What’s Inside: In this article, I provide step-by-step instructions for water bath canning peppers with the Nesco Smart Canner. I include both written instructions, with photos, as well as a video showing the entire process.

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Welcome to the wonderful world of canning! Today, we’re diving into the process of water bath canning peppers using the Nesco Smart Canner (Amazon). This versatile appliance is a game-changer for home canning, making it simpler and more accessible than ever. It’s fantastic for small-batch canning, offering the ease and efficiency that makes it a favorite among seasoned canners and newbies alike. 


Key Takeaways

  • To safely water bath can peppers, it’s important to add acid. Most commonly, use white distilled vinegar with 5% acidity.
  • Cut off the tips of the peppers and remove the seeds
  • Slice the peppers 1/4″ thick
  • Add to a water bath canner (I use the Nesco, that you can get here on Amazon). Cover with water.
  • Water bath can for 10 minutes, adapting for altitude.

Canning your own peppers is not only fun but also allows you to control the ingredients, ensuring you get the healthiest and tastiest results. Plus, the satisfaction of seeing your own jars of pickled peppers lining your pantry? Absolutely priceless! Let’s dive into this easy-to-follow recipe. 


How to Safely Water Bath Can Peppers

The bad news is that there’s only one safe way to water bath can peppers. Peppers are a low acid food, and because of that, typically need to be pressure canned. That’s the bad news. The good news is that as long as you add acid to peppers, you can safely water bath can them.

Even better news is that water bath canned pickled peppers are delicious. Whether you are water bath canning jalapeno peppers, cherry peppers, or any type of peppers, when you pickle them, they are great on nachos, salads, and in sandwiches.

Now that I have that little disclaimer out of the way when it comes to water bath canning peppers, let’s get on to how to go about the process.

Pro tip: To learn more about the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning, check out my article, Pressure Canning Vs. Water Bath | What’s the Difference?

Water Bath Canning Pickled Peppers (Video)

In the video above, I show you how to water bath can pickled peppers in the Nesco Smart canner.

If you prefer to read, or just want to have easy instructions that you can refer back to when it’s time to actually water bath can pickled peppers in the Nesco, be sure to check out the written instructions (with photos) below.

Preparing the Peppers for Water Bath Canning

Cutting off the stem end of peppers before water bath canning them.
Start off by cutting the stem off of the peppers.
removing the seeds from a hot pepper before pickling.
Next, use a knife to remove the seeds.

Start by preparing your peppers. Cut off the stem end and remove the seeds using a knife.

When water bath canning peppers, I like to cut the peppers into 1/4" thick slices.

Then slice the peppers into rings, approximately 1/4″ thick. 

Pro tip: If you’re working with really hot peppers, you may want to use food prep gloves such as these on Amazon. Trust me, you don’t want to rub your nose or eyes after working with hot peppers, and gloves eliminate that problem. In my case, I was working with semi-hot peppers and was just careful to wash my hands immediately after working with the peppers.

Prepare the Brine 

making brine for water bath canning pickled peppers

Next, prepare the brine by combining 3 cups of white distilled vinegar (5% acidity) and 1 cup of water. Let this mixture simmer as you move onto the next step. 

Note that I got the brine recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, on Amazon.

Peel Cloves of Garlic – One for Each Jar 

As your brine simmers, peel a clove of garlic for each jar. Here’s a handy trick: whack individual cloves with any flat object using your palm. The peel will come right off! 

Add Garlic and Pepper Rings to Jars 

Fill up the jar with sliced peppers. Put a peeled garlic clove into each jar before water bath canning them.

Place a peeled clove of garlic at the bottom of each jar. Tightly pack the pepper rings into the jar without crushing them. If you like, add a touch of salt to each jar for added flavor. 

Water Bath Canning Pickled Peppers – The Process

Fill the Jars with the Hot Brine 

Pouring hot brine into the peppers before pickling.

Now it’s time to fill the jars with the hot brine, leaving about 1/2″ of headspace. To make the job easier, I highly recommend using a canning funnel, like these found on Amazon.

Use a debubbler tool to debubble the jars, and if needed, add more brine to maintain the 1/2″ headspace. 

Pro tip: I like this tool that I picked up on Amazon, because you can use it for both debubbling and to measure the headspace.

Wipe the Rims with a Paper Towel Dipped in Vinegar 

before water bath canning pickled peppers, be sure to wipe the rims to remove any residue from the rims.

Before sealing the jars, wipe the rims with a paper towel dipped in vinegar. This will ensure a clean seal. Put on the lids, tightening until they’re just fingertip tight. 

Canning Pickled Peppers in the Nesco Smart Canner

The Nesco canner (Amazon) is the canner that I’ve been using for years now. I simply love it! If I had to buy only one canner, this would be it. I love that it can handle quarts and can water bath and pressure can. It’s the perfect size, and is often available at a better price than other electric canners. If by chance you can’t get the Nesco, check out the Carey Canner, also available on Amazon. These are the exact same canners, so get whichever one is cheapest at the time.

Placing a canning rack into the bottom of the Nesco canner.
Placing a jar of pickled peppers into the Nesco canner.

Put a canning rack in the bottom of the Nesco Smart Canner (Amazon). Place the filled jars on the rack and cover with hot water.

when water bath canning peppers, be sure to cover the jars with 1" of hot water.

The water should be about an inch above the lids of the jars. 

Move the valve on the Nesco canner to the exhaust position when water bath canning pickled peppers.

Set the pressure valve in the exhaust position.

To water bath can pickled peppers in the Nesco canner, first select WB/Steam, then put in 10 minutes using the time function, then press start.

Select the water bath setting on the Nesco Smart Canner (Amazon) and input the required time – 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. In my case, I needed to use 15 minutes due to my altitude. 

Press start. When there is a steady stream of steam, press start again. 

Removing the Pickled Peppers from the Canner

Opening the jar of pickled peppers after processing.
removing the water bath canned pickled peppers from the Nesco canner.

Once the peppers are finished processing, it’s time to remove them from the canner. Be sure to use a jar lifter (Amazon), unless you simply love living dangerously. 🙂

One thing that I’ve experienced with the Nesco canner is that even when I water bath can, enough pressure builds, so that I can’t immediately open the lid.

After waiting a few minutes, the pressure will drop, and you’ll be able to open the lid on the Nesco canner. Interestingly enough, the Nesco canner manuals says to open the lid after the timer counts down, and immediately remove the jars.

However, according to conventional canning wisdom, you should wait a few minutes before removing the jars from the canner. So I wait a few minutes for the pressure to drop, and then open the lid. I then wait a few more minutes before removing the jars. I then let the jars sit for 12-24 hours before checking the seals.

If any jars didn’t seal, you can process them again, or put them into the fridge.

And there you have it! With these simple steps, you’ll have a pantry stocked with homemade pickled peppers. Happy canning! 


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Helpful Tools for Water Bath Canning

Here are the tools that I used to water bath can the pickled peppers, all available on Amazon:

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