How to make grape jelly

Grape jelly meatballs are the perfect mix of sweet, salty, and spicy. Made with frozen grocery store meatballs and just 5 minutes of prep, they’re about to become your favorite no-fuss appetizer!

How to make grape jelly

Grape jelly meatballs are a fun spin on traditional cocktail meatballs. This easy recipe only requires three ingredients – frozen, store-bought meatballs, grape jelly, and chili sauce. The result is a sweet and savory meatball that is just begging to be snagged up with a toothpick.

The ingredients might sound a little funny, but trust me, these meatballs pack some serious flavor and are utterly addicting. As the meatballs bake in the oven, the grape jelly and chili sauce caramelize to make the most irresistible sauce on the planet.

Whether you’re hosting a party for game day (sorry if you got stuck with the cooking and don’t care for the sport!) or just having a few friends over for a movie, this is the ultimate “set it and forget it” recipe that allows you to focus on the other dishes you need to whip up.

If you want the recipe to be even more hands-off, find some instructions below on how to turn this recipe into crockpot meatballs…

How to Make Grape Jelly Meatballs

How to make grape jelly

Making this dish couldn’t get any simpler. Simply combine all the ingredients in a heavy cast iron pot and let the oven work its magic. Below, find a quick overview of the recipe.

  • Make the Sauce: In a large mixing bowl, combine the grape jelly and chili sauce with a whisk.
  • Combine Ingredients Together: In an oven-safe heavy cast iron pot with a lid, add the meatballs followed by the sauce.
  • Cover and Bake: Place the lid over the pot and cook for 30 minutes at 300°F. Serve warm and enjoy!

Have a Dutch oven? If so, use it! A Dutch oven will make your meatballs ultra-tender. If you need a recommendation, I’m obsessed with my Staub.

How to make grape jelly

How to make grape jelly

How to make grape jelly

How to make grape jelly

Tips for Making the Best Grape Jelly Covered Meatballs

Below, find a couple of tips to make the best grape jelly meatballs on the planet.

  • Use whatever meatballs you prefer. You can use beef, chicken, or turkey meatballs. Whatever you prefer will work great with the sauce!
  • Add a little hot sauce if you like it spicy. Add a bit of sriracha if you like it extra spicy.
  • Swap out the jelly. If grape jelly isn’t your thing, feel free to use any kind you like. Apricot jelly works really well too!

Slow Cooker Hack: Hosting a large party? Combine frozen meatballs, chili sauce, and jelly in a Crock Pot or other slow cooker. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Switch the setting to “warm” and let your guests serve themselves!

Serving Grape Jelly Meatballs

Grape jelly meatballs are a great appetizer to serve when you’re hosting a big crowd or in need of any easy, low-maintenance appetizer. Simply throw them in a bowl or slow cooker to keep warm next to a bowl of toothpicks.

You can also serve these meatballs on top of steamed white rice for a quick weeknight dinner. If you’re more in the mood for a sandwich, grab some french rolls and make meatball subs. Melt some provolone cheese on top of the meatballs and chow down!

Storing Grape Jelly Meatballs

  • Refrigerator: Store leftover grape jelly meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep for 3-5 days. To reheat, microwave the meatballs until warmed through or place them on low in a saucepan.
  • Freezer: To freeze grape jelly meatballs, allow them to cool down completely first. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. They should keep for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan over low heat.

Can I put frozen meatballs in the sauce?

You can place frozen meatballs directly into the sauce. There’s no need to thaw them! Since frozen meatballs typically come fully cooked, all you need to do is allow them to warm through in the oven.

Can I substitute grape jelly for something else?

You can substitute grape jelly for apple, apricot, or currant jelly.

What chili sauce should I buy?

You should buy Heinz Chili Sauce if you don’t already have a favorite. It has such a great flavor!

Can I make my own chili sauce?

To make your own chili sauce, combine two cups of ketchup with four tablespoons of brown sugar, two tablespoons of vinegar, and a dash of allspice. So easy if you don’t have chili sauce on hand!

What other meats can I use?

You can use beef, chicken, pork, or turkey meatballs. You could also substitute cocktail sausages.

It has been a great year for the grape harvest and that means it is time to share our homemade grape jelly recipe.

As much as I see websites posting about making strawberry jam or jelly, I rarely come across a recipe for grape jelly. I would imagine it is due to the fact that the grapes ripen in the middle of vegetable garden season.

Everyone is researching, reading, and writing about how to can pickles, tomatoes, and peppers and not much love is given to the grape harvest.

Just like everyone else we also get busy with preserving our tomatoes and peppers. But it is always nice to take a break from peeling and processing tomato sauce and salsa and make a little jelly.

How to make grape jelly

We not only make our grape jelly for spreads on sandwiches, we also use it in various recipes such as our favorite Appetizer Meatballs and Little Red Smokies recipes.

But the most gratifying way that we use our grape jelly is as a gift to family and friends around the holidays. We love to share homemade products and watch others enjoy it as much as we do!

Best of all, this recipe can also be made from grape juice. So if you are searching for a homemade gift idea in the middle of November, when there are no grapes to be picked, this recipe is perfect!

Just be sure to use 100% grape juice with no additives and not previously frozen as a concentrate.

What Grapes Make The Best Jelly?

If you are making this recipe from fresh grapes, it is best to use Concord Grapes. They make the best homemade grape jelly, especially if they are slightly underripe.

However, any red grape can make jelly. Although you definitely should avoid making jelly from green or white grapes. They simply don’t have enough flavor to make good jelly.

How to make grape jelly

We love to use our concord grapes to make jelly.

Homemade Grape Jelly Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.

**makes approximately 12 half-pint jars


  • Grapes or No Sugar Added Grape Juice
  • Sugar
  • No-Sugar Needed Pectin

I have not tried making this recipe into a sugar-free version. Although, as long as you correctly convert your sugar to an alternative sweetener as recommended, I would imagine it would turn out just fine.

The important thing, whether you are making it with sugar or a substitute, is to use no-sugar needed pectin. And yes, we even use it when we add sugar to this recipe.

The benefit of using pectin that is designed for no-sugar added recipes, is that we can use less sugar than when standard pectin is used. In fact, we have been able to cut the amount of sugar required for this recipe in half by using Sure-Jell No-Sugar Needed Pectin.

Using this method allows just the right amount of sweetness to make great grape jelly that still gels up perfectly.


How to make grape jelly

Smashing grapes before they are boiled with help the juices release much quicker.

How To Make Homemade Grape Jelly From Grapes

The first step in making grape jelly is to wash the grapes and remove the stems.

Then in a large bowl, add enough grapes to cover the bottom of the bowl. Using a potato masher, crush the grapes.

Next, add the crushed grapes to a large non-reactive stockpot. Repeat the process until all of the grapes have been crushed and then transferred to the stockpot.

Then add enough water to the pot just until the grapes are barely covered. Turn the burner on medium-high heat and bring the grapes to a boil, stirring frequently.

Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain The Mixture

Next, pour the mixture into a jelly strainer or in a colander lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. For best results let the mixture strain overnight.

The next day, when you are ready to finish making the homemade grape jelly, add the pectin and ½ cup of sugar and mix together. Set aside.

How to make grape jelly

Although not necessary, a jelly strainer comes in handy when making jelly!

Then place a metal spoon in a glass of ice water and set aside. This spoon is going to be used later to check the thickness of the grape jelly.

Now pour the strained grape juice back into a large stockpot and add the pectin/sugar mixture. Over medium-high heat, cook the juice until it begins to boil.

Then stir in the remaining sugar and bring it back to a rolling boil. Let it continue to boil for 1 minute and test the thickness using the cold spoon.

Fill the teaspoon half full and set it on a plate. Once It cools to room temperature, turn the spoon sideways.

If the gel has thickened to the desired consistency the jelly is ready. If not, continue the boiling process and retest until it thickens.

How To Make Grape Jelly From Juice

The process for making homemade grape jelly from juice is rather easy.

Start by pouring the juice in a large stockpot. Then in a small bowl, add the pectin and ½ cup of sugar and mix together.

Heat this mixture over medium-high heat and cook until the juice begins to boil. While you are waiting for the pot to boil, place a metal spoon in a glass of ice water and set aside.

Once the mixture begins to boil, add the remaining sugar and bring it back to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. Let it continue to boil for 1 minute.

Now test the thickness using the cold spoon by filling the teaspoon half full and set it on a plate. Once It cools to room temperature, turn the spoon sideways.

If the gel has thickened to the desired consistency the jelly is ready. If not, continue the boiling process and retest until it thickens.

How to make grape jelly

Canning Instructions

If you will be canning the jelly, fill half-pint, sterilized mason jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rim clean and add the lid and band. Process in a hot water bath canner for 5 minutes, adjusting for altitude as necessary.

Storing Instructions

You can also store your homemade grape jelly in the refrigerator or freezer. Allow the jelly to cool and place in half-pint or pint size containers. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

You can freeze the jelly in freezer-safe mason jars. Just be sure to leave 1/2 inch headspace to allow for expansion so that the jars don’t break.

How to make grape jelly

Only three ingredients to make these easy Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs! Great for any party.

Frozen meatballs are easily made in the slow cooker, besides this easy recipe I love to make barbecue meatballs and meatball sliders.

How to make grape jelly

My go-to meatball recipe has always been with barbecue sauce until I tried crockpot grape jelly meatballs! What amazing flavor these meatballs have. I can’t just eat one but MUST go back for many plates of these.

How to make grape jelly

How to make Grape Jelly Meatballs:

  • Grape Jelly – Grape jelly (I use Welch’s) is the magic ingredient in this recipe. It is not overpowering, it’s a subtle flavor and add sweetness to the recipe.
  • Chili Sauce – Look for Heinz or the store brand
  • Meatballs – These are found in the frozen section in your store.

What is chili sauce?

  • There are different types of chili sauce, the one in this recipe is near the ketchup in your grocery store (I use Heinz chili sauce).
  • Heinz chili sauce is made from tomatoes, garlic, sweet peppers, and aromatic spices
  • DO NOT use sriracha hot chili sauce or sweet Thai chili sauce unless you want it to be VERY spicy.

Can I use a different type of Jelly?

Yes, use a jelly, jam or preserves. Here are some great altertives to grape jelly:

  • Strawberry jam or jelly
  • Apple jelly
  • Raspberry jam or preserves

What can I use instead of chili sauce?

Chili sauce works best for this recipe if you can’t find it or in a pinch and can’t get to the store you can substitute with one of these:

  • Ketchup – add a touch of onion, garlic and chili powder.
  • Barbecue sauce – any kind will work.

My store doesn’t carry 32 ounce bags of meatballs what can I use?

  • This recipe is very flexible! You can use a slightly smaller bag or two bags that equal a little more than 32 ounces.
  • Will work fine, there is plenty of sauce in this recipe.

Can I use turkey meatballs or Italian style meatballs?

  • Any style of frozen meatball can be used in this recipe such as Italian, angus or even turkey.
  • If you are looking for a healthier meatball try Trader Joe’s brand.
  • You can even use meatless meatballs in this recipe!

What to serve with Grape Jelly Meatballs?

  • Serve as an appetizer with toothpicks at a party
  • With steamed rice
  • Over mashed potatoes

More meatball recipes to make in the crockpot:

    – just as easy as this recipe! – we love these on slider buns – Same veggies as Chinese restaurants! – just three ingredients! (by Tornado Ali) – great over rice for a main meal

Want to make more magic in your crockpot? Stay up to date and subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs is a delicious dish that the entire family will enjoy. Tangy barbecue sauce, sweet jelly, and meatballs are cooked in a slow cooker.

How to make grape jelly

Crock Pot Grape Jelly Meatballs

Whether you are feeding a hungry group or want something easy for your family, BBQ jelly meatballs are ideal. They can be prepped in minutes and only require 3 ingredients. The secret to making this a super easy recipe is to start with frozen meatballs and a crock pot.

Be sure to take them to all potlucks and other get-togethers because crowds love them.

How To Make Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs

*Note: The full printable recipe card is at the bottom of this post.

  • Pour jelly and bbq sauce into a slow cooker and stir.
  • Add in meatballs and stir to coat evenly.
  • Cover and cook for 4-5 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high.
  • Leave the slow cooker on warm and serve.

How To Store Leftovers

Let the leftovers cool down. Store leftovers in a sealed container. They will last for up to 4 days if properly stored. They make a fantastic option for meal prepping because they can easily be made ahead of time.

Additionally, you can freeze leftovers in a food container with a tight-fitting lid or plastic ziplock bag. They will last up to 3 months.

Tip: For a quick grab and go lunch, store them in individual servings.

How To Reheat

Reheating leftovers is pretty easy, and there are several options. Make sure if they have been frozen, you thaw them in the fridge before reheating.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure policy .

The best thing about game day is the food. I apologize for nothing.

And the best game day food is a buffet of appetizers. Gimme all the dips and little bites.

These Grape Jelly Little Smokies are just about as easy as it gets and sure to be a big hit.

How to make grape jelly

Ingredients for Grape Jelly Little Smokies

  • Little smokies
  • Grape jelly
  • Your favorite bottled barbecue sauce

What Kind of Barbecue Sauce?

There are lots of good bottled barbecue sauces out there and they will all be great in this recipe.

Because grape jelly is added, there’s a good amount of sweetness going on. So if you love a sticky, sweet smokie definitely go ahead and use a barbecue on the sweeter side. My favorite sweet barbecue sauce is Sweet Baby Ray’s .

If you don’t want these to be overly sweet, a smoky or spicy option would be great for you. Jack Stack (out of Kansas City) is my favorite barbecue sauce that’s on the smokier side.

How to make grape jelly

So Many Reasons to Make These Delicious Bites

Let’s start by saying, all you need is 3 ingredients for the Grape Jelly Little Smokies. THREE.

All you have to do is whisk together the grape jelly and barbecue sauce in a slow cooker , toss in the little smokies and set it to cook. It doesn’t get any easier.

You can also cook these on the stove top if you need them done quicker. I’ll include instructions for both preparations in the recipe card below.

Not only are these smokies great for game day as I mentioned earlier but they are also perfect for holiday celebrations.

Everybody loves a little smokie covered in barbecue sauce. So add a little sweetness and caramelization and you for sure have a winner.

How to make grape jelly

How to Serve

The easiest way to serve these little smokies is as follows: dip into the slow cooker with a tooth pick. Go wild. Follow your heart.

Or you know, you can add a scoop to your plate.

They are also great served with homemade macaroni and cheese or creamy mashed potatoes for dinner.

Do you smell that? It’s almost fall, which means college football season is here. Because we are in the south, the days are still pretty warm, but there is a bit of a chill in the morning and evening air. My husband has become a football marathoner and I have become his football widow!

How to make grape jelly

As I sit here writing this post, we are on our 4th college football game of the weekend. I may not be a huge fan of football but I am a fan of tailgating and all that tasty food! One of our favorite appetizers is my mom’s Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Chicken Wings Recipe.

How to make grape jelly

Tailgating Food Made Simple

I love this Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Chicken Wings Recipe because it is easy to make. And I usually have most of the ingredients in the house. The only thing hubby had to run out and get me were the chicken drumettes.

You can use chicken wings if you like, but we prefer just the little drumsticks. By cooking your your chicken in the slow cooker rather than frying them, this is a healthier recipe. Of course, if you prefer yours fried, please do! I have to watch my cholesterol, so I make mine this way instead.

How to make grape jelly

A Crowd Pleasing Recipe

This Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Chicken Wings Recipe is a real crowd pleaser. I make this recipe for a lot of parties and school functions.

Whenever Caitlin’s Robotics team has a social, the kids always ask for this recipe. I swear their can eat these Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Chicken Wings Recipe by the bucket!

How to make grape jelly

Another easy recipe is to use the sauce with meatballs. You just follow the same directions as you would for the wings. The only difference is you skip the broiling for the meatballs. I recommend using 2-3 bags of turkey meatballs for a healthier twist! This post contains affiliate links.

If you grew up with bouffants, princess phones, and kitchens in avocado green, you probably remember when saucy meatballs first became the rage at church fellowships and neighborhood parties in the ‘burbs. The secret ingredient was (drumroll, please)… grape jelly! It’s still the secret ingredient, bringing a sweetness to the heat and spice of companion ingredients like chili sauce and barbecue sauce. And we still love those sweet-tangy-saucy little bites. They’re always crowd pleasers in the South, and they’re strictly a dump-and-stir proposition. Whisk together the sauce and give your slow cooker a spritz of cooking spray. In go the meatballs, in goes the sauce. Toss. Cook. Done. Sprinkle chives on top before serving. Actually, you don’t even have to serve them. Just place a container of toothpicks next to your slow cooker, and guests can serve themselves. There’s no easier dish this side of a pineapple sandwich. Try them and find out why this groovy appetizer from back in the day is still a hit.


Recipe Summary test


  • 1 1/2 cups grape jelly (such as Smucker’s)
  • 1 cup chili sauce (such as Heinz)
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha chile sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 pounds frozen meatballs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • Step 1

Whisk together grape jelly, chili sauce, barbecue sauce, mustard, Sriracha, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Lightly coat slow cooker with cooking spray. Place frozen meatballs in slow cooker. Pour jelly sauce over meatballs, and toss to coat. Cover and cook on HIGH until sauce is thickened, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring halfway through. Top with chives, and serve immediately.

Published: February 2, 2020 Last Modified: January 28, 2021 This post may contain affiliate links.

Barbecue Little Smokies with Grape Jelly is easy to make and a perfect appetizer for any gathering. These Little Smokies can be cooked on stove top, crock pot or even in an instant pot.

How to make grape jelly

Barbecue Little Smokies with Grape Jelly are great appetizers especially for Game Days!

Great to serve on Game Days like the Superbowl. It is easy, quick and can be prepared in advance.

Tomorrow is Superbowl, if you think you need more appetizers on your spread, go run to the store and get these Little Smokies, Barbecue Sauce and Grape Jelly. You still have time to do it. In less than half an hour, you can serve these delicious smokies.

Adults and kids alike love these. It is addictive. You start eating 1, 2 and before you know it, you’ve had a dozen.

If you have your own barbecue recipe, you can always use that. When making these smokies, I prefer a sweeter barbecue sauce. When press for time, I love using Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet n Spicy Barbecue Sauce.

Tip: When I was working, I ordered Baby Back ribs at least twice a month. I always end up with packages of leftover barbecue sauce. I kept those and used it when I barbecue.

As you can tell, nothing goes to waste with me. What I do, I taste the sauce and add whatever seasoning it needs. I usually add brown sugar, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and ground black pepper.

So, there you go, if you have some, season it to your liking.

Guess what I’m devouring while creating this post. They are so delicious. Another one I can’t resist not having – cheese. I’m a big fan of cheese. Little Smokies and Cheese, YUMMY! It is 4:30am and this is what I am having.

How to make grape jelly

Little Smokies and Cheese are a great combination appetizers to serve.

Making Little Smokies Recipe on Stove Top

It takes 20 minutes to make it on stove top. Use a non-stick pot so you don’t burn your barbecue sauce. Combine all the ingredients, Little Smokies, Barbecue Sauce, Grape Jelly, Garlic Powder and Cayenne Pepper.

How to make grape jelly

Frozen 12 oz Lil Smokies, thaw in fridge.

How to make grape jelly

Combine Barbecue Sauce, Grape Jelly, Garlic Powder and Cayenne Pepper in a bowl, stir until smooth.

How to make grape jelly

Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer.

How to make grape jelly

Remove smokies when done and thicken barbecue sauce mixture.

That’s it! Bring it to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. It’s time to enjoy it!

Making Little Smokies Recipe in Crock Pot or Slow Cooker

Using a crock pot is so convenient especially if you are bringing it to a potluck. If you are hosting the party, place the crock pot on the table keeping your smokies warm.

Combine all the ingredients, set it to High for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Done!

How to make grape jelly

Aside from cooking Lil Smokies on stove top, you can use a crock pot, slow cooker or instant pot.

How to make grape jelly

Combine all the ingredients in crock pot or slow cooker and cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Then thicken sauce on stove top.

Tips in Cooking Barbecue Little Smokies with Grape Jelly

  1. If you have time brown the Little Smokies for a minute. It is more flavorful. I showed you the quickest way to make it.
  2. When smokies are cooked, remove from pot and reduce the sauce until thick. Pour some sauce over smokies and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

If using a crock pot, reduce sauce on stove top.

How to Cook Little Smokies without Barbecue Sauce?

Some people are not a big fan of barbecue sauce. Just like my brother, he doesn’t like dipping ribs in barbecue sauce. To some, it overpowers the taste of the meat.

Anyway, you can still enjoy this by browning it in a non-stick pan. If frozen, thaw in fridge. When you open the package, it is quite oily already so no need to add oil otherwise add 1 to 2 tablespoons oil.

Drain liquid. You can pat dry the smokies with paper towel before browning. I don’t.

Heat oil over medium heat. Add smokies and brown for 1 to 2 minutes. Check if you need to lower your stove heat.

When done, transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to remove excess oil.

That’s it. You can still enjoy these babies without barbecue sauce.

How to Reheat Little Smokies?

This is where crock pot comes in handy. If you are hosting the party or bringing it to a potluck, plug it in to keep it warm.

Want to find a red currant jelly substitute as you don’t have any currant fruit in your place? We got your back! In the post just right below, you find not only one but four alternatives to help solve your problem.

What are you waiting for? Scroll down to find out now!

Red Currant Jelly Substitute – 6 Alternative To Try At Home

#1. Grape Jelly

When it comes to red currant jelly alternative, grape jelly should be the first thing to pop on your mind.

It is the best substitute for red currant jelly. Why? Because their taste is very similar to each other. Plus, the way of using these two in foods is also the same. Everything that has red currant sauce in it can all be replaced with grape jelly.

There are many arguments about the versatility of these two fruits. Some claim that grape jelly is more multifaceted, while the other says the opposite is true.

We don’t know which side is right, but the grape jelly may beat its rival since it has two forms available in usage. One of them is the regular Concord grape jelly easily found in every home and grocery store. Whereas the other type – muscadine grape jelly is not quite widespread.

These muscadine grapes suit best for eating fresh, yet they are more likely to be made into jelly form because of the tough skin. Both grape jellies come with mainly sweet taste

#2. Apple Jelly

If you don’t have access to grape jelly, apple jelly can also be a handy red currant jelly substitute. Apples are a super common fruit that you will be able to find in any market or grocery store.

All you have to do is cut those apples into small slices and make jellies out of them with the instructions like above (remember to add a little lemon juice for tartness).

You can use apple jelly in place of red currant jelly in roast lamb, chicken, cheese, and pork. You may also use it to spread on your bread or fill the inside of your cake.

#3. Dried fruit

Another red currant jam substitute is dried fruit. You can easily find dried blueberries, raisins, dried cherries, or dried apricots to make them into jelly to alternate for the red currant one.

Based on each type of dried fruit, you have to alter the flavorings or seasonings in the recipe to suit various tartness and sweetness levels of that fruit.

Moreover, the size of the ingredients is also a thing that has to be in your consideration in different recipes. There is no need for adjustment with the dried blueberries as their sizes are quite similar to the currants.

Yet, it is essential to chop up the dried cherries and raisins since they are bigger. And for dried apricots – the biggest, you will have to cut them into small pieces before using them.

#4. Cranberry Sauce

The cranberry sauce is the US replacement for the UK’s red currant jelly. The sauce is made from cranberry fruit found in a North American evergreen shrub.

Some parties argue that this sauce creates a better taste with glazing roast lamb than red currant sauce. Is it true? We are not sure. Yet, many said it formed a sacred part of those dishes on Thanksgiving.

#5. Blackcurrant jelly/jam

Use black currant jelly as a substitute for the red version? Why not? These two fruits are from the same shrubbery tree, so it is not a weird scene to see blackcurrant jam be used in place of the redcurrant one.

Apart from the dissimilarity in color, they also have a slight difference in the flavor. The red version has a tarter taste than the black one. Still, they’re interchangeable in most usage purposes – in making jams or baking.

#6. Frozen red currant jelly

It may be quite challenging to find fresh red currant in non-native countries, so it would be more convenient if you use frozen red currant instead.

Making the jam out of the frozen currant is also very easy. After buying the frozen fruit, you defrost them until they all soften. Next, put those into a pot and add sugar. After that, you bring the mixture to the boil and then allow it to reduce till thick. Voilà! Your sauce is done.

How To Make Red Currant Jelly At Home

How to make grape jelly

Red currant jelly ( or red currant sauce) is a primary English condiment that consists of rosemary, red currants, and sugar.

This sauce can be harmoniously combined with various foods such as fruit tart, jam on bread, or some common meat like lamb, turkey, and goose. A Christmas dinner or a Sunday roast can never be complete without the red currant jelly in the UK.

As the level of pectin in this “red guy” is very high, that is why its jelly comes in a thick gel consistency and can be stored for a very long time. Therefore, lots of people want to have a home-made version of this red jelly. Making the sauce is very easy as all it needs is three simple ingredients.

  • Step 1: Rinse the fruits with the stems on. In this way, you may increase the earthy flavor and the quantity of your sauce.
  • Step 2: Steam those berries for around 30 minutes to an hour. Due to the rich pectin level, it may be a little hard to make the red currant release the juice by itself. Therefore, using a squasher might be a good option at this time.
  • Step 3: After having taken out all the juice, pour it over a gel sieve placed above a pan. You may have to wait about 7 to 10 hours until the filter process is complete.
  • Step 4: Bring the after-filtered juice to boil and add sugar ( 450g of white sugar per 600ml juice) and rosemary. Keep stirring until the sauce get thicken ( about 10 minutes)
  • Step 5: Let it completely cool down, and then scrape the film above the mixture. Scoop the final result into some small jars and store it for later use.


What does red currant jelly taste like?

Red currant jelly taste is quite complicated; it possesses a wide range of raspberry, cranberry, gooseberry, and rhubarb flavor with a hint of rose and acidic finish.

Compared with other currants, this “red guy” has more tart than white type and is less robust in flavor than black one, but in the end, it still tastes deliciously sweet.

What is redcurrant jelly used for?

As a versatile food ingredient, you can use red currant jelly for many purposes. Either you use it like a jam on toast or glaze it on meat; it will lift your appetite. You can pair it with rough pâtés or red fruit tarts too.

What Can I Substitute For Currants?

You can use any dried fruit available on the market to be a substitution for currants. For instance, dried blueberries, dried apricots, or dried cherries are pretty much recommended due to their similar taste and flavor.

In Short

How to make grape jelly

After reading, we hope you can now find a redcurrant jelly substitute in your place and finish your cooking. Those alternatives are all easy-to-find ingredients, so go ahead and try them out.

We would love to have your feedback if the replacements can help you with your worry. Best luck with your work. Thank you.

How to make grape jelly

Learn how to make and preserve your own Concord grape juice at home! You control the additives and sugars.

When we purchased our home, I was thrilled to discover grape vines growing along the edge of the property. The vines were extremely overgrown and extended themselves up into the pine trees. I could see fruit hanging from the top branches, but there was no way to reach it. I searched the foliage at the bottom and found a few small clumps of grapes, and identified the variety as Concord Grapes.

Concord Grapes are a hearty grape variety developed from native New England grape species by Ephraim Wales Bull in 1849 at his farm in Concord, Massachusetts. This grape variety was perfected to thrive and grow in the cold climate of New England. Concord Grapes are commonly used to make grape juice, grape jelly, and flavor candy and soft drinks.

Concord Grapes are filled with antioxidants, flavonoids, and nutrients, including potassium, vitamin K, and manganese. Studies show that grape juice made from Concord grapes may help boost immunity, maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, and aid in slowing the development of age-related cognitive decline.

How to make grape jelly

I learned from the neighbors that the original owner and builder of our home planted the grape vines, along with other fruit trees and bushes on the property. They are estimated to be 35-40 years old. The vines were neglected for at least 15 years before we purchased the property.

Luckily, Kevin knew how to care for the overgrown grape vines because his family had Concord grape vines when he was a child. Over a two-year period, Kevin worked through the tangles and gave the vines an all over heavy pruning to get them back into shape. The long vines needed to be unraveled and pulled from the trees limbs above.

Fruit is born on the previous year’s growth, so we had to wait patiently a few years to see the results. Our first harvest yielded about 8 pounds of Concord Grapes that were made into jelly. Most of which was given away to friends and family.

How to make grape jelly

We look forward to the Concord Grape harvest each year and use it to make juice, jelly, and wine. Concord grapes are taste tested before picking to be sure they are at the peak sweetness and are usually ready in September-October.

Tips for Making Homemade Concord Grape Juice

Plan ahead and allow plenty of time. Try to plan ahead when extracting juice from fruit and even consider divided the process over a few days to allow extra time for the juice to strain and the sediment to settle completely.

Warning Concord grape juice stains. Make sure to wear clothing and use dishtowels that you don’t mind getting stained. Additionally, try not to splatter any juice and wipe up drips immediately to prevent stains.

Concord grape juice can be used to make jelly, or enjoyed as a drink. If the flavor is too strong, dilute with water when serving.

Grape jam is one of those lost recipes that no one seems to make any more. Every grade school kid knows about grape jelly, but grape jam has long since gone by the wayside. Grape jam is darn delicious, and it’s time it made a comeback!

How to make grape jelly

In truth, there’s a good reason why grape jam fell out of favor. Traditionally it required a lot of work, namely to remove large grape seeds in heirloom grape varieties. The first seedless grapes weren’t developed until the 1980s, and by that point, grape jelly was long since entrenched in our national cuisine.

To make a really fine grape jam, you need to remove the seeds from grapes. They much larger than raspberry or blackberry seeds, and once you’ve cooked a batch down, if you haven’t removed the seeds, there are a lot of grape seeds in the finished jam. Seedless grapes mostly solve this problem, but not completely, because even “seedless” grapes still have tiny seeds. If you’re using “seedless” grapes, removing the seeds is optional, but I’ll take you through the process either way.

How to make grape jelly

Removing Seeds from Grapes

To make grape jam, the essential part is keeping the grape peels. The idea is to filter out the seeds from the pulp, but leave the peels still in the jam. How on earth does that work?

The Ball Book of Canning and Preserving suggests starting with uncooked grapes and separating the peels from the pulp. Start by peeling back a bit of the grape skin from one end of the grape and then squeeze out the inside. The grape pulp goes into one bowl and the peels go into another.

How to make grape jelly

I know, peeling grapes sounds tedious. So is shelling peas and all manner of tasks grandma filled her days with staying useful. For me, making jam is something I love to do with my toddlers. They love jam, and they love everything about helping make it. The cooking and canning parts are a little to hazardous for them, but since they’re at the end once their attention is waning it works out wonderfully.

Before the cooking process, the more steps the better. Idle baby hands take to coloring the walls, but babies happily put to work peeling grapes take an active part in preparing the food they’ll be eating later. If you don’t have easily entertained toddlers, keep in mind the seeding part is completely optional if you’re working with seedless grapes. Really it’s optional with seeded grapes, if you don’t mind the occasional crunchy grape seed.

Leaving the bowl of grape skins set to one side, the next step is to cook down the grape pulp. Allow the pulp to simmer on the stove until it has pretty well dissolved. Give it a few mashes with the back of a spoon to help it along, but it won’t take long. Pass the pulp through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Even with “seedless” grapes, there are still quite a few tiny seeds.

How to make grape jelly

Seeds from “Seedless” Grapes

At this point, combine the grape skins and the filtered grape pulp and add the sugar. If you’d like to make a low sugar grape jam, you can reduce the sugar by half without a problem. Keep in mind that a reduced sugar jam will yield considerably less because you’ll have to cook down the mixture further to reach gel stage. Either way, it’s darn delicious.

Add the pulp/skin mixture and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, until much of the juice is evaporated and the bubbles in the jam begin to change consistency. This jam comes together really fast, quicker than any other no pectin added jam I’ve ever made.

If you’ve made jam before, you’ll recognize this change as the jam approaches gel stage. Place a plate in the freezer and use it to test the jam’s consistency by putting small amounts on the cold plate. Alternately, generally gel stage is around 220 degrees F, and you can test the jam with a candy thermometer.

How to make grape jelly

Once the jam reaches gel stage or consistency that you like, pour it into prepared canning jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process the grape jam in a water bath canner for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat. Allow the jam jars to sit for an additional 5 minutes before removing them to a towel on the counter to cool.

At this point, it can take a while for the jam to fully gel. Give the jam about 48 hours to rest before you open and test one. If you find it’s too thin, you can pour them back out, recook for a while and re-can the grape jam without issue. If it’s too thick, similarly you can pour them back into the jam pot and add a bit of water to re-cook. If you tested the jam ahead of time with a plate or thermometer it should be just fine with no need to retry, but it’s nice to know that options there if you need them.

How to make grape jelly

Choosing Grapes for Grape Jam

Most recipes these days are for “concord grape jam” perhaps because that’s the most popular type of grape for grape jelly. It’s a flavor we’re used to for jelly, thus it’s what they suggest for grape jam. The thing is, it can be hard to find concord grapes for sale in the store. Most of them go directly into jelly or juice, and the few I have seen on supermarket shelves didn’t look too appetizing. I assume they must not keep well, thus the reason they’re always preserved rather than sold as table grapes.

There is no reason you can’t make grape jam with just about any variety of grape. Dark purple or blue grapes make a particularly dramatic presentation, but a bright green Thompson seedless grape jam would have its own beautiful green appeal.

The Ball Book of Home Canning suggests using Concord, Muscadine or Scuppernong grapes. None of those varieties grow up here in zone 4 Vermont, and you’ll only find generic green or red grapes in the store. Don’t worry, just get creative with what you can get (or grow) where you live. Trust me, it’s all good.