When making jam, jelly, or any type of preserves the type of pectin you use is really important. Not only do most people overpay for what they use, but the quality of the overpriced “regular” stuff simply also doesn’t match up to premium brands. If you are a serious canner, please take my advice and get high-quality bulk pectin for your jams and jellies.
The best quality pectin brands for canning:
Now let’s go through the different types of fruit pectin so you know what to avoid and which to choose.
Types Of Pectin
There are basically two types of pectin:
1. High Methoxyl Pectin
The most common type of pectin. “HM” pectin is made from the apples and/or the peels of citrus fruits. This type requires sugar in order to gel properly.
2. Low Methoxyl Pectin
“LM” pectin is also made from apples and citrus peels, however, it relies on calcium to firm up. This is an amazing option for those looking to make sugar-free or low-calorie jams and jellies.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what fruit pectin is, let’s go through my favorite brands so that you can make an informed decision.
The Top Pectin Brands
The Cadillac of Pectin. A bit more expensive, but well worth the price tag. The great thing about Pomona’s is an LM pectin and is activated by calcium. This is the best option for those looking to make low or no-sugar jams and jellies.
A less expensive high-quality pectin brand. If you are making normal jams and jelly that contain sugar, Weaver’s is the way to go. It’s much less expensive than Pomona’s and is an excellent product.
A quality budget options. Very nice option if you are making large quantities of product with sugar. Available in 25-pound cases. They sometimes even offer big discounts if you buy more than that.
The priciest brand of the three but comparable to the price of Sure-Jell. However, you get what you pay for. Pomona’s is preservative-free and calcium-activated (Calcium packet included), this pectin does not require any sugar when making jams, jellies, or any type of preserves.
For those that like to make sugar-free, diabetic-friendly options, this is the best pectin for you. I recommend trying Monk fruit sweetener (Click to see Amazon Listing) along with Pomona’s, the taste is really great this way. You can thank me later.
- 100% Pure Citrus Pectin Only
Pomona’s is also Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, no additives, no preservatives, no corn or apple by-products.
If you are tired of paying Sure-Jell prices and want to have consistent quality then you can’t beat Weaver’s Country Market Fruit Pectin. This is a really nice “workhorse” option for those looking to make a lot of jelly or jam.
Never buy expensive individual packets again. Since pectin will keep at least one year, with proper storage, and often a lot longer there is no reason to buy pectin ala carte.
Available in 5, 10, or 25-pound bags. You can also get a 9-pound container with a screw-on lid, if preferred.
- Fruit Pectin
- Fumaric Acid
3. Hoosier Hill
As generally the least pricey quality brand, although comparable in price to Weaver’s, some prefer Hoosier Hill over all other brands. I guess it’s kind of like preferring Coke over Pepsi, they are really similar but avid drinkers know the difference.
In my opinion, there is no difference. Both use the same ingredients and are reputable companies. Check the current price of each and just go with the least expensive one right now. You really can’t go wrong that way.
Hoosier Hill Ingredients
- Fruit Pectin
- Fumaric Acid
Pectin Shelf Life
Most manufacturers usually list a shelf life of about 12 months. However, when stored properly in a dark cool place, there’s no reason it can’t last even longer. Even so, I wouldn’t keep more than one bulk bag or crate extra on hand.
My advice is that you keep one extra 5, 10, or 25-pound bag or crate on hand (depending on how much jelly you tend to make). Once you rotate in a new bag of product, go ahead and order your spare immediately. That way you never get caught lacking a key ingredient.
There are several substitutes for pectin in jam-making. These include making your own pectin, cornstarch, jello, and a few others. I wrote an article on the subject called “8 Best Substitutes for Pectin in Jam making,” be sure to check it out.
Are There Pectin Allergies?
Pectin allergies are typically rare. However, reactions can sometimes occur for people who are sensitive to cashews and pistachios. It is best to check with a medical professional before consuming pectin. There is an allergy test available to see if you are allergic to fruit pectin.
Pectin Side Effects
Fruit pectin has a few potential side effects, including:
- Mild diarrhea and/or stomach cramps.
- Some cancer treatments are known to be interfered with by pectin if taken without supervision.
- Drugs such as digoxin, lovastatin, and tetracycline antibiotics are sometimes inhibited by pectin.
Does Pectin Conform With Common Diets?
Fruit pectin is naturally occurring and made from fruits and vegetables. Therefore, it is usually okay to consume on many common diets such as Paleo, Halal, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. However, be sure to check the individual ingredients and preparation method before deciding if it fits your diet or not.
Pectin is a key ingredient in many types of preserves. It is an investment in creating good quality jelly that sets fast and firm. I hope I have helped you come to an informed decision on which brand to purchase.
Take my advice and buy the stuff in bulk and cut way down on the bottom line required to create each batch.
Thanks for stopping by!