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Jams and Jellies in Fridge --- Or Not?

I blow hot and cold on this. Too many jars of jams and jellies "jam" up my small refrigerator. Seems to me friends in Europe don't keep these things in the fridge at all. Some say Refrigerate after Opening, others don't.
What do you do???????
(Same goes for soy sauce, ketchup, Sriracha, etc.)

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  1. I would rarely keep jam in the fridge - only when it is a particularly high fruit/ low sugar one.

    Soy, ketchup chilli sauces, mustards, etc live in the cupboard, even if they say fridge after opening. They're usually so packed with preservative ingredients that fridging them is pointless.

    1. If we didn't need to refrigerate after opening, then we also would have no need to BWB can them. I put my opened ones in the fridge.

      1. You should always keep opened jars of jam or jelly in the refrigerator. And if you see any mold growth on the top surface, you can be sure that the whole jar is contaminated with the mold's toxins. It is not safe to just scrape off the top layer; the whole jar should be discarded.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bcc

          well, bcc, i don't know if you are a food scientist, but i completely disagree with you. SO much sugar in jams and jellies, you'd have a hard time finding any mold. and if so, i'm guessing it might be like maple syrup mold>> not harmful but remove if you like. of course i could be wrong. but i am also not an alarmist when it comes to this.

          1. re: opinionatedchef

            Exactly, opinionated. Jam making was a way fo preserving fruit well before the invention of refrigeration. The sugar means it's unlikely to go mouldy.

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              SO much sugar in jams and jellies, you'd have a hard time finding any mold.
              wrong. while sugar is good at inhibiting (though not completely preventing) most *bacterial* growth, mold is hardier, and can grow in areas of high sugar concentration. there's actually a particular type of molds - called xerophiles - that thrive in foods with low water activity such as jam or jelly.

              and FYI, removing the *visible* spores isn't going to result in a pure/clean batch - you're still leaving behind a ton of microscopic spores. that doesn't mean the syrup will make you sick, but it isn't mold-free just because you can no longer see the spores.

              i've tossed many a jar of moldy jam when cleaning out the fridge at my folks' house. it happens.

          2. I put them in the fridge when I want cold jams and jellies.

            When I don't, I don't.

            1. Wow, I never gave this much thought until your post, Berkshire Tsarina! Let's see: Jams and Jellies, despite their sugar content, always go in the fridge w/ one exception: If I'm working my way through a particular jam, meaning on my toast daily, I'll keep it out. The soy sauce and mustard go in the cupboard; Sriracha is refrigerated. Mayonnaise, definitely. (Though I have heard it's not necessary, it seems too risky for me.) Ketchup, always the refrigerator. Butter; always refrigerated - I don't have a microwave anymore, so I always need to remember to take it out and let it soften up, which is a risky proposition.
              Thank you for an interesting topic!!
              Oh, oddly enough: I ALWAYS refrigerate my peanut butter.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mamachef

                After stirring my Adams 100% natural peanut butter, it goes into the fridge at my house. It stays pleasantly firm but spreadable that way.

                1. re: sueatmo

                  Same in this house. If I had to state a taste preference, it would be for room temp peanut butter, but I get so peevish about the constant stirring (yeah, I know...such a chore <grin>) that the fridge is a good option. One good stirring, and it holds nicely.

              2. If this is normal jam made with sugar, then I don't think you have to refrigerate it. But Mr. Sueatmo insists we do so in our household, along with condiments, whether opened or not. I think it is weird, but I don't think it is worth fighting over, so we do it.

                1. depends on the weather -- if it's hot and humid, it goes in the fridge so it doesn't turn into a Jar o'Mold.

                  In the winter, out on the counter.

                  1. In our house it depends on how fast the product is used up. Ketchup does not go into the refrigerator, mustard does. We really don't go through all that much jam/jelly so after a jar is opened in goes into the refrigerator. We had a bottle of Sriracha go bad in the cupboard because it did not get used up soon enough (it got real dark). Soy sauce is in the refrigerator with the hoisin and oyster sauce and toasted sesame oil. If any of these food items is used daily I suppose it is ok at room temperature.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: John E.

                      I store jams in the fridge once they have been opened. I generally prefer cold jam, and I've had jars grow mold in the refrigerator, so they definitely could grow mold on the counter. Most condiments are stored in there as well, if only for the reason that I have a tiny kitchen, and actually have more refrigerator space than pantry space.

                      Fair disclosure: I'm on immunosuppressants, and I'm pretty sure my doc wouldn't like the idea of me not refrigerating jam. But I would do it regardless.

                      1. re: John E.

                        I do almost the exact opposite of John E. Ketchup goes in the refrigerator, mustard does not. Jelly goes in the refrigerator along with hoisin, but soy sauce and sesame oil do not.

                        And we have both lived to tell about it!

                      2. I both make and buy jam.

                        Many of the bought jams are 1 to 1 sugar (equal amounts fruit to sugar) or - 2 - 1 - sugar to jam.

                        Still to be safe, after opening, I put them in the fridge.

                        My homemade jams are 2 - 1 - but not sugar to fruit - fruit to sugar. Once those are opened they MUST go in the fridge or, even with the acidity, they would get moldly soon.

                        I am grateful for fridges - they make life convenient and healthy!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: happybaker

                          I have never had a commercially made jam go mouldy on me - even though it will probably be living in the cupboard for many weeks opened.

                          High fruit content content ones (like Bonne Maman), I'd instinctively keep in the fridge, along with any farmers market purchases where the labelling isnt required to keep percentage contents.

                          1. re: Harters

                            Exactly what I was thinking, Harters; I use a LOT of Bonne Maman, and that stuff is so expensive and delicious that I would never even think about leaving it out. It's MY precioussssssssss........

                            1. re: mamachef

                              It' cheap enough for me (less than 2 euros a jar -- sorry!) that the cost isn't the issue -- but yes, it will go mouldy in a shockingly short amount of time when left out on the counter.

                              (so will homemade, incidentally -- which goes into Bonne Maman jars with new lids)

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Aren't you the lucky one! LESS than two euros? Well - it makes sense. I'm still jealous, though. Yep, the Maman is the only food item I can think of that I'll actually hoard when the jar's getting low, esp. the raspberry and apricot varieties. I use those in my holiday giveaway baking very frequently - the quality of the jam makes such a huge difference - though, Smuckers will certainly do for home use, and in fact I wouldn't use any other grape jam.

                        2. Jams and jellies, once opened, are always in the refrigerator here - but I thinks it's more of an issue of storage space than anything else: my pantry cupboard can only accommodate so much, so most opened jars of spreads and condiments move into the fridge to make room for the next pantry stocking. Also, an opened pot of jam would be forgotten in the pantry cupboard, whereas it's more visible and likely to be remembered in the fridge.

                          1. I do what the container says.