Canning Peppers

How to can Sweet, Mild, or Hot Chili peppers

with Sharon Peterson
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Canning peppers is often done in half pint and pint jars - quarts are just too much! Handling the peppers should be done with care and will show you how!

If you are canning peppers remember they will not hold their crunch or texture. There is just no way that I know of around the soft results.  However they are great for adding to many meals that benefit from the flavor addition even if they don't keep thier crunch.  

Do you use spicy peppers as an ingredient in many meals?

  • Casseroles often use peppers for a bit of spice.
  • Add peppers to an omelet in the morning
  • Add to a chicken enchilada bake.

Start canning peppers in pints or 1/2 pints and have a ready supply on hand.

Did you plant peppers and now wonder what to do with your abundance? Canning peppers is one option.  Pickled peppers is another great option. Personally we like pickled pepper rings.

Caution, wear gloves if you are handling hot peppers.

You may already know this, but it bears repeating. If you are canning peppers that are spicy, wear plastic gloves while handling them or wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face.

Personally, I don't skip the gloves. Once I was canning salsa. I only had a few peppers to chop, so I figured I'd just wash my hands right after working with them. Big mistake. My hands burned all night long.

I used lotion, I washed over and over, I soaked my hands in milk and I even rubbed some of my aloe plant all over them. I ended up keeping my hands wrapped in a cold damp rag all evening. The cold rag worked best.

The burning was gone by morning and it didn't do any damage but it was definitely an uncomfortable evening. Maybe my peppers were especially hot, I don't know. I still won't repeat that mistake. I hope you won't either!

Tips from my inbox:

Laurie shares:  When I was 8 months pregnant with my first child I decided to do the nice thing and freeze the abundance of hot peppers produced from my father-in-law's garden. Soon after my fingers started to burn. We tried everything and couldn't get it to subside. Five hours later my husband took me to the hospital and the doctor told us to use vinegar. It neutralizes the acid and stops the burning. 

Canning Peppers requires a pressure canner.

As spicy as some peppers get, they are still all low acid foods and must be processed in a pressure canner. Botulism is a risk and pressure canning is the only safe option.

If you are not familiar with how to use a pressure canner this pressure canning page has more detailed information and step by step instructions.


But why??

I'm seeing questions regarding pressure canning VS waterbath canning peppers. Peppers are a low acid food and should be pressure canned.

If you are pickling peppers then you can use a waterbath because you've added acid when you add vinegar to your recipe.

Some recipes for pickled peppers can be found at the end of this page so scroll on down.  OR...  Read more on canning methods and low or high acid foods here.

Gather your canning supplies


  • Peppers - 9 pounds will allow you to can peppers in 9 pints.
  • Canning Salt - optional


You can leave the peppers whole, or if you have larger peppers, you can quarter or halve them.

Remove cores and seeds. I do this by cutting off the top and then pulling out the centers with my hands (don't forget the gloves). Hot pepper seeds hold a lot of heat. If you really like hot, experiment and can a few with the seeds. Remember though, tastes will become stronger as they are canned.

The next step is to remove the skins. Cut 3-4 slits just through the skin of each pepper. Place peppers on a cookie sheet and roast in a hot oven (400 degrees F) or under the broiler for 6-8 minutes, turning to roast all sides. When you see the skins blister, they are done. Place peppers in a pan and cover with a damp cloth to cool. This keeps them moist and easier to peel.

When cool enough to handle, peel each pepper. Flatten whole peppers by cutting down one side and open up the pepper. You may also chop peppers or cut into rings. 

Add ½ teaspoon of salt to each pint jar, if desired. Fill jars loosely with peppers and add boiling water, leaving 1-inch head space.

Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place your lids.

Process according to pressure canning instructions.

Processing time

Process pints or 1/2 pints 35 minutes.   Quarts are not recommended. 

Be sure to adjust the pressure in your canner according to your altitude. For more information see this altitude adjustments page.

Adjustments for Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 11 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15


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The Legal Stuff

by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2019

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Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

See my Full Disclaimer here.

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