There are two delicious ways to make classic homemade strawberry jam – you can make it and can it or you can make Strawberry Freezer Jam. We’re laying it all out so you can decide which works for you.
If you’re thinking about making strawberry jam, you’ve also probably searched and seen there are several ways to make it. The two main ways to make strawberry jam are cooked jam that is canned in a hot water bath like our Homemade Strawberry Jam (that’s the one on the right below), and our Strawberry Freezer Jam (on the left) that requires little to no cooking and that is preserved in the freezer rather than using a hot water canning process.
Now that we’ve shared the different preparation methods, you need to figure out which one works best for you. Let’s break down the pros and cons of each one.
Home Canned Strawberry Jam
Strawberry Jam Pros:
- More jam-like (sets up better than freezer jam)
- Smoother consistency (no grittiness from undissolved sugar/pectin)
- Shelf-stable, taking less room in your freezer
Strawberry Jam Cons:
- Multiple step process to make
- End color is darker than actual color of fruit
- Requires more sugar than freezer jam
- Have to be careful to make sure the jars/lids seal properly
Strawberry Freezer Jam
Strawberry Freezer Jam Pros:
- Easy to make
- Little or no cooking required, depending on the recipe
- Retains bright color of the fruit
- Doesn’t require as much sugar as canned jam (sugar is used more as a sweetener, rather than a preservative)
- Can put in any freezer-friendly container
- More natural fruit taste
Strawberry Freezer Jam Cons:
- Takes up precious freezer space
- More of a thinner, sauce-like consistency than an actual jam
- If using a no cook recipe, the sugar and pectin might not fully dissolve causing a slightly gritty consistency
The method you choose depends on: how much space you have in your kitchen, the time and energy you want to put into your jam-making session, the consistency and taste of the final product you prefer and how you want to store your strawberry jam.
I like both types of jam for different reasons and can’t say one is necessarily better than the other. We use and love both in our house. The canned/cooked strawberry jam is perfect for sandwiches and toast, while the freezer strawberry jam also works great as a spread in crepes or as a topping for vanilla ice cream. Either way, it’s strawberry jam and you can’t go wrong!
This post originally appeared in June 2018 and was revised and republished in April 2022.