How to Make Watermelon Jam

Since I learned to make jam several years ago, I have always wanted to make watermelon jam.

Homemade watermelon jamI’ve never eaten watermelon jam, mind you, but I have had a twenty-five year love affair with watermelon-flavored Bubblicious (bubble gum), and so I have been thinking that watermelon jam would be simply delightful.

I’m going to give away the ending of my story and say that watermelon jam is simply delightful. It has all of the flavor of my beloved gum, and it doesn’t irritate my TMJ.

There were no instructions for watermelon jam in the box of pectin, so we made it up as we went along. We had one medium-sized watermelon, and it made two batches of jam with enough watermelon chunks leftover for us to have as an after dinner snack.

The pectin I use

How to Make Watermelon Jam

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of watermelon, black seeds removed, separated from rinds, and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 boxes of No Sugar Needed Pectin (if you only add 1 box of pectin, you will end up with something akin to watermelon syrup)
  • 4 cups sugar

How to make watermelon jam:

How to make watermelon jam

  1. Puree the watermelon chunks in a blender. Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to work in two batches, but the finished amount of puree should be roughly 4 cups.
  2. Pour the watermelon puree into a large pot. Add lemon juice.
  3. In a small metal bowl, whisk both boxes of pectin together with 1/2 cup of the sugar. This will prevent the pectin from clumping later on.
  4. Whisk the pectin/sugar mixture into the watermelon puree.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir almost constantly to prevent the bottom of the mixture from burning.
  6. You will add the rest of the sugar when the mixture is boiling so hard that you can’t stir the bubbles away. Whisk the sugar in.How to Make Watermelon Jam
  7. Return the mixture to a hard boil, and cook for one minute.
  8. After one minute, remove the jam from heat.

What next?

You have three choices:

  1. Can the jam. This is my favorite option. It’s simple, as long as you have the right tools. More on that below.
  2. Freeze the jam up to one year. Use jars especially for keeping in the freezer, and wait to fill them until the jam mixture has cooled.
  3. Eat the jam. This is a good option, except that this particular recipe makes about 10 cups of jam. It will only keep a few weeks in the refrigerator, so… unless you’re going to give it all away really quickly, this isn’t a great option.

Canning Homemade Watermelon Jam

  1. Preheat 10 half-pint jars and 10 jar lids. We do this by running the jars through the dishwasher and boiling the lids on the stove.
  2. Heat a very large pot of water for canning. Preferably, this is a 20-quart or bigger pot filled about halfway with water and heated on high til the water boils.
  3. Get out a jar, make sure it is both clean and dry, and fill it with jam using a metal ladle and a funnel, leaving about 1/4 inch of empty space at the top.
  4. Wipe the top of the jar with a clean paper towel to make sure it’s clean and dry. Place a lid on top of the jar.
  5. Screw a lid ring on firmly.
  6. Repeat until all jars are full. If you have a partial jar, you should put it in the refrigerator and eat it in the next couple of weeks. Don’t can a partial jar.
  7. Place all of the jars into the very large pot of boiling water. Boil them for 10 minutes. (If you are above sea level, times will vary. Consult the instructions inside the box of pectin to be sure.)
  8. While the jars are boiling, set a dry towel on the counter (or in some other place where they can sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours). When the time is up, use tongs to remove the jars and set them in the middle of the towel. When all of the jars are out of the water bath, bring the ends of the towel up and lay it over top of the jars. This will help them to cool slowly. Honestly, I don’t know why that’s important, but my mom told me to do it.
    So I do it.
  9. Once the jars are cooled, check to make sure they sealed. Just like the jars in the store, the lids should all be sucked down and shouldn’t give when you press on them. You’ll most likely hear this happening as the jars cool; I always listen and keep count. Because I’m a canning dork.

When we started canning, I think we spent around $100 at Walmart for all of the canning supplies that we needed. I’ve also seen them at Lowe’s and Home Depot for similar prices. At the same time, there’s nothing wrong with freezer jam, aside from it being a little less convenient than shelf-stable jam.

My Last Word on Homemade Watermelon Jam

This jam was so good that it will be in our rotation every year from now on. I have eaten it several times since we made it, on toast, on bread, and on crackers. I could eat it every day. It’s just that good.

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Jam photo credit

© 2010 – 2014, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Oh Tara, that sounds absolutely amazing. Watermelon gum and candy has always been a favorite. I would drive my parents crazy with Jolly Ranchers. We are going to have to try this. Thank you so much :)

  2. Amyerno says

    I need to try this! I love all things watermelon! (except maybe Bubbalicious!) I have zero canning know-how, so maybe this is dumb question, but why is tha pectin “no sugar needed” but the jam has sugar in the recipe?

  3. says

    So I know what I have to buy when we go to the store this week!!! YUM! I’m a jam fruit, and love to do anything that I can get my hands on. Although I’ll only try the flavors I KNOW my kids will love. And they love watermellon, and so I know they’ll love this.

  4. Sharon @ UnfinishedMom says

    My husband loves it when I make watermelon jam. He’s been asking for it all summer long. I found instructions a few years ago, (http://www.pickyourown.org/watermelonjelly.htm). I think the recipe I used called for squishing up the watermelon more – it was more like jelly than jam, though it did have some pulp in it. Anyway, we heartily agree – it’s delicious!

  5. says

    Not dumb. :)

    Regular pectin requires two or three times more sugar. I don’t know why they call it “no sugar needed” except that it is possible to make jam with it using Splenda rather than sugar. The watermelon has a lot of liquid and not so much sugar, so you have to add some to make it set up properly.

  6. says

    Yes! I’ve never found watermelon jam in the store, which is what was really pushing me to try it. I adore peach and cherry jams, but they are so very expensive at the grocery store. We make those two (except when I miss cherry season, like THIS YEAR!), too.

  7. says

    I’ve used the instructions at PickYourOwn.org for a lot of things. They are great! It looks like the proportions are pretty similar between their instructions and mine. I should’ve checked there first. I might not have had to use 2 boxes of pectin. :)

  8. Jen says

    Great Post! Visiting from Homemaker Monday. I’m hosting Canning Week on my blog and would love to have you join us! We also have a linky party going with a contest and some great giveaways!
    Jen @ messhalltobistro.blogspot.com

  9. says

    Looks wonderful!! I’ve never had it either and I’m glad you went step by step! I can, but just the regular berry jams. Nothing fancy like a watermelon – just one more way to preserve the yumminess of summer! Thanks for linking up to Recipe Roundtable!

  10. says

    Why has no one made watermelon jam? HUTZAH for making it first!
    Thanks for linking up to Just Another Meatless Monday, see you next week! ohh you should try pomona pectin for low sugar jelly and jam-it’s great

  11. Bree says

    Oh my goodness! You seriously made my night last night when this popped up in my reader!

    Question: how many jars did you produce with this recipe?

  12. says

    Thanks for linking this to My Meatless Mondays. Any other good ideas, please do share. I know you have good ideas. Your blog speaks for you.

  13. says

    Thanks for linking this to My Meatless Mondays. Any other good ideas, please do share. I know you have good ideas. Your blog speaks for you.

  14. Happier Than A Pig In Mud says

    This is an interesting new flavor for jam! Some watermelons are so big that it would be nice to have another idea for how to use it up!

  15. says

    Everything that touches the cucumbers must be sterilized. The jars, lids and all utensils used, must be sterilized. This may be accomplished by submerging in a boiling water bath for a minimum of 10 minutes.

  16. Sandra says

    I tried this recipe yesterday and it turned out beautifully! It actually tastes like watermelon. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Brittany says

    Just finished making this and it’s AMAZING!!! Thank you so much for the recipe. : )

    P.S.
    I accidentally used regular pectin instead of the ‘No Sugar Added’. I don’t know if that makes mine more or less sweet, but I’d make it the same way next time.

  18. Chuck says

    Question, I already have regular sure-jel on hand, can I use it instead of the no sugar added pectin?
    This looks and sounds amazing, gotta try it. I have watermelon in my garden.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Food: watermelon popsicles, cookies, watermelon cake Drink: pink lemonade, punch bowl Decor: chalkboard for a welcome sign, menu, happy birthday sign etc., wagon for iced water bottles or other drinks, pitchers, watering cans and clusters of re-used canned food cans with fresh flowers. Activity: 3 legged race, burlap sack races, watermelon eating contest and seed spitting contest Favors: mini picnic baskets filled with watermelon candy or DIY watermelon jam Attire: Dress […]

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