Bell Peppers are a nice, colorful vegetable typical of the summer season. Even if nowadays you can find them available all year round, it is always better to buy your fruits and vegetables in the right season.
To make canned bell peppers is a wonderful idea, not only because your bell peppers will last for up to eight months preserved this way, but also because they are easy to make and convenient to have on hand.
What do I need to Make Canned Bell Peppers?
Do you think making canned bell peppers is a time-consuming, difficult and expensive process? Well, let me tell you, you’re wrong. To can bell peppers you only need glass jars, your accurately selected fresh bell peppers and a pressure canner. If you don’t have one, don’t despair! There is another efficient way you can preserve your bell peppers, which we will talk about later on in this article.
And yes, unfortunately, the pressure canner is essential to kill harmful bacteria that otherwise might cause serious problems if consumed.
How to Can Bell Peppers?
First of all, you need to select the freshest bell peppers. They should be firm and crisp. Avoid those that feel soft or that present spots as their taste might spoil the whole jar of canned peppers.
On average, to prepare a load of 9 pints jars, you’ll need approximately 9 pounds of bell peppers. As a rule of thumb, consider 1 pound per pint.
Once you have selected your bell peppers, make sure you rinse them well. Cut the top off and remove the internal seeds. Next, it is recommended to “peel” your bell peppers, since during the canning process it tends to get very hard. To do so, just heat a frying pan and place the whole peppers when hot. Wait until the skin starts darkening and turn the bell peppers around so that the whole surface is “blistered”. Wait for the peppers to cool down. The skin will come off very easily.
Then, it is time for you to prepare a large pot of boiling water, which you will use to pour on your bell peppers. If you bought small peppers, you can use them whole, otherwise, cut them in thick chunks or quarts.
In the meanwhile, make sure you prepare your glass jar. You can boil them in water for 10 minutes (lids included) or simply put them in your dishwasher under the “sanitize cycle”. Make sure they are kept warm so that you can fill them with peppers while still hot.
Fill your jars with peppers, flatten small whole peppers and leave approximately one inch of space from the lid. Add half a teaspoon of salt to each jar and pour some boiling water on top until covering the peppers, but still keeping the 1-inch .space that is required due to the expansion during the canning process. Seal the jars.
Next, simply put your jars in the pressure canner at a pressure of 11 pounds. Process your jars for around 35 minutes. After the processing time, wait for the pressure to come back to zero before opening the machine. And here you go, as simple as it sounds, you have your canned bell peppers which you can use for any kind of recipe!
What about picked Bell Peppers?
In case you want to prepare pickled bell peppers and add a bit of flavor to them. It is a rather quick and simple way to preserve peppers. It is very simple and it only requires vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic (which is optional). Do you want to know how it works?
Start by washing your bell peppers and peel the skin off as described above. Again, if you have small peppers, you can leave them whole, otherwise cut them into quarts or big chucks. Fill your glass jars with the peppers leaving some space from the lid.
In the meanwhile, mix 1 cup of water, 5 cups of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 4 teaspoons of salt and 2 cloves of garlic in a pot. Bring it to the boil and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Remove the cloves of garlic (you don’t have to include them if you don’t like the taste) and pour the liquid inside the jars over the bell peppers, covering them. Close the lids and follow the same procedure as described above in the pressure canner.
Preserving Bell Peppers
Canning peppers are very handy, but unfortunately, not everyone has a pressure canner at home. The good things are that actually, there are many other ways to prolong the shelf life of your bell peppers, let’s go over some of those methods.
Freeze your bell peppers
Accurately wash your peppers and cut them into big chunks. Place them in a tray and freeze them. Once frozen, just take the tray and place your frozen peppers inside sealable plastic bags, making sure air is removed. They will last from six months to up to 1 year in the freezer. Remember that the freezing process will not affect the taste, but it will have an impact on the texture. Your peppers will be a bit mushy, so it is best to use them in cooked meals or baked.
How to Preserve roasted bell peppers
We’ve seen how to can and freeze bell peppers, what about preserving roasted peppers? Roasted peppers are a delicacy. The process enhances the flavor of these veggies that can be used in sauces, stews or simply as a healthy side dish. To preserve roasted bell peppers might be considered a bit more complicated than the methods described above, but the results will be worth it!
First of all roast your peppers, ideally on a grill or in the oven. You can also do this in a pan. Roast them until the skin blackens. Once roasted, place them in a paper bag for 20 to 40 minutes to allow them to “steam” and “suck in” all the flavor.
Wait for the peppers to cool, remove the skin and the seeds. Then, take a pot and add some vinegar or white wine. Cover your pepper with the liquid and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Fill some glass jars with peppers and some vinegar on the bottom, leaving around one-inch space from the lid. Seal your jars and store them in the fridge. This way, your peppers might last up to 2 weeks.
So here were some tips on how to can bell peppers as well as other methods to preserve this yummy vegetable during wintertime, try them out!
Be sure to check out our guide on how to make and can tomato juice!