Canning 101: How To Save Runny Jam

jams for Barcamp Philly

A while back, I wrote a piece all about how to ensure that your jam sets. However, even when you keep all those tips in mind, there’s still a chance that you’ll wind up with a poor set. Here’s what you can do to salvage that jam.

If you don’t want to invest any additional work in that jam, all you have to do is change expectations. If it’s just sort of runny, call it preserves. If it’s totally sloshy, label it syrup and move on with your life.

However, if you’re committed to getting a nice, firm, jammy set, there is still hope. Here’s what you can do.

  1. First, you wait. Give the jam 24-48 hours to set up (because truly, sometimes it can take that long for pectin to reach the finished set).
  2. If it still hasn’t set, it’s time to determine how much jam needs to be recooked. You don’t want to remake more than 8 cups (4 pints) at a time.
  3. For every 4 cups of jam that needs to be remade, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon powdered pectin.
  4. Pour the jam into a low, wide pan and add the sugar and pectin combo. Stir until the sugar and pectin has dissolved. At this point, prepare your canning pot. Clean the jars and prep new lids.
  5. Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring the jam to a boil.
  6. Cook vigorously for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Look for signs of thickening.
  7. Test set using plate or sheeting test (both described here).
  8. When jam has reached the desired thickness, remove pot from heat.
  9. Pour jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply brand new lids and screw on the same old bands.
  10. Process in a boiling water bath canner for the amount of time requested in the recipe.
  11. When processing time is up, remove jars from bath. Let jars cool and then test seals.

That’s it!

Note: I have closed comments on this post because I am not able to offer jam set solutions on an individual basis. The instructions above should resolve most underset jams. For more on the topic of underset jams, read this post.


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336 Responses to Canning 101: How To Save Runny Jam

  1. 101
    Christopher Q. says:

    Strawberry jam turned out more like “poached strawberries in syrup”.

    Since strawberries are so “juicy and have a huge moisture content”, how do you
    figure out the ration of pectin to fruit?

    I’m pretty exacting in recipes, and now I have 8 jars of “strawberry syrup” and followed the recipes to a “T”………..

    I know that not many guys post on these sites, but I’m single and learning how to do “stuff for myself”.

    Both batches of pickled turned out GREAT, so I don’t know what I did wrong here with the jam.

    Any hint would be great, TYIA ;))

    • 101.1
      Marisa says:

      It’s not so much about pectin content, it’s about cooking time and width of the pan. Cooking times vary a lot. Keep checking for set as the jam boils and don’t take it off the heat until it passes the set tests. Read this post:

      • Jennifer Cosby says:

        What does the width of the pan have to do with it?

        • Marisa says:

          The wider the pot, the more surface area you have for evaporation. That means a faster, more efficient process of cooking down your product.

          • Kimberly says:

            huh. The instructions always say “sauce pan”, but I find that my largest saucepan is still too small for one batch. I used a large skillet, but I think if I check after 48 hours (tomorrow) and its still not set up all the way, I am going to use my power burner. I don’t think that my batch got up to temperature. 🙁

    • 101.2
      Debi R says:

      Started canning last year and had great success with applesauce & fruit butters. Yesterday, I cooked up the strawberry jam (sat in the frig for 24 hours w/2 cups of sugar) and ended up with very thin jam. Decided I didn’t cook it down enough prior to adding the pectin; dumped it all back in a 16″ frying pan and let it cook down more. Back in the jars, processed it up and still have a thinner jam then preferred, but at Marisa’s suggestion on an earlier post – it will be labeled strawberry syrup – might add the word rustic. The taste is wonderful; my city’s altitude is just under 4000 ft (processing times are adjusted accordingly), I am fully prepared to have, at times, different results. My friends and family have yet to show any disappointment and have no issue with sending emails that a replenishment would be appreciated.

      Thank you Marisa for all the guidance you offer – have both books and love them!!!!

    • 101.3
      Julie says:

      Did you cook the batch for too long after adding pectin? If the recipe says to boil for 1 minute after adding pectin, don’t boil for longer than that or the pectin breaks down…I found out the hard way!

    • 101.4
      Brian says:

      The book Jam On page 39. I know this is cryptic but its to long to list how to do it. I did to batches and both are perfect.

    • 101.5
      Brittany says:

      Hi! I know this is a old thread but maybe you’ll see it. I make lots of strawberry jam during the summer and never use pectin, I just use strawberries-sugar-dash of lemon juice and that’s it. Put it in a wide bottom anything and boil it up. I use a wooden muddle to help break down the strawberries a bit better. Let it cook until it thickens. How I consider it thickened is when the jam has gotten condensed to the point of being able to pull it around the pan and it doesn’t flood back. It’s a nice thick set but not to the point of a solid lol

  2. 102
    Deb S. says:

    Today I canned the same blackberry jam for the third time. It looks great and acts great in the pot, but after I process it in the canner, it looks runny again.
    The first time I waited 48 hours and today’s I waited 24 hours.
    I’ve make blackberry jam for years and have never had this happen.
    Can you tell me what might have caused this.
    I used the same pot each year, I had fresh pectin, and I used the same recipe that I have been using for years.
    It’s still runny.

    • 102.1
      Marisa says:

      It could be that the blackberries had a higher water content than the ones you used in years passed. It could be that the pectin company changed their formulation. It could be that the day was more humid than years past. This is why it’s always good to check for set prior to canning, because there’s always going to be some natural variation.

      • Sarah E. says:

        See my above comment. When I called the Sure-Jell hotline, they said sometimes it’s the acidity of the fruit that keeps it from setting up. I’m going to try the method above again, and see if it works. I’m crossing my fingers. P.S. When I called the Sure-Jell pectin hotline, they also apologized and they are sending me coupons for two free boxes of their product. I thought that was fair since I have a lot of money invested in the jam so far! I’d hate to throw it out.

      • Joyce Payne says:

        I made blackberry jam and its running made three batches and all was good and set until water bath? ? I had alittle extra and put it in fridge and it perfect what is going wronG with this

        • Marisa says:

          Give it time to set up again. Sometimes it takes a few days to return to set.

        • Donna Carter says:

          That happened to me as well, I will try to be patient and give it more time to set. Thank you for comment.

  3. 103
    Amy says:

    I was trying to save time, I thought, by making all of my apple jelly in one cooking. When it didn’t set after 24 hours I was told to re-cook it again and add another box of surejell. I started with 21 pints from the first cooking and am down to 18 pints after the second cooking. If it does not set this time do I just tell everyone to enjoy the apple syrup?

  4. 104
    Michelle says:

    I have a batch of wine jelly made with liquid pectin that has failed to set. Can I use the method I see on your webpage and simply heat it in a wide pot and stir in a Tablespoon of powdered pectin? Is it possible to mix pectin types and still obtain a set?

    • 104.1
      Marisa says:

      You can try it. My method works best with jams that have some fruit fiber in them. It’s not as effective with jellies.

  5. 105
    ljmoore says:

    I am have the same issue with runny grape jelly. I have tried twice to thicken it. I am brand new at canning so I think I will label it syurp for the grand baby and move on. I made wonder pickles and salsa but the jelly thing is an art form.

    • 105.1
      phoebe says:

      I am having the same problem. I have 9 jars of grape jelly that did not set. want to fix it, but not sure how to go about it. hope you have luck with yours.

      • Debbie says:

        I made High bush cranberry jelly and it did not set..twice. I added more liquid pectin and brought it to a boil again. No luck. So frustrating. So many different ways to make it. Boil after adding pectin, don’t boil. Which is the correct way. I have done both.

  6. 106
    Sandy says:

    I made apricot jam with a recipe that called for no pectin. It is all very runny. Can I save these. The taste is great, but they did not set.

  7. 107
    Barbara says:

    I was thrilled to find Canning 101: How To Save Runny Jam. The beach plum jam I prepared is a candidate for the thickening recipe, but I’m not sure how much powdered pectin to use. I have 12 pints to thicken (24 1/2 pint jars). Is the one tablespoon in your recipe enough? Thank you!

    • 107.1
      Marisa says:

      That’s a huge batch of jam! I’d probably use 3-4 tablespoons for a batch that size. My original suggestion of 1 tablespoon was for a batch of 3-4 pints in size.

  8. 108
    jon says:

    when remaking the jam are you using regular fruit pectin or no sugar pectin?

  9. 109
    Margaret says:

    Hi! I made a cranberry strawberry jam and my second batch is a bit runny. I’ve already processed it in the water bath and I’m waiting until tomorrow to see if it’s still runny. But if it is, can I open the jars and reheat and add more pectin? I used sure jell liquid pectin, and it’s four pints of jam. How much liquid pectin should I add? Thank you!

    • 109.1
      Jean says:

      Margaret, I made strawberry/cranberry jam yesterday too! I was using a Christmas jam recipe that I used last year with good results. This year’s batch turned out a little runny, although the taste is wonderful. I doubled the recipe, which I read now is a “no no”. I had about a cup and a half I did not have a jar for, that I was keeping in the refrigerator for personal use. I boiled it u til it reached 220 degrees, using a candy thermometer, while stirring continuously. I then did the plate test as described on this site, and it seems to have done the trick. It did get noticibly thicker, so I will wait and see. if it worked, I will buy new lids and reboil my jarred jam to 220, reseal and process in a water barh. Good luck with yours!

  10. 110
    ping says:

    your recipe didn’t indicate how may cups of runny jam to re-do

    • 110.1
      Marisa says:

      It’s true. Because it’s more of a technique than an exact formula. You reheat it with some additional pectin and see how it’s starting to set up. If it is still reluctant to set, you cook longer and perhaps add a little more pectin.

  11. 111
    Brandon Gerdes says:

    Hi I made 2 batches of strawberry jam and neither have set right they are soupy. How much liquid pectin do you recommend I use basically I have 6 quarts total to fix.

  12. 112
    Cory says:

    I made an orange jelly batch last night and the recipe says to wait 24 to set. The 24 hours are almost up and it’s still pretty runny. I’ll go ahead and wait 48 hours and see if it sets; if it doesn’t, i’ll attempt to reheat and add pectin. Due to work i won’t be able to be home til a day after, will it be ok to wait an extra 24 hours after the 48 before i attempt to fix it?

    • 112.1
      Marisa says:

      That is fine. I’ve waited weeks before remaking batches of jam.

      • beth says:

        so glad to see this comment! i have a batch of strawberry rhubarb that didn’t set up the way i wanted it to, although the jars did seal, and i’ve been ignoring the jars, as if that would make the frustration go away. 🙂 good to know it’s still okay to remake.

  13. 113
    Debra says:

    Frustrated! I have been canning most of my life and never had a problem. I am making peach jam, as I have for years. The only difference, this year I used liquid pectin and my jam won’t set! I am looking at 757 peaches that will rot quickly! I can’t use the powdered pectin as I get violently I’ll from any kind of artificial sweetener IT’S IN ALL OF THE POWDERED! When did they start using this poison? Does anyone have a suggestion? Thank you!

    • 113.1
      Charlie says:

      Hi Debra, I don’t know if you found a solution to your pectin conundrum but I read online that you can make your own pectin from oranges, lemons or you can add a grated sour apple to your jam to help it set up. Go to youtube and put in “making your own pectin”. Good luck

    • 113.2
      Bea says:

      Debra, did you know that you can use Pomona’s Universal Pectin? It’s activated by calcium water not sugar so you can use little to no sugar and there’s no artificial sweeteners in it!! Give that one a try. I never heard of it until this year and my orange marmalade is syrupy. It’s awesome! You can just add a little honey or anything and also you only use a couple of tsp for a batch of fruit!! Hope this helps.

  14. 114
    Amy says:

    I tried making apple cinnamon jelly. I followed the directions and I can’t get it to thicken. I tried adding more pectin and it’s not thickening.. Any ideas this is the third time trying..

    • 114.1
      Marisa says:

      Without knowing the recipe that you were using as a starting place, I can’t even begin to attempt to help. So sorry!

  15. 115
    Tara says:

    Do you know will this work with a freezer jam recipe? I used a different pectin than normal and didn’t think the prep would be different – read after the fact that it was different and now have runny jam. I used Ball Classic Real Fruit Pectin. Thanks in advance.

    • 115.1
      Marisa says:

      Freezer jams are an entirely different beast. These tips will not save freezer jam, because it’s an uncooked jam.

  16. 116
    Sharon says:

    My head is spinning. I made 3 batches of jam. The first one perfect. The second ok. Third, runny. I’ve been reading directions for ‘remakes’ and came across yours which seems to be the easiest. But I’m confused. Others call for water, more sugar, lemon juice, pectin. I feel this added sugar is too much. I see you add only pectin. Will it work?

    • 116.1
      Marisa says:

      There is no perfect solution to remaking jam. This technique works for me, but honestly, I can’t promise that it will work for you, because there are no guarantees in life or jam making.

      • Sharon says:

        It worked! I’ll admit I was a bit apprehensive to try it. But it was either that or syrup! My jam came out just right. I reboiled each batch, added the pectin and this morning my jam is great. Thank you Marisa. I’m glad I came across your site!

  17. 117
    nancy says:

    can you fix jelly ( that did’nt set ) the same way you fix jam .

  18. 118

    […] I was faced with several jars of syrup instead of jelly. Happily, I was able to find directions on how to rescue jelly and this story had a happy […]

  19. 119
    Brittany says:

    Can I do this same rescue with liquid pectin?

    • 119.1
      Marisa says:

      I don’t recommend it, because you have less control over the amount of pectin you end up using.

  20. 120
    Stacey says:

    Can I use this method of I started with liquid pectin ?

  21. 121
    Sarah V. says:

    Is there a companion post for jam that set up too firm? I used the recipe on your guest post from Todd Van Atter, for blueberry jam, and it is SET. (I was suspicious of two packets of pectin but I’m a new canner so I went with it. Oops!) Any advice?

  22. 122
    Kassy says:

    I have a question… I made my first batch of jam tonight but the recipe didn’t call for a water bath processing. I had hot jars and lids (not boiled lids), and I used boxed pectin in the recipe. I didn’t use as much sugar as the recipe called for, which I think now was a mistake. I added probably 3 cups of sugar instead of 4 cups. It seemed like a lot of sugar and tasting the jam while cooking tasted really sweet. It’s only been an hour since I finished making the jam, but my jam isn’t setting. I am nervous it won’t set! So if it doesn’t set, I would like to try to re-set it, but I am not sure how long to process it for. It’s Strawberry Saskatoon jam. Can you help me? Thanks!

    • 122.1
      Marisa says:

      Before you freak out about the set of this jam, let it sit for at least 24 hours. Jam rarely sets up immediately. It often needs to fully cool for a day before you can determine whether the set is too soft or not. However, if it doesn’t set, the issue may be the reduced sugar. At this point, you’re best off calling it sauce and not worrying about the set too much. For more about what sugar does in canning, read this blog post:

  23. 123

    new to this site and it answers all my questions – Great !

  24. 124
    LuAnne says:

    I made a tomato jam recipe that didn’t call for pectin. I was skeptical about it thickening enough but people were saying it turned out great so I tried it. I should have listened to myself because it’s very runny after 2 days…even the partial jar I put in the fridge is still runny. Can I use this method to thicken a jam that didn’t have pectin added to begin with? Instead of reprocessing, could I just heat the jam and add some pectin every time I open a new jar, then just keep that jam refrigerated? I used half pint jars, though, so that might be tricky.

    • 124.1
      Marisa says:

      I don’t think that this approach would work for tomato jam. Most tomato jams thicken through reduction, like fruit butters.

  25. 125
    Megan says:

    You say to add 1 TBSP of powdered pectin to the jam – but exactly how much liquid would be in the pot? There are many recipes out there – each one with difference jar sizes/amounts. Would it be 1 TBSP to 8 half pint jars?

    Also, it this no sugar required pectic or sugar required pectin? I have both on hand.

    I am planning on reprocessing my jam tonight so this information would be very helpful!

    • 125.1
      Marisa says:

      I use 1 tablespoon of conventional fruit pectin (the one that needs sugar) for an average sized batch of jam, which to my mind is one that starts with between three and four pounds of jam. However, there are a lot of variables here. Was this a low sugar batch of jam? If so, this approach may not work.

      Before you proceed, make sure to read this post:

  26. 126
    Jimmy johnson says:

    My wife used original sure jell when revipe called for no sugar pectin and peach jam did not set any thing we can do to save we tried the save or fix thst vomes in box but did not work

    • 126.1
      Marisa says:

      Unfortunately, there’s not a lot that you can do at this point. Call it peach sauce and move on.

  27. 127
    Kathleen says:

    I worked for 10 hours yesterday trying to make peach jam…my husband had gotten up early and peeled ALL the peaches, thinking he was helping me. I had 3 pots going all day long, one I was doing 1 batch in at a time, 1 had 2 batches at a time, and 1 had 3. I used liquid pectin for all. I never even water bathed them because I was falling asleep! Now I wake up this morning and none of them are set. I am new to canning jam and had no idea making large batches wouldn’t work. I have 60 quarts and 11 pints!!! Do you think I can fix them?

  28. 128
    Mo says:

    I just canned some peeper relish that required 16oz of liquid certo. I made a big mistake and only used 5.7 oz (what a dummy!!). I processed the jars and didn’t realize my mistake until after. I realize that the relish will be more runny, but will the relish still be preserved ok with the smaller amount of certo? I don’t want to poison anyone…thanks for any help you can give.

    • 128.1
      Marisa says:

      Pectin doesn’t make something safe or unsafe, so your relish is fine. I’m surprised that you have a recipe that calls for 16 ounces of liquid pectin, though. That’s a hell of a lot of pectin.

  29. 129
    Molly says:

    Reading through all the comments I see that you don’t recommend this method for jellies that had liquid pectin in the original recipe. Is there absolutely no hope for those? Could you point me to any other post you might have done covering this. The recipe I followed for rhubarb/habenero pepper jelly had a yield of 13 half-pints and I was counting on them being Christmas gifts but who wants syrup like that? Not a very useful product. Sad Canner Face here. Pomona’s from here on out, no more liquid pectin recipes!

  30. 130
    Margo says:

    Help! My red pepper relish recipe started with 4lb (9 large)sweet red shepherd peppers and 2 small hot (London like Italy) red peppers.6 cups sugar 1cup vinegar . After cooking for two hours and adding to pouches liquid certo (new) at the end (and keeping simmering as I quickly filled my 16 oven sterilized jars and added sterile lids…I got 11 cups of TOO hot unset “jelly”.how can I “cool” it and set it? I have more Liquid Certo and after I wait longer (so far refrigerating is no help)can I make a batch with No hots and combine? ( I only have two sons in law who like spicy) Did I kill the pectin by simmering while filling jars? (10 mins)
    I’m a discouraged rookie.

  31. 131
    Wanda says:

    I made 2 batches of strawberry jam (using the recipe included in the MCP pectin)… neither one set up :(, tried the ‘reboil, add a box of dissolved pectin) fix as per instructions… 1 batch set, 1 did not… now I’m not sure what to do?… just reboil 1 more time ?… add any more pectin?

    • 131.1
      Marisa says:

      How big are the batches you’re making? Try using a low wide pan and dividing the jam into two pans, for better evaporation.

      • Wanda says:

        each batch was per recipe… 5 3/4 cup of fruit and 8 1/2 cups sugar… = 11 cups
        … so just bring the jam back to a boil for …1 or 2 minutes???

        • Marisa says:

          You need to boil it until it thickens. One or two minutes isn’t going to be enough. Cook until the temperature elevates to 220 degrees F. That’s the point at which sugars thicken and bond with the pectin.

  32. 132
    Tina says:

    I’m just relieved to know it’s safe – this was my first attempt at jam and I was planning to give the jars as gifts. I’ve been online trying to find out if the texture meant my food wasn’t safe (the jars sealed just fine and I boiled them the whole time the recipe said to boil them). Now that I know my runny jam won’t kill anyone, I’ll just add some chocolate chips to the gift box and call it “ice cream topping”.

  33. 133
    susan says:

    what is the difference between Sure Jell and MCP by Sure jell?? Thanks,


    • 133.1
      Marisa says:

      Unfortunately, I really don’t know. I don’t use a lot of Sure Jell. I typically use either Ball or Pomona’s Pectins.

  34. 134
    Lewis Groome says:

    I tried to make cinnamon apple jelly with red delious apples. I measured 5 1/2 quarts of juice after straining the apples. I added 4 cups sugar and a box of or one package of Sure Jell and cooked the sure jell for 1 minute and mixed it in the apple juice. I checked the temperature at 220 degrees and removed from heat and added 2 drams of oil of cinnamon and stired real good and filled 8 oz jars a 1/4 inch from top and placed the seals and bands on tight and waited for the jars to seal. All the jars sealed, but none of them set. I went to bed for 7 hours to set. I got up this morning at 5:15am December 2 2016 and none of them set. How can I make this right? I was hoping to have Christmas presents made from this jelly and now I have nothing but runny solution. HELP!!!!!!

  35. 135
    bumpercars says:

    My crabapple jelly always comes out gooey. It’s not runny, but it is thick like honey. My other mainstay is chokecherry jelly which always results in a very nice firm set.

    I used sure jell pectin and used their recipe in their pamphlet. 7 cups of juice and 9 cups of sugar for one box of pectin. I gave it a hard rolling boil for 1 minute with the pectin in the juice and then another rolling boil for a minute after adding the sugar.

    In years past I always have trouble with my crabapple jelly. I tried different combinations of sugar, pectin and juice, but it always is either runny or pasty.

    what can cause this type of gooey set in fruit jelly?

    • 135.1
      Marisa says:

      I’ve not made that particular recipe and I’ve not encountered that gooey consistency before in making jelly, so I just have no idea.

      • bumpercars says:

        Here are two more questions, just to eliminate some variables.

        How closely do I have to watch the pH? should I buy a pH meter?
        I have read that pH can affect the pectin, which is why some recipes call for lemon juice.

        Once I add the sugar I don’t need to cook it to the gel temperature do I? I think you are not supposed to do that when using added pectin.

    • 135.2
      bumpercars says:

      here is a follow up:
      I made a second batch of the crabapple jelly from the same juice. This time I added about half a box of no-sugar pectin along with the box of regular pectin. I wanted to add pectin, but I did not want to add more sugar.
      This seems to have worked. The jelly from this batch is firm after setting overnight.
      I guess since I was using very ripe fruit the amount of natural pectin was lower than what the recipe was made for.

  36. 136
    The Hadster says:

    I made wonderful guava…. glaze. It was supposed to be a jelly, but it didn’t set. I followed your fix above, to the letter, and it still didn’t set. It’s thicker, but it didn’t set.

    So, now it’s a glaze. On the label it say’s “glaze.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I lost a jar of whatever in the boiling process of my fix, so I’m not going to try again. I will suggest brushing the glaze on porky bits or on fruit instead of melted apricot jam.

    Right now I’m listening to the wonderful “ping” or “pop” of the seal of jelly jars fresh out of the canner. I had a few bottles of left over wine. I measured them and then reduced them to the 3.5 cups called for in my recipe (from Ball). In the reducing wine I added some rosemary and bay leaf. Once I was down to 3.5 cups, I proceeded.

    Gosh, there was half a jar left over. I just took a taste of warm jam. It will be fabulous with cheese or as part of a glaze on meaty bits.

    Have a great holiday.

  37. 137
    Margaret says:

    How long can I wait before trying to fix my jam? I made a batch before Christmas and it never set up right, but it was processed and all jars sealed. I was going to fix it the next day but both kids got sick, then my 4 year old broke his arm, and just with holiday craziness I didn’t get a chance. Is it too late now to open them all up and cook again and add more pectin?

  38. 138
    Martha Barnett says:

    Made jalapeño jelly that did not set up-ideas? It’s a funny jelly that sets up one year and not the next-Add pouch of pectin? Tablespoon of powdered pectin? Thanks

  39. 139

    […] I left two jars as syrup and decided to try reprocessing the rest.  Based partly on Food in Jars instructions for fixing jam and partly on general reading, I took a couple tablespoons of […]

  40. 140
    Karen says:

    My mother is trying to make pear preserves and they’re too runny. She doesn’t use pectin. Is it possible for her to get them to thicken without it?

    • 140.1
      Marisa says:

      She could try cooking them longer. Unfortunately, pears are naturally low in pectin, so it’s hard to get them to set up firmly without additional pectin.

  41. 141
    Caty says:

    I am a novice jam maker. I’ve made several batches over the years, some have set, some have not, and I cannot seem to perfect the science of the process.

    One of my points of confusion arises from how long to boil the jam. The sure-gel instructions say to bring the fruit and sugar to a boil for exactly one minute, then add the pectin, and bring to a boil again for exactly one minute. It seems that boiling too long can cause the pectin to break down. yet, many websites recommend boiling for longer to produce a thickened jam. Which part of the process do you boil longer – the first boil or the second boil? Both? Am I going to break down the pectin, or cause it to thicken?

    Where am I going wrong?


    • 141.1
      Marisa says:

      Two minutes of boiling isn’t nearly enough to get jam to set up. Boiling too long can break down pectin, but it takes upwards of an hour of active boiling for that to happen.

  42. 142
    Laurette j.d. says:

    Made a batch of strawberry jam added 1cup of lemon juice instead of 1/4 cup!! Tried adding 2pkgs of liquid certo instead of ¹. And more sugar. Is noteworthy. Can I rebook and add powdered certo?

    • 142.1
      Marisa says:

      This doesn’t sound like a batch of jam that you should put any more effort into.

  43. 143
    Laura says:

    I have eight half pint jars of strawberry jam that didn’t set up thick enough…my question is can I redo that whole batch in one pot ? And if so how much pectin should I add?

    • 143.1
      Marisa says:

      Yes. Open up the jars and empty them back into the pot. As far as the pectin goes, there is no one perfect amount. Start with one tablespoon and work up, as needed.

  44. 144
    Zaney1 says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I’m so glad I found this! I love making jam and never had issues until this year. I didn’t know what went wrong but all but 1 of my batches didn’t set up. I later realized that it was because all but 1 of my batches were made with previously frozen fruit and I did not account for the extra liquid content. I had never made jam from frozen fruit before so I didn’t realize this would be a problem. I tried your method because all of the other methods I found wanted me to add extra water and/or sugar. I didn’t want to do that so I tried yours. It worked beautifully! Now instead of jars and jars of syrup I have lovely jars of jam! Oh and I mistakenly used powdered pectin to remake a batch that had used liquid pectin and it worked just fine.

  45. 145
    Melissa says:

    My husband decided to be super helpful last night after I made several batches of strawberry freezer jam and placed them in the freezer after I went to bed. They probably only sat out 3-4 hours before he did this, are they ruined?

  46. 146
    Cathy Phalen says:

    I Could use some answers/help please. Is it possible to fix a jam that didn’t require pectin with adding liquid pectin and recooking? Can one made a jelly bag and a spice bag at home, and what kind of material should be used for each, since I cannot locate a store that sells them?

    • 146.1
      Marisa says:

      Fixing jam that didn’t set is always chancy. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. You can certainly try it, though.

      And the best material to make spice bags and jelly bags from is butter muslin. It’s stronger than cheese cloth and can be reused more.

  47. 147
    Julie Smith says:

    I have 32 1/2 half pint jars of apple pie jam or should i say apple pie syrup plan to reprocess it and ad more pectin

  48. 148
    Karla Cole Sterrett says:

    I made prickly pear jelly but it didn’t set up – I now have 56 pints of syrup ?
    How do I re make it so it will jell?
    I’m just sick about this as I sell a lot of jelly normally but now just have this syrup?

  49. 149
    Bea says:

    I haven’t seen an answer on here since July 2017 so not sure if this will be answered or not but here goes. I made orange marmalade that is syrupy and no pectin was used. I cooked the meat, the peels and juice up to the 220°F stage. As soon as it reached the 220 I jarred it. I’m thinking I might need to reboil and do that freezer test, any advice? Should I try using Pomona’s Universal Pectin the low sugar kind not that Surejell as I’ve never in my life used a Pectin but I’m not wanting any of that kind for sure. Thanks

    • 149.1
      Marisa says:

      Pomona’s Pectin will not work with a preserve with a traditional amount of sugar. Your best bet is to reboil that marmalade until it passes multiple set tests (try the plate test).

  50. 150
    Carole Chappell says:

    Used guava for the first time for strawberry-guava jam. It’s beautiful but the set is too soft. I’ve not tried recooking wwith more pectin before. This is a lazy woman’s question – do I have to re-wash and re-sterilize the jars? I know to use new lids.


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