3-Ingredient Strawberry Jam – Instant Pot | Stove

March 1, 2020 (Updated: March 6, 2020) By Aneesha |

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This 3-ingredient Strawberry Jam recipe sings all things springtime. All you need is fresh strawberries, sugar and lemon juice (no pectin!) to make a few small jars of homemade jam you can store in the fridge or freezer. Make it in less than one hour in the Instant Pot or on the Stove.

strawberry preserves in glass jar with fresh strawberries

The Best Strawberry Jam Recipe Ever

It’s about that time of the year folks! Winter is coming to an end and springtime is upon us!

Which means, super-sweet, bright red strawberries will soon be in season and I cannot be more excited! One of my favorite activities to do with the girls this time of year is strawberry picking. Yes, picking your very own farm-fresh strawberries exists.

We get so excited, we always come back with TONS of vibrantly colored strawberries. So many, that I have to find new and interesting ways to use them – they are too precious to go to waste!

That’s why I decided to make The Best Strawberry Jam Recipe Ever! All you need is three simple ingredients – strawberries, sugar and lemon juice and you let your Instant Pot or Stovetop do all the work. It’s a wonderful homemade treat you can slather on toast, spoon into your morning oatmeal, or with crackers and cheese!

Strawberry Jam Without Pectin

Although many fruits (apples, pears, plums) are high in pectin (a natural fiber found in plant cell walls that binds with sugar and fruit acid to form a gel), strawberries do not contain a high amount of pectin.

To make a proper strawberry jam without pectin, we need to add an acid component and cook it down for 15-20 minutes so that the natural fruit juice can evaporate and cook down. After a bit of cooling time, the homemade jam thickens beautifully!

Ingredients For Strawberry Preserves

fresh strawberries in white bowl, lemon, sugar in measuring cup

This healthy strawberry jam recipe requires 3 ingredients and the help of your Instant Pot or Stove. I like to consider this strawberry preserves recipe healthy because we are using a far less amount of sugar than most homemade jam recipes. You will need:

  • Strawberries: If you are lucky enough to live near a U-Pick Farm for strawberries, I highly recommend making a weekend trip out of it and grabbing as many sweet strawberries as you can carry! If not, grab three pints from your nearest Farmer’s Market or two one-pound packages from your local grocery store. A pint contains 12 ounces of strawberries, so you need an extra pint to reach the 2-lb. total needed for this recipe. Once hulled, the strawberries will weight about 24-28 ounces.
  • Sugar: Regular granulated sugar is all you need. We are only using 1 cup of sugar in the whole recipe which is far less than the typical 3 cups (!) of sugar found in many other homemade jam recipes. (We’re taking advantage of the natural sugars from ripe strawberries here. )
  • Lemon Juice: Use freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than the store-bought bottled variety. Although there is some debate about using bottled lemon juice to control the amount of acidity, I found the fresh lemon juice to produce the best flavor overall.

Why Do You Put Lemon Juice In Strawberry Jam?

Lemon juice is needed for flavor. The sharp acidity helps balance the super sweet strawberries and sugar. But according to The Kitchn, the lemon juice also plays an important role for two reasons:

  1. Lowers the jam’s pH. The acid in lemon juice helps lower the strawberry jam’s pH, making it more acidic and allowing the natural pectin in the fruit to gel and thicken.
  2. For safe canning and to prevent the growth of bacteria. We will discuss canning in a bit, but since this is a homemade jam recipe rather than commercially bought, we need that extra bit of insurance to keep bacteria at bay.

How To Make Strawberry Jam From Scratch

This recipe for Strawberry Jam can be prepared in less than 1 hour in the Instant Pot or on the Stovetop! Prep the strawberries the same for both methods and then follow the directions below.

PREP Strawberries

  • Rinse and dry strawberries. Remove the green crowns (tops) and cut in half.
cut strawberries in instant pot, strawberries and sugar in instant pot, macerated strawberries, lemon juice and macerated strawberries in instant pot

MACERATE Strawberries

  • In a large mixing bowl or the steel pot of Instant Pot (if using IP), add strawberries and sugar. Toss to combine and leave aside for 10 minutes (Pics 1-3). The strawberries will start releasing their juices (Pic 4).
cooked strawberry jam in instant pot, mashing strawberries in instant pot, strawberry preserves boiling in instant pot, red spoonful of strawberry jam from instant pot

COOK Strawberries one of two Following Ways:

Instant Pot Strawberry Jam

  • Close lid and select pressure cook for 1 minute, HIGH pressure. Wait for natural pressure release. Open the lid after the pin drops (Pic 5).
  • Stir in lemon juice and turn on Saute mode. Using a potato masher, mash the strawberries till they break down, leaving some chunks (Pic 6).
  • Simmer to thicken the jam while stirring in between. It takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on the quantity (Pics 7 & 8). If you like the texture really smooth, puree it using an immersion blender.

Strawberry Preserves On The Stovetop

  • In a food processor, pulse strawberries until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a wide dutch oven or pasta pot. Tip: Using a wide and tall pot keeps the hot sugar bubbles from flying out of the pan.
  • Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high, stirring frequently until the jam bubbles and thickens, about 15-20 minutes. Note: Keep stirring in between to prevent the sugars from burning at the bottom.

Cool & Store

  • Let the jam cool completely. Transfer to a few airtight containers. Place in the fridge for up to 4 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

Why Didn’t My Strawberry Jam Set? – How To Fix It

freezer strawberry jam in glass jar with silver spoon with fresh strawberries

There are many different variables as to why the strawberry jelly did not set. It’s possible your strawberries didn’t contain enough natural sugar or you didn’t cook it for long enough.

Cooking Time + Sugar + Lemon Juice = Helps The Jam Gel

If you followed the directions and it didn’t set-up, you can allow the jam to set overnight in the fridge. If it still doesn’t thicken by the next morning, try cooking it for a few minutes longer.

If it doesn’t seem to be getting any thicker, try adding a bit more sugar and lemon juice and cook it a bit longer. Give it a taste test and adjust as needed.

Quick Tip To Know Your Jam Has Set

Here is a fun, quick tip to know your strawberry jam has cooked to the right consistency:

  • Place a small plate in the freezer to chill.
  • When it is very cold, spoon a few drops of the strawberry jam onto it and allow it to chill in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  • Give it a slight nudge with your finger. If you see wrinkles forming on the surface, then your jam has reduced enough to be thick (and not runny) when cooled.

How Long Does Strawberry Jam Last? – How To Make Freezer Jam

The length of time homemade strawberry jam lasts in the fridge or freezer all depends on proper storage. Although I typically do not sterilize glass jars for canning, if you are skilled in canning jams and jellies, you can certainly do so to get a longer shelf life.

However, I prefer to store my jams in the fridge or freezer. To store properly:

  • Wash jars or containers in hot, soapy water and thoroughly rinse and dry before filling. Since we’ll be refrigerating and using the jam within a few weeks, it is not necessary to sterilize the jars or process it in a boiling water bath canner.
  • Transfer the now-cooled strawberry jam to individual airtight containers, leaving a bit of space at the top (this helps if planning to freeze the jam as it will expand a bit in the freezer), seal tight, label and date.

Jam Stored In The Refridgerator

  • Store the canned strawberry jam in the back of your fridge for up to 4 weeks. To keep it as long as possible, don’t let it stand at room temperature for an extended period of time. Use it and return it to the refrigerator right away. Check for signs of spoilage (i.e. mold) after a few weeks.

Freezer Jam

  • Store the canned strawberry jam in your freezer for up to 2 months. This recipe makes several small jars, which means when you store a few in the freezer, all you have to do is pop one out to defrost in the fridge any time you’re running low.

Homemade Strawberry Jam Uses

easy strawberry jam in glass jar with silver spoon and fresh strawberries

I can think of a number of uses for homemade strawberry jam, but these are a few that come to mind that my girls and I simply adore!

  • Slather it on toasted bread, biscuits or English muffins
  • Warm it slightly and drizzle over pancakes, waffles or ice cream!
  • Dollop a spoonful into your morning oatmeal or yogurt
  • Spoon it on top of cheesecake
  • Pipe it into homemade muffins or cupcakes
  • Enjoy with cheese and crackers
  • Gift it to all your friends and family! (they will love you even more after that)

Recipe Tips For Strawberry Jam:

  • Purchase strawberries during their peak season for the best strawberry jam. This gives you a sweeter jam without having to add a ton of sugar. The season will vary depending on where you live, but the peak season for strawberries is typically late winter – early spring (March-May).
  • If your strawberries are small (typically ones from the farm are smaller), simply cut off the green tops and leave whole.
  • If using the Stovetop method, use a wide and tall pot to keep the hot sugar bubbles from flying out of the pan (a splatter screen comes in handy, too!). Also, make sure to keep stirring in between to prevent the sugars from burning at the bottom.
  • If you prefer the texture of your strawberry jam really smooth, puree it using an immersion blender.

More Fruit Preserves Recipes From My Kitchen

Another Recipe for Strawberry Lovers –> Chocolate Covered Strawberries

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below! For more quick & easy recipes, FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram,  Pinterest and Youtube.

strawberry preserves in glass jar with fresh strawberries

3-Ingredient Strawberry Jam – Instant Pot | Stove

This 3-ingredient Strawberry Jam recipe made with strawberries, sugar and lemon juice (no pectin!) makes a few small jars to store in the fridge or freezer.
4.6 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Simmer: 15 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 33kcal
Author: Aneesha Gupta

Ingredients

Equipment

Instructions

Prep Strawberries

  • Rinse and dry strawberries. Remove the green crowns (tops) and cut in half.

Macerate Strawberries

  • In a large mixing bowl or the steel pot of Instant Pot (if using IP), add strawberries and sugar. Toss to combine and leave aside for 10 minutes. The strawberries will start releasing their juices.

Instant Pot Method

  • Close lid and select pressure cook for 1 minute, HIGH pressure. Wait for natural pressure release. Open the lid after the pin drops
  • Stir in lemon juice and turn on Saute mode. Using a potato masher, mash the strawberries till they break down leaving some chunks.
  • Simmer to thicken the jam while stirring in between. It takes somewhere between 15-20 minutes, depending on the quantity. If you like the texture really smooth, puree it using an immersion blender.

Stovetop

  • In a food processor, pulse strawberries until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a wide dutch oven or pasta pot. Tip: Using a wide and tall pot keeps the hot sugar bubbles from flying out of the pan.
  • Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high, stirring frequently until the jam bubbles and thickens. It can take up 15-20 minutes depending on the quantity. Note: Keep stirring in between to prevent the sugars from burning at the bottom.

Cool and Store

  • Let the jam cool completely. Store in airtight containers and refrigerate up to 4 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Video

Notes & Recipe Tips

Recipe Tips For Strawberry Jam:
  • Purchase strawberries during their peak season for the best strawberry jam. This gives you a sweeter jam without having to add a ton of sugar. The season will vary depending on where you live, but the peak season for strawberries is typically late winter – early spring (March-May).
  • If your strawberries are small (typically ones from the farm are smaller), simply cut off the green tops and leave whole.
  • If using the Stovetop method, use a wide and tall pot to keep the hot sugar bubbles from flying out of the pan (a splatter screen comes in handy, too!). Also, make sure to keep stirring in between to prevent the sugars from burning at the bottom.
  • If you prefer the texture of your strawberry jam really smooth, puree it using an immersion blender.
Time To Make Strawberry Jam:
Prep: 10 minutes; Macerate: 10 minutes; Pressure Cook: 10 minutes;  Natural Pressure Release: 10 minutes; Simmer: 15 minutes. Total time: About 55 minutes.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates for 1 Tablespoon of jam.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 33kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade strawberry jam, instant pot strawberry jam, strawberry jam, strawberry preserves
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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