What to do if Your Jelly Does Not Set

There is almost nothing more frustrating when canning than having your jelly not set. Yes, you can re-cook it!

This post may contain affiliate links.

There is almost nothing more frustrating when canning than having your jelly not set. When you’re jelly doesn’t set you may be tempted to just throw it out, but don’t, you can fix it.

Yes, you can re-cook it! Measure jelly to be recooked. Work with no more than 4 to 6 cups at a time.

How to Remake Jelly With Powdered Pectin

For each quart of jelly, mix ¼ cup sugar, ½ cup water, 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons powdered pectin. Bring to a boil while stirring.

Add jelly and bring to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil hard ½ minute. Remove from heat, quickly skim foam off jelly, and fill sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Adjust new lids and process as recommended in Table 1.

How to Remake Jelly With Liquid Pectin

For each quart of jelly, measure ¾ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons liquid pectin. Bring jelly only to boil over high heat, while stirring.

Remove from heat and quickly add the sugar, lemon juice, and pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute. Quickly skim off foam and fill sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Adjust new lids and process as recommended in Table 1.

How to Remake Jelly Without Added Pectin

For each quart of jelly, add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice. Heat to boiling and boil for 3 to 4 minutes. To determine if the jelly is done, take the temperature of the jelly with a candy or jelly thermometer.

When done, the temperature of the jelly should be 220°F, 8°F above the boiling point of water, if you are at sea level. NOTE: For each 1000 feet of altitude above sea level, subtract 2 degrees F. For instance, at 1,000 feet of altitude, the jelly is done at 218°F; at 2,000 feet, 216°F, etc.

Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam, and fill sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Adjust new lids and process as recommended in following table.

 

Recommended
Process Time for Remade Soft Jellies in a Boiling-Water
Canner
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 – 1,000 ft 1,001 – 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Half-pints or pints 5 min 10 15

This document incorporates information from the “Complete Guide to Home Canning,” Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA (Revised 2009) and information available from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

There is almost nothing more frustrating when canning than having your jelly not set. Yes, you can re-cook it!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

12 Comments on "What to do if Your Jelly Does Not Set"


    1. Hi! I know that honey can be used as a substitute for sugar in jelly, but I have not tried it myself. I don’t know if you would use the same amount or not.

      Reply

    1. Hi! I’m not sure on the unflavored gelatin. It would probably help the jelly to set, but I don’t know if it’s safe for canning.

      Reply

  1. I tried remaking my jelly using the “no added pectin” method. It is still not set. Is there anything else I can try? I am wondering if I should remake it again using more surejel?

    Reply

  2. I had to re-make my plum jelly and followed the directions given on the Liquid Pectin instructions it also said that it may take up to 2weeks to set up at room temperature, would it be faster in the refrigerator, why so long?

    Reply

    1. Hi! It doesn’t normally take that long, but it is possible that it can take that long, that’s why they want you to wait before trying to cook it again. Mine usually sets within a day, but I don’t use liquid pectin very often. I think liquid pectin may take longer to set than powdered pectin. Putting it in the refrigerator will make it gel faster, but I’m pretty sure it won’t stay that way when you take it back out of the refrigerator. I’m not sure it’s good to put it in the refrigerator and then take it back out again.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.