Red Pepper Jelly

Total Time:
50 min
10 min
Inactive Prep:
20 min
20 min
3 cups


  • 5 cherry bomb peppers or Fresno chiles, stemmed and chopped with stems removed
  • 2 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • Half a 9-ounce packet powdered pectin, such as Sure Gel


Place the peppers in a food processor and process until completely broken down. Transfer to a cheesecloth or clean towel and squeeze tightly to remove any excess liquid.

Add the sugar, vinegar and peppers to a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil, 4 to 6 minutes. Attach a deep-fry thermometer, whisk in the pectin and watch the mixture carefully, stirring occasionally, to prevent from boiling over. When the temperature reaches 221 degrees F, 12 to15 minutes, remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Pour the mixture into six 1/2-pint properly sterilized jars. Seal according to proper USDA canning procedures.

Jars should then be inverted to prevent the peppers from settling at the bottom. Cool completely before storing in the refrigerator. The jelly will continue to thicken as it cools.

Properly-handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.

Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic, or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum seal when processed.

To sterilize jars, before filling with jams, pickles, or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Use tongs when handling the hot sterilized jars, to move them from boiling water. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies, and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.

After the jars are sterilized, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products.


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