I stopped by my favorite produce stand before leaving work for the weekend. Red bell peppers were on sale and I thought they would be good to can. After all, we’re just about into summer and I’m getting into full-swing when it comes to stocking the pantry with canned goods.
This would be my first attempt at canning bell peppers. I know what the grocery stores charge for them and quite frankly, it’s a bit much and a luxury item for me to purchase. However, I spent less than $5.00 on the peppers, so canning them would be a good investment of my time.
I plan on using the peppers in a pepper, for adding to pasta dishes or just to add to a sandwich or two. After my initial canning session, I will need to pack the jars a bit fuller on the next go-round. However, the process doesn’t take much time and it’s not too labor intensive.
Start out with firm peppers. You don’t want soft or mushy peppers when canning them. Next wash them.
The peppers need to be blistered in order to remove their skin. There’s a variety of ways you can do this. I chose to blister them in the broiler of my oven. It was late when I started and I wasn’t pulling out the grill and starting the charcoal after 7:00 p.m. Ideally, that would have been my first choice. The broiler, however, was effective and did a very good job.
Some websites will tell you if you have a gas range, you can just char the peppers on the top of the stove. What they omit is peppers fill with their own juice as you char them. You’re just asking for a mess by using that method.
Once I removed the peppers from the broiler, I put them in a large pot and put the lid on them. This way, they will steam from the residual heat and their skins become easier to remove. I let the peppers sit about 20 minutes. They will still be very warm when you attempt to peel them.
I like to remove the stem and seeds first before peeling. This is where the liquid inside will come out. Be careful, it will be hot, even after 20 minutes of letting the peppers sit. Try to remove as many seeds as possible. DO NOT wash the pepper! You’ll strip away the flavor.
Then, I flatten the pepper and remove the skin in sections. I find this is the easiest way to make sure you have removed all the skin. When you attempt to remove the skin from the pepper, as a whole, it can be difficult to make sure you have removed it all. Just a cautionary reminder. If you are using hot peppers (jalapeno, serrano, chili), make sure to wear gloves when handling the peppers.
Once the skin is removed, I place it in a glass bowl, until I have finished removing the skin from all the peppers.
Now that all the peppers are in the bowl, I cut them into small sections before adding them to the hot canning jars. The recipes I researched said to pack loosely. I packed my peppers a bit too loose. Next time, need to add a few more peppers to each jar. Once the peppers are in the jar, I add boiling water to the jars, leaving a 1-inch head space, attach the lid and rings and process in a pressure canner for 35 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.