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Horizontal image of a white bowl filled with chunky preserves on a white towel.

Homemade Orange Marmalade

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Total Time: 10 hours
  • Yield: six 8-ounce jars 1x


Love a little orange marmalade on your toast? Learn how to make our beautifully bittersweet recipe, and you’ll be set with a sunny spread.


  • 2 pounds whole oranges (3-4 medium oranges), scrubbed, rinsed, and dried
  • 1 large lemon, scrubbed, rinsed, and dried
  • 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 cups water


  1. Remove and discard both ends of each orange. Slice the oranges in half, then cut the halves into thin, even slices about 1/8-inch thick. Reserve any orange juice, and discard any seeds.
  2. Zest and juice the lemon.
  3. Place the oranges, orange juice, lemon zest, lemon juice, and water in a large saucepan, one that can hold at least 6 quarts. 
  4. Place the saucepan on the stovetop over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring regularly, until the fruit has softened significantly.
  5. Stir in the sugar and increase the heat to high. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stirring continuously, boil the mixture until it reaches 220°F on a thermometer, about 35-45 minutes. The mixture will darken and thicken slightly. Turn off the heat and remove the saucepan from the stovetop.*
  6. While the mixture is cooking, clean the lids and rings in hot, soapy water. Rinse, dry them completely, and set them aside. Fill a large, 12-quart pot with water. Submerge the clean, empty jars (without the lids and rings) right side up, making sure the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a boil, and continue boiling for at least 10 minutes to sterilize the jars.
  7. When ready to fill, remove one jar at a time from the pot of boiling water with tongs, draining any water inside the jar back into the pot, and keep the water at a steady simmer. You’ll use the same water to process the jars after they have been filled.
  8. Working quickly and cleanly, ladle the marmalade into one jar, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace. Use a wide-mouth canning funnel for the cleanest filling procedure.
  9. Wipe the rim of the jar clean, center a clean jarring lid on top, and tightly screw on a clean jarring band. Set aside for processing as you fill the remaining jars.
  10. Quickly repeat Steps 7-9 with the remaining jars.
  11. As soon as you screw the band on the last jar, immediately and carefully place all of the filled and enclosed jars in the pot of simmering water, using tongs. You may need to refill with more water as needed to maintain at least 1 inch of water above the lids. Bring the water back to a boil and process for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove the jars from the pot and set them aside to cool completely without disturbing them, for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. If the lids have created a seal, label and store the jars in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. Any jars that have not sealed must be refrigerated immediately and used promptly.


*For another means of testing the marmalade’s consistency, place a small plate in the freezer as you are cooking the mixture. After 25 minutes, place a teaspoon of the mixture onto the chilled plate and allow it to sit for 30 seconds. Tilt the plate. The mixture should be a soft gel that moves very slowly. If the mixture is thin and runs easily, it is not ready. Continue boiling for an additional 5-10 minutes and test again.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Category: Marmalade
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Spread

Keywords: orange, marmalade