Home » Canning and Preserving » Small Batch Strawberry Jam Recipe

Small Batch Strawberry Jam Recipe

A simple recipe for strawberry jam that makes just the right amount. Canning instructions included, but it can also be frozen or just eaten quickly! Makes 4 half-pints.

A classic recipe for small batch strawberry jam: for canning or freezing.

half pint mason jar of homemade strawberry jam

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Pectin and plenty of sugar ensure a foolproof jam that will set easily.
  • Not too much jam. The amount of jam this makes is perfect for a family to eat throughout one year, especially when you enjoy different types of jam and don’t want too much of one kind.
  • If you’ve never canned before, this is a great starting point. And if you’re an experienced canner, you’ll still enjoy the simple beauty of this strawberry jam.

Be sure to read my tips for canning day to make sure everything goes as pleasantly as possible.

cutting board with sugar, pectin, fresh strawberries, and lemon

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

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  • strawberries 
  • bottled lemon juice
  • powdered pectin
  • granulated sugar

Need help picking out canning supplies? Find all the canning supplies you need here.

  • half pint mason jars
  • water bath canner and accessories
  • a large deep skillet or saucepan


Step one: Preparing the equipment

preparing water bath canner and jars and lids

It’s helpful to get your equipment ready before you start the jam because it takes so long for the canner to come to a boil. Get that going, and place your lids and bands in simmering water.

Your jars will need to be hot too, but remember you don’t need to sterilize them. Just make sure they are very clean and heat them in the oven at 200 degrees, or in hot water if that’s easier for you.

making the Jam

2 images- mashing berries with potato masher, and finished strawberry jam

Making the jam is easy. The strawberries go in as halves and you just mash as they heat. Make sure you add the pectin a bit at a time as described in the recipe or else you’ll get weird clumps. Since this recipe uses sugar and pectin, you really have to worry about the jam setting. Follow the recipe, and it will!

If you notice foam rising to the surface, you can just spoon it off and discard it. If it doesn’t both you, just leave it. It will make your finished jam somewhat hazy in the jar, but it’s purely cosmetic.

Putting it all together

3 jars of strawberry jam with canning funnel

If you’re freezing the jam, just funnel it in, let it cool, and freeze it. You’re done. Easy peasy.

If you’re canning it, after you funnel in the jam, take extra care to wipe clean the rims of the jar. If the rim is dirty, the lid won’t properly seal to it, and it won’t be safe to store.

2 images showing wiping canning jar rims and adding lids

Twist the bands on “fingertip tight”. This means you could unscrew the lid with just the strength of your fingertips, without having to put any “muscle” into it. If you over-tighten, the jars could crack in the canner.


lowering jars of jam into boiling wateer canner, removing jar with tongs

Process in the canner for 10 minutes and remove the jars. Let them sit, undisturbed, while they cool. They will seal as they sit and the lid will no longer pop up and down when you press on them.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

Choose fresh, unblemished fruit.

For the best flavor, use ripe strawberries. If they’re not quite ripe, you can add a little bit of sugar to the recipe.

Wash and cut your berries before you begin

🥫 Storage instructions

If you’ve canned the jam and everything has sealed, put the jars in a dark place that’s room temperature or cooled. An unheated portion of your basement is perfect. Otherwise, a cabinet or pantry on the main level will do just fine.

If any of your jars did not seal, put them in the fridge and use them right away.

🔍 FAQs

Do I need pectin to make strawberry jam?

For this recipe, yes you need pectin. And it’s great for beginners. Your jam will set, guaranteed.

Can I use honey instead of sugar?

It’s been done before but I wouldn’t recommend it. I personally find the flavor too strong.

What is the difference between strawberry preserves and strawberry jam?

The difference is in the fruit. Preserves have large chunks of fruit and jam has smaller pieces that are more like a spread.

📘 Related Recipes

cutting board with slice of toast spreading on strawberry jam

📖 Here’s the recipe

3 half pint jars of strawberry jam
4.50 from 2 votes

Homemade Small Batch Strawberry Jam

Print Recipe
A simple recipe for strawberry jam that makes just the right amount. Canning instructions included, but it can also be frozen or just eaten quickly! Makes 4 half-pints.
Prep Time:45 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:1 hour
Click here to grab a free seasonal e-cookbook!


  • Water bath canner and accessories
  • Five (half pint) mason jars with lids and bands


  • 5 cups halved strawberries about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice bottled
  • 3 tablespoons pectin
  • 3 cups granulated sugar


  • Prepare the jars and canner. If canning, prepare a water bath canning by filling with water and placing on stovetop to bring to a boil. Place rings and lids for jars in a small saucepan filled with water and bring to a simmer. Heat clean jars in the oven at 200 degrees or in hot water,
  • Make the jam. Combine the strawberries and lemon juice in large saucepan, mashing the berries. Sprinkle in pectin 1 tablespoon at a time and stir after each addition to prevent clumping. Bring to a full boil over high heat. Add the sugar and bring to a hard boil again. Allow to boil for 1 minute, constantly stirring. Remove jam from heat. If foam has formed on the surface, remove it with a spoon.
  • Assemble jars. Ladle jam into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. If you have an extra that won't fill a jar, put in a jar and place in the fridge to be eaten first. Wipe rims clean with a damp rag. Place lids and bands on jars and twist until fingertip tight, meaning the lid could be unscrewed with just your fingertips.
  • Process the jam. Carefully lower jars into boiling water canner, replace lid, and allow to process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and place on clean tea towel on counter to cool. Allow to to sit undisturbed until jars seal and the lid does not move when pressed. Store in a dark, cool place for up to one year.


Don’t want to can?   Simply fill jars, place in fridge to cool, and move to freezer after 12 hours.  
Try adding 1/2 tablespoon of lemon zest with the sugar for a twist. 
If you live more than 1000 feet above sea level, see this guide for processing times at high altitudes.
Course: jam, preserving
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: small batch freezer jam, small batch strawberry jam, strawberry jam for canning
Servings: 28 servings
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?If you loved it, please leave a review!

Enjoy your jam, and your summer.

signature with strawberries

7 thoughts on “Small Batch Strawberry Jam Recipe”

  1. I think something is wrong with this recipe. It says 2.5 lbs approximately 3 cups of strawberries. I bought 2 lbs of strawberries and after hulling and halving, I have 4.5 cups.

  2. Quick question- my 2 1/2 pounds of strawberries is a lot more than 3 cups. Which should I go with? I know that accurate measuring of the fruit affects how the jam sets. Thanks for the recipe!


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