My sweet mom has made many types of jams for years, and my grandmother before her. I even remember watching strawberry jam overflow down the stove and across the floor at my grandmothers... it is one of my earliest memories. Knowing now what sticky mess that would have been to clean up, she handled it gracefully :) ... more gracefully than I would have! If you don't want to make jam yourself, my Mama makes it and sells it on Etsy and it is heavenly. You can purchase it at Paula Jeans Garden.
It is super important to have the proper tools. Back in Montana I have a Pressure Canner and a Water Bath Canner, but of course we haven't brought those things down yet. Luckily I keep my other items with my regular kitchen supplies. So, I improvised! The most important item for me is the tong tool you lift the jars out of the hot water bath with... I am notorious for burning myself! You will need a pot for cooking the jam, a canning pot, ladle, spoon, collander, jar tongs, jar funnel, jars with lids and rings, cutting board, large bowl,glass and other measuring cups, and knife.
The other really important thing for me is to have really quality ingredients. For a batch of jam you will need several items:
Clean, sterile jars with lids and rings (follow manufacturers instructions for prep) You want your jars to be hot when you ladle the jam in!
Strawberries (5 3/4 cups) I prefer to find organic. Tops removed. I chop half and crush half I like chunks of berries in mine :)
Sugar (7 cups) again, I use organic and I pre measure it out so it is ready to add when the time comes.
Lemon Juice (1/4 cup) organic please :)
1 Box of Pectin My mom orders it in bulk, so if you do a lot of canning it is a good way to go.
Do not double recipes
Do not alter recipe amounts
Crush berries by hand and not in a processor
ALWAYS hot water bath jams and jellies
Adjust processing times with water bath for high altitudes I live at 6100 ft so I had to increase my water bath time fifteen minutes.
Wash your strawberries and drain. Cut off the green tops. Many recipes call for crushing all the strawberries. I just chop half into small pieces and crush the other half with a potato masher. I personally like some chunks in my jam and have not noticed any change in the outcome of my recipe! Sometimes no matter how well I follow the directions, I end up with Jam which will not set... no matter... I just call it syrup! :)
Combine lemon juice and strawberries in your cook pot.
Gradually stir in the pectin and bring to a full boil on high heat! Stir that baby constantly... you do not want it to stick. Please keep safety in mind paying particular care to keep small children and pets away!