Learn How to Make Strawberry Jam without Pectin in this full-length “How To” Class. This tutorial video also covers sugar-free jam and low-sugar jam options and provides a complete step-by-step Water Bath Canning Tutorial.

Watch the How to Make Strawberry Jam WITHOUT PECTIN (Sugar Free Jam and Low Sugar Jam Options) video

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Does Strawberry Jam Gel without Pectin?

Now, when I say, “No Pectin,” I’m not indicating that this Strawberry Jam lacks natural pectin. What I mean is this recipe does not include commercial pectin, such as the pectin in the little box that’s sold in the canning section of your local grocery store.

Instead of relying on store-bought pectin, we are going to make jam just like our moms and grandmothers did. Instead, we’re going to rely on the natural pectin that occurs in abundance in certain fruits.

Replace Store-Bought Pectin with Lemon Juice

For this Strawberry Jam recipe, we’re going to use lemon juice, as well as the leftover lemon rinds, to provide all the pectin we need. These natural pectin sources create a beautiful jam that has a wonderful consistency and flavor.

Now, you might be wondering about other high pectin fruits. What about using apples—specifically green apples or, better yet, crab apples?

These types of apples are high in pectin and are great for making homemade pectin. (We’ll have to do that another day!). However, to extract enough pectin from these types of apples, you’ll need to add a lot of apples to your jam, which will change your final product’s consistency.

So best to stick with lemon juice to make jam without pectin. You’ll be glad you did because the final product will have a great “gel” to it!

There’s One More Tip for a Great Jam Gel

Not only do you want to make sure that you have a strong form of natural fruit-based pectin in your Strawberry Jam, but there’s also another trick to making sure that your jam gels up nicely.

Once you bring your jam up to a rolling boil, as I show in my recipe video, you want to turn the heat down to medium and simmer your jam for about 15 minutes. This process allows some of the liquid to evaporate, assuring that your jam will be rich and thick once placed in jars and allowed to cool.

Making Homemade Strawberry Jam is Easy

If you’ve never made homemade jam before, you’re going to find out how easy it is once you give it a try. And now that you know you don’t need store-bought pectin, you can just pull out some fresh fruit from your fridge and get started.

Not only does this printable recipe work great for making strawberry jam without pectin, but you can also use any berries that you have on hand.

So get started today making your own jam. You’ll be glad that you did because nothing is as fresh tasting as your homemade jam!

More Canning Videos

Now that you’ve learned how to make Strawberry Jam without Pectin take the next step and learn about everything you’ll need to start water bath canning in your kitchen. I show you all the water bath canning books, supplies, and other equipment you’ll want for your future canning projects in the following videos.

More Canning Recipes

Once you have all your water bath canning supplies on hand, you can try, not only canning up your jams, but crushed tomatoes and pickles too! Your canned tomatoes and canned pickles will be wonderful staples to include in your traditional foods kitchen.

More Jam Recipes

If you’re up for more jams, try your hand at Low Sugar and No Sugar versions of Strawberry Jam and a Three Citrus Marmalade.

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Strawberry Jam Made Without Pectin (Low Sugar and Sugar Free Options)

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Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Water Bath Canning Time: 10 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Yield: 5 8-Ounce Jars
This strawberry jam made without pectin will be a delightful addition to your breakfast or dessert table. This recipe provides you with the steps to create strawberry jam with or without water bath canning.


  • Large heavy-bottomed saucepan
  • Water bath canner
  • Six 8-ounce canning jars (It is best to have one extra jar ready)
  • Six regular mouth new canning lids
  • Six regular mouth canning rings (bands)
  • Jar lifter
  • Ladle
  • Debubbler
  • White vinegar and paper towel or clean rag
  • Magnetized lid lifter
  • Candy thermometer, optional


  • 5 cups Crushed strawberries, approximately 2 1/2 – 3 pounds
  • 3 cups Sugar For a sugar free version, omit the sugar and add alternative sweetener of choice (See Discussion in Video.)
  • 1/2 cup Fresh lemon juice This is approximately the juice from three lemons.
  • Lemon rinds Use the lemon rinds leftover from squeezing out the fresh lemon juice.


Option 1 WITHOUT Water Bath Canning: Making Low Sugar or Sugar Free Strawberry Jam Without Pectin

  • On high heat, combine crushed strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon rinds in a large deep pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Skim off any foam that has accumulated on the top of the jam.
  • Turn heat down to medium and allow the jam to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes of simmering, remove the pot from heat and remove lemon rinds.
  • Allow the jam to cool slightly, and then ladle the jam into clean 8-ounce jars that have been washed in hot soapy water and are still quite warm to the touch. Put lids on the jars and refrigerate.
  • Jam will stay fresh, refrigerated for 6-9 months, whether unopened or opened.

Option 2 WITH Water Bath Canning: Making Low Sugar or Sugar Free Strawberry Jam Without Pectin

  • To water bath can your jam, first prepare the water bath canner and supplies. Place your jars in the water bath canner on the rack. Fill the water bath canner with water so that all the jars are submerged. Bring the water in your water bath canner up to a simmer. Wash the lids and the rings (bands) in warm soapy water. Rinse the items thoroughly, allow them to air dry, and then set them aside. (See video.)
  • On high heat, combine crushed strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon rinds in a large deep pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Skim off any foam that has accumulated on the top of the jam.
  • Turn heat down to medium and allow the jam to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes of simmering, remove the pot from heat and remove lemon rinds.
  • One at a time, remove a jar from the water bath canner and pour the water from the jar back into the canner. Be careful. The water will be very hot.
  • Place the jar on a cushioned surface and ladle hot jam into the hot jar, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles with the debubbler.
  • Wipe jar rim with a paper towel or a clean rag that has been dipped in white vinegar.
  • Use a magnetized lid lifter to place a lid on the jar rim. Secure the jar ring (band) until it's "fingertip tight." (See video.)
  • Using a jar lifter, place the jar back into the canner. Repeat this process with each jar until all the jars are filled and back in the canner.
  • Once all the jars are in the canner, put the lid on the canner.
  • Bring the water in the canner up to a boil. Once the water reaches boiling, process (boil) the jars for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the jars to rest in the canner for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, remove the jars and place them on a cushioned surface. DO NOT tilt the jars as you remove them from the canner.
  • Allow the jars to cool for 24 hours, then remove the rings (bands). Check the lids for a proper seal by verifying that the "button" on the top of the lid is depressed, and the lid should not flex. (See video.) Afterward, store the jam in your pantry. Your homemade jam is now shelf-stable for 18 months. Once opened, your jam will need to be refrigerated and will stay fresh for 6-9 months.



Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/strawberry-jam-without-pectin/
Copyright © 2020 Mary’s Nest, LLC, All Rights Reserved
Course: Jam, Jellies, and Marmalade
Cuisine: Americana
Keyword: Jam, Jam Made Without Pectin, Low Sugar Strawberry Jam, No Sugar Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Jam, Water Bath Canning
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  1. Cindy says:

    Mary, is there a way to make grape jam with red or green store bought grapes? Love your site!

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Definitely, I’ll add that to my list of requests! 🙂 Love, Mary

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