Food preservation

How To Can Jalapenos Without Pickling

If you have an abundance of jalapenos from your vegetable garden this year, it’s time to get excited. There are so many versatile ways to can your harvest without only resorting to the usual pickles. From plain jalapenos to cowboy candy and everything in between, there are loads of ways to can your jalapeno harvest without pickling.

Plain jalapenos can be hot packed or raw packed with canning salt before being pressure canned.

Jalapeno recipes that do not contain vinegar must be pressure canned to eliminate harmful bacteria. Candied jalapenos using sugar as a preservative are a tasty way to preserve jalapenos without pickling.

It isn’t easy to find recipes for canned jalapenos that aren’t pickled. Pickling is the most popular method of preserving these glorious peppers, and the process of canning plain jalapenos differs considerably from pickle recipes. So grab your gloves, and let the jalapeno canning begin!

How To Can Jalapenos Without Pickling

Canning plain jalapenos without adding vinegar is similar to canning other low-acid vegetables, like carrots. The zesty burn of peppers can be deceptive, and although the capsicum in peppers gives them a distinctive peppery flavor, it does nothing to preserve them. Jalapenos that are not pickled must be pressure canned.

Canning jalapenos is a very simple process since the idea is to retain as much natural, fresh taste as possible. Canned jalapenos can be added to any number of Mexican-inspired dishes. Having a preserved supply available means they can be enjoyed throughout the year.

10 Easy Steps to Can Jalapenos Without Pickling

Always wear gloves when working with jalapenos or any chiles. This method of canning jalapenos can also be used for other varieties, including Poblano, Anaheim, and Serrano chile peppers.

To can plain jalapenos, you will need:

  • Fresh, firm jalapenos. Work on needing about a pound per pint jar.
  • Optional: ½ teaspoon of canning salt OR a dash of lemon juice OR tablespoon of vinegar per pint jar.
  • Boiling water to cover.
  • Canning jars with metal rings and new flat lids.
  • A pressure canner

Follow these steps to can your jalapeno pepper harvest without pickling. Choose fresh, thick-skinned peppers that don’t have blemishes or soft spots.

  1. Rinse the jalapenos and cut several slits in each pepper to allow water to penetrate.
  2. Jalapenos are regarded as thin-skinned chilies, so they do not need to be peeled. Peppers can be precooked by blanching them in boiling water for 3 minutes or roasting them at 400F for 6 minutes. For a firmer consistency, you can skip this step and pack the raw jalapenos directly into the jars.
  3. Flatten the prepared jalapenos and pack them into heated canning jars.
  4. If you are adding salt, add ½ a teaspoon to each pint jar. You may prefer to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or one tablespoon of vinegar.
  5. Fill the jars with boiling water, and leave a 1-inch headspace in each.
  6. Clean the rims before putting on the lids and tightening the metal band.
  7. Place the jars into the pressure canner and follow the directions of the model that you have. Process pints and half pints for 35 minutes at 10lbs (69kPa) weighted gauge or 11lbs (76kPa) dial gauge making the adjustments required for your altitude.
  8. When processing is complete, allow the canner to cool down on its own before opening the lid. Use a jar lifter to carefully place the jars on a kitchen towel.
  9. Allow the canned jalapenos to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.
  10. Remove the metal bands, label the jars, and store them in a cool dark place.

How To Make Candied Jalapenos

Combining the mild peppery heat of jalapenos with the sweetness of sugar is a winning combination. Whether you know them as candied jalapenos or cowboy candy, canning jalapenos in sugary syrup is a delicious alternative to pickling.

Since candied jalapenos have a high sugar content, jars can be water bathed. It is an excellent option to preserve your jalapeno harvest if you don’t have a pressure canner.


  • 4 Pounds of fresh jalapenos
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp garlic seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika powder


  1. Wear gloves and chop washed jalapenos into slices.
  2. Combine the brine ingredients in a large saucepan and boil over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Add the jalapenos and reduce the heat.
  4. Cook gently for about 10 minutes. The peppers will darken as they absorb the sugary mixture.
  5. Use a canning funnel to fill hot canning jars. Leave a ½ inch headspace.
  6. Check the mixture for air bubbles before cleaning the rim and adding lids.
  7. Place the jars of candied jalapenos in the water bath canner and boil for fifteen minutes.
  8. Switch off the heat and let the liquid cool down slightly before using canning tongs to place the jars on a towel.
  9. After 12-24 hours, check that the lids have sealed by pressing down on them. Place any jars that did not seal into the refrigerator to use first.
  10. Remove the metal bands and store the candied jalapenos in a cool, dark area.

Cowboy candy can be served on sandwiches or as a topping on cream cheese. Once opened, candied jalapenos can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three months.

How Long Are Canned Jalapenos Good For?

Canned jalapenos that are not pickled don’t last as long as pickled recipes. Expect home-canned plain jalapenos to be at their best within 12 months. Commercially canned jalapenos can last between three and five years.

Pickled jalapenos have the preservative advantage of vinegar to keep them from spoiling. Canned pickled jalapenos can last up to 18 months if stored correctly.

Can Jalapeno Be Canned Without Pickling?

Pickled jalapenos are everyone’s go-to recipe. Besides being tangy and delicious, the process is more straightforward than non-pickled pepper recipes.

When vinegar is added to jalapeno recipes, the food switches from a low-acid vegetable to a high-acid product. For home canners, this means that jars of pickled jalapenos can be safely sealed using a water bath process. 

Not everyone is a fan of pickles, and having a supply of plain, more natural-tasting jalapenos can be a bonus in any pantry. Canning jalapenos is remarkably simple, as long as you have a pressure canner to preserve these easy-to-grow peppers safely. 

Is It Better To Freeze Or Can Jalapenos?

It isn’t uncommon to have an abundant harvest of gorgeous, plump jalapeno chilies. Fortunately, there is no shortage of recipes using these mild peppers; how you choose to preserve them depends on how you enjoy using them.

Pickled jalapenos can be pretty addictive, and canning is the preferred method to keep a handy supply of pickled peppers on hand. There is no need to pressure can when pickling jalapenos as the extra acidity from the vinegar makes water bath canning suitable.

If you prefer original-tasting jalapenos, freezing and plain canning are options. Freezing is one of the easiest, no-fuss ways of preserving fresh peppers. Frozen jalapenos can last indefinitely if the freezer temperature stays at 0F, but for the best flavor, they should be used within a year.

Canning plain jalapenos is a great way to preserve them without needing electricity. It is also the most practical method to share your jalapeno harvest with family and friends.


Although pickling is the most common method for preserving jalapenos, they can also be canned plain or candied. Since jalapenos are a low-acid food, a pressure canner is required when canning them without the addition of preserving agents like vinegar or sugar. Cowboy candy is a tasty way to safely can jalapenos if you don’t have a pressure canner but want to make something besides pickles.

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