How to make strawberry jam

Homemade strawberry jam is perfect for spreading on toast or giving as a gift. Use fresh strawberries to make a delicious preserve with our simple step-by-step guide.

How to make strawberry jam

Sometimes there's nothing tastier than a slice of toast with homemade strawberry jam, packed with fresh fruit. Store-bought versions are full of sugar and artifical flavourings, so instead follow James Martin's easy guide to making a homemade version without the hassle. 

Read our review of the best jam making equipment to get yourself started.

Step-by-step guide to making strawberry jam

Follow these steps, using ingredients and quantities from our strawberry jam recipe.


Step one:

Cutting up strawberries into a large pot

Prepare the strawberries by wiping them with a piece of damp kitchen paper. (Wiping the strawberries rather than washing them ensures the fruit doesn't absorb lots of water - too much water and the jam won't set easily.) To hull the fruit, use a knife to cut a cone shape into the strawberry and remove the stem. Cut any large berries in half. 


Step two:

Pouring sugar onto a bowl of strawberries

Put the strawberries in a bowl and gently toss through the sugar. Leave uncovered at room temprature for 12 hrs or overnight. This process helps the sugar to dissolve, ensures the fruit doesn't disintegrate too much and helps to keep its vibrant colour.


Step three:

Pouring water into a vat of strawberries

Before starting the jam, put 2 saucers in the freezer. Tip the strawberry mixture into a preserving pan with the lemon juice. Set over a low heat and cook very gently. If any sugar remains on the sides of the pan, dip a pastry brush in hot water and brush the sugar away. 


Step four:

Simmering strawberries in a large pot

When you can no longer feel any grains of sugar remaining, turn up the heat to start bubbling the jam and bringing it to the boil. (The sugar must be completely dissolved before increasing the heat, otherwise it will be difficult for the jam to set, and it may contain crystallised lumps of sugar.)


Step five:

Step five to making tasty fruity strawberry jam.

Boil hard for 5-10 mins until the jam has reached 105C on a preserving or digital thermometer, then turn off the heat. If you don't have a thermometer, spoon a little jam onto one of the cold saucers. Leave for 30 secs, then push with your finger; if the jam wrinkles and doesn't flood to fill the gap, it is ready. If not, turn the heat back on and boil for 2 mins more, then turn off the heat and do the wrinkle test again. Repeat until ready.

Watch our video for more tips on how to test jam.


Step six:

Skimming off bubbles from strawberry jam

Use a spoon to skim any scum that has risen to the surface and discard this. Do this only once at the end, rather than constantly during the boiling stage, to reduce wastage.


Step seven:

Adding butter to strawberry jam mix

Add a knob of butter, if you like, to the finished jam, and stir in to melt. This will help to dissolve any remaining scum that you haven't managed to spoon off the top. Leave the jam to settle for 15 mins - this will ensure that the fruit stays suspended in the mixture and doesn't float to the top of the jam jar. Meanwhile, sterilise your jars.


Step eight:

Spooning strawberry jam into jars

Ladle into warm jars, filling to just below the rim. Place a waxed paper disc on top of the jam (this prevents mildew forming), then cover with a lid or a cellophane circle and elastic band. Pop on a label (include the date), plus a pretty fabric top, if you like. The jam can be stored for up to 1 year in a cool, dry place. Refrigerate after opening.

Get more jam inspiration:

Top tips for making jam
Best jam making kit on test
How to sterlise jars
How to test jam
Our best jam recipes

This tasty jam deserves a bread that's just as good - this easy white bread recipe is perfect for both bread machines and making the traditional way. 

Have you made our strawberry jam? Leave a comment below...

Comments, questions and tips

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Centrillion
14th Jul, 2018
I followed this recipe to the letter and the taste of the jam is superb, but it was extremely thick and to my surprise, it only filled two jars. Should perhaps there have been some water added?
goodietwoshoes
26th Oct, 2018
wHAT IS THE RATIO FRUIT TO SUGAR?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
2nd Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. The ingredient quantities are in the strawberry jam recipe linked to just above step one.
MTeresa
4th Jul, 2016
Beautiful recipe, I will try it. Doubt: how much sugar? half and half?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
9th Aug, 2016
Thank you for your question, you'll find the full recipe with all the quantities here. Enjoy!
lizgraham
8th Jul, 2015
I have just tried to make Strawberry Jam from your recipe, however I am in Canada. I followed the recipe, however after 20 mins. of boiling, it is still not set. Wondering if it is the sugar here as we don't have 'jam sugar', I just used regular sugar. Any help would be appreciated, tks.
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