Easy Grape Jelly With Two Ingredients

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Grapes for juice – use 14 oz of grapes for 1 cup of grape juice
3/4 cup sugar for every cup of grape juice
Optional: 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Wash and stem the grapes. Put into a kettle or large stainless-steel pot, mash down and cook slowly for about 10 minutes, until the juice flows freely. Water – ¼ or ½ cup for every 4 cups of grapes – may be added a little at a time to prevent scorching or sticking.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover pot loosely and boil gently. Stir and continue crushing grapes until softened, about 5 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Strain grapes through a dampened jelly bag or fine-meshed strainer or dampened cheesecloth in a sieve collecting the juice in a bowl.  Leave the strained juice overnight in the refrigerator to allow the white crystals that sometimes form to settle. In the morning, pour off the juice carefully, discarding the sediment, if any, at the bottom.
  4. Measure out 4 cups (leave the rest for another batch) and heat to a boil in a stainless-steel saucepan. For 4 cups of juice, you’ll need to add 3 cups of sugar and bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil. Boil quickly, stirring, until the candy thermometer reads 8 degrees above the boiling point of water (about 220°F) or until the jelly sheets off a spoon. 
  5. Note: The jelly needs to be cooked until it’s fairly thick so make sure you cook it long enough or you can add two tablespoons of lemon juice to the grape juice while it’s coming up to a boil and before adding the sugar.
  6. Remove from heat and skim off any foam that forms. To prevent foam from forming add ½ teaspoon butter or margarine after you add the sugar.  Ladle the hot grape jelly into hot, sterilized jars leaving ¼-inch of headspace.  
  7. Wipe the rims of the jars and add lids that have been washed and dried. Add screw bands and tighten until fingertip-tight.
  8. Place jars on rack in boiling water bath canner and make sure they are completely covered with water (1-2 inches above the jars). Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Process ½ pints and 8 0z jelly jars for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid waiting 5 minutes, then remove the jars to a towel on the counter, and cool for 12 to 24 hours. Test sealing of jars by pressing lightly in center of lid and store jars that have sealed.  Any jars that don’t seal may be refrigerated and used.


Makes about 4 pints.

Reader Comments

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I too can only see in step 4 heating the grape juice then adding sugar. Nothing about a double boiler or heating the sugar.

grape jelly using double boiler

The Editors's picture

Hi, Sylvia. We recently updated the majority of our canning, preserving, and pickling recipes to adhere to food safety guidelines. This was one of the recipes. But if you would like to use the double boiler, here are the previous instructions:

Measure out 4 cups of juice. Heat the sugar in a double boiler; for 4 cups of juice, you’ll use 3 cups of sugar. Bring the juice to a full rolling boil, then add the heated sugar and bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil.

Grape jelly

Not once in your article do you say heat the sugar in a double boiler. Where'd. I miss that one.

homemade grape jelly

The Editors's picture

Hi, Lisa. You’ll find the instructions for the sugar in step 4.

Do you still do the water

Do you still do the water bath with grape jelly the same as you do for jams? Or do you turn the jar over for a certain amount of time then flip back over and wait for them to seal on their own. How long will grape Jelly stay preserved in the pantry? My grandmother always put paraffin over her jellies before sealing them. Is that necessary?

No pectin?

No pectin?

Jellies generally use the

The Editors's picture

Jellies generally use the whole fruit, including the peel and core which contain a lot of pectin, the natural sugar within a fruit to make it jell. With some fruits, the extracted juice will contain all of the necessary ingredients without supplement, like tart apples, blackberries, and grapes. With others, such as apricots, peaches, and raspberries, you will have to add either acid, pectin, or both. Additional pectin must be added to these types of fruits to make them jell properly.

Just a bit confused about

Just a bit confused about your instructions.
You say,"Measure out 4 cups (leave the rest for another batch). Heat the sugar in a double boiler; with 4 cups of juice, you'll need 3 cups of sugar.
Bring the juice to a full rolling boil, then add the heated sugar and bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil."

You first say; "heat the sugar with 4 cups of juice, and then next sentence you say, "bring juice to rolling boil, then add heated sugar and bring to boil."

Do you first heat, boil the juice and then add sugar and then bring to full rolling boil?
Thank you

It looks like the semi-colon

The Editors's picture

It looks like the semi-colon is throwing you off. You heat sugar in a double boiler, and we are telling you that for 4 cups of juice you will need 3 cups of sugar. So you just have sugar in the double boiler, 3 cups, nothing else. You are warming it up. When the juice is at a full rolling boil, add the warm sugar.
Hope that helps!