Condiment/ Jam/ Recipe

Rhubarb Jam

June 11, 2020 (Last Updated: July 19, 2020)

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Delicious homemade rhubarb jam is a delicious way to use up your spring rhubarb. All you need to make this jam is fresh rhubarb and sugar and a bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice! That’s it – no added pectin or other ingredients.

A glass jar filled with homemade rhubarb jam.

Rhubarb is in full season for us right now. I’ve been making lots of rhubarb recipes lately; rhubarb muffins, rhubarb bread, rhubarb crisp, rhubarb sauce and my latest is this rhubarb jam. 

Rhubarb is tart and it lends itself to a variety of dishes. Rhubarb jam is a perfect jam with a bit of tart and a bit of sweet. This jam is delicious on toast, English muffins or on a peanut butter sandwich.

An English muffin topped with rhubarb jam.

This jam is only made with fresh rhubarb and sugar and a bit of fresh lemon juice. That’s it! There’s no added pectin, water or other ingredients. 

The trick to making this jam is macerating the rhubarb. Macerating is simply mixing the rhubarb with sugar and allowing the water to be extracted from the rhubarb.

Freshly chopped rhubarb in a glass bowl.1
Rhubarb in a bowl with melted sugar.3
Sugar coating chopped rhubarb in a glass bowl.2
Macerated rhubarb in a bowl filled with liquid.4

The color of rhubarb jam

The color of rhubarb jam varies, depending on your rhubarb. The rhubarb from my garden tends to be more green than red, but my mother in law’s rhubarb is very, very red. When I use her rhubarb in this jam, my jam also turn out really red. 

It can also a light color with a pinkish hue. Sometimes it even turns a drab greenish brown color. Adding a bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice helps keep the color bright. No matter the color, the taste is always the same. The color of rhubarb does not change the taste.  Adding a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice helps preserve the color. 

Homemade rhubarb jam in a glass canning jar with stalks of rhubarb in the background.

How long does it take to make this jam?

The actual cook time of this jam is about 30 minutes. However, the macerating of the rhubarb takes about 8 hours. I like to cut up the rhubarb in the evening, add the sugar, cover and then let sit overnight. I sometimes give it an occasional stir, if I’m thinking about it. 

To make the jam

  1. Cut up rhubarb into small pieces and place in a bowl
  2. Add sugar and stir
  3. Cover for at least 8 hours or overnight
  4. Add fresh squeezed lemon juice
  5. Place rhubarb and all juices into a large pot
  6. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture begins to boil
  7. Lower to medium low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often
  8. Continue cooking over low heat until mixture begins to thicken
  9. Remove from heat and place in a glass container

How do I know if the jam is done?

There are a couple of ways to determine if your jam is done:

  • Cook until rhubarb is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated
  • Cook until temperature of jam reaches 210-215 degrees. This is a slightly lower temperature than most jams that are cooked to 220 degrees, but it is a perfect temperature for rhubarb jam
  • Test jam on a plate – scoop out a tablespoonful of jam onto a plate. Allow to cool for a minute and then run the back of a spoon through jam. If the jam stays separated, it is done. 
  • Tilt the jam – the jam should only have a slight slide  Rhubarb jam being tested on a white plate.

How do I store this jam?

This batch of jam does not make a large amount. It yields approximately 2 cups of cooked jam. Since this doesn’t make a large amount, I store the jam in the refrigerator. It will last for up to one month in the refrigerator. 

If you are making a larger batch and need a way to store it for a longer period, you can freeze the jam or can it into jars and process in a hot water bath

Rhubarb jam in a glass canning jar.

Other delicious homemade jam recipes

Don’t forget to PIN for later! A glass jar filled with dark red rhubarb jam.

If you make this recipe, Iโ€™d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Be certain to check out all my delicious recipes!

Rhubarb jam in a glass canning jar.

Rhubarb Jam

Delicious homemade rhubarb jam is perfect for spreading on toast or adding to a peanut butter sandwich.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Macerate the rhubarb 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 40 mins
Course Jam
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups
Calories 43 kcal


  • 6 cups rhubarb (chopped)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (fresh squeezed)


  • Place the rhubarb in a large glass bowl. Add sugar and stir to distribute. Cover and let sit for at least 8 hours stirring once or twice to redistribute sugar.
  • The rhubarb will release a lot of liquid while sitting with sugar.
    Macerated rhubarb in a bowl filled with liquid.
  • Place rhubarb and its juice into a nonreactive pot.
  • Cook over medium high heat until mixture comes to a simmer, about 20 minutes. Stir often.
  • Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Stir often to avoid burning.
  • Test jam on a plate. Place a small spoonful on a plate and let cool for one minute. Draw a line down the center with the back of a spoon. The mixture should remain separated. Tilt plate slightly - the mixture should only run a small amount.
    Rhubarb jam being tested on a white plate.
  • Remove jam from heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer jam to a glass canning jar or other storage container. Cover and refrigerate.


  • Color of jam will vary depending on the color of rhubarb.
  • Jam may be frozen or canned using water bath processing.
  • If jam becomes too thick while cooking, add 1/4 cup of water.


Serving: 1TablespoonCalories: 43kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 53mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 19IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg
Keyword rhubarb jam, rhubarb jam no pectin added
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.



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  • Reply
    Steve P
    July 19, 2020 at 6:16 am

    110 – 115 degrees? Did you mean 210-215 degrees F?

    • Reply
      July 19, 2020 at 6:18 am

      Oh my goodness! Yes!!! I will correct that right away. Thank you so much for catching that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    June 12, 2020 at 5:14 am

    5 stars
    I love homemade jam! I haven’t made any in ages, though, and this recipe is totally making me want to hit the kitchen. I’ve never made (or had) rhubarb jam, but it sounds awesome. (Thanks for the macerating tip there!) Robbie loves to spread jam on his bread, and we’ve been baking bread like crazy lately. Now it’s time to make some jam I think! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    June 11, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    I just love homemade jam so much – I cannot wait to try this recipe!

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    June 11, 2020 at 11:28 am

    5 stars
    With our weather, our rhubarb is always a little later to the party. When it is ready to harvest, this would be a delicious use for it! Perfect on my morning toast with butter!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    June 11, 2020 at 10:46 am

    Nothing better than homemade jam during the summer Kathy! And I love rhubarb!

    • Reply
      June 11, 2020 at 11:05 am

      Thanks, Mary Ann!

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