Gardening & Raspberry Jam

Garden Tips & Tidbits: Turning your Harvest into Jam!


My garden is going through a raspberry explosion!! Remember when I showed you how to prune raspberries earlier this year? Well, here are my raspberry bushes now…and HEAVY with delicious fruit ready to be made into jam and either canned or frozen to enjoy later in the year!

Raspberry Collage1

If you’ve never canned homemade jam before you should give it a try.  Especially if you have access to free fruit or you can purchase fruit on sale. I was able to produce nine  1/2 pints of jam in just under 1 hour with the following recipe.  Normally I use standard canning jars, but I used specialty jars this time around.  This Christmas I plan on giving away jars of homemade raspberry jam and boxes of scone mix as hostess gifts so I purchased fancy jars instead.


Check out the full process below…

To get started you’ll need to purchase or borrow a canner.  I like to use a smaller canning pot for jam.  The smaller size allows you to can 7 pints (or 1/2 pints) at a time. To get started fill the canner about 2/3rds full with water and bring to a boil.

In a separate pot heat jars and lids in hot water (not boiling) until ready to use.  Keeping the jars nice and warm prevents the jars from breaking when hot jam is added.

Next you’ll need to follow the directions according to your pectin packet.  For this recipe I used liquid pectin.  Normally I use the dry packets that come in the box… but I had a bunch of liquid pectin in the pantry I picked up last year on clearance.  FYI: You can pick up the Ball Flex Batch Pectin for only $1.19 a jar (makes 22 1/2 pints) at Fred Meyer this week if you use the $1/1 coupon from the 6/12 SS.

For liquid pectin I simply combined 4 cups of crushed raspberries, 6 1/2 cups of sugar (yikes!) and 1/2 a tsp of butter (to prevent foaming).

While I was waiting for my jam mixture to come to a full rolling boil over high heat I set up my work station.

After the jam mixture comes to a full roiling boil you’ll add 1 the contents of 1 packet of liquid pectin and bring then continue to let boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Next remove from heat and skim off any foam.

Next you’ll grab your hot jars (I use something similar to this) with tongs and drain the water.

Place a funnel over your jar and carefully pour in your hot jam mixture.

Leave about 1/4 th  inch head space and be sure and use a clean damp cloth to remove any residue.

Place your hot lid on the jar, apply the band and tighten.

Next place your jars in the canner.  Make sure the water covers your jars by at least 1 to 2 inches.  Place the lid on the canner and bring the water back to a steady boil.  Process your jars for 10 minutes (longer for altitudes higher than 1,000 feet above sea level).

Remove jars from the canner and place on a towel to cool untouched for 12-24 hours.  Before putting your jars away be sure and check your lids to make sure they all sealed. You’ll know the jars are sealed if you touch the center of the lid and it does not pop back up.  If it does pop back up the jar is not sealed.  If that is the case simply place the jar in the fridge and enjoy your jam within a few weeks or reprocess the jam using a different lid.


Get started with these great deals on canning supplies!!


Granite Ware Enamel-on-Steel Canning Kit – $37.70

  • Ships FREE with Prime!
  • 9-piece canning kit includes 21-quart canner, canner lid, 7-jar rack, 9-inch colander, lid wrench, funnel, tongs, jar lifter, and magnetic lid lifter
  • Durable enamel-on-steel construction heats quickly and efficiently
  • Side loop handles help ensure safe, secure transport; coated stay-cool tool handles
  • Domed lid with loop handle helps trap in heat for faster boiling
  • Safe to use on both gas and electric stovetops; hand wash
  • **Note: Do not use on glass cooktops (does not have a flat bottom)


Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving – $12.96

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  • Ball Home Canning Products are the gold standard in home preserving supplies, the trademark jars on display in stores every summer from coast to coast. Now the experts at Ball have written a book destined to become the “bible” of home preserving.

Comments & Reviews

  • Autumn Avila

    Is a canner just the pot that I see or is it something else? I want to make homemade strawberry jam but am totally clueless

    • Desi

      The canner is the big blackish pot in the first picture. It comes with a metal rack that goes inside to prevent the jars from touching the bottom and makes it easier to get the jars out. You can see the rack in the third and second to last pictures.

  • Lacey

    i don’t know anyone with a canner, do you think I could just use a double broiler, adding water to the top pot as well?

    • Fabs

      Lacey, I don’t recommend it. In my opinion you need to place the jars on a rack so they do not touch the bottom of the pan or come in contact with each other. Your jars could break if they touch.

    • Kandace

      I have never owned a canner and for the last 12 years have processed my jam in a large stock pot exactly like the one in the post. Not one broken jar in 12 years. That’s how my mom and grandma taught me how to do it. I make sure I only process the jars for the amount of time listed in the pectin recipe. Good luck!

  • Kristina

    I made strawberry jam with the organic strawberries from a 1.99 lb special from whole foods a few months back and have several in the pantry. I looked at them the other day and they are a light brown color. Is that normal? I am hesitant to eat it now!

    • Fabs

      Yikes! I’ve never had jam turn brown before. So I’m going to say “When in doubt… throw it out”. All that work… that’s too bad. 🙁

  • Denise

    I have done lots of canning, and you dont need the rack…just dont put too many jars in at once. The rack is nice for getting the jars out, but you can also use the canning tongs, which they sell every where. Also try the low sugar pectin, and also use fruit juice in stead of so much sugar! I usually make strawberry, blackberry and blueberry jam, and use low sugar with all, and some with juice.
    Happy Canning!

    • Fabs

      Thanks for your input Denise. I’ve been canning for about 15 years and I have always used a rack… so I was unsure if you could process jars without one. 🙂

      • S

        The most important this is to keep the jars directly off the bottom of the pot – coiling up a wire hanger or any kind of small rack (my mom even uses the insert she has that holds egg poaching cups) can help accomplish this. Also, I don’t water process my jam. I put the jars in the sink and pour hot water over and in them. When the fruit is ready, dump out of the water, and in goes the jam. The lids have also been soaking in a bowl of hot water-slap one on and set on the counter. Most vacuum shut within an hour.

        • Bonnie N

          That will seal the jars, but by heat processing them you protect your food from things like Botulism.

          • @S that is what my neighbor does. Sounds like a nice simple way to do it.

            @Bonnie You are right that there is a risk of botulism when canning. It is smart to take precautions to prevent food borne illness.

  • Laura

    It’s late, so if I missed this, sorry…

    How long are the jars good, once sealed? A year?

  • Help for canning

    just to all u wonderful ladies who want to start canning, I just picked up a bunch of stuff for canning at yard sales..paid $3 for a pan with a rack and $1 a dozen for jars
    also, check the used/thrift stores….I got a foodsaver foodsealer from Savers yesterday for $5.99 and it works AWESOME!

  • Krista

    I’m with Denise on not needing a rack or a special pot. Any stockpot will do so long as the water comes at least an inch over the jars. I put a tea towel on the bottom of my pot so my jars don’t rumble around.

    p.s. I’m jealous of the raspberry jam! I love to make it mixed with rhubarb. YUM.

  • Cari

    I made jam for the first time last year with a soup pot with a dish towel on the bottom. I just used the recipe on the back of the pectin box and it turned out great. I did score a sweet deal last October on a canning kit at Lowes – regularly $59.99 – got it for about $15! It came with a good size pot, the rack, special tongs, a wide mouth funnel, receipe book and I think a pack of lids. Can’t wait to put it to use this year!!

  • Nat

    I also just picked up a bunch of canning items for $3.00 at a garage sale. Your post will be a lot of help. Thank you.

  • Tracy

    I use any fruit that is still good, but might be getting a little too soft, to make refrigerator jam. I then heat the fruit with an equal amount of sugar and several tablespoons full of lemon juice in a sauce pan. Boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning. I then turn down the heat and simmer until it thickens adequately. Store in a glass jar in fridge. No pectin or special canning supplies needed. It lasts for about two weeks and can be frozen as well.

  • Chanda

    When I was little, my mom had a huge pot with a see-through hose from the pot on the stovetop to another pot on the floor. She always told me not to touch it because it’s hot. WHAT’S THAT?

    • Bonnie N

      That’s for making juice. My Grandma grew grapes and my mom would can grape juice every year. She also canned apricot nectar.

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