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Preserving Strawberries

Strawberry season is just around the corner in South Carolina. Having a plan to preserve fresh strawberries can mean more farm-fresh flavor year-round and less food waste. Strawberries are high acid foods and can be processed safely using a Boiling Water Canner or Atmospheric Steam Canner. For detailed information on home canning, please read HGIC 3040, Canning Foods at Home.

Strawberry Jam with Powdered Pectin

  • 5½ cups crushed strawberries (about 3-quart boxes strawberries)
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 8 cups sugar

Yield: About 9 or 10 half-pint jars

Procedure: Wash canning jars with warm soapy water and rinse. Sterilize by boiling them for 10 minutes, and then keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Keeping jars hot will prevent them from breaking when filled with the hot product. Prepare two-piece canning lids according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Sort and wash fully ripe strawberries; remove stems and caps. Crush berries.

Select fully ripe, firm berries with a deep red color. Rebecca Baxley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Select fully ripe, firm berries with a deep red color.
Rebecca Baxley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Sort and wash fully ripe strawberries; remove stems and caps. Crush berries. Rebecca Baxley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Sort and wash fully ripe strawberries; remove stems and caps. Crush berries.
Rebecca Baxley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Combine berries and pectin and stir well. Place on high heat and, stirring constantly, bring quickly to a full boil with bubbles over the entire surface. Add sugar, continue stirring, and heat again to a full bubbling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim.

Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Rebecca Baxley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Rebecca Baxley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Fill hot jam immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process half-pint or pint jars in a Boiling Water Canner or Atmospheric Steam Canner for 5 minutes at altitudes less than 1,000 feet sea level.

Fill hot jam immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Gayle Williford, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Fill hot jam immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.
Gayle Williford, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Source: So Easy to Preserve

If you want to avoid the canning process, strawberries can also be frozen.

Freezing Strawberries

Select fully ripe, firm berries with a deep red color. Discard immature and defective fruit. Wash and remove caps.

Whole Berries Syrup Pack: Put berries into containers and cover with cold 50 percent syrup (4 cups sugar, 4 cups water), leaving headspace. Seal and freeze.

Whole Berries Sugar Pack: Add ¾ cup sugar to 1-quart (1 1/3 pounds) strawberries and mix thoroughly. Stir until most of the sugar is dissolved or let stand for 15 minutes. Put into containers, leaving headspace. Seal and freeze.

Sliced or Crushed: Prepare for packing as for whole strawberries; then slice or crush partially or completely. To 1-quart (1 1/3 pounds) berries add ¾ cup sugar; mix thoroughly. Stir until most of the sugar is dissolved or let stand for 15 minutes. Pack into containers, leaving headspace. Seal and freeze.

Source: So Easy to Preserve

For variations of strawberry jam, including no-sugar options, read HGIC 3224 Strawberry Jam.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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