. Our garage is way too hot most of the year (we live in Florida) and we don’t have a basement. I have an extra refrigerator with a freezer, so I use that much more for longer storage. Please follow the recommended canning and preserving guidelines, such as this website.
If you process the jars in the boiling water, you can store the jam at room temperature or in a cool, dry place. You can also store jam in the refrigerator or freezer, especially if you don’t sterilize the jars and the jam. Store open jars of jam in the refrigerator as well.
Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions For the Best Homemade Strawberry Jam
If you’re using frozen berries, it will take longer to bring the jam to a boil and take a little bit longer to reach the right consistency. Since the berries are frozen, they will have more liquid than fresh berries. It will take longer for the extra liquid to evaporate. If you’re using a pot that isn’t wide, it will also take longer, since the smaller the surface area, the slower the evaporation.
For frozen berries, it should take around 45 minutes – 1 hour.
For fresh berries, it will be faster. Start checking the consistency or the temperature of the jam at 30 minutes.
The jam is finished cooking when it has thickened and reached 215-220 degrees Fahrenheit on your instant read thermometer.
A simple test you can use if you don’t want to use a thermometer is the cold plate test. Chill a plate in the freezer before you start making jam. When the jam seems to have reached the proper consistency, place a dollop of jam on the plate and let it stand for a minute of two. It should start to gel and shouldn’t be too runny. If you run your finger through the center, it shouldn’t run back together.
Don’t be too worried if the jam seems to be thinner than you would like, because it will become much thicker as it cools and sets. As long as you cooked it long enough and it reached 220 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be ok. However, if the jam is watery and too thin even after cooking it for more than an hour, continue cooking it. It’s possible that the heat was too low or your pot wasn’t wide enough, so the jam wasn’t able to thicken enough.
Yes, jam freezes really well for 6 months – 1 year. Store the jam in an airtight container (making sure that you leave some room at the top of expansion). I like using these twist top containers for freezing jam* (affiliate link). (They come in different sizes. I like the 4 cup and the 2 cups options, so I can store them in large or smaller quantities. They’re really great to freeze broths and sauces too.)
How To Make Homemade Strawberry Jam
Making homemade strawberry jam isn’t hard and you can even use frozen strawberries, so you can make it all year long. This recipe also uses much less sugar than most, so the jam isn’t too sweet.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 3 pints 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- 4 lbs strawberries (frozen or fresh)
- 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- juice of 2 lemons and zest of 1 lemon (about 5–6 Tablespoons of lemon juice, you can use bottled lemon juice)
- Place the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a large, heavy bottomed pot. I like to use a dutch oven, because it is wide, big and very sturdy.
- Since the berries are frozen, keep stirring everything until the sugar starts to dissolve and the berries start to melt. Soon, the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest will be evenly distributed and coating the berries. Keep the pot covered until the berry mixture comes to a boil.
- The jam is finished cooking when it has thickened and reached 215-220 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When the jam is done cooking, crush the berries with the back of a spoon, a potato masher or an immersion blender. It should be really easy to do it, since the berries are really soft at this point. You can make it as chunky or smooth as you like.
- Fill sterilized jars with the jam and close with sterilized lids. Store at room temperature up to a year for best results. Refrigerate after opening.
- If you’re using frozen berries, it will take longer to bring the jam to a boil and take a little bit longer to reach the right consistency, since the berries are frozen and will have more liquid than fresh berries. It will take longer for the extra liquid to evaporate. If you’re using a pot that isn’t wide, it will also take longer, since the smaller the surface area, the slower the evaporation.
- A simple test you can use if you don’t want to use a thermometer is the cold plate test. Chill a plate in the freezer before you start making jam. When the jam seems to have reached the proper consistency, place a dollop of jam on the plate and let it stand for a minute of two. It should start to gel and shouldn’t be too runny. If you run your finger through the center, it shouldn’t run back together.
Keywords: homemade strawberry jam, easy strawberry jam, how to make strawberry jam, strawberry jam with frozen strawberries
Olga, Thank you so much for this recipe! You have no idea how timely too! Our Safeway store just had an awesome deal on frozen berries and I bought so much that I didn’t know what to do besides making smoothies. Smoothies, it turns out my daughter doesn’t really like them. So, now I’ll make a jam and use it in her kasha. So, thank you!!!!
I’m so happy to hear that, Tanya:). I hope you al enjoy the jam.
Hi Olga, I have a freezer full of raspberries, do you think they can work the same?
I have made raspberry jam using frozen berries many times, Sana, but unfortunately, I’ve only made it without measuring the sugar or testing the time that it takes to cook, etc. It might be a little bit different than the strawberry jam. I also always strain raspberry jam through a fine mesh sieve after it’s done cooking, because I don’t like the seeds in it.
I made this the other day. I took some time for it to get to the right consistency probably over one hour . But I really really like the jam. Thanks for the great recipe! I used frozen strawberries.
I’m so glad you liked the jam, Masha. Thank you for taking the time to write. It does take much longer to cook than most other recipes because frozen berries have so much more moisture that needs to cook off and using less sugar also adds more time to the cooking.
Hello Olga, I was thinking of giving it a go with this recipe but I remembered having 3 bags of frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, bluberries and blackberries) in my freezer. Would it be a good a idea to have those 4 fruits in my jam with this recipe??
I read your recipe and have some questions: why do you need to store the jam in the fridge after you open it? Does it go bad if you put it in a room temperature? Also, I made strawberry jam yesterday following another recipe that i found online, and it told me to put lemon juice in the middle of the berry mix boiling. Is there a reason why you put everything together at the beginning of the recipe? Please let me know! 🙂
Love this recipe just made , saved some for biscuits
That’s awesome, Sandra. I’m so glad you enjoyed the jam. Biscuits are perfect with jam:).
I just have a few clarification questions on how to sterilize the jars with jam.
When boiling the jars with jam already inside, does the hot water need to cover the whole jar, including the lids?
And what exactly do you mean by “cool the jar with a towel for 12 hours?
Thank you for the clarification.
The water just needs to come up to the top, not cover the lids.
I cover the completely finished, sterilized jars with a towel until they cool off completely, just so they gradually decrease in temperature. Probably not a necessary step, but it’s what my Mom always did, so I do it too.
I hope this helps, Nadia.
Olga I made your Strawberry jam oh it is yummy and a beautiful red. So much easier using frozen berries. Wow. Thank you and take care.
Olga, ive always made jam wuth store bought pectin. Thanks for sharing that lemon juice has pectin in it. i had some blackberries in my freezer so I made jam with it using 3 cups sugar and the juice of 3 limes since i never have lemons on hand but always lime. Then I strained it through a sev since blackberry has so much seeds in it and i wanted a smooth jam. It turned out great.
Do the jars have to be sterilized? i just filled it in glass jars and put it in the refrigerator once cooled. Can mason jars be reused for canning jam? Just sterilize it every time?
That’s awesome that you made blackberry jam. We used to make it all the time with my Mom before I got married.
You don’t have to sterilize the jars as long as you keep them refrigerated. If you want to store the jam at room temperature, then you do need to sterilize the jars.
Yes, you can definitely reuse mason jars. We use them for many, many years. I would get new lids, but the jars are perfect as long as you sterilize them.
Thank you for sharing this super easy recipe. With Christmas around the corner it make it easy to give my mini loaves and half pint jam for quick gifts. How many jars will this recipe use? Also, I’ve used about a TBL of butter to cut the foam and has always worked like a charm.
That’s such a great gift idea for Christmas, Karen. I love it! You will get 3 pints of jam from one recipe.
Love that this recipe makes me look good as a housewife (making my own jam!) while I’m barely doing anything! 😄 So yummy! It takes well over an hour to cook in my Dutch oven though so maybe next time I’ll use a regular pot.
Followed this recipe exactly per instructions but 2 of my jars ended up breaking in the water bath, so I lost 2 of the strawberry jams. Is there a reason that would happen? I can only think of sudden temp change but I sterilized jars in oven so they were warm…
I’m not sure, Tanya. The hot sterilized jars and the hot jam should have been enough to make the temperature change not too extreme, but next time, you can try bringing the water to a boil gradually. It also helps to put a towel on the bottom of the pot, that helps to protect the jars too.
Tabitha M Butler
Are you at altitude, or will I have adjust? Thanx from CO!
I am in Florida.
The jam taste really good. I’m wondering how long it takes to set up though? I know it’s not going to set up like jelly but it should be a little thicker. I did make sure that it was about 215° and started to get thick
It should start to thicken up a bit as soon as it cools slightly. If it’s still really runny, it needs to be cooked longer to concentrate more.
Instead of refrigerating could this finished jam be frozen?
Yes, jam freezes really well.
Amy Hanger Jones
Thanks! Trying soon
Will this thicken as it sits? Flavor is great, easy to make but looks a little
t hin after cooking for 50-60 minutes.
Martie Van Niekerk
I normally leave my strawberries overnight in the fridge with the sugar been added.
Can I do that with the frozen berries as well ?
I saw in using frozen berries when left to defrost, I loose almost 60% of my volume in the fruit.
I haven’t tried it this way, Martie, so I can’t say for sure how that will work. I always start cooking the berries frozen.