How do you remove seeds from homemade Blackberry Jam?

napagirlOctober 6, 2008

I have some wild blackberries from the Klamath River and would like to make some seedless jam.

I need to buy something to separate the seeds and I don't know what to buy. I've seen metal cones with a wooden pestle (some have a stand), and a seive that captures the fruit and pushes it through small holes when you turn the handle. Sorry, I don't know the name of them.

Can you tell me what you use, and why you like it (or don't like it).

Thanks in advance, Sharon

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I use a metal/mesh strainer and a wooden spoon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Looks kinda like this

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 6:50PM
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The cone (called a chinois - I just searched around recently to figure out what the heck they're called), unless it has smaller holes than mine, will take out some seeds, but not nearly enough (this is based on raspberries, but I'd guess they're similar). I had better luck with the strainer like terri pacnw linked to. Maybe there is some special gadget out there, but I don't live at the house with all the berries anymore, so I never explored the options any further. I tried using cheesecloth also I think, but seems I didn't like that method.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 12:28AM
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Pantyhose? ;)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 1:18AM
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A true chinois is a very, very fine straner, and is pretty expensive. (Not as fine as panthose, but close!) There are similar cone-shaped strainers that have holes like colanders, that sounds like what greenbean has.

Here is a link that might be useful: chinois

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 1:50AM
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I use the colander/sieve attachment on my old KitchenAid. (Newer KitchenAids have a strainer attachment of a different design.) It doesn't get out every seed but it gets out the majority of them.

Most stand mixers offer some kind of strainer attachment, but unless you have plans to use it regularly, it may not be worth the money. For smaller batches pressing through a fine sieve will do the job. If you can find the tighter-weave cheesecloth (like King Arthur Flour sells), you can line the sieve and get better results.

If you remove all the seeds, odds are your jam will be a softer set because the pectin level will be lower. That's not a bad thing, just something to be aware of.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 1:50AM
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I've had a chinois for about 20 years now, and it was expensive when I bought it. It's a bit different from the ones they make now, and I like mine better. You might be able to find one on eBay. When I bought mine, it was called a Chinaman's Cap or China Cap. I guess that's not PC anymore. I use my chinois for staining soup stock mainly, but I bought it to use with strawberries. Julia Child used one when she made strawberry soufflé. It works much better than a food mill, but it is not as efficient as my Juiceman juicer, which removes all pulp, however.

You can also use a blender to get the seeds loose and then strain the fruit through a sieve or colander. It's faster if you blend the berries first.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 7:09PM
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I would think one of those Italian tomato straining machines would work too, and be quicker than trying to hand strain through a sieve. Of course, whether you wanted to make the investment would depend a lot on whether you would se it enough. To get the benefit of the pectin from the seeds you could put them in a cheesecloth bag and boil them with the jam.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 9:26PM
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My teeth have a low tolerance for the seeds so I try to get out as many as I can.

I've found a foley mill with a small holed sieve insert works. Makes a mess but what can I say.

This picture is from

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 11:50PM
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My food mill isn't adjustable..durn it..
But still the cheapest way is a fine mesh strainer and a wooden spoon..

Have an ice pack and some Motrin for your tired arm though..LOL

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 12:23AM
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When I made blackberry jam I used the oxo food mill. Which took out most of the seeds. To get out the rest of the seeds I put the blackberry pulp/liquid through an inexpensive fine mesh strainer (a lot easier after you use the food mill).

Here is a link that might be useful: Fine mesh strainer

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 8:24AM
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I don't bother to try to get the seeds out of jam, I just strain the whole mess and make jelly instead, or leave the seeds in, LOL.

However, I find my Squeezo gets out most of the seeds, much like Carol's kitchen aid attachment, and that works well enough for me. I used to use the seive and wooden spoon combo like Terri until I realized that I didn't really care THAT much. (grin)

As pointed out, though, you'll get a softer set.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 3:45PM
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I want to remove seeds from wild blackberries, but I don't just want the juice. I want the berries and juice, minus the seeds only! I've read all about the sieves and chinois, so my question is: With either of these techniques, am I still not getting the actual berry residue? Maybe what I think I want is not the real deal in making seedless blackberry pie. Thanks for any help!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 4:46PM
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I have an older Italian tomato press that works great for this purpose, too, as I've used it to make blackberry jam and applesauce, etc. I haven't used the one I linked to but this is similar to mine.

Here is a link that might be useful: strainer

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:09PM
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LOVE bkackberry ans aspberry jam... HATE the seeds. Will take a jar and melt it down over LOW heat and let drip over strainer for a while.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:39PM
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mabel, that looks like my old Squeezo, except mine is all metal and has several different sized sieve/cones. Not even the smallest one gets out all the seeds, a few small ones always slip through, but not very many.

It's not as "reliable" at removing all the seeds as a fine sieve is, but not as much work either. Well, except cleaning the darned machine afterward.

gourmet, if you push the berries through a sieve or a chinois, or a china cap or a food mill or any of the above, you'll get the berry pulp as well as the juice. As the berries get mashed up, the seeds will remain but the pulp will go through the openings of the sieve/utensil.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:12PM
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We have been making the jam with seeds, but this year decided to take them out. The strainer and spoon technique works but is a lot of work.

After a small test of that we bought an OXO food mill. We got it at Bed Bath and Beyond. It was one of the less expensive options and did the job with a reasonable amount of labor.

Almost all of the berry pulp gets through and the seeds stay behind.

Here is a link that might be useful: OXO food mill

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 2:42PM
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I have an extremely fine meshed sieve I got from Sur le Table in Seattle many years ago. It cost me around $20 then, and has been worth every penny. I used it for black raspberry jelly and jam. They still have them and I'm sure someone would help you get the right one if you call.Believe me no seeds got through.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 4:09PM
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