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Monday, June 28, 2021

How to Make Hot Pepper Jelly Canning Recipe

Learn how to make hot pepper jelly.  This hot pepper jelly canning recipe is a family favorite.  I make it every year, and everyone wants a few jars.  We serve it at holiday parties, and it's always a big hit.

This hot pepper jelly recipe is one of the canning recipes that we make each year.  It's a fairly simple recipe that uses bell peppers and jalapeno peppers from the garden.  

It's pepper based, but it's still a jelly.  It uses a box of Sure Gel pectin, but I use the low sugar variety and find that it is plenty sweet enough.  

Jalapeno pepper jam seems like an odd recipe if you've never made it, but I promise you that you'll love it.  It's delicious on crackers or as a dip for nacho chips.  

We use it as an appetizer or snack.  For parties, I serve it with crackers and cream cheese  for a very quick and easy dish.

How to Make Hot Pepper Jelly

For this jalapeno pepper jelly recipe, I will assume that you know the basics of canning.  You can follow along with this recipe even if it's your first time canning.  

You can always contact me with any questions.  I'll try my best to answer them!

If you're new to canning, be sure to check out my must have canning supplies.  There are a lot of gadgets available, and it can get expensive quick.

Canning should be about simplicity and saving money, and you don't need to buy everything that's in the stores.

This hot pepper jelly canning recipe is a delicious treat to include in your emergency food storage.

For more canning recipes,  check out these posts:

What Does Green Pepper Jelly Taste Like?

If you like peppers, then you'll like sweet red pepper jelly.  This is a sweet and hot pepper jelly that had a unique flavor combination.

You'll taste the peppers, but it's also sweet.  You can add more jalapenos or even hotter peppers if you like more heat.  

What is Hot Pepper Jelly Good For?

We usually use jalapeno pepper jam for a snack with crackers or nacho chips.  However, it also makes a great glaze for meats.  I've used leftovers from the jar in cooking recipes to use it up.  You can also use it as a condiment on a sandwich or as a dip for chicken.

What Do You Serve With Hot Pepper Jelly?

If you're unsure how to use this sweet and hot pepper jelly, here are some ideas:

  • Spread on pork or chicken before grilling.
  • Use sweet red pepper jelly on a lunch meat sandwich.  It goes well with turkey or ham.
  • Spread it on bread and add peanut butter for a grown up peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  • Pour this hot pepper jelly recipe over meatballs and cook on low in a slow cooker.  
  • Top cornbread or biscuits with sweet and hot pepper jelly.
  • Add some of this jalapeno pepper jelly recipe to a pork roast in the slow cooker.  
  • Use as a sweet and hot sauce for chicken wings.
  • Glaze the top of a ham while cooking it.
  • Add a few tablespoons of sweet red pepper jelly to stir fry vegetables. 
  • Place a brick of cream cheese on a plate.  Top with jalapeno pepper jam.  Spread cream cheese and jelly on crackers.

What Cheese Goes Best With Sweet and Hot Pepper Jelly?

Try one of the following cheeses with sweet red pepper jelly:

  • Gouda
  • Manchego
  • Aged cheddar
  • Brie
  • Goat cheese
  • Cream cheese

How Do You Keep Peppers From Floating in Pepper Jelly?

If your peppers float in this hot pepper jelly canning recipe, it's still fine to eat.  To prevent floating peppers, bring your hot pepper jelly recipe Sure Jell to a boil and remove from heat.  Then stir every minute for 5 minutes.  

Can I Use Frozen Peppers for Pepper Jelly?

Absolutely!  I freeze peppers and use them later to make this hot pepper jelly canning recipe.  Let them thaw completely and drain excess water out of them before using.

Why Do You Put Vinegar in Pepper Jelly?

You must use apple cider vinegar in this hot pepper jelly canning recipe.  Peppers are a low acid food, and you need some acid for the sugar and pectin to set up.

The vinegar also alters the pH of the jalapeno pepper jam so it can be canned safely.  

How Long Does it Take for Red Pepper Jelly to Set?

It can take one to two days for your jalapeno pepper jelly recipe Sure Jell to fully set up.  Don't be discouraged if it's still runny after you process it.

How Do You Thicken Pepper Jelly?

I've had failed batches of fruit jam, and I will fix those.  However, I don't normally fix a runny batch of jalapeno pepper jam.  It will still taste fine, but I will use it as a glaze or mix it with something to use it up.

However, if you do want to fix it to thicken it, add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons of regular pectin for 1 quart of this hot pepper jelly recipe Sure Jell.  

Bring the sugar, water, lemon juice, and pectin mixture to a boil in a large pan.  When it boils, add the runny hot pepper jelly recipe.  Stir constantly and let boil rapidly for one minute.  Remove from heat and let cool.

You can then can it again or store it in the fridge.

How Long Does Canned Jalapeno Jelly Last?

You can store unopened this home canned jalapeno pepper jelly recipe for 12 to 24 months in the pantry.  It should be in a cool and dark place for a longer life.

After you open it, store in the fridge for up to three months.

Do You Refrigerate Pepper Jelly After Opening?

Yes, you should refrigerate leftovers from this jalapeno pepper jelly recipe Sure Jell.  It will last about three months in the fridge.  

Use an airtight container or use a plastic storage lid for mason jars.

How to Sterilize Jars for Hot Pepper Jelly Canning Recipe

It's important to sterilize your jars before canning.  To do this, place your jars in the water bath canner with the rack on the bottom of the canner.  Cover the jars with hot water and make sure the jars are filled with hot water.  

Put the lid on the pot and turn the stove on high.  Let them simmer for 10 minutes to kill germs.  

Then you can dump out the water from the jars to use them.  I dump the water back into the pot to use for the water bath.  

Make sure that you put a hot jalapeno pepper jelly recipe into hot jars and put them in hot water in the canner.  A sudden change in temperature can cause the jars to crack, ruining your entire batch.

Sweet Red Pepper Jelly Ingredients

To make this sweet and hot pepper jelly, you will need:

How Do You Make Pepper Jelly From Scratch?

Step #1

Sterilize your canning jars and wash all of your canning equipment.  

Step #2

Remove the seeds from the jalapeno peppers.  Wear gloves when you do this because the peppers can burn your skin.  Rinse the peppers to remove all of the seeds.

Step #3

Chop the peppers by hand into small pieces.  I recommend using a knife and not a food processor because the food processor can turn peppers into mush quickly.

Step #4

Place chopped peppers into a large pot.  Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and the pectin to the peppers and stir well.  Add the water and apple cider vinegar and stir.

Step #5

Bring the hot pepper jelly recipe Sure Jell to a full boil.  Add the rest of the sugar and stir.  Bring it to a boil again and boil for one minute.

Step #6

Remove the hot pepper jelly canning recipe from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.  Stir every minute.  

Step #7 

Ladle sweet and hot pepper jelly into prepared jars.  Wipe off the rims of the jars and place the lids on the jars.  Screw on the bands fingertip tight.  Place the jars on a rack in the water bath canner.  Add water to cover the jars by 1 inch.

Step #8

Cover the canner with a lid and bring to a boil.  Let boil for 10 minutes.  Then turn off the heat and remove the lid.  I let my jars sit in the hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove them the jars and place on a towel or other heat proof surface.  

Let the jars sit undisturbed overnight.  It can take 1 to 2 days for the jalapeno pepper jelly recipe Sure Jell to set up completely.

Your hot pepper jelly recipe will last one to two years in a cool and dry place.  Be sure to add labels to your jars after they cool.  Add the month and year that you made the sweet red pepper jelly so you know when they expire.  I sometimes also add the batch number in case one fails.

Keep track of this recipe with my 29 page printable canning journal.  It has recipe pages, inventory, planning, labels, and more.

Now you know how to make hot pepper jelly canning recipe!  

Sweet Hot Pepper Jelly Canning Recipe

Sweet Hot Pepper Jelly Canning Recipe

Cari @ Koti Beth
Prep time
30 Min
Cook time
15 Min
Total time
45 Min
How to make sweet hot pepper jelly. This is a low sugar recipe that uses Sure Gel.


  • 2 lg. red bell peppers
  • 2 lg. green bell peppers (can use yellow or orange sweet peppers if you wish, either in combo with or instead of green peppers)
  • 5 jalapeno peppers (add additional jalapenos if you prefer extra hot)
  • ½ c. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ c. water
  • 3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 box low sugar Sure Gel 


  1. Remove all seeds from the jalapenos. Wear plastic gloves when doing this, as they can burn your skin. Rinse out any remaining seeds under cold water.
  2. Chop all peppers into very small pieces with a knife.
  3. Place chopped peppers into a large pot. Add ¼c. of the granulated sugar and the pectin to the peppers. Stir. Add in the water and vinegar.
  4. Bring to a full rolling boil, then add in the remaining sugar and stir. Return to a boil and boil for one minute.
  5. Ladle into the prepared jars. Clean off any jelly that may have gotten onto the rims. Place lid discs onto the jars and screw on the jar rings. Place jars into a large pot of hot water. Be sure the rack or upside down pan is still in the pot for the jars to sit on. 
  6. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove jars to cool on your counter overnight to thicken.

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canning, pepper jelly
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