Discover the Joy of Jam Making: Traditional vs. Electric Methods

Few things are as satisfying as spreading homemade jam on a freshly toasted slice of bread. The process of jam-making, a time-honoured tradition, is often seen as a labour of love. But with the evolution of kitchen technology, it can now be as easy as pressing a button.

In this blog, we’ll explore how to make jam the good old traditional method, as well as looking into the modern marvel that is the electric jam maker.

The Allure of Homemade Jam

Jam making is a skill that enables you to enjoy the flavours of ripe seasonal fruits, like strawberries and figs, all year-round. Plus, you can enjoy knowing that your homemade preserve is purer than shop bought alternatives. As you get to control the ingredients, there’ll be no unnecessary additives or preservatives. Just spoonsful of sticky sweet fruit!

Whether you’re dolloping in onto fresh-from-the-oven scones or pairing it with peanut butter, there’s a world of flavours to explore. By following our straightforward jam making process at home, you have full freedom to experiment with unique and classic flavour combinations.

How to Make Jam the Traditional Way

Making jam by hand is easier than you think. The process involves cooking fruit and sugar in a large pot until it thickens into a beautiful, glossy preserve. But don’t get ahead of yourself, it still requires patience as you stir continually and stay alert to avoid scorching.

It also requires jam making equipment. While you might have some of these in your kitchen already, other pieces of kit are more specialist. Make sure you pick up the equipment you need before you get your fruit simmering!

In your jam making kit, you’ll need a sturdy stainless steel saucepan – preferably one that’s large as this helps the mixture to evaporate and prevents overcooking. Try the Lakeland Stainless Steel Lidded Stock Pot or Stainless Steel Maslin Pan. Stainless steel is the best metal for making preserves as it doesn’t react with the acids in fruit, which would taint your jam. Then, you’ll need a large wooden or stainless steel spoon, a sugar thermometer and also a jam funnel for transferring your jam into jars.

If you want more advice on techniques and ingredients, like checking what fruit is in season and how to sterilise your containers, don’t forget to read our Preserving Guide too.

Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe


  • 1kg of fresh strawberries
  • 1kg of jam sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • Prepare your strawberries by washing, hulling, and halving them.
  • Place them in your stainless steel pan, add the lemon juice and sugar, and stir over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • At this point, if you’re going for a smooth clear jam, you’ll want a good strainer (ours is recommended by BBC Good Food). Pour the mixture in and wait for all the juice to drip through the cloth back into your pan.
  • Bring your clear or thick fruit mixture to a boil, and let it bubble for about 10 minutes or until it reaches the setting point.
  • Remove from heat and let it stand for a few minutes and pour into sterilised jars using a funnel. Seal up your jam jars as soon as you fill them.

This recipe is a classic and can be used in various dishes, from Victoria Sponge Cake to a delightful topping for your morning porridge.

Electric Jam Makers: The Future of Jam Making

While traditional jam making has its charm, not everyone has the time or patience to watch over a simmering pot. This is where the electric jam maker machine comes in. A modern take on this age-old process, an electric jam maker, like Ball’s Jam & Jelly Maker, simplifies the process without compromising on the quality of your jam.

With automatic stirring and temperature control, this jam making machine ensures a perfect batch in as little as 21 minutes. You don’t have to worry about your jam scorching or not setting correctly; the machine handles the whole process.

The simplicity of the electric jam maker allows for quick and easy jam making. Add your fruit and sugar, press a button, and you’re on your way to delicious homemade jam.

Quick Strawberry Jam Recipe with the Electric Jam Maker

Ingredients: as above


  • Prepare your strawberries by washing, hulling, and halving them.
  • Add the fruit and lemon juice to the jam maker.
  • Press the jam button and wait for the beep, then add your sugar.
  • Let the machine do the work, and in less than half an hour, you have a delicious batch of strawberry jam!

Don’t forget to label your jars so you can check the flavour, date you made it, and any recipe notes. These jam jar labels from Ball come off easily in water so you can easily clean and reuse your containers.

Whether you enjoy the meditative process of traditional jam making or prefer the convenient and efficient electric jam maker, there’s no denying that making your own jam is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. With Lakeland’s range of jam making equipment and ingredients, it’s easier than ever to start making your own delicious homemade jams. Happy jamming!