A Beginner’s Guide to Freezer Jams: What It Is and How to Make It

September 4, 2023
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Freezer Jam Explained

Freezer jam differs from traditional jam in its cooking process and taste. Unlike traditional jam, the fruit in freezer jam doesn't undergo cooking or is barely cooked. This method helps preserve the fruit’s fresh taste and vibrant color, giving it a more natural flavor.

Since you're not boiling the fruit, the natural colors stay bright, and the flavors become more distinct, resulting in a more enjoyable eating experience. This type of jam is both easy to make and requires fewer ingredients, making it a popular choice for homemade jam enthusiasts.

When making your own freezer jam, you get to choose the fruit and decide if you want it to be local or organic. The final product has a brighter, fresher quality compared to canned jams, which means you can enjoy the true essence of the ingredients you selected.

Now that you know what freezer jam is, you're one step closer to making a batch of delicious, fresh-tasting jam in your own kitchen.

Ingredients and Preparation

When making freezer jam, selecting the right ingredients and following the proper preparation steps are crucial for a delicious result. In this section, you'll find out how to choose and prepare your fruit, as well as how to add pectin and sugar to make your jam.

Selecting the Fruit

Start by choosing ripe fruit, as it will give your jam the best flavor. Avoid overripe or bruised fruit, which can negatively impact the taste and texture of your jam. Some popular fruits for freezer jam include plums, peaches, nectarines and strawberries.

Fresh strawberries make an excellent choice for your delicious freezer jam

Prepare the Fruit

After selecting your fruit, wash it and remove any stems or pits. To create the best consistency for your jam, crush the fruit using a potato masher or pastry blender. If needed, add lemon juice to balance the sweetness and prevent browning.

Adding Pectin and Sugar

The next step is to add pectin, which helps thicken your jam. Be sure to use freezer pectin, as regular pectin won't work for this type of jam. Follow the ratios specified by the pectin's instructions or your recipe to ensure proper consistency. Some common options to consider include SURE-JELL Premium Fruit Pectin and powdered, no-sugar-needed pectin.

Sugar serves multiple purposes in your jam. It adds sweetness, helps set the jam, and prevents bacteria growth. Follow the recommended sugar amounts based on the pectin you're using, and adjust the sugar according to your personal taste. Remember that too much sugar can overpower the fruit flavor or result in a jam that's too thick.

Making the Jam

In this section, we'll dive into making your very own freezer jam. It's time to get hands-on with the process!

Crushing the Fruit

First, start by washing the berries or fruit of your choice. Once they're clean, place them in a large bowl. Grab a potato masher and get ready to crush those berries! You want to create a nice, even texture for your jam, so apply some pressure and work on crushing the fruit until it reaches the desired consistency. Remember, you're in control of the chunkiness of your final product, so crush to your heart's content.

Thickening the Mixture

After crushing the fruit, you'll need to thicken the mixture to achieve the perfect jam-like texture. In a separate bowl, mix sugar and pectin together. According to The Spruce Eats, this will help create a smooth and thick consistency for your jam.

Once your sugar and pectin are blended, add the mixture to the crushed fruit and stir well for about three minutes. Don't worry if it seems a little thin at first; the jam will continue to thicken as it sets in the freezer.

And that's it! Now you've learned how to crush your fruit and thicken your freezer jam mixture. All that's left to do is transfer your jam to a jar or freezer bag and pop them in the freezer. It’s time to enjoy that fresh, homemade taste!

Storing the Jam

Now that you know what freezer jam is and how to make it, let's discuss how to properly store it.

Choosing Containers

Deciding on the right container is key to preserving your jam. Opt for glass jars or plastic containers that are both clean and freezer-safe. Make sure the lids seal tightly to keep your jam fresh and delicious.

Filling and Sealing

When filling up your containers, allow for a 1/2-inch space on top to account for the jam's expansion as it freezes. Seal the containers well after filling them to avoid air exposure that could spoil your freezer jam.


Labeling your containers to help you remember the contents and when you made the jam is a good idea. This will come in handy since freezer jam can be stored for up to a year in the freezer and up to three weeks in the fridge.

With the proper containers and storage methods in place, you can enjoy your freezer jam for months to come!

Glass jars are a great way to store your freezer jam

Tips and Tricks

When making freezer jam, follow these tips for a tasty treat:

  • Choose ripe fruit for the best taste.
  • Wash and prep your fruit by removing stems and hulls.
  • Use a potato masher for the right fruit texture.
  • Pick your pectin type: low-sugar or no-sugar.
  • Combine sugar and pectin before mixing them with fruit.
  • Stir for at least three minutes to blend well.

For storing your jam, consider these options:




Seal in a jar or freezer bags and freeze for up to 6 months.


Use a water bath to seal jars for pantry storage.

Now go ahead and create your own tasty freezer jam. Enjoy!


Using Freezer Jam

How can you use freezer jam in everyday meals? Well, you're in luck! You can enjoy freezer jam in various ways; all you have to do is get creative.

First, put your freezer jam in the refrigerator to set it for a few hours. When it's time to use your jam, give it some time to thaw.

What do you like to have with jam? Toast is a classic choice. Spread some freezer jam on your warm toast for a fruity burst of flavor. You can even use it as a topping for yogurt or cheese, giving your snack an extra touch of sweetness.

When it comes to desserts, freezer jam won't disappoint you. Surprise your taste buds by adding them to ice cream, making a unique and tasty treat. There's no limit to how you can use freezer jam, so go ahead and experiment with your favorite dishes.

Safety Considerations

When making a freezer jam, keep in mind some safety tips to ensure your jam stays fresh and delicious.

First, always wash your hands before handling any ingredients. Next, clean all jars or containers you'll use for storage. You don't need to sterilize the jars for freezer jam, but cleaning them is essential.

Bacteria might cause issues in your jam, so you should choose fresh, ripe fruit. Wash it well to remove any dirt or contaminants. Remember that using overripe or underripe fruit can affect the jam's taste and consistency.

The Spruce Eats recommends not doubling recipes as it can interfere with the jam's setting process. Instead, make separate batches to ensure a proper result.

If you choose to use frozen fruit, be sure it's unsweetened. Thaw the fruit before starting the jam-making process.

Keep an eye on the shelf life of your freezer jam. Store it in the freezer for up to a year or in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Always refrigerate after opening to maintain freshness and quality.

Popular Freezer Jam Variations

Freezer jam is an easy and tasty way to preserve your favorite fruits. There are several popular variations to try, so you'll never get bored.

Strawberry Freezer Jam Recipe

This classic flavor is a crowd-pleaser. To make the homemade strawberry jam, wash and hull fresh strawberries, then crush them using a potato masher. Mix the crushed berries with granulated sugar and pectin. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes. Once ready, transfer it to jars or bags and store them in the freezer. Enjoy this delicious spread with toast or even yogurt!

Watch the magic unfold as Barb transforms fresh strawberries into a delectable jam!

Peach Freezer Jam

Peaches make a delightful freezer jam. Simply peel and chop ripe peaches and follow the same process as with strawberry freezer jam. Your friends and family will love this sweet and fruity spread.

Mixed Berry Freezer Jam

Why limit yourself to one fruit when you can enjoy a blend of different berries? For a mixed berry jam recipe, mix blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries in a bowl, then proceed with the same cooking method. This jam bursts with delicious flavors and colors.

In all these variations, you only need fruit, granulated sugar, pectin, and fruit juice (if necessary). So grab some fresh fruits and start making your freezer jam today!

Fresh fruits make for delicious freezer jam

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about freezer jam:

What is the difference between freezer jam and regular jam?

Freezer jam is made from fruit that isn't cooked or is barely cooked, which helps it retain its fresh taste and beautiful color. Regular jam, on the other hand, involves cooking the fruit with sugar, lemon juice, and/or pectin. Making freezer jam results in a much easier, more convenient, and faster method than making regular jam.

Is freezer jam better than canned jam?

It depends on your preferences. Freezer jam has a fresher taste and more vibrant color than canned jam due to the lack of cooking involved. However, the canned jam has a longer shelf life and doesn't require freezer space for storage. Choose the jam that best suits your needs and taste preferences.

Do you need special jars for freezer jam?

You don't need to use special jars for freezer jam, but the jars should be clean before use. Freezer jam can be stored in the freezer for up to a year or in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Make sure to use containers that are suitable for freezing, such as plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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