When canning peppers, be aware that vinegar is the only way to ensure they're canned safely.
It is a misconception that the hotter the pepper, the higher the acidic level. Peppers are a low-acid food, with pH levels ranging from about 4 to 6. When home canning, do not change a recipe to add or subtract an ingredient to suit your own individual taste-it can be deadly. Each food brings its own level of acidity to the final product. Without scientific testing, recipes created on the spot are not safe.
If you are growing your own peppers, keep in mind that a 100 foot row will yield about 60 pounds of peppers, and that 60 pounds of peppers will yield about 60 pints of peppers over the course of a harvest. A canner can only hold nine pint-size canning jars at a time, so you need only work with approximately nine pounds of peppers at a time.
Peppers should be split open and flattened, as well as canned in pints or half pints, to ensure the vinegar penetrates through the entire pepper. Since bacteria sometimes enters a pepper through the stem, it is always wise to remove the stems and seeds and lie the pepper flat so that all air pockets are removed before processing.
Spicy Peppers or Hot Peppers
Chili peppers are hot and require special attention when home canning. Always use care when handling hot peppers of any type. Use protective gloves, remove children and pets from the canning area and never poke your head into the hot steam.
Remember that the chemical that makes peppers hot is actually the oil. Once the oil gets into the air and onto your hands, counter or dishcloth, it can be moved around the room and into your eyes. Wash hands often and place dishcloths into the wash when you are done with use. As a precaution, use a clean dishcloth and wipe down the counters a second time.
General Canning Supplies:
Hot water bath canner
Pint jars and vacuum lids and rings
Clean counter space and plenty of towels
Knife to remove stems and flatten peppers
Green Bell Peppers or Garlic Peppers
When home canning sweet peppers, keep in mind you must start out with firm peppers.
Ingredients You Will Need:
7 pounds peppers
3 ½ cups sugar
3 cups vinegar
3 cups water
9 cloves of garlic
4 ½ teaspoon canning or pickling salt
9 pint size canning jars with vacuum lids and rings
Wash and sort peppers. Remove stems and seeds and cut into strips.
In a large saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar and water to a boil. Add the peppers and bring the mixture to a second boil.
Place one clove of garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt into each pint jar. Using a canning funnel, slowly add the pepper strips. Cover with remaining hot vinegar liquid. Leave ½ inch headspace, wipe rim and adjust lids.
For altitudes of up to 1,000 feet, process the peppers in a hot water bath for five minutes. For altitudes of 1,001 to 6,000 feet, process the peppers in a hot water bath for ten minutes. Anything higher than an altitude of 6,000 feet should be processed for fifteen minutes.
After removing jars from the canner, home canned peppers should be allowed to slowly return to room temperature. Jars that do not seal by the time the peppers have cooled should be put into the refrigerator for early consumption. Jars that seal should be stored in a cool, dark place with ideal temperatures lower than 72 degrees. Remove rings and wash the jar tops to prevent rust and possible spoilage.
It used to be that the home canning process was the only way to preserve meats, fruits and vegetables, and jams and jellies. But even though modern conveniences have made preserving food a choice rather than a necessity, home canning remains a satisfying way to reap the bounty from your garden. Home canning isn't difficult to learn, but you do need to adhere to some strict safety guidelines to ensure that what you preserve can be safely eaten.
If you plan on canning pears, it's important to understand how to determine the best time and types of pears to pick. Though pears ripen across the United States from August through October, few commercially grown pears are ever allowed to ripen on the trees. Instead, pears are picked early to prevent disease and insect infestation.
Often vegetables need to be blanched before freezing or canning. Here is a quick and simple guide for blanching common vegetables. Blanching vegetables helps preserve color and texture.
Many people prefer freezing to canning and preserving food. It's quick and easy and retains the fresh, crisp flavor for fruits and vegetables.