Do you know you can turn your favorite summer snack into watermelon jelly?
Summertime is here. When I imagine summer, I think of my blooming garden, hours swimming at the lake, picnics, and watermelon. Watermelon is, by far, one of my favorite fruits. It is juicy, sweet, and messy, the perfect combination for a treat.
Connor absolutely loves watermelon. He can eat so much of it, I swear he will BECOME a watermelon!
A year ago, I knew I wanted to preserve watermelon, but how? Canning watermelon slices won’t work. Then I realized, why not make a jelly out of watermelon? It is amazing.
You do need a juicer or at least a way to get the juice out of the watermelon without the pulp. That could mean blending and straining the watermelon.
We just happen to have a juicer, which makes the process easier. If you plan to make a lot of jellies, I suggest you get a juicer. You can use it to make grape jelly, strawberry jelly, and so much more!
Start to finish, it takes me less than an hour to make watermelon jelly.
*It is important to note that watermelon is higher on the acidity scale, which means you must add acid to the recipe to safely water bath this recipe.
How to Make Watermelon Jelly
Before you do anything else, you have to cut up your watermelon. I have to admit; I’m not a fan of this. No knife seems to make the job any easier, and the juices go everywhere.
I’ve had ants in my kitchen, so I always worry that juice on my counters will be an invitation to visit once more.
Anyway, your next task is to juice the watermelon. I’ve found that it’s best to only juice half of a watermelon at first. Typically, I can get an entire half gallon, which means I can double this recipe.
After you juice the watermelon, it’s time to start canning! The canner needs to be filled with water and set on the burner to start boiling the water. Put the watermelon juice into a stockpot and start boiling the juice down.
Watermelon is primarily made of water, and it needs to be boiled down more than other jellies. I’ve found that you need to boil for up to 30 minutes to form a proper jelly out of watermelon juice. Once the juice comes to a boil, stirring frequently to reduce boiling.
Now is the time to mix in the pectin and sugar. Mix the pectin and 1 cup of sugar in a separate bowl and then whisk it into the jelly. Whisk well to avoid any lumps and add lemon juice.
Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and let it boil for 1-2 minutes. Once boiled, you can take it off of the heat and prepare to fill the jars with the jelly.
EDIT: I had some questions about this recipe because people were having a hard time getting it to a jelly consistency. I experimented and found that, after you add the pectin, sugar, and lemon juice, you should let this boil until it reaches 220 degrees F. Stir consistently to stop it from burning. This seems to help, and make sure you have a candy thermometer!
Fill the jars, leaving 1/2 inch space. Wipe off the rims of the jars and place on the lids and rims. Fill the rack with the jars.
Put the jars into your water bath canner, letting them boil for 10 minutes. Pints should boil for 15 minutes instead.
A sweet and delicious jelly made from watermelon juice is a treat your whole family will love.
- 4 Cups Watermelon Juice
- 4 Cups Sugar
- 1 Box Low-Sugar Pectin
- 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
Juice the watermelon or blend then strain the mixture. Put the juice into a pot and turn on medium/high heat to boil.
Allow the watermelon juice to boil, stirring frequently. Since watermelon contains so much water, you need to cook it longer than normal. Make sure you stir so that it doesn't burn. On average, it will take 15-30 minutes. For best results, boil and let cook until the liquid reaches 220 degrees F.
Next, Mix the box of pectin with one cup of sugar. I use low sugar pectin because 8 cups of sugar for the regular pectin is just too much. You'll lose the flavor of the watermelon.
Stir in the pectin and sugar mixture. Then, slowly add the rest of the sugar, stirring well after each cup.
Let the liquid come back to a rolling boil and boil for 1-2 minutes while stirring continuously. Add in the lemon juice.
Remove from heat and ladle into jars. You will typically get 7 to 8 half-pint jars with one recipe.
Finally, water bath can for 5 minutes. Remove from the canner and place on a dry towel on the counters. Let cool for 12 hours before disturbing.
Have you ever tried watermelon jelly? It is a top seller for me because my friends and family love it for its unique flavor.
Supplies to Make Watermelon Jelly
For a complete list of canning supplies, take a look at my guide to gather canning supplies!
- Breville Juice Fountain Juice Extractor
- Norpro Canning Essentials – 6 Piece Set
- Granite Ware Preserving Canner
- Kraft Sure Jelly Light Fruit Pectin
- 15-Pack Mason Jars