How to Make and Can Grape Jam!

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How to Make and Can Grape Jam!

Making and canning grape jam is easy to make and unlike it's cousin, grape jelly, it's hard to find on grocery store shelves. This is one jam that makes you glad that you can can! And if this is your first canning experience being able to make something you can't get in every grocery store will keep you canning for years to come.

How to Make and Can Grape Jam Step by Step:

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You can make grape jam from red, white or purple grapes. I used about 14 and 1/2 pounds of red seedless grapes to make four batches of  jam. To make one batch you'll need 3 and 1/2 pounds.

How to Make and Can Grape Jam!

 Wash your grapes.

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For one batch of  jam measure out 9 and 1/2 cups of grapes. I put them into my food processor to chop. You can cook the grapes and run them through a strainer to remove the skins if you prefer, but I didn't bother, I don't notice the skins in the final product. I'm more of a cook than a chef. I like my food to look pretty but my main focus is taste. (If you use purple or black grapes you might have to run them through a strainer if they have seeds.)

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My food processor "runneth" over. You can see the overflow. So be sure not to overfill the food processor. I should have put in about 4 cups at a time.

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 This is the consistency you're looking for.

How to Make and Can Grape Jam!

Go ahead and get your jars ready and put your canner on because things will move fast once you put the jam on the stove. Wash your jars.

How to Make and Can Grape Jam!

 Wash your lids.

How to Make and Can Grape Jam!

 Wash your rings.

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Place your canning jars in the oven. I let them heat up to 350 degrees to sterilize them for ten minutes then turn the oven to 200 degrees to keep them warm.

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Place all your lids and rings in a small pot. I bring this pot to a boil briefly and then turn it to low to keep it hot. This is to loosen the seal so you will have a good seal between the lid and the jar.

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 Put your grapes in a pot, add 2 and 1/3 cup water to them and simmer for about 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile measure out your pectin and sugar. For this recipe I used the Pectin Calculator on Ball's website. Although they say at the bottom to not work in amounts over 5 pints I always stretch it just a bit. I usually can jam in quarts. I have three hungry boys, so I have to work in large quantities. My goal here was 14 cups or 3 and 1/2 quarts. You can see I'm making a double batch in two separate pots (see above picture) so my goal was to fill 6 quart jars. (I only make two batches at a time. To make the other two I would simply repeat the process.) I use the low-sugar pectin from Ball. Here I added 8 tablespoons. I always use a little less pectin than Ball requires because I think most of their recipes require too much. It's a matter of personal preference - if you want your jam stiff then use more pectin. Add the pectin slowly or it might clump. Also, you want to stir constantly. After you add your pectin bring your jam to a boil that you can't stir down. Don't walk away.

How to Make and Can Grape Jam!

I use the low-sugar pectin so I don't have to use a lot of sugar although I still use some. Here I used 3 and 1/4 cups sugar per batch. Bring the jam back up to a boil for about one minute.

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 Now you're ready to place the jam in your jars.

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Check your headspace. On this jam you should have 1/4 inch headspace. You can see here that I have a little foam on the top of my jars. You can stir in a bit of butter (1/4 t) if you want to reduce your foam. I follow a plant based diet so I don't add butter. The foam does not bother me.

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Remove the air bubbles from the jars. Although it seems I can never get them all out, this handy tool helps. The other end of the air bubble remover helps measure the headspace.

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 Wipe off the rims of the jars so that you can get a good seal.

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Remove the rings from the pot. This tool has a magnet on the end and makes it easier to grab the rings and the lids. Also, if you place the lids and rings in the pot inside each other like you see I've done in the picture this will prevent the tops from sticking.

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 Place the lids on the jars.

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Place the rings on the jars and tighten “finger tight.” Finger tight means not too tight and not too loose. Just tighten them as far as they will go without forcing them. You can see I only got 5 quarts and a little bit. It never works out exactly. I always just make sure I have one extra jar prepared just in case.

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 Place the jars in the canner.

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Bring the water to a boil and start the timer. Grape jam should be processed (boiled) for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. You can find adjustments for altitude here. To look up your altitude go here. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for about 5 minutes. I love my new canner made by Victorio - you can see when the water starts to boil without having to lift the lid. It also has two steam vents in the lid.

How to Make and Can Grape Jam!

 Then remove the jars from the canner.

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Let your jars sit and cool for at least eight hours. Remove the rings. If the rings stay on and the lid fails (becomes unsealed) while the ring is on, the lid may reseal itself. However, bacteria has already invaded the jar and the food should not be eaten; with the ring left on there is no way you will know about the resealing. If the rings are off the lid has no pressure to reseal itself so if the lid seal fails then you’ll know and you can throw that jar out. Label and put away.


How to Make and Can Grape Jam!

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  1. Laura says

    Love how you left the skins on- for the resverstrol antioxidant intact (as good as red wine for your heart). I'm gonna try this but mix it up and do it with blueberries and maybe gel it with chia seeds. Mega healthy.

  2. Rich Axtman says

    Confusing Grape Jam recipe. Since I sieved my grapes to remove seeds and added 1/2 chopped and boiled skins back in, I have to go by volume when adding pectin and sugar. I have 2 batches of cooked strained jam, each of 5 quarts ready to have pectin and sugar added, but not sure how much of each to each batch. Also, in your recipe you convert pints to quarts but are off by a factor of 2. Did you mean cups to quarts?

    • Jennifer says

      I'm so sorry you found the recipe confusing! Yes, I did mean cups and not pints. I have fixed that in the post! Thanks you so much for pointing it out. Cooking with fruit is always difficult because of seeds, cores and water content can alter the weight and cooking things down can alter the volume. You have a bigger batch than I did and I'm not sure what kind of pectin you are using. I cooked my double batch in two separate pots (in other words one batch in one pot and one in the other then I canned both batches together) to make sure the pectin would set-up. If I were you (I'll just assume you're using the low-sugar pectin since that's what I used), I would go ahead and put 1 cup of pectin and 6 1/2 cups of sugar and see what happens.

  3. Rena Glubay says

    I have found your directions the best suited for the kind of grapes I have. I ended up with a ton of small seeded grapes that I wanted to make into jam. Trying to get the seeds out proved too difficult so I decided to throw them all in my VitaMix and voila! no more seeds :-). But most of the canning recipes deal with concord grapes or jam with no pectin. So yours seems the best for what I have to work with. Thank you for posting such detail. I have a couple of questions. Why do you add water? I did make one batch (didn't add water) and cooked it for a long time before I got the jam like consistency (using the cold plate method for testing). I notice that you don't cook yours very long. Was it thick when you put it in the jars or does it set up as it cools?

    • Rena Glubay says

      I made a batch of jam just as you described (without the water). It was still very watery after cooking for one minute but it did set up when it cooled. Yea!!! I am still curious about the water though. I have enough grapes to make one more batch so I may try adding the water today and see how it turns out.

    • Jennifer says

      Hi Rena,

      I added water because my reciepe is based on the Pectin Calculator on Ball’s website. I don't think I've every made jam without adding at least a bit of water since I use pectin. If I decide not to use pectin at some point I may just let the fruit cook down to the desired consistency and then can it. The pectin makes the jam thicker so some water is needed, it does take some time for the jam to set. The jam was hot when I packed it, so it was not thick or set.

  4. Jemmia says

    I want to have grape jam in mason jars at my wedding for favors. My colors are purple and silver so I like the idea of having silver tops on the mason jars and purple jam in them. How can i make my jam really purple? Do you think I could use white grapes and add food coloring? Or do you have any ideas?

    • Jennifer says

      I would just find the purplest darkest grapes and make jam out of those. I would not put food coloring in grape jam.

  5. Izzie Z says

    This is great! It makes me excited to try canning (there were black seedless grapes on sale for $0.99/lb which is the lowest I've seen and I'd love to have our own jam)...but I was wondering where you got your canning tools? Also, what (of those) would you suggest for a beginner who doesn't have a lot to invest?

    Is pectin something you can just find at the grocery store?

    Another set of questions is about the final step and the rings. I got a little confused about what you meant about taking the rings off and all that. So after the jars cool (pretty much overnight or all day), you take the rings off to make sure they seal? And you just leave them off? I was given peach preserves from someone and there was a ring on them so could they not be ok to eat? Do you only put the ring back on once you break the seal?

    And last (I have all these questions only because you did an awesome job explaining the steps and made me really interested in this process) long is the shelf-life for the jam? How long is the shelf-life after a jar is opened?


    • Jennifer Osuch says

      Hi Lzzie,
      I recommend starting with a water bath canning set like this one. Yes, you should be able to find pectin at your local grocery store, in the baking section or canning section. Different grocery stores have it located in different places. Yes, take the rings off to make sure they are sealed and leave them off. I'm not sure about the preserves you were given. You might want to talk to the person who gave them to you. If they were canned fairly recently then they might be ok to eat, but it is possible that they might have come unsealed and then the pressure of the ring could have helped to reseal them. Only put the rings back on after you break the seal and are storing them in the refrigerator. You might consider purchasing plastic tops like these so there is no confusion and you don't have to every store the jars with the rings on them. The canned jam will last at least a year on the shelf. Some people store them longer but I can't officially recommend storing home canned jams for longer than one year. After it's opened it's like any other jam you would buy at the store. It will last a few weeks in the refrigerator.

  6. Christine says

    Looks like a great recipe! I am going to try it today but with just the one batch (3 1/2 lbs). How much sugar, water & pectin do you recommend for just the one batch?
    Thank you! So excited to try it!

  7. Mary Jo says

    Have you ever worked with green grapes? I have a backyard vineyard still burgeoning with fruit, but they are green. I have made wild concord jam in the this similar?

    • Jennifer Osuch says

      Hi Mary Jo,
      Green grapes should work for jam making. The only thing is that if you made jam out of green or white grapes you won't get that really clear transparent color you get in white grape juice or white grape jelly. So it won't be the most appetizing looking jam but it will taste just fine.

    • Jennifer Osuch says

      Hi Todd,

      I am assuming by pressure cooker you meant pressure canner. However, I should note that you should never use a pressure cooker to process jam. Not all pressure cookers are canners. I know that some pressure canner manufacturers say that you can process jam with a pressure canner (and you can) but in my opinion the jam is overcooked and doesn't always turn out. I would not use a pressure canner for jam. If your jam doesn't stiffen you can still use it. It will just not be the same consistency as say a jelly, but it's still perfectly safe to eat. You just might not want to give it away as a gift.

  8. Jacee says

    There is no need to throw out a bottle of just canned jam (or any food) that does not seal. It has obviously been cooked to high temps so is safe to eat. Just make sure to store in the refrigerator or freeze it.

  9. Jennifer says

    Hi Jennifer. I just found your blog looking for a grape jame recipe that doesn't remove skins... we grow Mars Blue Seedless and, despite black rot this year, we STILL have an overabundance. I am swimming in grapes, it feels.

    I wanted to keep the skins for a little extra nutrition, but I had hoped to use pomona's pectin with honey. I have liked it for my strawberry rhubarb jams, but I haven't made grape yet. In your opinion, would this taste okay? I think I am conditioned to expect sugar jelly with a hint of grape from my previous years of commercial eating and, though I have pretty much broken my sugar "addiction", I'm not sure if the honey would taste good with the grape jam.

    Thanks for any insight you might have!

    • Jennifer Osuch says

      Hi Jennifer,

      I'm with you, I'm not sure how honey would taste with grapes. Maybe experiment with a low sugar jam or no sugar jam? Maybe you could add 2 cups of sugar this year and next year go down to 1 1/2 cups. You could also make a small refrigerator batch and give that a trail period in your kitchen before you canned a huge amount.

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