The sweet taste of summer canned in a jar of Watermelon Jelly. This jelly is a sweet watermelon flavor, delicious and goes great on a slice of bread, topping pancakes or waffles or even used in fruit salad or baked goods.
This is the perfect jelly to try out this summer. Canning is a science, so before you jump in, be sure you read my tips and tricks and also do a little homework on canning jelly.
It’s easy to have it go wrong. Make sure you are aware of the different aspects of canning.
Which pectin’s to use, how weather and/or humidity in your house can determine the outcome.
Be sure and check out these Canning Tips and Tricks.
Why We Love This Recipe?
- Tastes like sweet watermelon, almost like candy.
- Definitely on the easier end of canning recipes.
- Doesn’t make a million jars, depending on jar size, you’ll end up with probably 2-4 jars.
What does watermelon jelly taste like?
It tastes a lot like an old fashioned watermelon candy.
Depending on strength it can be a light subtle flavor or a strong watermelon flavor.
Do I need to strain the watermelon?
You do not have to, we chose to.
If you decide to keep the watermelon in the recipe, you will have to change the amount of pectin in the recipe.
We preferred it strained so it’s how we make it.
Basically, strained is the different between jelly, not jam.
Jam is made from the pulp of the fruit. Jelly is made from the fruit juice.
Do not throw out the pulp, and reserve a little watermelon juice, and you’ll have a fantastic base for a delicious drink!
What can I use Watermelon Jelly on?
- waffles, pancakes or french toast
- ice cream
- biscuits and rolls
- inside jelly donuts or other pastries
- as a filling in a cake or cupcake
- anywhere you would use jelly!
I’m loving watermelon flavored everything and am definitely going to have some fun with all of this.
If you want to make watermelon jam, just keep the pulp there. Don’t strain it.
It’s incredibly easy, if you just follow the recipe and read through the tips.
We have beautiful jars of Jelly and I cannot wait to get the rest of the watermelon’s grown so we can make more.
I made about three half pint jars with one single small watermelon.
I am hoping that by the end of the summer we will have tons of jars and be able to use it all winter long and enjoy the sweet taste of summer all winter long.
How to make Watermelon Jelly with Important Tips for Canning
Pot Size – You want to use the widest and tallest pot you can find. The reason is, the wider the pot, the better the heat process is for the jelly.
You need it to be tall, because you want it to really get boiling, and when it does, it’s going to be creeping up the sides of the pot.
Trust me on this. Large stockpot = perfect canning device.
Pectin Type – You’re going to ask me if you can use liquid pectin, and yes you can, but I will tell you that this particular jelly worked beautifully the exact way I made it, listed in the recipe instructions and I have not tried any other way.
Below I share exactly what product I used.
There have been comments that the jelly didn’t set, I’ve seen comments that it over set. Mine set. With this EXACT recipe.
I don’t think it had anything to do with liquid vs. powdered. It was beautiful, spreadable and delicious. I cannot help you if you want to substitute something else or change the recipe in any way. I’m sorry. I am not a canning expert, this was an experiment and it worked for me. We’ve made it several times since and had no problems.
Other Recipes – If instead you’d like a watermelon syrup that is GREAT with waffles, pancakes, ice cream, etc… lower the pectin amount. Use only one box. Yes, we’ve done it and its amazing.
Do the Plate Test – When you think your mixture is done boiling and ready to be removed, do the plate test. So much easier. Take a small plate or bowl and put it in the freezer at the start of this whole process (at least 15 minutes).
When you think your mixture is ready, take a small spoonful and put it on the freezing plate. Give it about a minute or so and test it. If it’s forming a skin or solidifying a bit, it’s ready.
If it’s still very runny after a minute, give your jelly a few more minutes on the stove. I used three plates in the freezer just in case it wasn’t done the first time. It was.
Use a Canning Funnel – When you are ready to pour the jelly into the jars, I strongly urge you to purchase a canning funnel.
I got this 6 pc canning set, that has a few interesting tools – the jar handler (for when it’s hot) and the wide mouth canning funnel were the two I wanted and use the most.
When you funnel the liquid into the jar, pour slowly and carefully. You will burn yourself badly if you get any of that liquid on your skin. Once the jar appears full, allow it to sit for a minute. You’ll be surprised by how much it settles and you can add more in.
Fill to about a half inch from the top. Each time you pour more liquid in, just give in a minute to settle so you can make sure you completely fill the jar. I didn’t realize how much it would settle, so I figure you might not. So just a tip to make things easier.
Use a Canning Basket – Get yourself a canning basket. They are pretty cheap at Amazon or a box store, and they make the whole process so much easier! I’m not kidding either.
I reserve the right to add more tips as I continue to make batches of watermelon jelly 😉
What type of pectin should I use for Watermelon Jelly?
PINK SURE JELL BOX
The Pink Sure Jell Box is the one that is made for “Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes”.
That is the box I used for THIS recipe, and it’s the only box I tested this recipe with.
This is the one I was recommended for this recipe, so it was what I used.
I get mine here since it saves some money buying extras. Results will vary if you choose a different pectin or a liquid pectin.
Other fantastic canning recipes
- Pink Peony Jelly
- Dandelion Jelly
- Honeysuckle Jelly
- Corn Cob Jelly
- Blueberry Lemon Basil Jam
- Blood Orange Marmalade
- Freezer Strawberry Jam
Recipe for Watermelon Jelly
Have you ever made any jelly’s or tried canning? Tell me about your experiences below!
- 4 cups of watermelon juice
- 4 cups of white sugar
- 7 Tablespoons of lemon juice bottled is better because you don’t get the extra pulp
- 2 1.75 ounce boxes of SURE-JELL FOR LESS OR NO SUGAR NEEDED RECIPES, the pink box
- To get your watermelon juice, cut up your watermelon into small chunks and puree in your blender or food processor. I found the blender worked better. Strain the juice out to remove the pulp and the seeds. Save the pulp for another recipe or discard. Do this until you have 4 cups of watermelon juice. You will need to do it in at least 2 batches, maybe three.
- In the widest stock pot you have (see tips for information on this) add the watermelon juice, lemon juice and sugar and blend together. Add the pectin and stir together again.
- Heat to boiling and then allow to boil on the stove until it gets to 220 degrees, a digital thermometer will help here, big time. I stirred the mixture a few times to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It took me 20 minutes to reach 220, but it can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to reach this which depends on the size of the pot, the pectin, the temperature outside, etc. In other words, this is all a science, and what works one time, might not work the next. My advice, keep an eye on it. I burned a batch because I answered the phone. Yes, 35 seconds to go across the floor to grab the phone and it burned.
- Once you have reached the desired 220 degrees (please, please use a digital or candy thermometer to do this and then follow the plate test below in the tips to make sure its done).
- Once you have determined its ready, remove from heat and carefully pour it into your jars. (see the tips for some notes on this too!)
- If you didn’t use a canning jar funnel, make sure you wipe the lids well, and then put the lids on. (these jars are hot! Use canning tongs or a thick kitchen towel to handle)
- Quickly clean your big pot out, place the jars in the bottom and fill with hot water covering the jars by over an inch. I had some trouble because one of my jars was only half full and it wanted to bob around in there. I let it, it didn’t hurt anything.
- Put the pot on the stove, heat to boiling again and give it a 10 minute hot water bath.
- After 10 minutes, remove the pot from the stove, CAREFULLY remove the jars from the water (I used a canning basket, so it was fairly easy) and allow the jars to cool enough to handle.
- Remove the rings around the jar and test the seals, make sure they are secure but don’t break the seal. Replace the rings and store for up to a year in a cool, dry place (dark is good too). If any of the seals are broken, use that jar, and enjoy your watermelon jelly. Don’t forget to label the jar, or if you make several kinds you won’t remember what is what. Please make sure and read the extra tips below.