How to Can Jalapenos

Three Methods:Preparing the JarsPreparing the JalapenosCanning the Jalapenos

Spicy jalapeno peppers are simple to slice and can for long-term storage. The process will take over a day from beginning to end, though, so you should make sure that you have plenty of time before embarking on the project.


  • 2 lbs (900 g) jalapeno peppers
  • 1 1/2 gallons (6 l) ice water
  • 7 cups (1.75 l) white vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cup (435 ml) purified water
  • 1 1/2 cup (375 ml) pickling lime
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp (37.5 ml) canning salt
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) celery seed
  • 6 Tbsp (90 ml) mustard seed


  • 6 pint (500 ml) jars

Method 1
Preparing the Jars

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    Wash the jars and lids. Use a clean dishcloth to scrub the jars and lids with dish soap and warm water. This is especially important if the jars have been used previously, but it should be done even if the jars have never been used.
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    Use boiling water to sterilize the jars. Boil a large stockpot of water on the stove over high heat. After the water reaches a rolling boil, carefully lower the jars inside the pot using jar tongs. Do not let the jars bump into each other, as this could lead to chips or cracks forming. Allow the jars to sterilize in the hot water for 10 to 15 minutes before carefully removing them with jar tongs.
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    Sterilize the lids separately. The lids also need to be sterilized before use, but some canning lids should not be boiled in water prior to the canning process. To be on the safe side, heat water in a small pot to a boil, reducing the heat before it reaches a rolling boil so that it just barely sits at a simmer. Use jar tongs to place the lids into the hot water and remove the lids with your tongs after 5 minutes pass.
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    Dry your jars and lids. The jars and lids should still be warm when canning the peppers. As a result, instead of allowing them to air dry, dry the supplies quicker by using a clean, dry dish towel or paper towels.

Method 2
Preparing the Jalapenos

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    Use high-quality peppers. Stay away from soft peppers or spotty, diseased peppers. Instead, opt of ripe, firm jalapenos that are a vibrant green, yellow, or red.
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    Slice the jalapenos into slices. Each slice should be about 1/4-inch (6.45-mm) thick. Use a sharp knife to make clean cuts, or use a mandolin slicer if there is one available. Throw out the stem end.
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    Mix the 1 1/2 gallons (6 liters) of ice water with the pickling lime.[1] Combine the two ingredients in a food-grade plastic, steel, or glass container. Be careful as you work, since inhaling too much of the lime dust can irritate your respiratory system.
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    Soak the jalapenos in the ice water solution. Stir the peppers into the solution to make sure that they are all moistened.
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    Refrigerate the jalapenos. Transfer the container of lime water and jalapenos to the refrigerator and keep it there for 12 to 24 hours. Stir the peppers every few hours as they continue to soak.
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    Drain and rinse the peppers. After they finish soaking, drain the lime water from the peppers by pouring the contents of the container through a colander. Rinse the jalapeno slices with running water.
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    Soak the peppers in clean water. Place the peppers in a clean container and cover them with cold water. Refrigerate them as they soak for an hour to remove any additional lime. Drain the water again.
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    Rinse, soak, and drain the peppers twice more. The process may seem excessive, but it is important to follow in order to remove all the lime and to reduce the number of seeds that get preserved.

Method 3
Canning the Jalapenos

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    Boil water inside a boiling-water canner. As you prepare the jars for canning, you should get your canner ready. Fill the canner with enough water to completely submerse the jars in. Position a jar rack inside the bottom of the canner to prevent the jars from sliding around.
    • If you do not have a boiling-water canner, you can use a large, heavy stockpot instead. Make sure you still place something at the bottom of the stockpot to prevent the jars from moving around later on, though.
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    Combine the mustard seed and celery seed. Mix the two seasonings together evenly in a small dish.
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    Distribute the seed mixture into the jars. Spread equal amounts of the seed mixture into each pint-size (500 ml) jar until all of the mixture has been used.
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    Place a funnel in the top of each jar. Use a wide-mouth funnel, if available, to make it easier to pack the peppers into each jar as you work.
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    Transfer the pepper rings into each jar. Distribute equal amounts of the peppers into each jar using a large serving spoon or measuring cup. Leave 1 inch (2.5 cm) of empty headspace in between the peppers and the top of each jar.
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    Boil the vinegar, canning salt, and purified water.[2] Combine the three ingredients in a saucepan and heat them over high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the salt is dissolved and the solution has reached a boil, remove it from the heat.
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    Ladle the brine solution over the jalapenos. Use a ladle to pour the vinegar brine into the jars, covering the peppers completely and filling in any air pockets further down inside the jar. Leave 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) empty headspace.
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    Wipe the rims of the jars clean. If anything got onto the rims of the jars as you worked, it is important to clean it off with a clean, damp cloth. Excess seasoning or brine could actually interfere with the lids and prevent them from sealing correctly.
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    Place the lids on the jars. Two-piece metal canning lids work best. Screw the lids onto the jars, stopping once you feel resistance. Do not tighten the lids too much, since doing so can cause damage to the jars.
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    Process the jars in a boiling-water canner. Carefully lower the jars into the boiling water inside the canner using jar tongs. Do not allow them to bump as you move them, and do not allow them to touch once they are sitting in the canner. The amount of time you need to process them for will vary depending on your altitude.[3]
    • At 1000 ft (304.8 m) or below, process the jars for 10 minutes.
    • Between 1,000 feet (304.8 m) and 6000 ft (304.8 m to 1.83 km), process the jars for 15 minutes.
    • Above 6000 ft (1.83 km), process the jars for 20 minutes.
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    Remove and cool the jars. Use jar tongs to carefully remove the jars of jalapeno slices. Let them cool in a draft-free spot for 12 to 24 hours.
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    Check the seals. If the center button on the lids pop up and down, the lids have not sealed and the peppers are not safe for long-term storage. If the button does not move, however, the lids have sealed correctly.
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    Store the peppers in a dry location. A kitchen cabinet or pantry works well. Shake the jars to disperse the seasonings evenly before serving.


  • Additional seeds can be removed by hand at the beginning of the process if desired. Removing more seeds will cause the peppers to have a milder taste.
  • Use cider vinegar instead of white vinegar if you want a sweeter taste. White vinegar is best when trying to preserve the greatest amount of heat possible, though.


  • Wear disposable gloves as you work with jalapeno peppers. The peppers can actually burn your skin and present an even greater threat if they get into your eyes. Do not touch your eyes while canning jalapenos, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your eyes after you finish the canning process.
  • Make sure that all of your supplies are thoroughly cleaned after you finish canning the jalapenos. All knives, mandolin slicers, pots, and pans must be washed out with hot water and soap to remove traces of the hot peppers. Otherwise, you may come into contact with those supplies later on and meet with an unpleasant, burning surprise.
  • Store peppers that have not sealed properly in the refrigerator and use within several days. Do not keep these peppers for long-term storage.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 pint-size (500 ml) glass jars with two-piece metal lids
  • Large stockpot
  • Small to medium saucepan
  • Large glass or metal container
  • Ladle
  • Serving spoon or measuring cup
  • Funnel
  • Clean dish cloths or paper towels
  • Boiling-water canner
  • Timer
  • Disposable gloves

Article Info

Categories: Food Preservation Techniques