In this post, I’ll show you step by step how to can peppers at home. We’ll go over what kinds of peppers we can can and how to do it in a step by step picture tutorial. If you’ve been wanting to learn more about canning peppers, read on! By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to can peppers. I have the How to Can Peppers printable for you at the end of this post.
Peppers are a must-have in the summer garden. In fact, you’re most likely going to find a few different pepper varieties in my garden.
I love growing the small lunch-box variety. These are small and sweet and they are so beautiful and colorful! They’re great for snacking, or for filling with cream cheese, and they are great for preserving peppers in vinegar and salt.
Then, there are jalapenos. I can’t say that I am a lover of spicy food (not at all even with my Moroccan roots!), but even I have to have some sort of spicy pepper on hand for flavoring other dishes.
And of course, I always grow bell peppers. I’ve never been able to grow peppers as huge as the bell peppers we find at the grocery store but I’m totally fine with that. We eat our bell peppers as a snack, I love making red pepper paste, and I won’t go too long without Mediterranean stuffed peppers!
How to Can Peppers…
I consider all of the recipes that I linked to above as a way to preserve my peppers. The vinegar and salt solution pickles the peppers, and I freeze both my stuffed peppers and my red pepper paste.
However, I also like to can some of my peppers so I can add them to casseroles, soups, sandwiches, and other dishes later in the year when I no longer have a fresh supply of peppers from the garden.
Peppers are a low-acid food and for that reason, we have to use a pressure canner to can them. Canning peppers requires some work, but it’s not hard or complicated.
I’ll show you step-by-step how to can peppers!
Here is what we’ll go over…
- Choosing how to can peppers.
- Equipment needed for canning peppers.
- Selecting peppers for canning.
- Preparing peppers for canning.
- Roasting peppers before canning.
- Peeling peppers before canning.
- Preparing the jars, lids, rings, and pressure canner.
- Packing the jars with peppers.
- Adding liquid and removing air bubbles.
- Closing the jars.
- How to can peppers in the pressure canner.
- Storing canned peppers.
- Using canned peppers.
Choosing How to Can Peppers…
Just to make sure we are on the same page here, I am not talking about canning pickled peppers. There are ways to do that too but in this post, we are going to talk about canning fresh peppers from the garden. Peppers that haven’t been pickled.
Option # 1 – the first way that we can can fresh peppers is by roasting them and then can them in the pressure canner. This is what we are going to do in this post.
Option # 2 – the second way to can peppers is to cook them for just a few minutes before packing the jars and canning them in the pressure canner.
The main difference between the two ways is that in the first one we remove the skin and in the second one the skin stays on. It’s really a matter of personal preference…
Roasting the peppers gives them a special taste that many people (including me!) love. Also, many people prefer their peppers not to have the skin on when they use the peppers in cooking.
On the other hand, prep work is much easier if you choose option number 2! Peeling peepers requires some work, and the skins don’t really bother many people.
Both ways are great ways to can peppers but today we are going to learn how to can peppers using the first way (I’ll devote another post to way # 2). So we’ll roast the peppers first and then we’ll process them in the pressure canner.
Equipment Needed For Canning Peppers…
Before we start, let’s make sure we have all the needed equipment…
Cutting board – just a good old cutting board to cut the peppers on.
Knife – a kitchen knife for cutting the peppers.
Baking sheet – we are going to roast the peppers in the oven so we’re going to need a baking sheet for that.
Parchment paper – to line the baking sheet for easy cleanup.
Oil sprayer – it might be a handy thing to have in the kitchen if you don’t have oil in a spray bottle.
A spatula – to scoop the peppers right into …
Ziplock bags – I used a produce bag (you’ll see below), but a Ziplock bag works great too. We are going to transfer the peppers to a bag after roasting them in the oven.
Lids and rings – to cover and close the jars obviously. Use new lids each time you can food to make sure the seal is not damaged, but you can definitely reuse rings (also called bands).
Canning utensils – we are going to use the jar lifter and the bubble remover.
Paper towels – to clean the rim of the jar.
Selecting peppers for Canning…
Any pepper that you can use for cooking can be canned in this method.
You can choose hot peppers like jalapenos or a mild chili pepper like the poblano pepper. Or you can use sweet peppers like bell peppers (some peppers are more suited for pickling like the lunch box peppers or the banana peppers, for example).
Since we are going to roast and peel the peppers in this method of canning peppers, it will be easier to use medium or large peppers. The really small ones are just hard to clean and peel. I prefer making a pepper paste with them and freezing it or canning them using option number two.
Also, try to choose meaty peppers. They are also easier to peel, however, you can see in the picture above, that the peppers I canned were rather small and not too meaty. It just means that prep work took me a little longer.
Ok, so we have all the needed equipment and the peppers we want to can. Now let’s learn how to can peppers!
Preparing Peppers for Canning…
Some people like to roast their peppers in the oven whole and clean them after they peel them. I prefer to first clean them and then char them.
It doesn’t matter what you do first…
I start by cutting around the stem and removing it.
Then, I halve the pepper and clean it from seeds…
Before I quarter it.
I keep working until all of my peppers are clean. I started with 6.5 lb of peppers here and after cleaning them I was left with just under 5 lb.
Roasting Peppers Before Canning…
Next, we want to roast the peppers so the skin separates from the flesh allowing us to peel the peppers.
To do that, I line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay my peppers in one layer with their skins up before I spray them with oil (doesn’t matter what kind).
I roast the peppers in a 400 F preheated oven for anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of the peppers).
Peeling Peppers Before Canning…
You’ll notice that at some point the skin starts to separate from the flesh of the peppers. Once the peppers reach this stage, I take the baking sheet out of the oven…
And use a spatula to scoop the hot peppers right into a plastic bag (Ziplock works great too).
I let the peppers rest for a few minutes in the plastic bag.
I usually put the bag of peppers aside and get to work on the next batch of peppers. By the time I am done laying the next batch on the baking sheet, spraying them, and putting them in the oven, the peppers in the bag are ready and peeling them is a piece of cake.
I keep working through all the peppers of the first batch while the second batch is in the oven.
I ended up giving the skins to the chickens, but if you have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate them and make powder with them that you can then use as seasonings for soup or many other dishes.
I am sure that there is also a way to do this in the oven, probably on low heat for a long period of time. I have never tried, though…
All right, I just keep roasting and peeling until all of my peppers are ready for canning. I then put them aside for a moment and go to work on preparing my jars, lids, rings, and the pressure canner.
Preparing the Jars, Lids, Rings, and Pressure Canner…
I add about 2” of water to my Presto pressure canner and set it on the stove top. I turn the heat on high and I let the water come to a simmer.
Meanwhile, I wash my jars well with warm water and dish soap and set them aside. Then, I wash my lids and rings as well.
This is also a good time to boil some water. We are going to have to add boiling water to each jar.
Packing the Jars With Peppers…
Everything is clean and ready to go so let’s pack those jars with peppers!
I chose to use pint jars. I add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each jar before I add the peppers.
Note that you can add the salt after you add the peppers too, it doesn’t really matter when you add it. If you like the taste of vinegar, you can also add 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar to each jar but this is optional.
Next, I add the peppers to the jars making sure to leave 1” headspace.
I think that I filled the jars a little too much here… So you fill your jars a little less than what you see in the picture, please.
Adding Liquid and Removing Air Bubbles…
Once the peppers are in the jars I add a little bit of boiling water to each jar, still making sure that I leave 1” headspace…
Then, I use my bubble remover to remove bubbles. All I do is stick it down the sides of each jar and create a path so the air bubbles can escape…
Closing the jars…
Once all my jars are full of the peppers and water, I use my paper towel to clean the rim of the jar.
I then center the lid and close the jars with the rings finger tight.
How to Can Peppers in the Pressure Canner…
All right, we are ready to process those jars of peppers. The water in your canner should be somewhere between warm and simmering at that point. Make sure that you leave the rack inside the canner and set your jars on the rack.
Close the canner and turn your heat to high. The weight should be off of the vent at this point. The water inside the canner will come to a boil and steam will start escaping from the vent.
Let the canner vent steam for 10 minutes before placing the weight on the valve. Now I watch the gauge. When it reaches 11 psi, I turn the heat down to medium-high to keep the pressure on 11 psi.
I then process pint and half-pint jars for 35 minutes.
These instructions are for those of us who own a dial pressure canner. If you are using a weighted canner you need to process your jars on 10 pounds of pressure for the same amount of time.
Processing time always starts when you place your weight on the vent (after the canner vent steam for 10 minutes).
Also, note that you might need to adjust your canner’s pressure if you live above 1000 feet in elevation. You can find an altitude adjustment chart here.
Once the 35 minutes are up, don’t try to open your canner. Just turn the heat off and let it cool slowly and release the pressure.
Once the canner has cooled completely, I open it but I don’t remove the jars right away. I let the jars hang in the warm water for an additional 10 minutes or so before I use my jar lifter to remove them from the canner.
I set the jars on a kitchen towel on the kitchen counter and I leave them undisturbed for at least 12 hours to cool.
Storing Canned Peppers…
We are done! All that is left to do is move the jars to the pantry.
But first I always check to make sure that they all sealed. This is simple to do, I just press the center of the lid. If there is no movement there it means that the jar is sealed.
I then wipe the jars with a damp towel before storing them in the pantry.
I always store my canned goods without the rings because it allows me to see better what’s going on inside the jars.
Usually, if something funky, like mold, for example, is developing in the jars it develops on top of the food. So storing the jars without the rings makes it easier to see what’s going on inside.
Most of the time, I try to use my canned goods within a year. you can write the canning date on the lid for easy reference.
Using Canned Peppers…
My favorite way to use my canned peppers is in pasta sauce. This roasted red peppers pasta sauce from the Pioneer Woman has become one of my favorite pasta sauces!
Of course, I also add them to sandwiches and salads and other dishes. The sky is really the limit. There are so many ways to use these roasted peppers.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to can peppers! Remember that you can do this with many kinds of peppers not only bell peppers.
You can check out how Jill from the Prairie Homestead does the same with poblano peppers here.
If you like this canning peppers tutorial you might also like my other canning tutorials. Check out my tutorial on canning tomato sauce, learn how to can pumpkin, and learn how to can meat. You can find all of my preserving recipes and tutorials on my preserving page.
Here is the handy how to can peppers printable…
- 6.5 lb of peppers
- Oil (spray bottle is best)
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- Boiling water
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Wash your peppers and remove the stem and the seeds.
- Quarter your peppers.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay peppers, skin up, on the baking sheet in one layer.
- Roast in the oven for 10 to 20 minutes until the skin starts to wrinkle and separate from the peppers.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and use a spatula to add the hot peppers to a Ziplock or produce plastic bag. Close the bag and let the peppers rest for 10 minutes or so.
- While the peppers are resting in the bag, fill your pressure canner with 2'' of water and set it on the stovetop. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a simmer.
- Start water, for use in the jars, to boil.
- Open the bag and peel your peppers. Set the peeled peppers aside.
- Wash your jars, lids, and rings with warm water.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each pint jar.
- Pack the jars with peppers, making sure to leave 1'' headspace.
- Add boiling water to each jar, making sure to leave 1'' headspace.
- Use the bubble remover to remove bubbles.
- Use a clean paper towel to wipe the rim of each jar.
- Center the lid and close the jars with the rings.
- Set your filled jars in the pressure canner on the rack. Close the canner and turn the heat to high.
- Let the canner vent for 10 minutes before placing the weight on the vent.
- Lower the heat to medium-high and process the peppers on 11 psi (for dial gauge canners) or 10 psi (weight guage canners) for 35 minutes (if you live in altitude no higher than 1000 feet).
- Once the time is up, turn the heat off and let your canner cool slowly.
- When the canner has cooled completely, open the lid and let the jars rest in the hot water for 10 more minutes.
- Use the jar lifter to remove the jars and set them on a kitchen towel on the kitchen counter to cool for 12 hours undisturbed.
- Wipe jars, remove rings, label and store in the pantry.
1. You can can any kinds of peppers this way, hot, mild, or sweet.
2. If you like the taste of vinegar, you can add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar to each jar before you add the boiling water.
3. Make sure to adjust your pressure according to altitude if you live above 1000 feet. There is a link to an altitude adjustment table in the post.
4. I always use all of my canned goods within a year.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 pint jar
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 206 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1075mg Carbohydrates: 49g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 9g Sugar: 24g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 7g