Strawberry Jam processing issues

Asked June 19, 2017, 2:25 PM EDT

Hello, I made a couple of mistakes in processing strawberry jam and I would like to know if it is possible to salvage the jam. My two mistakes were: 1) I processed pint jars for 5 minutes instead of 10 (my recipe had specified a 5 minute processing time for half pint jars, but I used pint jars and didn't realize that the processing time needed to be increased), and 2) my jars have more than 1/4 inch head space as I mistakenly only filled them to the freezer line (or just below following foam reduction and settling of the jam). It has been just over 12 hours since I processed the jam. Can the jam still be saved or could it be preserved by freezing? Thanks for your help. Kathleen

Benton County Oregon food safety home food preservation

2 Responses

Strawberry jam is a very low risk product. If it was allowed to cool much before it was poured into the jars, the 5 minutes processing might have been a little short. But if you moved quickly to get the hot jam into the hot jars and then into the canner, you probably killed all the remaining mold or bacteria that might have been in the air space or on the lid, which is why jams are processed. Mold, or rarely some fermentation, is the worst that happens in a fruit jam. Just be sure to store the jars somewhere cool and keep an eye on them, eat them up pretty soon. The jam could be frozen right in the jars, or refrigerated for a long period (months) to make sure it doesn’t spoil. The headspace shouldn’t be a problem. If there was too much headspace, it would keep the jars from sealing.

I wouldn't suggest reprocessing the jam. Reheating it will destroys the jel or makes it clumpy and overcooks the strawberries so it's not a good quality product.

Hope this helps.

Very helpful. Thank you!