How to Can Grape Jelly
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My family didn’t used to be a big fan of jelly, so I never was in the habit of making it. I was able to get a large quantity of grapes last year for free, however, so I decided to try making homemade grape juice and grape jelly. Grape jelly is now one of my favorite top 10 easy homemade jelly recipes for beginning canners.
Homemade jelly takes a little longer to make than jam. Jam still has chunks of fruit and seeds in it, and with jelly, you strain all that stuff out until you have a clear liquid. Many people prefer jelly to jam (although I am a jam fan myself!).
It isn’t really hard to make jelly if you have the right equipment. You are definitely going to want to get a jelly bag to make your life easier.
New to canning or pressure canning? I can help! Click here to get access to my complete list of step-by-step canning courses.
Ball Complete Book of Home PreservingThe Amish Canning Cookbook: Plain and Simple Living at Its Homemade BestDIY Pickling: Step-By-Step Recipes for Fermented, Fresh, and Quick Pickles
Step by Step Canning Video
New to jelly making? Watch me can grape jelly in this step by step video.
Grape Jelly Recipe
- 5 lb. grapes
- 7 c. sugar
- 1 box powdered pectin*
- 1/4 tsp. butter (optional)
*Note: If you are going to make a lot of jam and/or jelly, then you HAVE to try this powdered pectin that you can buy in bulk from Amazon. Six tablespoons of this pectin is the equivalent to one box of Suregel pectin. This is the ONLY way to buy pectin inexpensively if you are going to buy a lot of it (like I do!).
Hoosier Hill Fruit Pectin, 2 lb bag
You can use green or purple grapes to prepare this recipe. Rinse grapes. Place in a large stock pot and add just enough water to cover grapes. Simmer for 10 minutes, until grapes are soft. Mash grapes with a potato masher.
Place grapes in a jelly bag to strain juice. Measure 5 c. juice, adding a little of water if necessary to make exactly 5 cups.
Combine grape juice and pectin in a large sauce pan. Stirring constantly, heat until boiling.
Add the butter and return to a boil. Add the sugar. Return to a boil and boil for one minute.
Remove the pan from the heat. Remove any foam with a metal spoon. Ladle the jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. You can easily measure the head space with this inexpensive canning funnel.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp kitchen towel or paper towel. Place sterilized lids and rings on the jars finger tight.
Place jars in boiling water canner and make sure the jars are covered with at least 1 inch of water. Bring water to a boil. Process jars in boiling water canner for 5 minutes.
Remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel on the kitchen counter to cool.
Yield: 4 pints or 8 half-pints
Click here to download the canning supply list for this recipe.
If you live about 1,000 feet in elevation, download this altitude adjustment chart to find out how long you need to process the jars to can this recipe.
Norpro Jelly Strainer Stand with BagGranite Ware Covered Preserving Canner with Rack, 12-QuartPrepworks by Progressive Canning Funnel for Regular and Wide Mouth Jars
Like this recipe? You might also like this recipe for making raisins from homegrown grapes or what to do with homegrown grapes.
Related Jelly Recipes
- rose petal jelly
- strawberry jelly
- rootbeer jelly
- mountain dew jelly
- apricot jelly
- pear jelly
- chokecherry jelly
- grape jelly
- pomegranate jelly
- plum jelly
- lilac jelly
- mint jelly
- blackberry jelly
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28 Comments on "Canning Grape Jelly"
You just say grapes. What kind of grapes can I use?
Won first prize in Jelly and best in preserves at the local show on my first attempt at this recipe. It tastes amazing.
What makes my jelly crystelize?
Some recipes for green grape jelly tells you to put in the refrigerator over night so juice doesn’t create crystals when cooking. Is that necessary and they recommend adding lemon juice??
Does grape juice have natural pectin? Is it absolutely necessary to add liquid or powered pectin?
Hi! Some fruits do have natural pectin, but I don’t think you can make jelly without pectin. Some fruit you can cook to make jam and it will thicken naturally. Since jelly isn’t prepared that way, I don’t think that would work for this recipe.
Just finished making grape jelly 4 pints and 8 1/2 pints all made your recipe is fantastic. I have 3 more batches to make. I give the recipe a 5 Star thanks for posting the recipe.
How many jars and size jars does this make?
Hi! This recipe makes 4 pints or 8 half pints of grape jelly.
So can you use liquid pectin instead of the powder kind
Hi, yes you can use liquid pectin to make grape jelly, but not with this recipe. There should be a recipe for making grape jelly in the liquid pectin box. The sugar amount and cooking times will be different.
One of my jars did not seal how long is it good for?
Hi! Just place it in the refrigerator like you normally would when getting a jar out to eat. It will last months in the refrigerator, but it does need to be put in the refrigerator right away.
Thank you SO much for answering all of those questions! I, too, had questions about amount of pectin, draining water and the amount of sugar…so thanks again…attempting now. 😉
Do I mash the grapes in the water they were simmered in or do I pour that water out before mashing them. Also is this the same way with juice?
Hi! No, you don’t want to pour out the water they are simmered in. I dump it all in the jelly strainer bag. There is rarely enough juice in the grapes themselves…it is okay to have some water mixed in. Same with juice. After I extract the juice from the grapes I actually add quite a bit of water to the juice since it is so concentrated. But you don’t have to add the extra water, you could always add the water after canning if you want to dilute the juice. Here is my recipe for canning grape juice.
I found the jelly too sweet. If I cut the amount of sugar will it affect the consistency?
Hi Nancy, the sugar helps the pectin set, so if you reduce the sugar the jelly will not set properly. There is a low sugar pectin you can buy though, that is made for making jams and jellies with less sugar.
Wondering if you can use the steamer when I make grape juice I use the steamer and then I bought all the the juice I’m wondering if you can do the same thing with the grapes rather than the cheesecloth method
Hi! Yes it would be fine to use a steamer to extract the juice from the grapes 🙂
What size package of pectin?
Hi! I think the box weight is 2 oz. If you are using bulk pectin it is 6 tablespoons.
I don’t have a jelly bag or cheese cloth. What can I use instead
Hi Carolyn! I know that instead of a jelly bag or cheesecloth people have used linen dish towels that the juice will pass through easily. It might stain the towel though so don’t use one of your favorite ones 🙂
My jelly is still unset. I’m new to canning. How can I fix unsettled jelly? Thanks
Sorry to hear that! I forgot to add a link to my post on what to do if your jelly doesn’t set. Here is the link to that post. Good luck!
How long do you wait to see if jelly will Set?
It might be a good idea to add a note to drain the grapes before you mash them as I now have about 15 cups of juice, having not drained them first.