Candied jalapenos, also known as “Cowboy Candy,” are a popular spicy treat. And, that’s because candied jalapenos make a great addition to any charcuterie board or cheese board. They are also a great way to use up jalapenos from your garden.
This post shares how regular canning novices like you and me can easily surprise themselves by whipping up an amazing homemade candy jalapeno preserve, using readily available tools and ingredients in your kitchen. Cowboy candy when done right can even be as good, if not better than the store-bought version.
Canning is a great skill to have. It’s pretty simple, and it can really help you out when you need to make jam, pickles or chutneys. But, what does it take to actually preserve candied jalapenos at home for anyone who has never canned cowboy candy?
In general, the homemade candied jalapenos canning recipe you choose will determine how you want to preserve your cowboy candied jalapenos. Naturally, jalapenos are classified as low acidity type of food, so you will need to know how to work with low acidity foods like many other popular pickles to safely preserve your jalapenos.
Typically, the choice is to either choose canning your candied jalapenos with vinegar or pickling your jalapenos. Most people choose canning their candied jalapenos because it is a more common technique that is used to preserve low acidity foods.
Pressure canning, water bath canning, and atmospheric steam canning are the three most commonly used, scientifically tested, and approved methods of canning candied jalapenos for home food preservation.
Using these methods, food can be heated in sealed containers until the temperature reaches a point where spoilage organisms can no longer thrive.
The challenge for most canning enthusiasts with these methods is that low acidity foods like jalapenos tend to become mushy. So, if you want to preserve their crunchiness, you will need to use vinegar rather than using a pressure canner or a water bath canner.
Jalapenos are a gorgeous dish to serve, but they can also be a bit tricky to work with in terms of preserving them at home.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients For Canning Candied Jalapenos
In order to make candied jalapeños, you will need freshly harvested jalapeno peppers, sugar, vinegar syrup, half pints or more canning jars good enough to keep air bubbles, a box of food-grade handling disposable gloves
Candied Jalapenos are a delicious and easy way to add a little heat to your food that is easy to make with a fewer readily available ingredients like fresh jalapeno peppers, sugar, vinegar syrup, and a little salt.
The process of making it is not complicated either as jalapeno peppers only need to be cut into thin strips. The jalapeno peppers will need to be cut into thin strips in order to preserve their crunchiness. You can use a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler to cut the peppers into thin strips.
In a large pot, add sugar, vinegar syrup, and Salt In a large pot, add sugar, vinegar syrup, and salt. Stir well to combine and let the mixture settle before you start preserving your candy jalape. Always wear gloves when slicing your peppers or addon flavorings like garlic cloves, packing jalapeno slices into an airtight container.
Step 2: Prepare Your Canning Set Up
First and foremost, you will need to prepare your canning setup. This is a crucial step in ensuring your candied jalapenos are preserved properly.
You will need a large pot, a canning jar rack or other cooling racks, a small pot or bowl to catch the syrup that is used in the preservation process (this is called syrup strainer), and an airtight lid.
You will certainly need a slotted spoon for packing your sliced hot peppers into canning jars before sprinkling a dash of cayenne pepper as an option for a flavorful pot of jalapenos recipe.
Step 3: Prep Your Jalapeno Peppers
To prep your candied jalapenos, you will need a sharp slicing knife, a non-metal cutting board, and a clean towel.
Step 4: Slice Your Jalapenos
Slice your jalapeno peppers into thin strips. Typically, you will want to slice the jalapenos into quarters. If these are not long enough for your container, you can cut them into halves or thirds. You will want to remove any seeds and membranes from your peppers before slicing.
Step 5: Canning Jalapenos At Home
As much as canning candied jalapenos at home is simple, there are a few important steps that you need to follow.
Step 6: Pack Your Jalapenos In The Container
Take your jalapenos, and place them in a quart-sized canning jar. You will want to pack the peppers as tightly as you can.
Fill Your Canning Jar With Jalapeno Strips and Pack Them In Tight After the peppers have cooled, pack them into your canning jar as tightly as possible. Use a wooden spoon to press down on the peppers so they are pressed firmly into the jar. You want to make sure that the peppers are fully covered in syrup.
Step 7: Seal The Jar Make sure that the jar is securely sealed with an airtight lid.
Make sure that the jar is placed in a cool, dark place.
Step 8: Wait For The Jalapenos To Enjoy The Candied State After you have sealed the jar, it is important to wait for it to sit in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks. The longer you wait, the better the jalapeno peppers will taste.
Step 7: Add The Juice and Other Ingredients
After you have packed your peppers, you will want to add the juice from one lemon and one lime. You can add other flavors like onion powder or garlic powder, but these are not necessary.
Homemade jalape canning options
There are a few different ways to can Jalapeños. You can pickle them, candy them, or dry them. The dry method is the most labor-intensive, but it’s the most fun. First, you need to remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño. Next, you need to cut the jalapeño into small pieces and soak them in water for a few hours.
Finally, you need to boil the jalapeños in a large pot until they are soft. Once they are soft, you can drain them and add them to a jar. You can also mix them with other ingredients, like sugar and spices, to create different flavors.
How spicy are candied jalapenos
Candied jalapenos are spicier than regular jalapenos. They are usually made with a higher concentration of chili peppers, and they are often smoked or roasted before being candied. The heat level of a candied jalapeno will depend on the particular recipe used, but most should be moderately spicy.
How to can candied jalapenos
Candied jalapenos are a popular condiment in the southwestern United States. They are made by boiling jalapeno peppers in water, sugar, and a little salt until they are soft and then putting them in Vinegar and sugar syrup.
While candied jalapenos can be canned in a variety of ways, the easiest way is to put them in a water bath canner. You can also pressure can them, but this is more difficult and requires more equipment.
With the acidifying method, you do not need cooling rack, gloves, or a damp washcloth like you would when preserving your jalapenos in a hot water bath.
Candied jalapenos preserved using these methods often turns it into a testy mush than those preserved using acidifying vinegar syrup. You might need a damp paper towel for cleaning any overspill or leftover syrup if you want every inch of the upper rim of the jar tidy.
The Cowboy Way to Can Candied Jalapenos:
Instead of preheating the oven to 350 degrees in a large pot, bringing the water to a boil, and adding the jalapeño peppers, acidifying the pepper liquid was the only option I had. Pressure canning Candied Jalapenos would turn them into flavorless mush, so I wanted to preserve some of the pepper’s texture during the process. You can also mix them with other ingredients, like sugar and spices, to create different flavors.
What Food Goes With Preserved Spicy Peppers?
If you are having canned jalapeno peppers for the first time in your pantry, they are easy to match with varying food servings and recipes. They can go into a food processor for a paste or mixed in your hummus, potato salads, macaroni salads, potato salad, and many more. Cowboy candied jalapenos are also great with hot dogs.
Candied jalapenos are a perfect combination to bring a perfect balance when hosting in your home. Think of it as one of many ways the best flavor with medium-high heat taste buds are brought to life in ordinary food with similar recipe deemed to be dull.
There are many ways to can jalapeno peppers. We hope you enjoy this cowboy candy recipe.
Acidifying the candied jalapeno pepper is the best choice for canning jalapenos. A batch of cowboy candy can turn a poplar recipe into a household name if you follow recipes found in the majority of Amazon’s canning book available today.
Pressure canning Candied Jalapenos would turn into a flavorless mush if they were canned under heating like a pressure canner.
As much as heating pepper slices to a full boil helps to kill all bacteria that cause rot to fresh jalapenos, acidifying spicy food with low acidity in sterile canning jars accomplishes the same results while preserving the texture integrity of your preserves than when you dip them into a boiling syrup of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice when you place jars inside your pressure canning pot.
So if you wanted to preserve some of their natural texture in the process, use vinegar mixed with lemon and lime juice to acidify them in your choice of canning jars.
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot before adding the peppers. Pressure can them using this method, which preserves some of the pepper’s texture. Apple cider vinegar has been used for years to preserve low acidity foods like fresh jalapenos for later use when they are not in season.