Making Jam in a Zojirushi Bread Maker + Giveaway


Most of the time, I make jam on my turquoise, 45 year old, electric stove. I’ve also made jam on a camp stove, on an induction burner, on an plain gas stove and even on a high-powered commercial gas range. And now, I’ve even made jam in a bread machine.

high tech berry masher

Several months ago, I spotted this post on the King Arthur Flour blog, in which they make a batch of strawberry jam in a Zojirushi bread machine. Being that I’m fascinated by all things having to do with jam making (don’t tell me you didn’t notice), I determined that this was something I wanted to try. In the interest of science, of course.

berries, sugar, lemon

I got in touch with the folks at Zojirushi and they very nicely agreed to give me a review unit so that I could see how this whole bread machine jam thing worked. It arrived on my birthday (which was more than a month ago now) and I spent at least a week circling it warily, uncertain whether I wanted to trust my fruit to an automated machine that wouldn’t let me control the heat source.

adding lemon juice

Finally I unswaddled it from boxes and styrofoam, mashed up two cups of strawberries and got to work. The instructions that come with the Zojirushi say to combine 2 cups of crushed berries, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. For the first round, I followed the instructions exactly and cooked the jam without any additional pectin.

about to cook the jam

Fruit, sugar and lemon juice go into the pan. Then you close the lid and set it to the jam setting (don’t be fooled by the 3:45 time in the picture above, I took that before I set it run the jam cycle. It only takes 1:20 to make jam in the Zojirushi). When the cooking time is up, the machine issues a couple of friendly beeps so that you can rush over and check on your jam (that is, if you weren’t hovering very nearby, occasionally lifting the lid a little to peek at the progress).

80 minutes

So here’s the good news. This machine, which was designed to bake bread, makes perfectly adequate jam. It gets quite hot, the paddles keep the jam moving to prevent any scorching and it’s dead easy to use. If you’re the type who likes to freeze fruit and make small batches of jam throughout the year, making your jam in a Zojirushi is a really good option. However, it has a major flaw as a jam maker and that is that with the lid closed, you’re just never going to get the necessary amount of evaporation to get a really thick jammy jam.

I did one batch without pectin (sorry, no pictures of the jam with pectin, I knocked it over just after pouring it into the jar and splattered my kitchen entirely in sticky fruit spray) and one with and both remained stubbornly runny and without the body that a good jam should have (though the batch with 2 teaspoons of powdered pectin did firm up more than the batch without).

strawberry jam made in the zo

The picture below pairs a stove cooked jam (on the left) with the jam cooked in this bread machine. You can see the difference in the body of the jam. The stove top jam reduced by more than 1/3 during cooking, resulting in a thick-set, glossy jam. The bread machine jam on the right is juicier and has saturated the bread with its syrup. Not a bad thing, but an imperfect thing to use on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It would be perfect stirred into yogurt or drizzled on ice cream though.

jammy toast

I will say that I’ve been absolutely blown away by the quality of the bread that the Zojirushi makes. Of course I couldn’t resist using it to bake up a few loaves while it was hanging out in my kitchen and wow. We haven’t bought bread in weeks thanks to this machine.

Now comes the fun part. Zojirushi has given me one bread/jam machine to giveaway to one of my readers, so that you can experience with making your fruit preserves on your counter top. To enter, leave a comment and share a story of jam making (when I taught canning classes at Terrain at Styer’s last summer, I made jam in a barn. That’s where we used camp stoves. It was really, really hot). One entry per person. United States residents only. Winner will be selected at random. Comments will close on Friday, June 24 at 11:59 p.m. and the winner will be posted the next day. Good luck!

Disclosure: Zojirushi gave me a bread machine in which to make jam as well as the one I’m giving away (all of this at no cost). However, my opinions are all my own.

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663 Responses to Making Jam in a Zojirushi Bread Maker + Giveaway

  1. 651
    Maleah says:

    I’ve recently made my first two jams….no pectin strawberry and a peach jam with uber pectin!! Blech, I can do without super pectin. I had several nicely ripe/partly green peaches and I should’ve trusted my gut not to dump that whole box of pectin in. Next time, next time I tell ya!

  2. 652
    PJ Gutentag says:

    I always loved the idea of making jam as a kid, but my family always thought it was crazy to contemplate. Cut to joining an organic food buying club and haivng all sorts of fruit and veg and learning to love berries! Small batch jam making?? Refrigerator/Freezer Jam? Jam in the microwave??? All do-able thatnks to tips I picked up via Food In Jars and the miracle of the interwebs. Now.. just to learn to like jam….

  3. 653
    Heide says:

    I love to can! My husband uses the word “obsession”–I tend to think of it as “thrifty” & “fun”. 🙂 My first jam making experience involved a thirty year old stove, strawberries from the garden, and a lot of taste-testing. Somehow my rapid boil turned into a violent overflow of strawberry goodness all over my stove (I may have been distracted by a shiny object). All in all, it turned out good & jammy once it made its way into jars. Now, I’ve evolved & learned, and can or freeze just about everything that comes out of my garden.

  4. 654

    I recently made strawberry jam for the first time. I packed everything up and went to my local cannery. It was a great experience and I made some great new friends, but I would like to find a recipe that uses less sugar for the next time. Would love to win this machine.
    Thanks for the opportunity.
    Karen from Karen’s Kozy Kitchen
    Please note: my blog site is not completely ready yet, but is far enough along to be bookmarked.

  5. 655
    Christine says:

    I haven’t made many jams but have spent hours over a number of stoves trying to re-create the amazing home made orange marmalade I gorged on in Australia. Hoping to have enough strawberries left from the garden this year to make jam but the baskets keep emptying every time on of my children walk by.

  6. 656
    Kathy says:

    I haven’t actually canned anything myself, but I like to “help” my sister with her canning. Her efforts are much appreciated!

  7. 657

    I grew up helping my dear sweet Aunt Ruth make her home made jams made from the fruits she grew in her garden. She has been the main inspiration for our family cookbook that now is our web site www.
    In my family cookbook I wrote this about her: Titled Wax on Jam.
    Aunt Ruth was always making jelly and jam.
    I still remember the cabinet downstairs where she stored her glistening gems.
    Oh, how good they were ! Sunlight shining through the wax topped vibrance looked like sparkling Christmas lights. I still can’t throw out a jar, no matter how small.
    ‘Could use it for a little jam.’

    I would LOVE to win your bread machine…thanks for offering this contest! ~ Kim

  8. 658
    Can you can? says:

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  9. 659

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