Thursday, September 15, 2011

Home Canning Tips (Making Hot Pepper Jelly)

After I decided to make some Hot Pepper Jelly last week, I realized that there is probably a number of you that have not had any experience doing your own home canning either. So I decided to highlight both so that you could get a good look on how to do your own home canning as well.
Hot Pepper Jelly is great to make as a gift for the Holidays, especially with the colors you can get from it.  You can change this recipe up as well to get different colors by changing the colors of bell peppers that you use.  Between red, green, orange and yellow, you can imagine the different color combinations that you could make.  I usually use the 8 oz jars for processing jelly because it allows you to send more to different people as gifts.  Hot Pepper Jelly is great when served on a block of cream cheese and with crackers as an appetizer for a party or group event.  Fair warning though, people will be looking for more, so make sure you have plenty on hand.

                                                      Recipe: This recipe makes roughly eight 8 oz jars of Jelly
2 1/2 cups of Red Bell Peppers (Roughly 3 large Peppers)
1 1/4 cups of Green Bell Peppers (Roughly 1-2 Peppers)
1/4 cup of  Jalapeno Peppers (Roughly 2 Peppers)

All three of these need to be finely chopped, I use a food processor to make this process quicker.

You will also need:
1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
5 cups of white granulated sugar
2 packages of powdered pectin

After your peppers are finely chopped you will need to add them to a stew pot along with your 1 cup of vinegar and bring to a rolling boil over a medium - high heat.

Once you have your mixture boiling you will then need to add your pectin
and stir it in until it is dissolved, which should take a minute or two.  I use the Sure Jell because it is what I am most familiar with.  Once it has been dissolved you will want to add your sugar.  Your sugar should be added all at one time though, so make sure you have all 5 cups already measured out in another bowl somewhere to make this process easier.  Once you have added the sugar you will want to make sure that you continually stir so that it does not scorch on the bottom of the pot.  Stir the mixture until all the sugar is dissolved and it starts to come to a rolling boil.  At this point you will need to check to make sure that your mixture is gelling, and if it is then take off fire, and start filling your jars.  Process your jars in a hot water bath and then let it set up for 24 hours and then enjoy! Please comment below to leave other home canning tips that you may have that we can all use, or variations of this recipe or your own recipe.

For a more in depth look at the actual canning process along with this recipe, take a look at these instructional videos.  I go into detail about how to prepare your jars, processing in a water bath canner and give tips to make sure your jars seal and your jelly sets up.  Enjoy, Comment, and share with others!

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