How To Make Jam in the Microwave

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Easy microwave jam! Ready in under 20 minutes. Strawberry jam, peach jam, blueberry jam, or any other fruit jam you like.

Photography Credit: Emma Christensen

This one goes out to all of you who really want to make jam, but just lack the time, energy, counter space, or mental fortitude for a large canning project.

Microwave jam is ready in under 20 minutes and makes one perfect little jar of jammy goodness. Here’s everything you need to know.

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How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave

When I first stumbled upon Elise’s recipes for Microwave Strawberry Jam and Microwave Fig Jam, I thought, “No way.” No way that making jam could be that easy. No way that it could be as good as “real” jam.

Consider me a convert. I have now tried this microwave method with blueberries, peaches, and strawberries, and the results have been nothing short of jam heaven.

This jam is just as sweet and spoonable as any other homemade or store-bought jam. You can spread it on toast, swirl it into ice cream, or just eat it straight from the jar. No judgment.

How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave

This jam is ideal for whenever you have a few fruits going soft on the counter or if you scored an extra pint of berries at the farmers market. Two to three cups of chopped fruit or berries will give you about a cup of jam.

Since we’re not actually canning this jam – it goes straight into the fridge – you can use any kind of sugar you prefer. Regular sugar, honey, brown sugar, agave, and maple syrup all work well. Between 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup is usually enough to sweeten the fruit and give it a good jammy texture.

The microwave is really a perfect tool for making a small batch of jam like this. It cooks down a few cups of fruit very quickly and efficiently, making a concentrated jam in about 15 minutes of cook time.

The jam will bubble up quite a bit as it cooks and nearly quadruple in volume. Be sure to use a microwave-safe bowl with at least an 8-cup capacity and stir the jam every few minutes. Also, use oven mitts when removing the bowl from the microwave since it will become quite hot.

How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave

The only truly tricky moment comes in judging when the jam is done. In my experience, 15 minutes of total cooking time is a good average for most fruits. However, the jam will still look a bit syrupy and un-jammy at this point, so the temptation is always to cook it a little longer.

My advice is to resist that temptation. The jam is ready when the syrup coats the back of the spatula and falls in big, heavy drips back into the bowl. It will set more firmly as it cools, and cooking it longer can cause the sugar to crystallize and harden.

Don’t stress yourself out about it if you’re not sure – just let it cool and see how thick it becomes. If it’s still seems too loose, just stick it back in the microwave and give it another round of cooking.

Stash this jam in the fridge or the freezer. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge, or for about three months in the freezer.

Tips for Success!

Chunky vs. smooth jam: Change up the texture of your jam just by chopping your fruit into larger or smaller pieces. For a smoother jam, you can also puree it before cooking, or mash the cooked fruit against the side of the bowl as you stir.

Use an 8-cup capacity, microwave-safe bowl: The jam will bubble up quite a bit and quadruple in size as it cooks, so be sure to use a large bowl. Use oven mitts when moving the bowl from the microwave.

Stop cooking when the jam is concentrated, but still syrupy: The jam will still look slightly loose when done, but it will firm up as it cools. Resist the temptation to cook it for longer.

More Jams to Love Straight From the Microwave!

How To Make Jam in the Microwave

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 to 1 1/2 cups of jam

You can also cook this small batch of jam on the stove-top. Simmer gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until it reaches a loose jam consistency.


  • 2 to 3 cups berries or diced fruit
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, honey, or other sweetener
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste

Special equipment:


1 Prepare the fruit: Remove all seeds, cores, pits, or other non-edible parts. Peels can be left or removed. Cut larger fruits like peaches and strawberries into small pieces. Berries can be left whole.

How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave

2 Macerate the fruit and sugar: Toss the prepared fruit with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar or other sweetener and 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (to taste) in an 8-cup glass measuring cup or microwave-safe mixing bowl. If you're using berries, lightly mash them to release their juices. Let the fruit macerate for at least a half an hour, until the sugar is dissolved and the fruit looks syrupy.

How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave

3 Microwave for 10 minutes, stirring halfway: Microwave the fruit, uncovered, at full power for 5 minutes. The fruit juices will bubble up as the fruit cooks, quadrupling in volume. Carefully remove the bowl using oven mitts (the glass will be hot), and stir the fruit. It will look quite loose and liquidy at this point. Return to the microwave and cook another 5 minutes.

How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave

4 Stir the fruit again: Remove the fruit from the microwave with oven mitts and stir it again.The jam will probably still look fairly syrupy at this point. Mash the fruit against the sides of the bowl if you'd like a smoother texture, or leave it as is for a chunkier texture.

How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave

5 Continue to microwave in 2 to 3 minute intervals. Stir the jam between each interval and continue cooking until the liquid concentrates to a sticky syrup that coats the back of the spatula and falls in heavy drips back into the bowl. Don't worry if the jam still seems a little loose at this point; it will set more firmly as it cools. Total cooking time is usually around 15 minutes for most fruits.

If you're unsure whether the jam ready, it's best to err on the side of caution. Over-cooking can cause the jam to crystallize and harden. If the jam still seems loose after it cools, return it to the measuring cup and cook it a few more minutes.

How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave

6 Cool and store the jam: Transfer the jam to a canning jar or other storage container. Let it cool, uncovered, on the counter. Once cool, cover and store in the refrigerator for several weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.

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How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave

Emma Christensen

Emma Christensen is the Editor-in-Chief of Simply Recipes, and has over 10 years of experience creating food and content for web and print. She was formerly the recipe editor for The Kitchn and is the author of three books on home-brewing, True Brews, Brew Better Beer, and Modern Cider. Emma is a graduate of The Cambridge School for Culinary Arts and Bryn Mawr College. She lives in San Jose, California.

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29 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Barbara

    Well it takes a lot longer to cook than the time stated.
    I added another fifteen minutes at least and it still would not set on a chilled saucer. This is the ages old test passed down from my mother,
    Also 750g of strawberries only yielded two small jars.
    Not impressed.

  2. Fatima

    No more supermarket jam! Wow, the taste and simplicity! This recipe gave new life and purpose to my microwave. Next, whole fruit canning here we come! Thanks.


    Show Replies (1)
  3. Ricky

    Just made raspberry as I found some in the freezer. Came out fine. I usually add half an apple with the skin to make sure it helps. Tastes good too.

  4. Elisa

    I’ve been making this for ages. 2 cups of fruit (strawberry or apricots), + 2/3 cup of sugar, + a bit of lemon juice. Large pyrex, nuke for 3 minutes till the sugar dissolves, stir and then 11 minutes (no need to stir). For the apricots, I like them chunky, so it’s less than 11 minutes. Delicious.

  5. Helen

    I generally use this recipe with raspberries and it is lovely. It is also great to use when you discover a bowl of raspberries in the fridge that you forgot about that are days old and looking a bit sorry for themselves. You can’t really use them for anything else but having nuked them in the microwave you know they are safe to eat and the jam is gorgeous.

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