We love homemade strawberry jam. I like to make the freezer version because it is so easy. We ran out of the last batch and as strawberries were on sale, I decided to make more.
I loaded my cart with strawberries and headed down the isle the pectin should be on. Apparently I was not the only one who wanted to make jam because they were totally out of the Sure Jell pectin I have always used. After some grumbling to myself, I decided to try out the jar of Ball brand pectin on the shelf. It comes in 3 varieties: Classic Pectin (AKA cooked version), Instant Pectin (freezer version) and Low Sugar version. I chose the Instant Pectin.
The Sure-Jell pectin recipe calls for 2 cups of crushed fruit to 4 cups of sugar. The Ball brand pectin recipe calls for 5 cups of crushed fruit to 2 cups of sugar.
More fruit, less sugar? Yes please! The flavor is so much better.
The Sure-Jell pectin comes in a box. It is intended to make one batch that yields 4 half pints (a half pint equals 1 cup) The Ball Instant pectin comes in a plastic jar. You can make a batch as small as 2 half pints or multiply it and make 6 half pints. (They do not recommend exceeding 6 half pints per batch). They have a calculator on their website to help you calculate the amounts if you want to make the bigger batch. One jar of Ball Instant pectin yields 15 half pints.
Less packaging is always better.
The Sure-Jell pectin recipe requires you to boil the pectin and water together on the stove before adding to the fruit and sugar. You also have to let the finished jam stand at room temperature for 24 hours. The Ball Instant Pectin does not require the use of a stove and only has to sit for 30 minutes.
Easier to use and takes less time.
At my local store, one box of Sure-Jell pectin costs $2.98 which makes it about .75 cents per half pint. One jar of Ball Instant pectin costs $4.98, making it .33 cents per half pint. (This is just the price for the pectin, not including the other jam ingredients)
More money in my wallet…always a win!
The Ball Instant pectin wins hands down.
It is my new go-to product for making jam.
We were totally out, so we made several batches of Strawberry jam. You can buy containers for freezer jam. However, I like to wash and re-use bottles from other foods we buy. As you are not actually canning the jam, you don’t need canning jars.