Hot Pepper Relish

Canning is a perfect way to preserve the taste of late Summer and Early Autumn vegetables from your garden.


This recipe for Hot Pepper Relish uses the traditional water bath canning method. For more information and specific guidelines on canning, please visit the following link at The National Center for Home Food Preservation:

Preparation Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Yield: About 7 Pints

18  green Serrano chili peppers, steamed
18 miniature sweet red bell pepper, seeded
4 pounds sweet onions (about 5 to 8 medium sized onions)
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
4 quarts boiling water
2  1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
2  1/2 cups granulated sugar

Special equipment:
Latex or nitrile gloves to protect your hands from the compounds in the chili peppers.

Water Bath Canner

Place the peppers and onions in a food processor and chop finely. Alternatively, you can place the  vegetables in a blender, cover with water and chop finely. Drain the vegetables in a colander. This method may require to process the vegetables in 2 or 3 batches, depending on the blender model.

In a large  enameled  cast iron stock pot or kettle,  add the vegetables and salt. Mix to combine. Cover the vegetable mixture with the boiling water. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, then drain and discard the soaking liquid.

Add the vinegar and the sugar to the vegetables. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are simmering prepare your mason jars and  water canning equipment according to the manufacturers directions.

Working as quickly as possible, place a canning funnel over the jar and ladle the vegetable mixture into the jar, pressing down the vegetables as you pack the jar so that the liquid (brine) covers the vegetables.  Using a clean dish towel, wipe the jar rims clean, cap with a canning lid and secure the band until it is finger tip tight.

Repeat with the remaining jars and place in the water bath canner. Start to count the processing time hen the water in the canner returns to a complete boil. Process the relish in the boiling water canning bath for 15 minutes.

Place a clean terry cloth towel on the work space. Remove jars from the canner using the jar lifter. Rest jars on the towel and allow the jars to sit upright for 24 hours undisturbed. You may hear a”popping” sound which indicates that the jars are sealing. To check if seals have properly occurred, depress the center of the lid with your index finger. If the lids flex under slight pressure, the jars ARE NOT SEALED. You can reprocess the jars by opening them and cleaning the rim, and using a new lid. Seal with a band and reprocess.

If the lid does not flex your jars have properly sealed. Label your jars with the contents and date and store in a cool dry place. You can store your relish UNOPENED for up to  one year. Always refrigerate your jar of processed relish after opening your jar.