How to Can Pepperoncini: A Step-by-Step Guide


Are you a fan of tangy, spicy pepperoncini peppers? Do you want to savor their delicious flavor even when they’re out of season? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you on how to can pepperoncini peppers at home, preserving their taste, texture, and nutrients. With this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to enjoy homemade canned pepperoncini anytime you want, whether it’s sandwich season or salad season. Let’s get started!

Why Can Pepperoncini?

Pepperoncini peppers are a popular ingredient in many Mediterranean and Italian dishes. These vibrant yellow-green peppers add a tangy, slightly spicy kick that enhances the flavors of various culinary creations. By canning pepperoncini, you can enjoy their unique taste year-round and experiment with new recipes. Additionally, canning your own pepperoncini allows you to control the level of heat and the ingredients used, ensuring a fresher and healthier option compared to store-bought alternatives.

What You’ll Need

Before diving into the canning process, gather the necessary supplies. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • Mason jars with lids
  • Pepperoncini peppers
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Garlic cloves
  • Black peppercorns
  • Dried oregano

Step 1: Prepare the Peppers

Start by washing the pepperoncini peppers thoroughly under cold running water. Remove any dirt or debris, and pat them dry using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Once dry, cut off the tops of the peppers, leaving the stems intact for visual appeal.

Step 2: Sterilize the Jars

Sterilizing your mason jars is crucial to ensure the preservation of the peppers. Wash the jars, lids, and bands in hot soapy water, or run them through a dishwasher cycle. Afterward, place the jars in a large pot filled with water and bring it to a gentle boil. Allow the jars to boil for 10 minutes to kill any bacteria or microorganisms. Remove the jars from the water using jar lifters, and place them upside down on a clean surface to air dry.

Step 3: Prepare the Brine

The brine is what gives the pepperoncini peppers their distinct flavor. In a large pot, combine water, vinegar, salt, and bring it to a boil. Stir the mixture until the salt is completely dissolved. After boiling, reduce the heat and let the brine simmer for about five minutes. This step enhances the infusion of flavors and ensures the brine is well-balanced.

Step 4: Add the Flavors

To enhance the taste of your canned pepperoncini, you can add garlic, black peppercorns, and dried oregano to each jar. Peel several garlic cloves and divide them equally among the jars. Follow the same process for the black peppercorns and oregano. These aromatic ingredients will infuse the peppers with rich flavors as they sit in the brine.

Step 5: Pack the Jars

With your jars ready and the flavors added, it’s time to pack the pepperoncini peppers. Carefully place the peppers into each jar, ensuring they are packed tightly but without crushing them. You can stack the peppers vertically or position them horizontally, whichever is more convenient for your canning jars. Leave about an inch of headspace at the top to allow for expansion during the canning process.

Step 6: Pour in the Brine

Now it’s time to pour your prepared brine into the jars, covering the packed peppers completely. The brine should fill the jars, leaving the recommended inch of headspace. Use a canning funnel to prevent spillage and to ensure the jar rims remain clean. Carefully remove any air bubbles trapped inside the jars by gently tapping them or using a bubble remover tool.

Step 7: Seal the Jars

To complete the canning process, carefully wipe the rims of the jars using a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any liquid or residue. Place the lids on top and screw the bands firmly but not too tight. Tighten the bands securely to allow air to escape during the canning process, but avoid over-tightening, as it may cause the lids to buckle.

Step 8: Canning Process

Now that your jars are properly sealed, it’s time to proceed with the canning process. Place the sealed jars in a large pot with a rack or a canning pot, ensuring that the jars are not touching each other or the sides of the pot. Fill the pot with water, making sure the water level is at least one inch above the lids.

Step 9: Boiling the Jars

Bring the water to a gentle boil and cover the pot. Maintain a steady boil for the recommended processing time, which usually ranges from 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your elevation. Refer to canning guidelines or recipe sources for specific processing times based on your location. The heat will create a vacuum seal, preserving the peppers and ensuring their long shelf life.

Step 10: Remove and Cool

After the processing time is complete, carefully remove the jars from the pot using jar lifters or tongs. Place the jars on a towel or a cooling rack, leaving them undisturbed to cool completely. You’ll hear a satisfying “pop” sound as each jar seals within a few minutes. Always check for a proper seal by pressing down on the center of the lid; if it doesn’t move or make a popping sound, the seal is secure.

Step 11: Label and Store

Once the jars have cooled, label them with the canning date and contents. Store your homemade canned pepperoncini in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cellar, for optimal preservation. Properly canned pepperoncini can last up to a year, although they are at their best quality within the first six months.


Q: Can I reuse jars from store-bought products?

A: It is best to use new mason jars specifically designed for canning. Reusing jars from store-bought products may not provide a reliable seal and can compromise the safety and quality of your canned peppers.

Q: Why should I leave headspace in the jars?

A: Headspace is essential to allow for the expansion of liquids during processing and to ensure a proper seal. It also helps create a vacuum, preventing spoilage or breaking of the jar.

Q: How long should I process the jars?

A: The processing time may vary depending on your elevation and the recipe you are using. It is crucial to consult reliable canning guidelines or recipe sources to determine the correct processing time for your location.

Q: Can I adjust the level of spiciness in my canned peppers?

A: Yes! You can control the spiciness of your canned pepperoncini by adjusting the amount of seeds and membranes you leave in the peppers. Removing the seeds and membranes can reduce the heat, while leaving them intact will intensify the spiciness.


By following this step-by-step guide, you can now confidently can your own delicious pepperoncini peppers at home. From preparing the peppers to packing, sealing, and processing the jars, you have discovered the art of preserving the flavors of this tangy and spicy delight. Enjoy your homemade canned pepperoncini in sandwiches, salads, antipasti platters, and other dishes to add a burst of flavor and freshness. Get creative with your culinary creations while relishing the taste of homemade goodies!

Key Takeaways

  • Canning pepperoncini peppers allows you to enjoy their flavor year-round and control the level of heat and ingredients used.
  • Gather the necessary supplies, including mason jars, pepperoncini peppers, vinegar, water, salt, garlic cloves, black peppercorns, and dried oregano.
  • Ensure proper sterilization of the jars and prepare the brine by combining water, vinegar, and salt.
  • Add garlic, black peppercorns, and dried oregano to enhance the taste of your canned pepperoncini.
  • Pack the jars tightly with pepperoncini peppers and pour in the brine, leaving an inch of headspace.
  • Seal the jars, boil them for the recommended processing time, remove, and let them cool.
  • Label and store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year.


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