These canning directions concern plain unroasted fresh peppers, blanched and packed in water.
These directions apply to fresh peppers regardless of the colour and they also apply to hot peppers (aka chiles.)
You may can peppers (hot or sweet). You can can them, pickled, or plain.
Pickled peppers can be water-bathed or steam-canned. Unpickled plain ones must be pressure canned as per the directions below.
We also provide directions for roasted, peeled peppers.
Jars of home canned peppers make rice dishes such as this Pepper Rice a no-brainer to make, even on weeknights. Use the pepper broth from the jar as cooking liquid!
Bonus knowledge! Chili is a dish; a chile is a hot pepper!
See also: Dehydrating sweet peppers
- 1 Quantities of peppers needed
- 2 The recipe
- 3 Canning plain peppers
- 4 Reference information
- 5 Recipe notes
- 6 Recipe source
- 7 Cooking with canning
- 8 Nutrition
- 9 What size of pepper pieces?
- 10 Pickle the peppers if you don’t want to pressure can them
Quantities of peppers needed
Numbers are approximate guidelines.
Allow half a kilo (1 pound) raw whole peppers per half-litre (1 US pint) jar.
Jar size choices: Quarter-litre (½ US pint) or half-litre (1 US pint)
Processing method: Pressure canning only
Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)
Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
Processing time: Quarter or half-litres (pints or half-pints) 35 minutes
Canning plain peppers
- Wash peppers.
- Cut into quarters, removing stems and seeds.
- Put in a large pot of boiling water and when the water returns to the boil, let boil for 3 minutes.
- Remove from pot with slotted spoon.
- Pack into heated quarter-litre (½ US pint) or half-litre (1 US pint) jars.
- Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
- Add 1 ½ teaspoons vinegar to each quarter-litre (½ US pint) jar; 1 tablespoon vinegar to each half-litre (1 US pint) jar.
- Optional: a pinch of salt per jar.
- Top up each jar with clean boiling water (such as from a kettle, for instance), maintaining headspace.
- Debubble; adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
- Processing time: either size jar 35 minutes.
Processing guidelines below are for weighted-gauge pressure canner. See also if applicable: Dial-gauge pressures.
|Jar Size||Time||0 to 300 m (0 - 1000 feet) pressure||Above 300 m (1000 ft) pressure|
|¼ litre (½ US pint)||35 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
|½ litre (1 US pint)||35 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
How to pressure can.
When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.
More information about Salt-Free Canning in general.
- Do not do larger jars; there are no tested, safe times for them.
- If you are doing hot (as in spicy) peppers, it is one thing as a cook to brave prepping one or two peppers with bare hands; it is a different thing altogether to prepare them in industrial quantities such as are encountered when canning. Wear gloves, or your hands will go dry and burn for hours on end, even with mild Jalapeno peppers, and no matter how much you think your hands are “used to it” and no matter how much you think gloves are for wimps. (Sweet peppers should be fine.)
- Instead of the salt, you can use a non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub. We have found Herbamare Sodium-Free performs well in that regard.
This recipe comes from both Ball and Bernardin.
Their preparation directions call for no peeling, a brief blanching, and, adding a bit of vinegar to the canning jars.
It is unclear what purpose the vinegar serves. (The Ball / Bernardin Complete Book does not call for it. Kingry, Judi and Lauren Devine. Ball / Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving. Toronto: Robert Rose. 2015. Page 391. )
The no peel approach has a definite appeal to those who feel life is too short to peel a mushroom, let alone peppers.
Ball directions for canning peppers
- 500 g (1 pound) sweet peppers per ½ litre (US pint) jar
Wash sweet peppers, drain. Remove stem and seeds, cut peppers into quarters. Cover peppers with water in a large saucepot; boil 3 minutes. Only process in half-pints or pints. Pack hot peppers into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ tablespoon vinegar to each half-pint jar. Add ½ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon vinegar to each pint jar. Ladle boiling water over peppers, leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process half-pints and pints 35 minutes at 10 pounds pressure in a pressure canner.”  Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Daleville, Indiana: Hearthmark LLC. Edition 36. 2013. Page 68.
Bernardin directions for canning peppers
Select mature, firm peppers. Wash peppers, remove stem and seeds and cut into quarters. Place in a stainless steel saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; boil 3 minutes. Drain. Pack peppers into 250 ml or 500 ml jars only. Do not use larger jars. Add 1 ½ teaspoons (7 ml) vinegar to each 250 ml jar; 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vinegar to each 500 ml jar. Season, add fresh boiling water. Heat process 250 ml or 500 ml jars 35 minutes at 10 lb (69 kPa) in weighted gauge pressure canner.”  Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving. Toronto, Canada: Bernardin Ltd. 2013. Page 104. [Also online at: Sweet Green Peppers. ]
Cooking with canning
Pork and pepper in cream sauce
Serving size: 250 g, drained (about one half of a ½ litre / US pint jar, if 500 g went into the jar.)
- 78 calories, 10 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 0 points (peppers are free on Weight Watchers).
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
What size of pepper pieces?
New Mexico says, “Chiles can be cut in pieces or left whole. Pack chiles loosely and add boiling water.”  Flores, Nancy. Sweet Green Peppers. New Mexico State University. E-308. May 2008. Accessed May 2015.
The USDA in its directions for Sweet Green Peppers says, “Large peppers may be quartered.” Texas A&M University Extension says, “large peppers should be quartered.”  Van Laanen, Peggy. Preserving Peppers. Texas A&M University Extension. L-5309. Accessed March 2015 at https://university.uog.edu/cals/people/PUBS/Food/L-5309.pdf.
Both Ball and Bernardin want peppers quartered, too.
What’s clear is no one wants you dicing them, or mincing them, etc.
Pickle the peppers if you don’t want to pressure can them
You cannot water bath or steam can plain peppers packed in water. For water bath or steam canning, they must be pickled to be safe from nasties. Use a tested recipe for pickled peppers such as this one for Pickled Roasted Peppers from Ball.
The USDA Complete Guide (2015) also has recipes for pickled peppers, as well as for pickled peppers marinated in oil.
|↑1||Kingry, Judi and Lauren Devine. Ball / Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving. Toronto: Robert Rose. 2015. Page 391.|
|↑2||Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Daleville, Indiana: Hearthmark LLC. Edition 36. 2013. Page 68.|
|↑3||Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving. Toronto, Canada: Bernardin Ltd. 2013. Page 104.|
|↑4||Flores, Nancy. Sweet Green Peppers. New Mexico State University. E-308. May 2008. Accessed May 2015.|
|↑5||Van Laanen, Peggy. Preserving Peppers. Texas A&M University Extension. L-5309. Accessed March 2015 at https://university.uog.edu/cals/people/PUBS/Food/L-5309.pdf.|
Can you water bath peppers instead of pressure cooking
If you pickle peppers, you can. Otherwise, absolutely not. Freezing or drying are always good alternatives.
If you read the article.. you will get your answer.
I want to pickle my bell peppers. How do I do that?
You can pickle them using this recipe, just using bell peppers instead of jalapenos: https://www.healthycanning.com/pickled-jalapenos/
For the peppers marinated in oil, do you water bath for 10 minutes also?
We’re not aware of any safe lab-tested recipes from reputable sources for doing that. Freeze them.
Steve M. Panger
How long do you water bath pickled peppers?
This recipe for pickled jalapenos can be used for any recipe.
I want to can hot peppers from our garden in a pressure canner. The recipe that came with the canner (which the manufacturer’s representative told me comes from a national food safety group) does not call for any vinegar, but two other recipes I found do (one from Putting Food By, one from UC Extension), and these recipes suggest it’s for safety reasons. It’s a small amount of vinegar, not nearly enough to pickle the peppers, so why add vinegar to a pressure canned recipe? I plan on pressure canning without the vinegar, but am still puzzled as to why some recipes included it.
Mike, you’re right. For pressure-canning plain peppers, some of the directions call for no added vinegar, others such as Ball and Bernardin’s call for a tablespoon of vinegar per jar, which clearly is a quantity that would do nothing for safety. We have noted that the habit of adding a tablespoon of vinegar reaches back to the early days of pressure canning peppers. It’s on our todo list to find someone who knows the answer of why that habit started, and when we do, we’ll post it.