How To Make Jam — The Easy Canning Process

I’m ever so happy to see you today. Grab a cup of coffee and join me in the kitchen for our beginner canning tutorial.

Okay, so you’ve tried your little test batch, adjusted the sugar and are ready to can like crazy. Just wait ’til you open one of your long term storage jars on some blustrous winter morning. All the tastes of Summer. Yum!

Here were the first steps, in case you missed them:

How To Make Jam — A Beginner Tutorial

How To Make Jam — The Canning Supplies

Here we go:

1. Wash everything.

Every pot, spoon, tong, tool, jar, dome lid and band. Plus, every surface you might possibly use.

2. Place mostly dried jars, on their sides, in a slow oven ( 200 degrees Fahrenheit ) for one hour to sterilize a load of jar at once.

3. Meanwhile place all the tools, dome lids and bands in a pot of water no cooler than 180 degrees Farenheit for no less than 15 minutes.

3a. Set stock pot of water for water bath on high so it comes to a boil just before, your jars go into it. Yeah, this can take a while.

4. Make the jam of your choice.

5. After you skim any foam from the surface, pour the wicked hot jam into jars, using a canning funnel to keep things clean. This is called hot packing.

6. Using the magnetic lid lifter, place a dome lid on each hot jar.

7. Using the magnetic lid lifter to remove the bands from the scalding water, place them over each band.

8. Dip your hands in a giant bowl of ice water for a moment and screw on each band. Use a jar wrench to tighten, if you have one.

Note: If you have delicate hands, you may need to thrust your hands back into the icewater between each jar you tighten.

9. Place the jars into the boiling water bath.

Note: there should either be a canning rack or a bunch of band lids on the bottom of the water bath to prevent the jars from directly touching the bottom of the pot. Also, there should be at least 1 inch of water above the tops of the jars.

10. Process for 15 minutes.

Yup, that just means leave the jars in the boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Altitude adjustment: For every 1000 ft. you are above sea level, add 1 minute.

So for example: I live at 1050 ft. so I process my jam for 16 minutes. High Mountain Muse probably processes hers for a year and a half way up there on her mountain top.

11. Using the jar lifters, take the jars out of the water and set them to cool on whatever clean flat surface is left.

12. As the jars cool listen for that delightful popping sound of each jar sealing. You can tell it is sealed when you run your finger over the dome lid and it has sucked down. Man, that is a satisfying sound!

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a rainbow of sparkly jams all set to nourish your family until next canning season.

Now, who’s baking the biscuits?


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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Having read this I thought it was very informative.
    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this content together.
    I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  2. I concur with Lyn about the necessity of a water bath for jam, I have been canning jams and jellies for 50 years and have never had a problem…water bath not necessary if jars are hot and jam is hot. This is a fairly new guideline set out by USDA.
    Do not heat up the BANDS only the lids, and yes, HAND tighten only. Make sure everything is scrupulously CLEAN before you start and you should be fine.

  3. After washing the jars and processing them in a water bath, shouldn’t the jars be completely dry before pouring in the hot jam? Also, can you refrigerate immediately once the jars are sealed and still hot or should you wait until the jam jars are completely cold?

  4. thanks now i know how to make a jam and now i have learn to make a jam easily so thanks for your information.

  5. I have never found a water bath to be necessary in canning jam.
    I have been canning for over 40 years. If jars are hot and jam is hot,
    then jars will seal. I always cover with a towel to prevent draft hitting hot jars. Jars will “pop” when they seal. Store in a cool area.

  6. […] hot jam into clean, sterilized jars and either process in a hot water bath, or allow to cool completely before placing in the […]

  7. How long are these shelf stable after canning? thanks for the great stuff! I have 5 gallons of strawberrys in juice I am getting ready to make jelly with! NUMMY! Wish me luck, is my first time!

  8. I lost my wrench so I only hand tighten now… no biggie. And over two years I haven’t found any difference between the two. Wrench seems to just add a step and be a pain in the neck to remove.
    Storage wise, also, I have seen no difference

    Anything you can do with blueberries, you can with raw pack. Simply rinse and treat as fresh. Although I do highly recommend at least one big batch of blueberry pancakes.

  9. I have a question – or two =). You say to tighten the bands with a jar wrench. My Ball Blue Book says to only tighten them ‘fingertip tight’ so that air can escape. Can you tell me the difference?

    Also, I have canned some raw-packed blueberries in simple syrup today because I have lots of blueberries and it was easy….but now I don’t know what to make with them =) Hahaha!

  10. Thank you for this. My husband and I are trying to buy our first house and I want to put tons and tons of fruit and veggie plants in the yards, but given how I tend to bite off more than I can chew I was getting worried that we’d end up with lots of rotting fruit. I’ve never canned before, but you make it sound so easy! Thank you.

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