After reading several different recipes on the internet, I said, “No way! I’m sorry, but I’m not taking an entire day to make a simple marmalade.” Nope! I was determined to develop a Quick & Easy Orange Marmalade Recipe and I’m happy to report that I did just that!
It didn’t matter to me if I was successful or not because I either had to use the oranges or throw them away. They were starting to dry up and I never like to waste anything!
As I was looking around the internet for basic instructions, I saw some recipes that said to peel all the rinds and then remove the pith (the white part). Ummm, that’s a lot of work! Nope, not doing it.
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Others skipped that step but you had to let the oranges and water sit overnight. What? Nope. I am an instant gratification kind of girl and when I set out to make something (except yogurt), I want it done THAT day.
So, with nothing to lose, I guessed at measurements, threw everything in the Ninja Foodi and pressure cooked for 10 minutes. Finished it up using sear/sauté and let it set up.
My Quick & Easy Marmalade was PERFECT! YAY!
Although this was not planned as a recipe for my website, I had to share it. You will thank me!
What Type of Oranges should I use for Orange Marmalade?
I recommend using seedless mandarin oranges in this recipe, but other types of oranges can be used.
Orange Marmalade is usually made with Seville oranges or bitter oranges as they are also called. These types of oranges are not the kind you would peel and eat because they are extremely bitter.
Personally, I have never seen Seville oranges in any of my local grocery stores, so I have not made marmalade from them. In fact, this is the very first time I’ve ever made orange marmalade. Boy have I been missing out!
While you can use just about any orange in this recipe, the thin skin of the mandarin orange (also sold as cuties or halos) allows it to soften in the short pressure cooking time.
So, if you wanted to use an orange with thicker skin, you might want to increase your pressure cooking time to 15 minutes or so.
I don’t recommend using naval oranges because they tend to have a very thick skin and a lot of pith. The pith is the white part of the orange between the skin and the fruit. The pith is bitter and too much of it may cause your orange marmalade to become unpleasantly bitter. Of course, that is just my preference.
What is the difference between Jam, Jelly, Marmalade, & Preserves?
In my recipe video, I kept calling the orange marmalade, jelly and jam. I do know the difference, but still called it jelly.
Jelly is very different from Jam, Marmalade, and preserves because it is made with the juice of the fruit and sugar only. No bits of pulp or fruit in a jelly. Jelly is always smooth and gelled. Jelly is usually clear. It has color, but it is clear.
Jam is usually made with crushed fruit or pulp. It is looser than Jelly.
Preserves are made with pieces of fruit and are in a syrup or gel.
So, where does marmalade fit? It’s considered preserves. Marmalade refers to any preserves made with citrus fruit.
Guess what that means???? We can make lemon marmalade, lime marmalade, even grapefruit marmalade. I don’t know about you, but lime marmalade intrigues me!
Can you can this recipe for Orange Marmalade?
Yep, you sure can (pun intended). Jams, jellies, preserves, & marmalades can easily be canned in a hot water bath.
Guess what else? You can do it in the Ninja Foodi! No, this does not mean that you can pressure can in the Ninja Foodi. It is not approved for foods that require pressure canning, but this orange marmalade recipe doesn’t need to be pressure canned.
You have to pressure can low acidic foods and foods that could grow bacteria more easily. I have written an article about canning in the Ninja Foodi and you can find it right here. ➡︎ ➡︎ ➡︎ Is it safe to Can in the Ninja Foodi?
It is much easier to can the smaller jars in the Ninja Foodi, so keep that in mind if you plan on doing it at home.
How long will the Orange Marmalade last in the fridge?
A very long time! Even without canning, you can keep an unopened jar of Orange Marmalade in the fridge for a year and it should be just fine.
Once opened, I would try to use it up within about 3 months.
Because of the sugar levels of marmalade, bacteria is very unlikely to grow. Sugar pulls water out of bacteria through osmosis, so even if some bacteria is introduced via your spoon or knife (hey, it can happen), it won’t be able to survive without water.
Some molds can grow on preserves, so if you have an opened jar of preserves way in the back of the fridge always look for signs of mold and discard if you see any.
You won’t have to worry about that with this recipe for Orange Marmalade because it won’t last long enough to go bad. That is a promise!
How Do I know When the Marmalade will Set Up?
The most reliable way is to use a candy thermometer or an instant read thermometer that is fast and reliable.
The temperature of sugar can increase very quickly, so if you have a slow reading thermometer when making marmalade or any other type of jam/jelly or candy, your sugar can scorch before you get a final reading.
A good thermometer is only second to a good knife in the kitchen as far as I’m concerned. You can get a decent thermometer for $20 or a high end one for $100 or more. You can even get one that acts as an instant read AND a probe thermometer. This might come in handy if you like to continuously monitor the temp of your meat while cooking.
I have all three types of thermometers and my favorite is the Thermapen MK4, followed by the dual use thermometer. However, I used the $20.00 thermometer for about a year and it did just fine. So, don’t let the prices deter you, grab the $20 thermometer, it is a lot better than not having one at all.
I have yet to find the perfect candy thermometer, so, if you have any suggestions for that, please let me know!
A lot of recipes and instructions for making orange marmalade will tell you to ONLY cook the marmalade to a temp of 220℉/104℃ and they aren’t wrong, so don’t get too hung up on the temperatures here. You need to cook the marmalade until it is AT LEAST 220℉/104℃, but. you can cook longer. I usually aim for 225℉/107℃, but that doesn’t mean I always let it go th at long. I like a firm set marmalade and like the way it turns out when I let the temp get up to 223℉ -225℉. That doesn’t mean YOU WILL!
Most of the time an orange marmalade will set up just fine at 220℉, so if you like a thinner or looser marmalade, aim for a temp of about 221℉/105℉. I found this article that is interesting and goes over the various thickness of her orange marmalade. Her max temp was 222℉/105℃, any higher than that, she thought the orange peels became chewy. You can see her results right here: Never Make Runny Marmalade Again
I have not noticed that the orange rinds become chewy, or maybe I like chewy orange peels, or maybe I just live life pushing the limits! I heat my orange marmalade to somewhere between 223-225℉ and it’s perfect for me!
Please take a minute to look over her findings and determine what temp will be perfect for you! In the written instructions, I am going to go on the safer side of things and write the temp target to be 220℉ to 223℉
Another method for determining if your orange marmalade will set up is the plate test.
Simply put a small ceramic or glass plate in the freezer for about 30 minutes and when you think the orange marmalade is done, streak some across the plate and let it sit for a few minutes.
Then run the back of the spoon through the mixture. If the marmalade runs back together, it is not ready. if the marmalade thickens and you can see a distinct line where the spoon went through, your marmalade will set up.
I never use this method because I would probably go through every dish in our house before I was done and… well, no, thanks! I’ll stick to the thermometer or my gut instincts.
Look & Feel
If you make jam/jelly/preserves on the stove, you are already familiar with the changes that occur as the mixture increases in temperature. You also are probably not reading this section. So, I’m going to go over this like you have never made marmalade before.
There is a very distinct look and feel to the orange marmalade as it increases in temperature and, once you’ve made it a few times, you can pretty much tell when it is done just by look and feel. I still recommened using a thermometer though.
I’m going to start with the “feel” part of this because I don’t want you to think I’m crazy. No, you do not stick your hand in the boiling marmalade to “feel” it. The “feel” I’m talking about is how the spatula moves through the mixture as you stir. As the marmalade approaches the correct temperature, you will feel more resistance when stirring. It is thicker. Not thick like molasses, but thick like a pancake syrup. It’s hard to describe, but you will understand when you make it.
The bubbles also change in appearance. The best way to describe that, is by showing you. Here is the video of what it looks like as the marmalade is coming up to the correct temp.
You can see how the bubbles start off fairly small and and only cover parts of the surface. Then, as the temperature increases, the bubbles cover more of the surface and become larger. The mixture also changes in appearance and become more translucent.
How to Make Orange Marmalade in the Ninja Foodi
Making Orange Marmalade in the Ninja Foodi is as easy as 1-2-3. Grab 1 pound of mandarin oranges, 2 cups of water, and 3 cups of sugar.
Remove the stem from the orange and slice them in half. Then put the flat side down and slice each half into ¼” slices. Throw the sliced oranges into the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi.
Add 2 cups of water and 2½ cups of white sugar and stir. Place the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Select pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release completely. This time is needed for the syrup to be infused with the orange flavor.
Once the pressure has completely released, open the lid. Select Sear/Sauté on high and bring the mixture to a rapid boil. Add remaining ½ cup of sugar and stir. It might seem silly to add the extra ½ cup of sugar now instead of in the beginning, but I found this worked better for me. I’m not sure why, because I’ve never done this before when making preserves, but for some reason when I added all the sugar in the beginning, it took a lot longer for the mixture to reach the boiling point. Feel free to give it a try by adding all the sugar in the beginning.
Cook on high until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring occasionally. This may seem contradictory to making jams & preserves on the stove top where they tell you not to stir once it comes to a boil. The only reason why I stir occasionally while heating the orange marmalade to the target temp of 223℉/106℃ is to prevent scorching. I would rather increase the time it takes to come up to temperature, than run the risk of the mixture scorching. Once you scorch a jam/jelly/preserve, it’s really hard to “fix” it. In fact, I don’t think you can.
So, stir or don’t stir. If you have been making jams/jellies/preserves for a million years, you can afford to be a little less cautious.
If you are new to making preserves, I suggest stirring occasionally. Since stirring cools the mixture down, the boiling process will be extended by a few minutes, but that is worth it to me. I think it took about 27 minutes to reach 223℉/106℃. You can probably shave off at least 5 minutes if you don’t stir, but please be careful and watch your mixture closely. I strongly recommend using a candy thermometer that sits on the side of the pot if you want to avoid stirring.
Once the mixture has reached a temp of around 221℉/105℃ to 223℉/107℃ you can turn the Ninja Foodi off and allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes before transferring into jars/containers.
Allow the orange marmalade to sit at room temp for a few hours and then put the containers in the fridge to set up. This. usually takes about 12-24 hours, but I’ve tried my marmalade after just 4 hours in the fridge and it’s perfect!
I love to spread orange marmalade on a delicious Homemade Biscuit or a perfectly toasted piece of bread. I also love serving it on a cracker with some cream cheese and red pepper flakes. It makes the PERFECT little snack!
Serve & Enjoy!
Quick & Easy Orange Marmalade
- 1 lb mandarin oranges about 5-6 small oranges
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups sugar divided in recipe
- Cut the stem off of the mandarins and slice the mandarins in half. Slice each half into slices about ¼" thick. Throw them in the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi or your pressure cooker
- Add 2 cups of water and 2½ cups of white sugar. Stir.
- Put the pressure lid on the Ninja Foodi and turn the valve to seal. Select high pressure for 10 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pot to naturally release its pressure. This takes about 25 minutes.
- Open the lid and turn on the sear/sauté on high. Bring the mixture to a boil and add in remaining ½ cup of sugar. Bring back up to a boil and boil until the mixture reaches about 221°F-223℉ (105-106°C). This is important in order for your marmalade to set up. I usually stir occasionally during this process to avoid scorching. The best way to determine if your marmalade is done is by using a thermometer. However, there is a change in the appearance of the bubbling if you don't have a thermometer. See post for details and short video.
- Once the orange marmalade has reached at least 221°F, turn off the heat and stir. Allow to cool and then ladle into jars and let them sit at room temp for 1-2 hours, then refrigerate at least 4 hours to set up.
- Serve & Enjoy