Dear Home Ec 101:
How long can an open jar of jam or jelly be kept in the fridge before it spoils? (And how do you know when it spoils?)I’m not a big jam eater, but enjoy it once in a while. However, I end up throwing out a lot of jam because I don’t know whether it’s still good after it’s been in the fridge for months.
Puzzled in Punxsutawney
Who knew that jam would be such a hot topic? I spent some time researching your question. Homemade full sugar jams and jellies will keep at 40F for a month or a little longer. Freezer jams and jellies are more prone to weeping and tend to degrade faster than conventionally preserved jam. Low sugar and no sugar jams also tend to have shorter shelf lives than their full sugar counterparts.
Commercially packaged jams and jellies may be stored in the refrigerator at 40F for up to one year. Donning my tin-foil hat – I tend to trust food that has a lifespan shorter than that of polyester. I kid! If you looked in my fridge, you’d find some Smuckers cozied up to my homemade strawberry jam.
Use your eyes and nose to tell you if your jam has gone bad. If you smell yeast, alcohol, or an ‘off’ odor it’s time to say goodbye. Also toss any jam or jelly that has changed color or appears to be growing friends.