How to Can Peppers Using a Hot Water Bath

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Canning is an easy way to preserve garden produce.
Canning is an easy way to preserve garden produce. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Before you begin to can peppers using the hot water bath method, it is necessary to pickle them. Peppers are not acidic enough to prevent botulism with the hot water canning method. Canning peppers without pickling them requires the use of a pressure canner, which heats the peppers enough to kill botulism. Pickling peppers and hot bath canning require several preparatory steps to ensure the peppers taste their best when you open them again.

Things You'll Need

  • Mason jars
  • Jar lids and rings
  • 1 small pot
  • Slotted spoon
  • 1 large canning pot
  • Paper towel
  • Knife
  • Frying pan
  • Damp cloth
  • 1 saucepan
  • 5 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons canning salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Ladle
  • Jar lifter

Wash the Mason jars in the dishwasher to sterilize them. Bring a small pot of water to a near boil and add the jar rings and lids to the water. Let them sit in the near boiling water for five minutes, then remove then with a slotted spoon. Fill the canning pot with water and bring it to a boil.

Rinse the peppers under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Cut large peppers into quarters and scrape out the seeds and core. If you want to leave small peppers whole, cut a slit down the side and scoop out the core and seeds.

Set the frying pan over medium-high heat on the stove. Lay the peppers on the frying pan until the skin begins to blister. Turn the peppers to blister all sides. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan with a damp cloth and let the peppers cool completely. Slide the skins off the peppers and discard the skins.

Pour the 5 cups of vinegar into a saucepan. Add 1 cup of water, 4 tsp. of canning salt and 2 tbsp. of sugar. Drop in two crushed cloves of garlic. Turn the stove onto high heat and bring the solution to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the garlic.

Pack the Mason jars loosely with the peppers. Leave 1 inch of space at the top of the jar. Ladle in the vinegar solution into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar. The solution should completely cover the peppers. Put the lids on the jars and screw on the rings.

Lower the jars into the boiling water in the canning pot. The water should cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Boil the jars for 10 minutes. Remove the jars with the jar lifter and set them in a cool spot where they do not touch each other.

Leave the jars to cool overnight. Press on the lid with your finger once they are cool. The lid should not bounce back. If it does, that jar did not seal properly.

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