Strawberry Freezer Jam

Local Strawberries

Last summer I made my first batch of homemade jam – peach jam, to be exact.  While not difficult, the process was a bit labor-intensive:  I sterilized jars, peeled and chopped fruit, boiled down the fruit and sugar, and even processed the filled jars in a water bath.  It was well worth the effort and I was quite proud of myself for successfully preserving that small bit of the summer’s bounty.  And with that first batch of jam under my belt, I had been making plans to can all kinds of jam this summer.

But now I’ve discovered freezer jam.

Today I made fresh strawberry jam in less than 30 minutes and it might be the best strawberry jam I’ve ever tasted!  I didn’t have to deal with hot glass jars or bubbling hot fruit lava either.

Ready for Strawberry Freezer Jam

I’ve heard people talk about freezer jam for years but I never really understood the difference between freezer jam and what I thought of as “real jam.”  All I knew was that freezer jam was supposed to be much easier to make than jam canned the old-fashioned way.  I figured that since it was so easy to prepare, freezer jam must somehow be inferior to the homemade jam that I grew up eating.

I was completely wrong.

Strawberry freezer jam is different than the strawberry jam I grew up eating, but it’s certainly not inferior.  Because the berries aren’t cooked, the jam has a much fresher flavor than canned strawberry jam.  Freezer jam isn’t as thick as the canned jam, but it has a nice spoonable consistency that works equally well as a spread or a topping.  I’m planning on stirring some into plain yogurt for breakfast.

The main difference between freezer jam and canned jam is how it’s stored.  Because it has not been cooked, freezer jam must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.  It will only last a few weeks in the refrigerator, so it’s best to store it in small containers that will be used up fast.  You can keep one container in the refrigerator and store the rest in the freezer for up to a year.

For today’s strawberry jam I used Ball No Cook Freezer Jam Pectin.  I followed the instructions on the package and even used the same brand of freezer jam jars, although any little plastic containers would work fine for storing the jam.

First I chopped a bunch of strawberries up in my food processor – enough to make four cups of strawberry purée.  This step can easily be done by hand if you don’t have a food processor – just hull and chop the berries and mash them with a potato masher.  You want to leave a bit of texture in the jam, so don’t mash them completely.

Strawberry Puree

Next I stirred in one and half cups of sugar (MUCH less sugar than is required for canned jam), the package of freezer jam pectin, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  The lemon juice wasn’t included in the package instructions, but it sounded good to me.  I stirred everything together for a few minutes until the sugar and pectin were completely dissolved.

Mixing Strawberry Freezer Jam

Once it was all stirred up, I poured the jam into clean plastic freezer jars.  That’s it!  It was really that simple.  I now have one jar in the fridge and four jars in the freezer to either give away or continue eating in the coming months.

Strawberry Freezer Jam in Plastic Containers

If you’re intimidated by the process of canning jam but have always wanted to give it a try, I highly recommend you start with freezer jam.  Have fun!

  1. Kathy - Panini Happy

    I tried freezer jam for the first time last summer and I totally agree with you – the fresh flavor of the strawberries is incredible. I don’t feel bad anymore that I don’t know how to can 🙂

    2:06 pm  May 14th, 2010
  2. Keith

    One of my favorite local breakfast places — The Maltby Cafe in Maltby, WA — serves awesome raspberry freezer jam with their biscuits. Every time I try it, I think “I *must* learn to make this!”

    And now I can. I can’t wait to try this with strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries.

    2:20 pm  May 14th, 2010
  3. DessertForTwo

    I didn’t know it was so much easier either! I’ll have to give it a try–strawberries are so cheap right now! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    2:46 pm  May 14th, 2010
  4. Deb

    Yum!! I love making freezer strawberry jam. We are still eating jam I made last summer. We seriously stock up on it. It is soooo good! We still have some raspberries and blueberries in the freezer as well. I’ve been rationing them all winter long 🙂

    3:19 pm  May 14th, 2010
  5. Sabrina

    Wow!!!I love love how easy this is. Can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for sharing!

    3:28 pm  May 14th, 2010
  6. Ciaochowlinda

    I’ll have to try freezer jam. I am always making the other kind that heats up the kitchen so much. Those strawberries look picture perfect.

    3:29 pm  May 14th, 2010
  7. Maribel

    Bookmarked! Thanks!

    3:31 pm  May 14th, 2010
  8. Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)

    I wanted to let you know that I just found your site after googling for whole wheat pumpkin pancakes. I had a silly, random craving for them tonight and when I saw your pics and noted your recipe’s ingredients, I was immediately sold. 😀

    Lovely recipe…thanks!

    And lovely blog too! 😀

    4:45 pm  May 14th, 2010
  9. Mary

    So glad to see others enjoying freezer jam. I made it the first time years ago and have been making it ever since. Thanks for the pictures now I can send my friends who have been saying – “Oh, it can’t be that easy” to see how easy it is to make. Thanks again

    6:16 pm  May 14th, 2010
  10. Deanna

    I just made strawberry freezer jam this week as well and we have consumed one little jar in a matter of days. It is some of the best stuff I have put my lips on 🙂 I don’t know how to can but as far as jelly goes, I’m not sure you can beat this!

    7:50 pm  May 14th, 2010
  11. Shannon Kay

    That looks amazing! The strawberries are so good right now, I love the idea of capturing them. Also, this looks like the jam that my best friend’s grandfather made. I never thought much about it, but they always got it out of the freezer. I loved that jam, and strawberries are my favorite food, I love it more than anything!

    I’m totally going to try this the next time we have money for stand berries and pectin and stuff.

    2:14 am  May 15th, 2010
  12. Joanne

    I am seriously afraid of canning traditional jam…I just don’t foresee putting me around that much boiling water as a good thing. But this looks like the perfect solution!

    5:29 am  May 15th, 2010
  13. Mister Meatball

    Strawberry season isn’t far away here in Maine. I will keep this in mind, thanks.

    5:32 am  May 15th, 2010
  14. Zibi

    This does sound easy. I wanted to start making jams this summer so we could still enjoy them over the winter, but I have been hesitant about sterilizing jars… I will definitely keep this in mind as alternative.

    7:59 am  May 15th, 2010
  15. Leesa

    Hi there…

    After living here in France for four years now… I feel like trying something other than cooking fruit to make jam will be really cool… I can’t wait to try out this recipe! I’ve never heard for freezer jam before this post.. I just ordered the jars on

    6:37 am  May 16th, 2010
  16. Lisa

    LOL OMG I have ALWAYS thought freezer jam was inferior. No, I have never had it but it was just what I thought. Shame on me. I feel so terrible about it now. But, I am glad someone else thought it as well. Anyway, for those who are AFRAID to can. Don’t be it’s the easiest thing in the world. I can everything and that has only been recently. I stated making canned strawberry jam about 20 years ago and only last summer got the nerve to can other things and I thought OMG what in the world was I afraid of ? As for the freezer jam YES I am going to try it. Thanks for the recipe and insight.

    8:54 am  May 16th, 2010
  17. Nastassia (Let Me Eat Cake)

    what! freezer jam! this is brilliant i have always avoided making jam because of all the time and labor involved, but i am going to buy me some berries and jam!

    8:58 am  May 16th, 2010
  18. Jason

    Reminds me of Fruit Slush

    9:19 am  May 16th, 2010
  19. Shaheen

    thanks for the detailed post nicole! funny, but i have never heard of freezer jam before. i like the idea of a fresher tasting jam like this one.

    9:21 am  May 16th, 2010
  20. Jessica

    Never heard of this before. Sounds worth trying for sure!

    4:49 pm  May 16th, 2010
  21. Julie C

    I’m so excited to try this!

    5:12 am  May 17th, 2010
  22. Julie

    I love freezer jam! I don’t have the equipment or patience for canned jam, so it’s perfect for me.

    I recently made a Strawberry Gewürztraminer freezer jam a few weeks ago that was so bright and delicious, I can’t wait to make it again! It’s blogged on my website if you’re interested. 🙂

    12:11 pm  May 17th, 2010
  23. Katherine

    This is my absolutely favorite way to make strawberry jam! I have actually never moved on to making any other kinds this way because I like the strawberry THAT much! It’s so good on everything – toast, ice cream, yogurt, granola, pb&j… oh yum. 🙂

    2:39 pm  May 17th, 2010
  24. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    You know how we can get strawberries for next to nothing here $?? I totally want to make this. My son zips through strawberry jam. Why not make it fresh, eh?

    5:54 am  May 18th, 2010
  25. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

    Yum! My mom used to make freezer jam in the summer after we would go to a “pick your own” strawberry farm. One of my favorites! I plan on making some this summer when I can get some local strawberries… And, I love those plastic jam containers in your picture… So handy!

    6:39 pm  May 18th, 2010
  26. Paula - bell'alimento

    I’m so trying this! I just canned a few jars of strawberry jam last month and it was labor intensive! My first efforts in fact & was quite proud but this sounds much BETTER : )

    6:06 pm  May 19th, 2010
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  29. JeanLafite

    So… just so I’m clear… after you make it, it has to freeze once to solidy… and then you put it in the fridge for use?

    11:38 am  Jun 1st, 2010
  30. Nicole

    JeanLafite – You don’t have to freeze it before use. One jar can be kept in the fridge… the others are just stored in freezer for later use. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks.

    11:42 am  Jun 1st, 2010
  31. Erica

    Thanks for the great info. I have wanted to make jam for a while, but initimidated by the canning process. This looks easy and delicious. I’m going to pick some strawberries this weekend and stock up!

    11:33 am  Jun 4th, 2010
  32. Jill

    Thanks for the wonderful inspiration and recipe….I am going strawberry picking today and this is very timely….1! Just a quick note to add, I am currently a grad student in Nutrition and Applied Physiology and have currently been learning about BPA components in hard plastic. It is nasty stuff and is a cancer causing agent that leaches from plastic into foods…I grabbed a quick article that talks about it (there are probably better and newer articles you can find if you google “BPA” and “Plastic”) so that you can read some info yourself.

    I am hoping that you can make freezer jam with glass containers and that you don’t need to use the plastic containers? I will do a little research and report back what I find. If anyone knows the answer, please let me know in the interim! Again thanks for the info and inspiration, great blog!

    5:53 am  Jun 12th, 2010
  33. Em

    I have a flat of strawberries I am picking up tonight, and guess what I am doing when I get home?? Lots and lots of jam! Thanks for this post! I look forward to trying this out.

    10:37 am  Jun 24th, 2010
  34. Angelie Boyd

    You do not say if you let your bottled strawberry jam sit for 24 hours before freezer. All the other Websites w/ strawberry jam recipes do. I like your recipe best; however, bcause you use half the sugar and am interested in whether you do the 24 hour set up step but forgot to include it in your recipe.
    As well: to Jill who is concerned about PBA leaching….buy glass freezer jars!

    2:09 pm  Sep 18th, 2010
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    11:50 pm  Dec 2nd, 2010
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  39. Megan Camp

    I grew up making strawberry freezer jam with my mom every summer (along with lots of other canning). We always use the recipe from the Sure-gel pectin. It’s so easy and delicious!!

    12:18 pm  Jan 2nd, 2011
  40. C. Daufen

    This recipe is VERY, VERY SIMILAR to the jam recipe that’s in the back of my breadmaker recipe booklet. The freezer jam sounds wonderful and I will give it a try. But, ‘breadmaker jam’ is AWESOME as well!

    7:26 am  Jan 5th, 2011
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  44. Ashley C

    I found the recipe through money saving mom’s website. I tried it and loved it!
    I was wondering if you could do this with grapes to make grape jelly. If so, do you have any tips for me?

    10:53 am  Apr 22nd, 2011
  45. Rebecca

    Searched google for freezer jam: congratulations your blog wins the find. I’m totally going to give this a try. Exactly how many strawberries make up 4 cups? Is that a normal container from the market? Not exactly strawberry season yet. Though I’m trying to get some alternative to store bought stuff (it’s so expensive and hardly made of fruit) full of corn syrup.
    Thanks for the blog post, greatly appreciate it. Looks easy.

    11:22 am  May 1st, 2011
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  47. Heidi W.

    I made this same recipie and it was amazing.
    To mash the strawberries I just cut them in half and put them in a gallon ziplock bag and squished them with my hands. It was super easy and I didn’t have to pull out the food processor!

    8:50 pm  May 17th, 2011
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  49. Helen

    I just made a year’s worth of Strawberry Freezer Jam yesterday. Just FYI- if you want to make the low-sugar type that is blogged here, you MUST use Freezer Jam Pectin which is a particular type.
    I prefer the regular freezer jam, made with liquid pectin. Less fruit and more sugar, but it’s the kind my family likes. I let mine stand for 24 hours at room temperature to set before freezing it. This year I made a couple of variations just for fun. I made two jars with balsamic vinegar added (instead of lemon juice) One and a half teaspoons of the balsamic vinegar stirred into each 1 cup jar of completed jam. Delicious! For another batch, I added 1 tablespoon of freshly grated lemon peel to the whole batch (my batch makes about 5 cups of jam) to make Zesty Strawberry Jam– it’s amazing! I love the zing of the lemon flavour. Try it!

    9:49 am  Jun 25th, 2011
  50. Helen

    Oh I forgot to mention- the jam recipes from the pectin packages always say to use a hand masher (a potato masher) to crush the berries rather than a food processor. I think this is to avoid turning the fruit to pure liquid. I find it’s pretty easy to mash them by hand in a single layer in a wide flat dish.

    9:53 am  Jun 25th, 2011
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  53. Gisele M.

    I love your site!!! I started making the Ball Freezer jam last summer. It is so easy and simple, it uses less sugar to. I used a potato masher and it worked great. I put the jelly into 8oz glass jelly jars w/ the metal bands, instead of plastic and it works great. I found an old canning jar recipe book and it talked about freezing in glass jars, let me say, it works!!! Just leave some headroom space in the top of the jar. It does last for a year in the freezer, and taste as good as the first jar you made!
    PS- You might want to try it over vanilla ice cream YUM-O!!!!!

    11:52 am  Aug 27th, 2011
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  55. Heather

    I love this as well. I have become a jam snob – I simply will not, under any circumstances, eat store bought jam. Yuck.

    But when I make it, I cook it. I combine the fruit, sugar and lemon juice, let it cook down to a nice thick consistency and then cool and freeze. I don’t use any pectin. It is a tad runnier than store bought, but actually not by much. It’s totally fine for spreading on toast etc. Getting that burst of local summer strawberry taste in the middle of winter is amazing. I buy flats of strawberries when I can make tons of it!

    5:28 am  Jun 19th, 2015
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