Jam is one of the most basic and common food items in homes. Jam comes in so many different flavors and is widely available across various stores. Jam is very versatile and can be spread on different things like bread, biscuits, and lots more. Jam can further be used for purposes beyond simple spreading – it can be used as glaze for chicken, stirred into cottage cheese, used to fill donuts, mixed with other ingredients for tasty salad dressing, and lots more.
Ordinarily, jams have a long shelf life. You can comfortably stock up on jams without having to worry that they’ll spoil early. The sugar content in fruit jams minimizes bacterial action, which enables the jams to stay for long without going bad. Regardless of this fact, jams can still be kept in the freezer to further increase their lifespan.
So, can you freeze jam? Yes, you can safely freeze jam. In fact, freezing your jam can preserve it for up to a year. Any of your fruit jams will be able to retain their original taste and consistency for up to 6 months in the freezer. However, you should know that the jams could start undergoing a couple of changes when kept in the freezer beyond 6 months; this doesn’t affect their edibility, but the quality of the consistency and taste may be compromised.
Unopened jars of jam last pretty long on the shelf – as much as 2 whole years. However, once you’ve opened the jams, you’ve instantly shortened their lifespan. If you’re the type of person that likes to stock up on jams, you might want to adopt an additional preservation method to back up the jams’ natural shelf life.
When freezing jam, you need to ensure that it is sealed correctly. Failure to seal the jam properly will result in shortened life.
While freezing jam can potentially extend its life by over a year, the jam will eventually start losing its consistency and will turn watery. If you know that you can’t tolerate watery jams, make sure you don’t keep your jam frozen for too long.
How to Freeze Jam
There are various things to consider when you want to freeze a jar of jam. These are a few steps to follow when you want to freeze jam:
Step 1: Make Sure the Jar is Strong Enough for Freezing
One of the common things that people worry about when freezing jams is the jar being broken after a while in the freezer. To prevent that from happening, you can simply transfer the jam into a freezer-safe plastic container.
Leaving a weak glass jar of jam in the freezer for long can result in breakage. If you’ll be placing the jam with its original jar in the freezer, make sure the jar is made from a thick and strong material.
Step 2: Leave Sufficient Room in the Jar for Expansion
After being frozen for a while, the jam could potentially expand in the jar. Whether you’ll be using the jam’s original jar or a substitute one, make sure you don’t fill it up to its brim. Leave a little space at the top to accommodate any expansion that the jam may go through in the freezer.
Failure to leave this space will result in the jam pouring over the sides of the jar and messing up the freezer. You may go ahead to write the present date on the container of jam – this will help you keep track of how much time the jam has been in the freezer.
Step 3: Seal the Jar Tightly and Secure in the Freezer
Once you’ve put the jar in its container, and left some room at the top for expansion, seal the lid tightly. If the container’s lid isn’t tightly sealed, the jam will lose its consistency and taste much faster. Once the lid is sealed, place it in the freezer and you can take it out whenever you need it.
How to Defrost Frozen Jam
With your jam in the freezer, you’ll need to take it out and defrost whenever you want to eat it. There are different approaches you can take to defrosting your frozen jam.
Thaw in the Refrigerator
After removing the frozen jam from inside the freezer, you can place it in the refrigerator to defrost. This process is actually slow and will take many hours. However, it is a reliable technique that won’t further compromise the jam’s quality.
It is advisable to leave the jam inside the fridge overnight. This way, you’ll have your jam thawed and ready to eat once you wake up.
Submerge in Warm Water
If you don’t have hours to spend waiting for jam to defrost, you can use this method. Get some warm water in a large bowl and fully submerge the jar of jam in it. The jam should thaw within an hour.
Once you’ve defrosted jam, it isn’t advisable to freeze it again. You can just take a portion of the frozen jam you want to eat and keep the rest back in the freezer.
How Long Can You Keep Frozen Jam?
Jam would ordinarily last long without freezing. However, freezing extends its life up to a year. You can keep jam frozen for up to 6 months without it losing its consistency. After 6 months, the jam may start turning watery and losing taste.