28 Steam Water Bath Canning in Your Instant Pot: Part Two, Strawberry Jam

Did you know you can steam can your fruits, jams, jellies and pickles in your Instant Pot? Steam canning in your Instant Pot is a great way to preserve smaller batches of food as it takes less water, less overall time to process, and doesn't heat up your entire kitchen! Making smaller batches is actually preferred when making jams and jellies, as you will get a consistent batch each and every time.

Before starting, you will want to become familiar with the rules of Steam Canning and test your Instant Pot using water and a thermometer. I have tested my 6 quart Duo at 4,500 feet altitude and there can be some variance due to size and altitude, so do a WATER STEAM CANNING TEST first.

You can view a step by step video instruction, here, and watch me process some delicious Apple Butter, here.

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I made some Strawberry Jam in my Ball FreshTec Automatic Jam/Jelly maker and was thrilled with the results of how easy and simple it was to make. The Automatic Jam/Jelly Maker does all the cooking and stirring, which left my hands free to get my jars, lids and rings ready to process the jam. You can find this recipe in the Ball Blue Book for Canning & Preserving.

1. Wash & Inspect your jars with hot soapy water and rinse them well. Using your dishwasher is fine.

Inspect your jars for any chips or cracks. Run your finger along the top of the rim - it should be smooth and free of any chips that may prevent your jar from sealing.

It is important to keep your clean jars HOT. You can keep them hot in your dishwasher, or pour boiling water over your clean jars in the sink.

OPTIONAL: Use your IP to sanitize your jars.

Trivet, 1 cup of water, put clean jars in IP, close, lock, set valve to Sealing, set time for 1 minute. Keep jars in IP till ready to use. 

2. Make your Jam. 
You can find the recipe here or in the Ball Blue Book of Canning. This takes about 25 -30 minutes to make, which is about the same time as it takes to prepare and fill the jars for canning.

I was able to make jam while a batch was processing and do 3 kinds of strawberry jam, back to back, taking 1.5 hours total to steam can 15-16 eight ounce jars of jam!

3. Fill your jars. 
When your jam is ready, empty out a HOT jar and set a canning funnel inside the jar. Fill it with your HOT jam, up to 1/4" from the top of the jar. This is called the "head space," which will allow your jars to seal properly.

If you have any jam left over that will not fill a jar up to the 1/4" head space, put it in the fridge to enjoy.

4. Wipe Rims.
Remove the canning funnel. Wipe the rim of the filled jar with a clean, damp paper towel.

If there is any food on the rim, it will keep your jar from sealing properly.

5. Lid & Ring. 
Put a NEW** canning lid on top of the jar of jam, and screw on the canning ring.
Do not turn it super tight - as it will prevent a proper seal.
Finger - tip tight is what you want. This means to screw on the lids and STOP when you start to feel resistance.

**If you are an experienced canner, did you know that you do not need to heat your lids? That is great news! (Source)

I still like to use the magnetic lid wand - I want to make sure everything is clean and sterile!

6. Put Jars in the Instant Pot.
Place the metal trivet (steam rack) inside the pot.
Put 3 1/2 cups* of water into your Instant Pot liner. Water should be at the height of the trivet.
Place your hot jars on the trivet.
If you are processing more than 7 half pint jars, you will want to make a foil sling for the center jar. (*If you are using the 8 qt IP, pour water up to the trivet line).

Fold the aluminum sling down and over the top of the jars. The foil sling will help you remove the center jar and allow you to use a canning jar lifter or hot pads to grab the rest of the jars.

7. Check Seal, Close/Lock Lid.
Check your seal - make sure it is seated correctly, all the way around the underside of the lid.

Put the Instant Pot lid on the pressure cooker and turn it completely to lock it.

Make sure the pressure valve is set to VENTING.

8. Process the Jars.
Push the STEAM button. Watch your pressure cooker.

When the float valve comes up AND you see a full stream of steam coming from the pressure valve, start the processing time according to your altitude.

Processing Time for Strawberry Jam is 10 minutes at sea level - no adjustment necessary.

Add time for altitudes higher than 1,000 feet.

I am at 4,500 feet, so I need to add 10 minutes to my processing time, for a total of 20 minutes. 

9. Turn off the IP.
At the end of processing time, Press Cancel/Keep Warm to turn the IP OFF and wait for the float valve to drop.

When the float valve drops, you can open up your pressure cooker.

10. Cool the jars. 
Carefully remove the jars, using a jar lifter or hot pads, and set each jar on a wire cooling rack. 

Do not disturb the jars for at least 12-24 hours.

As the jars cool, you will hear the JOYFUL pings of jars being sealed. The new canning lid design will let you know how to see if the jar has sealed - the jar on the right has sealed.

The jar on the left still has the 'bubble,' and will seal in a minute or two.

Resist the urge to touch the tops of the jars until 12 hours have passed.

After 12 hours, if you have any jars that have NOT sealed, you have 2 options.

1. Re-process with a new jar, new lid, with the same method (heating jam, jars, etc) and the same processing time. (Lids are a one time use). -or-

2. Put the jar of food in the fridge to use immediately. (I prefer this option)

When proper canning procedures have been followed, it is rare for a jar not to seal.

Reasons for jars that don't seal can be any of the following:

  • Jar was not filled properly with required amount of "head space." If you do not have enough food to fill the jar, put it in the fridge to enjoy.
  • The top of the jar was not clean. Any food or reside can prevent a proper seal.
  • The top of the jar has a nick or a crack on the rim. 
  • The lid was not centered. 
  • The ring was screwed on too tight. Air needs to escape to create a vacuum and seal.

When canned and stored properly, your Strawberry Jam will keep for 18-24 months.

I have successfully Steam Canned Applesauce, Strawberry Jam (several varieties, including Strawberry Kiwi and Strawberry Vanilla), Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate, and Strawberry Lemon Curd. 



  1. Excellent information, I used this process tonight with your Apple Butter recipe. Am sure they will ping shortly....Thank you so much....Do you have a recipe for Orange Marmalade?

    1. You are most welcome! You can find a recipe for Orange Marmalade on the Ball Canning site, here. Enjoy!

  2. This was so awesome, Was able to jar up 16 1/2 pints tonight for m group home, both apple jelly and grape jelly....this was so quick and so wonderful, will do more tomorrow...thank you so much for posting this, used my ip to to the canning part.....thank you so much!

    1. You are most welcome! Thanks for leaving a comment and enjoy your jelly! :-)

  3. Have you tried Stewed Rhubarb? Or Strawberry Rhubarb pie filling? Do you feel it is safe to use my IP to can stewed rhubarb?

    1. Rhubarb is a vegetable, low acid, and is not to be used for steam or water bath canning. Pie fillings need to use a special thickener (Clear Jel) for water bath canning (SB Canning website has a recipe). If you use any other thickener, you will have to freeze it, not can it. :-)

  4. Should the penny you put in the bottom be rattling the whole time you are steam canning? I made a batch of rasberry jelly and processed it for 15 min, started timing it after the valve came up and full steam coming out but didn't notice penny rattling. Also I just steamed it for the same amount of time that the recipe says to process in a boiling water bath while taking my altitude into consideration. Not sure if I did it right or not.

    1. Yes, it should be rattling the during the entire time you are processing your jars. Was there any water left at the end of processing? If not, you will need to add more water the next time you make this recipe. Yes, you are correct to use the same processing time as a boiling water bath. :-)

  5. I have used your method before for strawberry and blueberry jam. Usually, I re-watch the video just to make sure I get each step right. This time I didn't and completely missed the step about setting the valve to vent (which explains why it was so darn quiet and why the IP did the count down once it got to pressure). So my question - should I reprocess it or just give it to people who will put it in their fridge and eat it right away. Or shall I just toss?

    1. You can reprocess it or freeze it.🙂

    2. Thank you! Grateful for your knowledge.

  6. Frieda,
    Thank you so much for this post. I made 19 jars of jelly and was very pleased with myself, but now I am worried that I may have done something wrong. I feel like I did the first batch correctly but since I waited a few weeks before doing more I may have pressed the pressure cook setting instead of the steam setting. Everything else was the same. Would it have worked by pressing Pressure Cook instead of Steam??

    1. If the valve was open, and emitted constant steam during processing, you are fine. If the valve was closed and it came to pressure, I would say it's not processed correctly and I would reprocess the jars by reheating the jelly,putting them into clean jars with new lids and reprocess them. 🙂

    2. Thank goodness! I lost a good nights sleep thinking about it! haha
      Love your blog!

  7. How many jars will the 8 quart IP hold? Having not seen one I'm not sure if it is wider or taller. ;)

    1. I am not certain. Canning jars come in different sizes as well. You'll need to dry fit the jars to see how many the pot will hold before starting. You can see my dry fit of jars here in my 6qt.

    2. My 8 qt IP holds 7 jelly jars. I have not yet tried pint size jars yet - they may be too tall for my model.

  8. Hi Frieda,

    I am canning peaches currently, following a boiling water bath canner recipe. It has a processing time of 25 minutes (taking into account my altitude). I have the valve set to venting and there is steam coming out and it's quite loud, however it's been over 25 minutes now and the float valve has not come up. The IP is now counting down from 25 minutes. I'm not sure what is happening or if I did something incorrect. I did the test without the float and using a thermometer for 35 minutes, all was good. I sterilized the jars, and put hot food in hot jars. I put 3.5 cups of water in, but I don't hear my penny rattling and the valve has not come up. What do you think the problem could be? I was so hopeful!!

    1. Hi! First, that is great you did rge test. Try cleaning out your float valve as the may be something causing it to stick. It should mor be counting down at all, as it is not using pressure. The penny may not be rattling if your pot is under pressure and is counting down. You can reprocess your jars by using new lids.🙂

  9. Hi Frieda,
    Do I not need to fill the jars with water when sterilizing in the IP? Your instructions say 1 cup of water with jars on the trivet. Can I throw the rings in there as well? This is my first time and making red and green grape jelly. The recipe calls for sure-jell and does not mention anything about pressurizing after I fill my jars. Thank you.

    1. When sterilizing clean jars, you do not need to fill them with water. You can even use your dishwasher to clean and keep your jars hot. I find ir easier to put my clean jars in the sink and fill them with hot water to keep them hot until ready to fill. No need to put the rings in the IP or sterize them. Dishwasher clean is sufficient.
      With the recipe, you are not using pressure to process your jars. It worked be a water bath (putting jars in water and bringing to a boil), but this method in this post uses steam to process your jars, using the time from the water bath recipe. 🙂

  10. I am so thankful for this post. For those who small batch WB can, this is such a timesaver.

  11. Do you know if one can use the pot to can essiac tea? The tea being dried and cured prior to canning. Thank you. I do not have a dishwasher...how do I sterilize the jars in the instapot? Thank you!!

    1. I am not familiar with the recipe you are describing, so I am inclined to say, No, it is not suitable for canning.
      You can sterilize the clean jars by using 1 cup of water, trivet, jars, and using 2 minutes on High pressure or the Steam setting. 🙂

  12. Can 4 oz jars be stacked on top of each other in the IP?

    1. Yes they can. You will need to off-set them as described in the IP Steam Canning Part One post found here. This link is also found in the first paragraph at the top of this page. 🙂

  13. I stumbled upon your canning info and am using it right now!!! June 9th, 2020


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