Homemade Strawberry Jam: How Long Does It Last and Best Storage Tips:
Are you a fan of sweet, delicious strawberry jam? Making your own jams can be a great way to enjoy the best quality, seasonal fruit preserves with less sugar and more control over the ingredients than with a store-bought variety. If you’ve recently made a batch of homemade strawberry jam using a simple recipe with lemon juice and fresh ripe strawberries, (Like this recipe for Strawberry Compote,) you might be wondering about its shelf life and the best way to store it. Here’s everything you need to know:
Supplies needed for Strawberry Jam and preserving it:
- Potato Masher
- Large Pot
- Clean Jars or another airtight container
Tips for Storing Strawberry Jam:
1. Shelf Life of Homemade Strawberry Jam: The shelf life of strawberry jam depends on how it is stored and the ingredients used during the cooking process. If you follow a traditional water bath canning method and use the right ratio of sugar and lemon juice for acidity, homemade strawberry jam can last up to 1 year or even longer.
2. Storage Conditions: To ensure the best results and a long shelf life, it’s important to store your homemade strawberry jam properly. After making the jam, allow it to cool in the jar before storing. Store the jar of jam in a cool, or room temperature dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources, like on a pantry shelf or in a dry place. Don’t store it in a warm or humid environment, as this can lead to a shorter shelf life and maybe spoiling.
3. Use Clean and Airtight Containers: Using clean and airtight glass jars is crucial when preserving jams. Make sure the jars are thoroughly cleaned with soapy water and dried before adding the jam. The airtight seal will prevent the growth of bacteria and yeast, keeping your jam fresh for a longer.
4. Unopened Jam: An unopened jar of homemade strawberry jam can stay fresh for a year or even longer if stored correctly. However, it’s a good idea to check for signs of spoilage before using, such as mold growth, weird odors, or an unnatural appearance.
5. Opened Jam: Once you open a jar of homemade strawberry jam, the shelf life is obviously shorter. Expect the jam to last around 1 month if refrigerated. Always check the jar for growth of mold or smell before using. My rule of thumb is if it looks and smells good- it’s ok to eat.
6. Freezer Jam Alternative: If (like me,) you don’t feel up for the extra steps of canning, consider making freezer jam. Freezer jam uses natural pectin found in fresh berries instead of relying on the cooking process to set. It has a fresh flavor a vibrant color but must be stored in freezer-safe containers. When properly stored in the freezer, it can last up to a year. I always suggest leaving some space on the top of the jar or container because it will expand as it cools.
In Conclusion:Homemade strawberry jam is a delicious treat that can last a long time when stored properly. Whether you make small batches or can larger quantities, following the right procedures and using clean, airtight containers will help extend its shelf life. Enjoy your strawberry jam on toast, as a dollop of strawberry jam on ice cream, or mixed into your favorite peanut butter sandwich.
Remember, the information provided in this post is for informational purposes only. When canning or preserving food at home, always prioritize food safety and follow reliable and up-to-date guidelines to ensure the best quality and longer shelf life of your homemade jams.
This easy recipe for Strawberry Compote is everything you want in strawberry jam but without fruit pectin. I currently have 4 jars in the freezer and we’ll be using it all year long!