When you have an overabundance of sweet or hot peppers in the garden, you may think freezing is the only way to preserve them for later use. In truth, you can can the peppers, which doesn't take up freezer space and will leave you with an acceptable product for use with cooked dishes. While many pepper recipes are for pickled peppers, canning peppers from the garden without vinegar is perfectly acceptable.
Wash and seed 9 pounds of fresh sweet or hot peppers. Cut the peppers into lengths that will fit easily into pint jars.
Place the peppers on a broiler pan, skin side up, and broil on the top rack of the oven until the pepper skins blister. Remove them from the oven and allow the peppers to cool until you can handle them with bare hands.
Slip the skins off the cooled peppers by lifting the blistered skins and peeling them away from the flesh.
Stuff the peppers tightly into pint-sized canning jars. Add 1 tsp. canning salt to each jar.
Boil enough water in a saucepan to fill each jar. For 7 to 9 pints of peppers, you will need about 3 qts. of boiling water.
Place a canning funnel in the first jar and fill the jar with boiling water to within 1/4 inch of the top. Add a canning lid and ring to the jar. Repeat with the remaining jars.
Place the jars in the pressure canner and secure the lid on the canner, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Bring the canner up to 11 pounds of pressure if using a dial-gauge canner or 10 pounds of pressure if you're using a weighted gauge below 1,000 feet above sea level or 15 pounds of pressure if you're using a weighted gauge more than 1,000 feet above sea level. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your model of canner to reach the proper pressure.
Process the pepper-filled canning jars for 35 minutes after pressure is achieved. Allow the canner to cool naturally. Remove the jars from the canner using canning tongs and allow the jars to cool at room temperature.
Things You Will Need
- 9 pounds fresh peppers
- Sharp knife
- Broiler pan
- Pint canning jars, lids and rings
- Canning salt
- Measuring spoons
- Canning funnel
- Paper towels
- Pressure canner
- Canning tongs
- Check the seals on the jars after the peppers have cooled enough to touch. Press the center of the lid; if the lid flexes, the jar has not sealed. You can either store the jar in the refrigerator and use as soon as possible, or place a new lid on the jar and reprocess.
- Canned peppers, since they are fully cooked, can be used in soups or stews. If you're serving the peppers by themselves, boil the peppers for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving"; Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine; 2006
- "Preserving Summer's Bounty: A Quick and Easy Guide to Freezing, Canning, and Preserving, and Drying What You Grow"; Rodale Food Center
- "Stocking Up III: The All-New Edition of America's Classic Preserving Guide"; Carol Hupping; 1986
- Purdue University: Let's Preserve Peppers (PDF)