How to make grape jelly

Posted on Published: August 25, 2019 – Last updated: September 9, 2019

(This recipe, which I published in 2008, is still making the rounds on Pinterest, but it didn’t have a printable recipe. Such things did not exist in 2008. So, here it is, updated with a printable.)

How to make grape jelly

This is kind of a cheater’s recipe for homemade grape jelly because it doesn’t involve squeezing the juice out of real grapes.

While that sort of method might produce some very tasty jelly, it’s not at all cost-efficient unless you grow your own grapes or have access to free ones somehow.

How cheap your jelly is depends on the price you pay for your ingredients. If you buy grape juice and sugar on sale and you have a coupon for pectin, it will be really, really cheap.

Plus, your homemade jelly will have no high fructose corn syrup in it (this is actually the reason I first looked into making my own).

How to make grape jelly

I got this recipe from The Hillbilly Housewife, (and it’s basically the same as the one on the insert from the pectin box) but I thought that some of you might be terrified of making your own jelly and would prefer a pictorial guide. ?

It’s actually really, really easy. I promise.

How to make grape jelly

Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 3 cups grape juice (either in a bottle or prepared from concentrate)
    • 1 package powdered pectin
    • 4 cups sugar
    • glass jars that will hold 1.5 quarts of jelly

(they don’t need to be canning jars…glass jars that used to hold fruit or applesauce, or jelly will work fine)

Combine grape juice and pectin in a saucepan (I stir it with a whisk to get rid of the lumps) and bring to a boil.

As an aside, do NOT add the sugar before you bring the pectin to a boil.

I’ve done this waaaay too many times, and it causes the jelly to not, well, gel.

How to make grape jelly

After the pectin/juice mixture has come to a boil, stir in the sugar. Bring it back up to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, and boil for a full minute.

How to make grape jelly

Remove from the heat. During cooking, some foam may have appeared on the top of your jelly. I like to spoon this off.

How to make grape jelly

It’s harmless, but it’ll make the top of your jelly look cloudy if you leave it there.

How to make grape jelly

Ladle the jelly into your clean jars, screw on the lids, and let the jelly cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.

How to make grape jelly

If you want the jelly to be shelf-stable, you can process the jars in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. I don’t mess with that usually…I store mine in the fridge, and they keep just fine.

The color of your jelly could vary depending on the grape juice you use.

In my experience, the bottled grape juice makes a more purple jelly than reconstituted grape juice does. The jars above are made from bottled juice, and the jars below are from a concentrate.

How to make grape jelly

They’ll both taste good, though, so use whatever sort of grape juice you like.

How to make grape jelly

Sometimes, my jelly gels right away, but sometimes it takes a while(like 6-8 hours).

So, don’t become distressed if at first it seems that all you have produced is some very sweet grape juice. Be patient, and as long as you’ve followed the recipe properly, your grape juice will have turned into jelly.

How to make grape jelly

This jelly is super easy because it’s made from store-bought juice! And it doesn’t even need to be canned. It makes a nice addition to a gift of homemade bread.


  • 3 cups grape juice (either in a bottle or prepared from concentrate)
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 4 cups sugar
  • glass jars that will hold 3 pints of jelly


Combine grape juice and pectin in a saucepan (I stir it with a whisk to get rid of the lumps) and bring to a boil.

Do NOT add the sugar before you bring the pectin to a boil. I’ve done this waaaay too many times, and it causes the jelly to not gel.

After the pectin/juice mixture has come to a boil, stir in the sugar. Bring it back up to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, and boil for a full minute.

Remove from the heat. Spoon off any foam that has appeared.

Ladle the jelly into your clean jars, screw on the lids, and let the jelly cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.

How to make grape jelly

Posted on Published: August 25, 2019 – Last updated: September 9, 2019

Our grape vine has been producing more grapes than ever before which is amazing considering we are in a drought. Because of this I needed to do something with all of those grapes. I decided that I would make grape jelly with them.

I have made blackberry jelly lots of times so I figured it would be a similar process. I usually use Sure Jell with good results. I thought I had some with my canning supplies, but I was wrong. I didn’t want to drag 5 kids to the store just to get one thing so I improvised and made it the old fashioned way, without any pectin.

You know what? It wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be. When I was finished with the grape jelly I made two batches of blackberry jelly the same way.

How to make grape jelly

I canned a total of 15 jars of jelly today and now I am feeling a little jellied out. When my husband called to tell me he was on his way home from work this afternoon I was on the last batch. I decided to answer the phone by saying, “Jackie’s Jellies”. He thought that was cute. ?

I was asked a question as to whether this jelly is thick or not. So, I thought I would share a picture of how it looks out of the jar.

How to make grape jelly

It’s definitely thick and very tasty, too.

If you are interested in knowing how I made the grape jelly, and blackberry jelly too for that matter, here is a little photo recap of the process. Any of you jelly making experts out there feel free to chime in and let me know if I didn’t explain anything properly.

How to make grape jelly

Look at how pretty those grapes are! First, I washed the grapes and then put them in a pan. Then I added about 1 cup of water to the pan. I didn’t measure how many grapes I had to get a perfect water to grape ratio. I was winging it.

How to make grape jelly

The next thing I did was bring the grapes to a boil and crush/mash them while they were cooking. I boiled them for about 5 minutes.

And no, none of us did any grape stomping. Not that my kids wouldn’t have wanted to, I just wasn’t feeling it today.

How to make grape jelly

This is the point where I did a little improvising. Owning a jelly strainer would have been helpful. Also, replenishing my supply of cheesecloth would have been equally helpful. However, I decided to use a clean T-shirt (Rinsed to make sure there was no soap build-up.) and a colander.

You are supposed to let the grapes strain overnight and not squeeze the bag. Confession: I did not let the grapes strain overnight and I did squeeze the bag. I think the jelly turned out fine in spite of my impatience.

How to make grape jelly

I ended up with 4 cups of grape juice when all was said and done. That apparently was just the amount I needed.

How to make grape jelly

I poured the juice into a pan and added 3 cups of sugar (I used evaporated cane juice.). I stirred it well and then turned the heat to high.

How to make grape jelly

Here is where a candy thermometer is very helpful because I couldn’t figure out if the juice was at the jelling point by using the spoon test. So, I boiled the grape juice until my thermometer read 220 degrees Fahrenheit and it was just right.

I would like to note that it took approximately 40-45 minutes from the time I turned the burner on until the jelly was ready. I stirred the jelly fairly frequently but not constantly. My pan is a heavy bottom stainless steel pan and is great for jobs like this.

How to make grape jelly

While I was boiling the juice and sugar mixture, I was also heating a large pan with jelly jars and lids. I didn’t boil the water but simmered it.

How to make grape jelly

I had also filled my water bath canner with water and had it heating up as well.

How to make grape jelly

Now, back to that jelly. When the juice had reached 220 degrees Fahrenheit it was ready to ladle into the jars. I removed one jar at a time from the hot water and let it dry for just a second on a towel. Then I filled each jar to within 1/2-1/4 inch from the top.

I highly recommend a canning funnel for filling the jars.

How to make grape jelly
Finally, I wiped the top of each jar with a damp cloth to remove any jelly from the rim. Then I put a hot lid on top of each jar and tightened a canning ring on top. Be careful not to over-tighten the rings. Stop when you feel resistance.

After lowering the rack into the water I put the lid on and waited for the water to come to a rolling boil. When it was boiling well I set a timer for 5 minutes.

When the 5 minutes were up I removed the jars from the canner and set them on a towel to cool. As they were cooling I heard the lovely pinging sound that jars make when they are sealed. Music to my ears. ?

To make the blackberry jelly I used the same process except for the fact that I used 5 cups of juice and 6 cups of sugar.

Just for fun, what is your favorite kind of jelly?

How to make grape jelly

How to Can Grape Jelly

This post may contain affiliate links.

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.

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!).

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.

How to make grape jelly

Canning Instructions

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.

Related Jelly Recipes

  • rose petal 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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How to make grape jelly

How to make grape jelly

How to make grape jelly

How to make grape jelly

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23 Comments on “Canning Grape Jelly”

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!

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.

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How to make grape jelly

Delicious home made grape jelly.

You can make this jelly with sugar (67 calories per 2 tbsp), or honey (61 calories), or completely sugar-free (44 calories) to give your peanut butter and jelly sandwich a healthy boost.

You need to start this recipe several hours or a day ahead in order to allow juice to slowly drip undisturbed off the fruit.

See also: White Grape Jelly (made from green grapes.)

  • 1 The recipe
  • 2 Grape Jelly
    • 2.1 Ingredients
    • 2.2 Instructions
    • 2.3 Liquid sweetener directions (agave, honey, liquid stevia, etc.)
  • 3 Reference information
  • 4 Recipe notes
  • 5 Recipe Source
  • 6 Nutrition information
    • 6.1 Regular version
    • 6.2 With honey
    • 6.3 Sugar-free version

The recipe

Jar size choices: Either 125 ml (½ cup / 4 oz) OR quarter-litre (½ US pint / 250 ml / 8 oz)

Processing method: Water bath or steam canning

Yield: 4 x quarter-litre (½ US pint) jars

Headspace: 1 cm (¼ inch)

Processing time: Either size jar 10 minutes

How to make grape jelly

Grape Jelly

Yield: 4 x quarter-litre jars (½ pint / 8 oz)

Prep Time 25 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Yield 4 quarter-litre jars (½ pint / 8 oz)

Calories 67 kcal


  • 2 kg grapes (4 lbs. Purple or black grapes)
  • 125 ml water (½ cup / 4 oz)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (bottled. 2 oz / 60 ml)
  • 4 teaspoons calcium water (20 ml)
  • 200 g white sugar (1 cup / 8 oz)
  • 4 teaspoons Pomona Pectin


Liquid sweetener directions (agave, honey, liquid stevia, etc.)

  1. Bring the juice back to a boil, either in a pot or in a microwave. (Mind the surge when removing from microwave.)
  2. Put half of the heated juice into a blender, along with the pectin, and blend carefully (cover top of blender with a towel to prevent hot surge. (See recipe notes below if multiplying the batch.)
  3. Put the blender mixture in a pot.
  4. Put the rest of the juice in the blender, whiz it to pick up more of the pectin with the same towel safety precaution, and pour that into pot. (The two steps help to get most of the pectin out of the blender.)
  5. Bring pot to a boil. Add the lemon juice, calcium water, and the liquid sweetener.
  6. Bring back to a boil, follow canning directions above.

Reference information

When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.

For stevia, Better Stevia liquid stevia was the stevia used.

More information about Sugar and Salt-Free Canning in general.

Recipe notes

  • SWEETENER: Instead of sugar, you could use ½ cup Splenda. OR 125 ml honey (½ cup / 4 oz), OR 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia OR another sweetener au choix, with quantities determined by you.
  • How much sweetener you need will depend on the tastes of your crowd and how sweet / tart that particular batch of grapes was.
  • If you use sugar, you can actually technically reduce the sugar as desired — Pomona pectin does not depend on any sweetener to set.
  • Because this is made with Pomona Pectin, you can double or triple the batch as desired with no ill-effect on the set of the jelly.
  • Pomona pectin comes with a small pouch of powdered calcium for you to mix with water to make calcium water.
  • The pectin powder will clump if you just mix it straight into the mixture; that’s why you mix it with something first.
  • Use something like a potato masher to mash with, not a blender or a food processor: the blades will affect the set of the jelly.
  • Short of juice? Put the drained fruit pulp into a microwave-safe jug. Stir in a little extra water. Mash again. Boil in microwave for a few minutes (or you can do this in a pot on the stove.) Then put back into jelly bag to drain.
  • Don’t use a whisk to stir the jelly in the pot with, or it will create a lot of undesirable froth.

How to make grape jelly

How to make grape jelly

Recipe Source

Grape Jelly. In: Duffy, Allison Carroll. Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press. 2013. Page 86.

How to make grape jelly

Nutrition information

Regular version

Per 2 tablespoons:

  • 67 calories, 14 mg sodium

How to make grape jelly

With honey

Per 2 tablespoons:

  • 61 calories, 14 mg sodium

How to make grape jelly

Sugar-free version

Per 2 tablespoons:

  • 44 calories, 14 mg sodium

How to make grape jelly

* PointsPlus™ calculated by Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

* Better Stevia ® is a registered trademark of the NOW Foods Company.

How to make grape jelly

Reader Interactions


August 10, 2020 at 5:03 pm

Reciepe worked PERFECT for me! thank you so much. I’ve saved it as one my “go to” for grape jelly each year. Thanks again!

May 10, 2020 at 1:55 pm

Turned out perfectly using a monkfruit/erythritol sugar substitute! Thanks for the recipe. You need to make this pinable on Pinterest so I can find it easy the next time

October 02, 2017 at 1:45 pm

This grape jelly recipe failed. I made “Grape Sauce”, if there is such a thing, instead. At steps 12 and 13, the pectin did not dissolve nor set the jelly. I decided to follow the recipe in the Pomona box instead with my next batch and that was successful. Putting the pectin in the sugar was much easier their way. I can’t understand how changing it with your steps is better. It certainly wasn’t for me.

October 02, 2017 at 6:25 pm

Hi Shirley, I was attempting to try to merge the procedures for liquid and solid sweeteners. Thanks to your feedback, I’ve decided that the steps really are quite different, and can’t be merged, and have therefore clearly separated them now (as anyone reading the recipe from here-on in will notice.) I also applied that to the other Pomona jelly recipes. Thanks for letting me know.

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Home В» Canning В» Grape Jelly

How to make grape jelly

How to make grape jelly

How to make grape jelly

Making homemade grape jelly is easy if you follow a step by step process. This grape jelly recipe is adapted from the directions on the Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin box. It’s a two-day process so plan ahead.

How to make grape jelly

Grape jelly is a great way to save the taste of fresh grapes to enjoy later in homemade preserves. There is something very satisfying about making jams and jellies at home. If you like this jelly, another favorite to try is this hot pepper jelly recipe.

The colors of the jams seem brighter, the fruits fresher, and the tastes are all that much better than what you might buy off the grocery store shelf. If you enjoy homemade preserves as much as I do, you’ll find this canning resource page very helpful. It’s filled with ideas and recipes!

Why this recipe works:

The process of making grape jelly is less intimidating than you might think. You add sugar and water (and often pectin) to fruit, cook it, then ladle it into jars. Let’s get started!

What ingredients are in grape jelly?

How do you make grape jelly?

  1. On day one you will prepare the fruit.
  2. Pour the fruit over cheesecloth to strain your grape juice overnight.
  3. The next day bring the juice to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the sugar.
  4. Add the liquid fruit pectin and bring the jelly to the gelling point.
  5. Ladle into sterile jars and process in a boiling water canner or store in the refrigerator.

The tools you’ll need for most canning and preserving projects are an important part of your success.You’ll always want to start with clean jars. Sometimes you’ll need to go the extra step to sterilize the jars, too. Read more about canning supplies here. Let’s look into the steps more closely with step by step photos:

Day 1: Make grape juice from scratch

This step in making grape jelly allows you to capture the grape juice. You could skip this step and start with store bought, unsweetened grape juice and continue on to day 2 instructions.

How to make grape jellyThe steps to make grape juice from fresh grapes.

  1. Wash the grapes. Remove from the stems.
  2. Crush the grapes with a potato masher or other utensil.
  3. Add water. Bring the grapes and water to a boil in a large, deep saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Prepare cheesecloth draped over a deep bowl.
  5. Strain the grapes overnight.

How to make grape jelly

One important detail to note about straining the juice overnight. You’ll want the cheesecloth to be suspended above the level of the juice. I use clothspins and other clamps to attach the cheesecloth to the sides of my glass bowl. You’ll see in the second photo above that you can see the juice dripping slowly into the bowl. Refrigerate the bowl overnight.

You’ll need four cups of fresh grape juice. If you have extra, set it aside to drink or for another use. If you have less than four cups you can add up to 1/2 cup of water to make up the rest of the volume.

Day 2: Make jelly from the grape juice

Process with the boiling water canning method if desired. Or store in the refrigerator.

What’s the difference between jelly and jam?

How to make grape jelly

The general difference between jelly and jam is that jelly is made from the juice of fruits and jam is made from the entire fruit. Here the grape jelly recipe starts with fresh grapes and then the juice is extracted from the grapes before you make the jelly.

The distinctions are blurry in many recipes and you can often consider jam and jelly to be nearly the same. Not for grapes– jelly and jam are indeed different. The texture of the finished jelly is smooth and jiggly whereas grape jam is thick and has pieces of grapes throughout.

Here is my favorite recipe for an easy grape jam if you’d like to see the difference between grape jam and grape jelly.

Recies tips and tricks:

You can make grape jelly without pectin, although I find more success in using added pectin. The cooking time will differ if you don’t use pectin, and you’ll need to track the temperature of the liquid to make sure that it reaches the gelling stage.

You can skip the step of making grape juice from scratch and start with unsweetened, store-bought juice if you prefer.

Any grape you enjoy eating is good for making grape jelly. Concord grapes lend a beautiful shade of deep purple to jelly. Table grapes from the grocery store were used in making the jelly I show here. Other grapes such as Gumdrop grapes or Cotton Candy grapes would be lovely too.

Allow your finished grape jelly to set over 24 to 48 hours. Sometimes it can take longer if you haven’t used additional pectin.

If you do not process the jelly in a water bath canner, it must be stored in the refrigerator. If you have made your jelly shelf stable by canning it, the jelly should last for about a year.

Any opened jar of jelly needs to be refrigerated.

Yes, jelly can be frozen.

Once you have your beautiful grape jelly, use it in this recipe for Jam Sandwich Cookies, linzer cookies, or jam thumbprint cookies.
Another popular way to use grape jelly is a crock pot recipe for meatballs. The site Spend with Pennies shares her meatball recipe which sounds the way my mom made them too.

Add a label to your jar of grape jelly!

Did you know that I have a FREE Printables library? I love sharing labels that you can download and print yourself. When you are making jams, jellies, and marmalades, it is so nice to add a personal touch.

Access is free to my email subscribers. Join the growing number of email subscribers by using the form below. You’ll love this label for your homemade grape jelly!

Grape Jelly
with powdered pectin

  • 5 cups grape juice (about 3½ pounds Concord grapes and 1 cup water)
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 7 cups sugar

Yield: About 8 or 9 half-pint jars

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Sterilize canning jars and prepare two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer’s directions.

To prepare juice. Sort, wash, and remove stems from fully ripe grapes. Crush grapes, add water, cover, bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Extract juice. To prevent formation of tartrate crystals in the jelly, let juice stand in a cool place overnight, then strain through two thicknesses of damp cheesecloth to remove crystals that have formed.

To make jelly. Measure juice into a kettle. Add pectin and stir well. Place on high heat and, stirring constantly, bring quickly to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add sugar, continue stirring, and heat again to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam quickly.

Pour hot jelly immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Grape Jelly 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 was adapted from “How to Make Jellies, Jams and Preserves at Home.” Home and Garden Bulletin No. 56. Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture. 1982 reprint. National Center for Home Food Preservation, June 2005.

How to make grape jelly

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A wonderful sweet Concord grape jelly made with fresh Concord grapes.


  • 8 pounds Washed Concord Grapes (about 20 Cups Of Grapes Removed From Stems)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 9 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 packages (There Are Typically 2 Smaller Pouches/packets In A 6 Oz Box) Liquid Fruit Pectin
  • 100% Cotton Cheesecloth
  • 14 jars Sterilized Half Pint Canning Jars With Lids And Rings


Add the grapes into a very large pot and use a potato masher to crush the grapes as much as possible. Add the water and bring the fruit to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes or until the grapes are very soft.

Line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth, making sure that the cheesecloth extends over the edges of the colander by several inches. Set the colander over a large pot or bowl.

Use a measuring cup to scoop the grapes and liquid from the pot into the cheesecloth. Let it sit for 4-5 hours so that the grape juice will strain through the cheesecloth. After several hours, the fruit will be cooled and a large amount of the liquid will have worked its way into the pot or bowl. Grab the edges of the cheesecloth that are hanging over the colander, pull them towards the center and twist to form a “bag”. Squeeze the bag to release any of the grape juice that remains trapped in the fruit. You should end up with around 9 cups of grape juice. Discard the cheesecloth and fruit remnants and refrigerate the juice overnight in covered containers or jars.

Note: The purpose of spreading the process over two days is to ensure that you get the clearest jelly possible. If you want to proceed without refrigerating the juice overnight, you may do so.

Remove the grape juice from the refrigerator. Any further sediment will have settled to the bottom of the container so you can strain the juice once more through cheesecloth to ensure really clear jelly.

In a very large pot, combine the juice and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat. Boil hard, uncovered for 2 minutes, stirring as needed. Add liquid pectin and stir to combine. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and use a metal spoon to skim off the foam.

Ladle hot jelly into 14 sterilized half pint jars, leaving 1/4″ head space. Wipe off the jar rims and add lids. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove jars from the water bath and cool on wire racks.

How to make grape jelly

This month was really stressful. We had a bunch of stuff going on that’s not really worth going into. The only reason I bring it up is to say how it really is so nice when life is being overly complicated and then you find an absolutely gigantic patch of wild grapes that have set the most beautiful, luscious, deep purple clusters of fruit, and then you can be like:

HEY! Instead of stressing out about all this other stuff, I’m gonna spend the afternoon picking grapes and making jelly. If I wanna blow off the everything that I’m supposed to be doing and make jelly instead then DAMMIT I’m going to because I’m a grown woman and who can stop me SO THERE.

I still can’t believe that these grapes are wild. Most of the ones I’ve seen in the past wouldn’t really set fruit in bunches; it would just be a few random grapes here and there on the vines. How to make grape jellyHow to make grape jellyThe main difference between wild and cultivated grapes are the size of the seeds. Wild grapes’ skins slip off the same way concord grape skins do, but the seed inside is huge and there’s not much to the fruit. The flavor is intense, though, and perfect for making jelly. The color of the finished preserve is gorgeous and the taste is dark, tart and wonderful. (Actually, it really reminds me of the tiny, tart wild blackberries that grow in the exact same area earlier in the summer.) How to make grape jelly

Wild grapes have lots of pectin on their own and are a good candidate for a no-added pectin jelly. The set on those jellies really is nicer than jellies with added commercial pectin, but you really need to add a lot of sugar to make the no pectin batches gel. I prefer adding low-sugar commercial pectin to the grape juice so that I can use less sugar and have a shorter cooking time (which often preserves the flavor of the fresh fruit a little better). I made some wild blackberry-plum jelly earlier this year without any added commercial pectin, and it’s good, but it’s just so sweet.

WILD GRAPE JELLY, adapted from the Sure-Gel low sugar pectin insert that comes in the box

Makes: 6 half pint jars

Cook Time: 1 hr. plus overnight

First, make the grape juice. Wash the grapes and remove them from the stems. Put them in a large, nonreactive pot and add just enough water to cover them. Simmer the grapes for about half an hour. Once they start softening up, mash them with a potato masher to release their juice. After 30-45 minutes, pour them into a jelly bag to drain overnight. (Or, use cheesecloth. or a clean pillowcase. I like this description of using a pillowcase instead of a proper jelly bag. I just slip mine over the top of a pot and tie off the excess fabric underneath the pot, if that makes any sense.)

I had 16 cups of grapes and cooked them in 8 cups of water, which ended up yielding about 5 cups of juice.

STEP TWO: making the jelly

  • 5 c. prepared wild grape juice
  • 3 cups plus 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 box of sure-gel low sugar pectin

Prepare boiling water canner, jars and lids.

Whisk together the pectin with 1/4 c. of sugar. In a large, nonreactive pot, whisk together the grape juice and the pectin/sugar mixture. Cook on high heat until the grape juice comes to a full, rolling boil. Stir in the rest of the sugar and bring the jelly back to a full boil. Boil hard for 1 minute.

Ladle hot jelly into prepared jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rims and attach lids, then process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude as necessary. How to make grape jellyThis happens to be the first time I’ve tried out tattler lids… and I love them. They’re BPA free and reusable, which is great. Throwing away all those metal lids always seems like a bummer, and really, I haven’t seen any pinterest projects for repurposing them that actually look like anything work making.