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How to Preserve Chili Peppers

Canning or Jarring Chili Peppers

So you've got a huge chili pepper harvest and you want to preserve your peppers by canning them. No problem! Canning or jarring is a great way to preseve your chili peppers, but you have to do so safely. The information below will help you safely can your peppers.

Canning your chili peppers properly is essential for safety. This information is taken directly from the USDA Canning Guide (1994) located here.

Questions on Properly Preparing and Canning Fermented and Pickled Foods? Click Here for more information and safety.

Pickled Chili Pepper and Jalapeño Rings

  • 3 pounds jalapeño and other chili peppers
  • 1½ cups pickling lime
  • 1½ gallons water
  • 7½ cups cider vinegar (5%)
  • 1¾ cups water
  • 2½ tablespoons canning salt
  • 3 tablespoons celery seed
  • 6 tablespoons mustard seed

Yield: About 6 pint jars.

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure:

Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.

 

  

 

1.  

Wash peppers well and slice into ¼" thick slices (a mandolin slicer works well). Discard stem end. Mix 1½ cups pickling lime with 1½ gallons water in a stainless steel, glass or food grade plastic container. Avoid inhaling lime dust while mixing the lime-water solution. Soak pepper slices in the lime water, in refrigerator, for 18 hours, stirring occasionally (12 to 24 hours may be used).

  

 

2.

Drain lime solution from soaked pepper rings. Rinse peppers gently but thoroughly with water. Cover pepper rings with fresh cold water and soak, in refrigerator, 1 hour. Drain water from peppers.

  

 

3.

Repeat the rinsing, soaking and draining steps two more times. Drain thoroughly at the end.

  

 

4.

Wash and rinse pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.

  

 

5.

Place 1 tablespoon mustard seed and 1½ teaspoons celery seed in the bottom of each clean, hot pint jar. Pack drained pepper rings into the jars, leaving ½-inch headspace.

  

 

6.

Bring cider vinegar, 1¾ cups water and canning salt to a boil over high heat. Ladle boiling hot brine solution over pepper rings in jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Make sure pepper rings are covered with brine.

  

 

7.

Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.

  

 

8.

Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1. Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Pickled Jalapeño Rings in a boiling-water canner.

 

Process Time at Altitudes of

Style of Pack

Jar Size

0 - 1,000 ft

1,001 - 6,000 ft

Above 6,000 ft

Raw

Pints

10 min

15

20


Developed at The University of Georgia, Athens, for the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Released by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences. September 2003.

More Information on Canning Peppers

Quantity: An average of 9 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 25 pounds and yields 20 to 30 pints – an average of 1 pound per pint.

Quality: Do not use soft or diseased peppers.

If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure:

Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.

Select your favorite pepper(s). Small peppers may be left whole. Large peppers may be quartered. Remove cores and seeds. Slash two or four slits in each pepper, and either blanch in boiling water or blister using one of the following methods:

Oven or broiler method: Place peppers in a hot oven (400° F) or broiler for 6-8 minutes until skins blister.

Range-top method: Cover hot burner, either gas or electric, with heavy wire mesh. Place peppers on burner for several minutes until skins blister.

Allow peppers to cool. Place in a pan and cover with a damp cloth. This will make peeling the peppers easier. After several minutes, peel each pepper. Flatten whole peppers. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each pint jar, if desired. Fill jars loosely with peppers and add fresh boiled water, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process following the recommendations in Table 1 or Table 2 according to the method of canning used.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Peppers in a dial-gauge pressure canner.

 

Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of

Style of Pack

Jar Size

Process Time

0 - 2,000 ft

2,001 - 4,000 ft

4,001 - 6,000 ft

6,001 - 8,000 ft

Hot

Half-pints or Pints

35 min

11 lb

12 lb

13 lb

14 lb

Table 2. Recommended process time for Peppers in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.

 

Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of

Style of Pack

Jar Size

Process Time

0 - 1,000 ft

Above 1,000 ft

Hot

Half-pints or Pints

35 min

10 lb

15 lb


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 1994.

Reviewed June 2006.

Any other questions on canning peppers?
Drop me an email and I'll see if I can help.

Here are some other ways to preserve chili peppers:

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A special tribute to the greatest chili pepper on earth, the jalapeno pepper. The purpose of Jalapeno Madness is to inspire creative cooking and fun with jalapeno peppers. We have tons of jalapeno recipes including jalapeno poppers, how to preserve jalapenos, plus gardening and tips for jalapenos.

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