Hot Pepper Jelly


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 When Trader Joe’s decided to discontinue their Hot Pepper Jelly for the season (or maybe forever, who knows), I started going through hot pepper jelly withdrawals.

Homemade hot pepper jelly

I had been dipping veggies into it, making cream cheese dips with it, using it in conjunction with salad dressings to give my salads a blast of heat and extra flavor.  You name it, things were hot pepper jelly-licious around here.

Homemade hot pepper jelly

And then as quickly as it came into the stores, hot pepper jelly vanished from the stores.

Sort of like Cookie Butter.  Sniff.

Trader Joe's Hot and Sweet Pepper Jelly

And so I did something I never thought I was going to do in my whole life: I canned.

Necessity is the mother of invention.  Take that, Trader.  You traitor.   You had me hooked, and then you left me high and dry and without a pepper to cling to.

Homemade hot pepper jelly

So I picked up some peppers, did more reading about canning and jelly-making in a 24 hour period than I had in an entire lifetime preceding it, and I got to work.

Green jalepeno peppers

I admit I was beyond intimidated about this project and had been putting off canning anything, for oh about, thirty years.  As a little girl, I watched my mother and grandmother can, and there were a few rules when mom was canning: Leave her alone.  Do not talk to her, do not go into the kitchen, do not bother her in any way, shape, or form.  Unless you have lost a limb, do not bother her.  She’s BUSY!

Homemade hot pepper jelly

The memories of boiling pots of water, a mother who was stressed out to the max a bit frazzled are ingrained forever and after the canning and hard kitchen labor with boiling cauldrons was over, waiting for those jars to seal was it’s own feat.

My sister and I literally tip-toed through the kitchen like mice for the next 24 hours while those precious jars of jelly and jam sealed.  Waiting for jars to seal is like putting a colicky baby to bed.  Once you set them down, make no noise, walk so quietly that you could be mistaken for a burglar; do not move any extra muscles, do not make jerky motions, or do anything that could cause what you just settled to unsettle.  Basically, hold your breath and don’t move.

Hearing the popping sound of a sealing jar meant my sister and I were one step closer, and one jar closer, to being able to move freely through the house.  And breathe again.

Jars of Homemade hot pepper jelly

But I promise you, this project was not anywhere as bad or as hard as I thought it was.  I used no “special” equipment and nothing fancy.

This is what you will need for this project:

Peppers, Sugar, Vinegar, Sure-Jell pectin (get the pink boxes not the yellow boxes, and get two boxes)

4 glass jars that are two-cups each, or 8 one-cup jars.  I got mine from the grocery store in the baking aisle and I chose regular-mouth (not wide-mouth) jars.  Make sure each jar has a ring and a lid as sometimes they are sold separately.

1 big stock pot (something that you’d make a huge pot of chili in) and 1 medium-sized stockpot (6 to 8 quarts)

Something to take the jars out of water with (tongs are nice but I make-shifted with two spatulas that you’d flip eggs with) and rubber gloves

That’s it.

And this, my friends, is so worth it.  Gentleman, start your engines.  Ladies, start canning.

Homemade hot pepper jelly

 This is long, but it’s thorough, in case you really want to try your hand at jelly-making and I hope you do.


Hot Pepper Jelly (inspired by the Kraft recipe, and All Recipes; Gluten-Free and Vegan)

Makes 7 to 8 cups of jelly (I used 3 two-cup jars that I filled entirely, and one two-cup jar that was just over halfway full = just over 7 cups of jelly)

1 3/4 cups red peppers, de-seeded and finely diced (1 very large red pepper, the biggest I could find)

1 1/2 cups green peppers, de-seeded and finely diced (1 large green pepper, the biggest I could find)

3/4 cup jalepeno peppers, de-seeded and finely diced (7 jalepeno peppers that were about thumb-sized, each)**

1 cup apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg’s)

Two 1.75-ounce packets Sure-Jell pectin (use the Pink “For Less or No Sugar Needed” Recipes box; not the Yellow box)

5 cups white sugar

Prepare the glass jars by sterilizing them.  Do this by washing jars and bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

Fill a very large stockpot with water and allow it to nearly boil on the stovetop.  This may take 15+ minutes given the size of the pot and amount of water, and while waiting, complete the rest of the steps.

Put on a pair of rubber kitchen gloves and finely chop the peppers by hand (or pulse using a food processor) and add them to a medium-sized 6 to 8-quart stock pot, taking care to avoid adding the seeds of the pepper to the mixture, being especially cautious with the jalepeno pepper seeds (I sliced each jalepeno in half, down the middle, and removed 80% of the seeds by hand, before finely chopping them). To the peppers, add the vinegar and Sure-Gell pectin (two packets). Place stockpot on the stovetop and bring to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) and stir constantly. After a full rolling boil is reached, add the sugar. It will foam and bubble up, and if foam is intense, skim it off with a spoon. Return to a full rolling boil and once full rolling boil is reached (it may take a minute or two to reach it) boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat.

Quickly ladle jelly into the sterile jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Cover with flat lids, and screw on bands tightly. Place the jars loosely into the nearly boiling water using tongs or carefully using two spatulas guiding them into the water (or if you have a canning rack, use it and slowly lower jars into pot). The water should cover the jars completely, and should be hot but not boiling when place the jars in. Bring water to a boil, and after it’s boiling, process for 10 to 12 minutes, partially dependent on altitude (the higher you are, the longer you process. San Diego is at sea level and I processed 10 minutes. If you live on a mountain-top, go with 12 minutes).

After processing, remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely, and do not disturb them. Choose their resting place wisely, because where ever they are placed, they need to remain undisturbed and untouched until they seal. You may begin to hear loud pops immediately, or within 24 hours and that means the jar has sealed. If you are uncertain if they’ve sealed, after the jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. If the lid is sunken and does not spring back, it’s sealed (success!) If lid springs back, jar is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary. I prefer my pepper jelly chilled and store it in the refrigerator. Unsealed or opened pepper jelly will likely keep for weeks in the refrigerator; and sealed jars of jelly will keep for one year or longer, if stored in a cool, dry place.

Notes: **Chopped peppers should reach 4 cups in total and the Kraft recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of red and green peppers, each, and 1 cup of jalepeno peppers. The Allrecipes recipe calls for 1/4 cup of jalepeno peppers.  I used 3/4 cup jalepeno peppers and found this jelly to be very hot. It’s at least twice as hot as the Trader Joe’s Pepper Jelly. I like spicy food and can handle lots of heat and this is even on the edge of my limits. If you are a person who likes things “mild” or do not want your sinuses cleared instantly, go with 1/4 cup jalepenos. The next time I make this I will likely reduce my jalepeno peppers to about 1/2 cup, or about 4-5 peppers, not 7; and I will take care to add fewer seeds.

You could also add yellow or orange peppers, and add all peppers in ratios and quantity to personal taste.

Highly recommended to wear gloves. Chopping peppers in this amount and quantity will irritate or burn your hands and with all the boiling water, keep gloves on.

The whole process from start to finish was done in less than an hour. Canning happens fast and once you begin, things go very fast and so have everything organized: 1 extra large stockpot of nearly boiling water ready and waiting; 1 other large stockpot with peppers, vinegar, pectin; and have the 5 cups of sugar measured out in a bowl and ready to go so that when the full rolling boil is reached, the sugar goes in right away. Then, it all goes into jars and then the jars go into the large stockpot to process. Make sure you know your steps, what you’re doing next, and you’ll be fine. It’s really easy, but be organized.

Disclaimer: I am not a canning expert. This is what I did based on comparing the two recipes linked above, as well as countless other forums. I wrote out the directions and what I did in plain English and as simply as possibly in an attempt to demystify a complicated process but I am not a canning expert and if you have specific questions, Google things and do your own research before you start. Use common sense when canning, such as no small children in the kitchen with all the boiling water. As with any other type of cooking or food handling practice, it is your responsibility to make sure your food is ultimately safe to ingest.

According to my research, Sure-Jell is gluten free and vegan (Sure-Jell contains pectin instead of gelatin), making this jelly gluten free and vegan.


Nothing like putting your deodorant to the test while eating your jelly as your core body temperature raises about ten degrees.

Homemade hot pepper jelly jars

As I stated in the recipe section, the jalepeno peppers provided some serious heat to this jelly.  So much so that I probably will never need to use Afrin again and will keep Kleenex stock soaring high as long as this batch of pepper jelly is around.

Of course, as I also mentioned, scale back the amount of jalepenos if you don’t like as much ka-pow or brow-wiping with your jelly as I do.  The funny thing about hot and spicy food is the more I eat, the more I want.  That, Hurts So Good thing.

Peppers and Homemade hot pepper jelly

I am so glad I made it and got over my canning intimidation.

And I cannot wait to make it again.  I started making it on Saturday night at 10:17pm and by 11:15pm it was done and the dishes were done.  Canning on a Saturday night is one way parenthood has changed me and is the new form of hot and heavy Saturday night fun.

Homemade hot pepper jelly jars

I’ve been putting the jelly on crackers, dipping carrots and red pepper spears into it, mixing it with cream cheese for a classic hot pepper jelly and cream cheese dip.

I’ve dipped my spoon into it and cherry picked out those crunchy red pepper pieces that are just begging me to eat them, while my nose is dripping and I’m beginning to sweat, but I can’t stop eating this stuff.

Homemade hot pepper jelly jars

Minutes after this was broken down on Sunday morning, I set off a three alarm fire in my mouth and I’ve been loving every last bite since.

Jars of Homemade hot pepper jelly and peppers

 Have you ever canned anything?

This was a first for me but I’d like to try my hand at canning peach, apricot, or strawberry jam this summer.

If you’re still intimidated by canning, you could try “freezer jam”, which requires no vats of boiling water.  Simply cook the fruit or berries with sugar, add the pectin, place into freezer-safe containers or baggies, and un-thaw as needed.  It’s easy and will make quick use of strawberries, blueberries, or other seasonal fruit.  Google “strawberry freezer jam” for umpteen recipes and ideas and it’s a good “gateway” jam-making process if you don’t want to try full-out canning.

And if you’re more into blending + condiment making, try Chocolate Coconut Cashew Butter.  Just get those earplugs ready.

Chocolate Coconut Cashew Butter with strawberries

Do you like hot pepper jelly?

I love it and now I don’t have to wait for TJ’s to re-stock it (possibly) in November or December prior to the holidays.

In terms of taste, my jelly is bolder and hotter for one, but the tangy is tangier, the sweet is sweeter, the sour is more pronounced.  It’s just all around, more.  More intense, more flavorful.

It’s the difference of a quality vanilla extract versus a cheap imitation vanilla flavoring.  Night and day once you’ve had both.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the TJ pepper jelly and will buy it if they bring it back, because for price and work involved (i.e. cheap and none), you can’t beat theirs.

Excuse me while I go raise my core body temperature.

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Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. How do you get the peppers to suspend in the jelly so we’ll. Every time I make pepper jelly, my peppers float to the top. It’s aggravating and makes it look sub-par, in my opinion. I’ve read about turning them upside down every 30 minutes after they seal, but that didn’t work for me either. Help!

    1. Honestly I really don’t know how. They just do what they do for me. I know that’s not helpful to you though. I would say add more peppers, add more pectic, boil slightly longer before pouring the mixture into jars, those are just some common sense things that come to mind that may help but I cannot say for sure.

    2. Just as the jelly is setting, turn each jar upside down for a few seconds.  The peppers should spread out.  If it doesn’t work, wait a few minutes, and do it again.  This should leave part of the peppers throughout.

  2. I noticed your picture had little bubbles in the jelly and when mine was jarred it also had them. Does this cause any problems with the overall quality of the jelly or longevity of the canning?Also did use seeds and puréed with vinegar, then strained. We love the heat.

    Rating: 5
  3. No Trader Joe’s around here, rural West Virginia, but our farmers market and a Market that sells the homemade pepper jelly are really good.

  4. Did you make a mistake on the Sure Jell pectin? You say 2 packs, is it really one? My jelly is sitting up way to hard… Most recipes only call for one… I like the flavor but not how the jelly turned out.

    1. I didn’t make a mistake and the recipe is correct as written when I make it. If you feel it would be better with just one next time, I would recommend that then. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  5. I made this recipe. I think 1 1/2 pkgs of pectin will work better for me. The jelly turned out too thick and gummy.

    1. And/or you can reduce the boiling time. Jam/jelly is always a bit of a trial and error game but if you think reducing the pectin, or reducing cooking time to prevent as much thickening is better, go for it. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  6. I noticed your recipe states to use jalapenos, but the pictures show serrano peppers which are generally hotter than jalapenos, so just wondered if you used serranos instead of jalapenos

    1. I used a variety of peppers, both serranos & jalapenos but the average person may be a little shocked by the serranos :)

  7. We live close to a amish community been enjoying hot pepper jelly for some time, Retired this year , thought i’d try my hand at making jelly. We use hot pepper jelly on egg sandwiches, with some mustard on grilled hot dogs. I also add a couple heaping tablespoons to BBQ sauce, bottled or home made.

    1. Glad to hear you’re a big fan of hot pepper jelly, too! And now you’re trying your hand at it – wonderful!

  8. Hello. I came across your post while searching how to fix the pepper jelly. I made a batch of pepper jelly yesterday, it was my first attempt, and it turned out really good. Only problem is that I didnt do enough research and ended up using about 10-11 herbanero pepper+3 long green chilli for 12/ 250ml jars, I strianed the peppers bc I found it really hot. Any suggestions how can I fix it? they were all de-seeded but the jelly is quite hot for me. Please suggest other uses for jelly too. Thanks

  9. I just stumbled on this post and found it to be quite entertaining and precise…very nice instructions for novices. Thanks for a great recipe.

  10. In order to keep your pepper pieces from floating to the top, bring your pepper/vinegar/suga mixture to a boil and then take it off the heat and let it cool. Once cooled bring it back to a boil before adding pectin and starting the canning process. also two boxes of pectin seems like over kill but I’m not familiar with that brand! Don’t forget that a bit of lemon juice helps pectin set up nicely as well as adds great flavor!

  11. hot pepper jelly is good on ham slices; dipping cheese and pretzels;on top of pizza… i started canning this years ago!!!!!!

  12. I’ve been making different verities of pepper jelly and jams for years. Yours is the most colorful I’ve jelly I’ve seen. My jellies are not for the faint of heart, I use habanero’s and Bhut Jolokia’s. These will not only raise your body temp they’ll cause your head to burst into flame. Christmas is my Apple Cinnamon Ghost Pepper season. Wish I could send you a jar.

    1. These will not only raise your body temp they’ll cause your head to burst into flame. <--- I LOVE THAT! I would love your jelly and these jellies in the pics, I've since figured out that I used some realllllly hot peppers for (accidentally) but did my research after the fact and no wonder I was about to burn up or blow up after eating them, but in a hurts so good way!

    1. They carry it now too in San Diego as a year-round item as well; however for most of 2011/early 2012 they had stopped carrying it yearround but brought it back in the fall of 2012 and it’s been available all year so far 2013. They are finnicky though and things come and go. And vary from store to store. Like my stores here in CA don’t get white choc chips yearround but I’ve been told Southern stores do!

  13. I have to say I made your pepper jelly today and it is Awesome!!!!!! Your recipe is fantastic, I am telling all of my friends. Thanks (:

    1. Thanks for LMK, Wendi! I am so glad you loved it! I love it when people actually try my 1.canning recipes or my 2. bread making recipes b/c they take some time to post and be detailed so I love hearing that people make them! Also have you seen the stovetop method for this recipe?

      Cuts a few corners but similar net result if you don’t need to actually store if for year(s) like you would with canned jam. Thanks for the comment & making this!

  14. I made your hot pepper jelly with 3/4 cup jalepenos and 10 % seeds for Christmas present for my daughter. The jelly did not look like yours and the flavor was great but very mild. Did you by chance use jarred jalepenos? I am an experienced canner so not sure what went wrong. Oh well, I’ll try again.

    1. No I used fresh peppers – I live in San Diego, just 10 miles from the Mexican border, and I think that sometimes my grocery store gets some really hot peppers/jalepenos and mis-labels them mis-places them in certain bins and I end up getting VERY spicy peppers accidentally. The ones I used here were VERY hot. I mean – hot hot hot. I would say try again with peppers you *know* to be stronger, or to whatever heat level you prefer.

  15. I make pepper jelly about once a year when I have an abundance of jalapeños. I just made some tonight. I use the Sure Jell recipe that is in the box and follow it pretty close at least in terms of total quantities and proportions. I use more jalapeños and less bell peppers and usually add some fruit for fun- kiwi, mango, peach or pear. I also sometimes add onion. Just make sure the total adds up to 4 cups per Sure Jell recipe. I only eat it with cream cheese and crackers but looking to expand my horizons.

  16. I love this recipe thank you so much for posting. I have made this recipe twice now and the only issue I have had is both times while boiling the sugar I have gotten a little but of burnt sugar. I am stirring constantly, just wondering if I should pour in my sugar slower or lower my temperature?

    1. If your sugar is burning, it means the temperature is too hot. Just lower the temperature a bit. There’s a difference between getting gooey and stuck to the pan (that happens inevitably with this recipe vs. out and out burning). Just lower the temp – no biggie!

  17. I recently found your recipe & made a batch last night. Upon tasting it today, I think that I would go with less sugar & more hot peppers. I added over 1/2 cup, but it wasn’t that spicy. I think the sugar took over. Did anyone else find that it was too sweet? On my pectin, it says to use up to 1/2 cup of sugar per two 8 ounce jars. (Wish i’d read that before starting.) The whole point of using “low/no sugar” pectin is to use less sugar. I ended up with about 7 & a half jars. It did set very nicely though, and the peppers were evenly distributed. I might try again this weekend using around 2 cups of sugar. Thanks for the starting point!

    1. It all depends on the kind of peppers you used. I came to find out that I was using an incredibly hot type, serrano I believe. Someone wrote to me telling me the name and I forget but basically my grocery store mis-labeled the peppers so I thought I was buying average intensity but was buying little firecrackers so for me, the jelly was not too sweet. You may need to add spicier peppers and/or cut back on the sugar; this is all to taste and a bit trial and error.

  18. Your jelly looks so pretty in the jars. I think it would make great gifts. I know exactly how you felt as a kid and my Mom was canning, stay out of the kitchen and be quiet ’til those precious jars are sealed. Canning to me was as itimidating as using the pressure cooker. Those were the days!

    1. They would make great gifts if I could stop eating it and save some to give away! ha! And glad to know your mom was the same – unless you live through that, you just don’t quite know just HOW MUCH they mean business when they say that when they’re canning!

  19. I used your receipe to a T, but for some reason my peppers all floated to the top and stayed there, my pectin jelled, but there is no peppers in it, I opened one jar after the 24 hrs and it tasted ok after stirring around, but they do not look good, do you think I could open them all stir them around and then re-seal with the hot water method, this is my first batch ever of a jam or jelly or anything and I thought they would make nice gifts, but not like this thanks

    1. Canning is not something to mess around with or taking any chances in my opinion. There’s no telling what went wrong, or didn’t go right. You can google this and post in various online canning forums and post your question there. I don’t consider myself to be an expert and don’t feel qualified to steer you in one direction or the other. Best of luck with it!

    2. Hi Patty, to keep the peppers from floating to the top, allow the jelly to sit for 5 minutes before filling the jars. This is the advice I have found on many fruit jam recipes that have chunks of fruit in them.

  20. Great sounding hot pepper jelly and it looks lovely, too! Had some fabulous hot pepper jelly we got in San Antonio, Texas, but on a subsequent trip could not find it again. Being an experienced canner of more than 45 years, experimented with different recipes, but none were good enough. Yours sounds wonderful, tho’ I personally would take the heat down a couple of notches. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You’ve been canning so long – that’s amazing!! It would be an honor if you tried this recipe or tweaked it to your liking. If you end up making it, please LMK what you think!

  21. I had never tried hot pepper jelly before I made it tonight, and all I can say is – WOW was I missing out! Normally I can’t handle more than an average spice level, so I figured the box of various peppers gifted from my neighbor’s garden would go to waste on me so I might as well use it in something I could give to the family for Christmas. Now, I’m not sure how much will be around come the holidays because this stuff is delicious. The sweet counters some of the spice so it wasn’t as bad as the peppers on their own. Thanks!

    1. I try to convey to folks just how good hot pepper jelly is but I think it’s lost in translation a bit and I am so glad you made it, tried it, and love it! Sweet ‘n spicy is always a great hit. If you like cheese, take a wheel of brie, put it in an oven safe baking dish, bake at 400F for 15-20 mins or so until it softens and begins to melt, then douse the whole thing with the hot pepper jelly and dig into it with some crackers. It’s heavenly!!!

    1. You don’t add water when you’re canning or making jam/jelly. Fruits & vegs are full of water and when they are cooked and heated, they release it; thus that’s why you have to simmer jellies for hour(s) on the stovetop – to cook off all the water they release. You definitely don’t add any to begin with. Vinegar and sugar and in this jam and that’s it. Good luck!

  22. The color of your pepper jelly is so vibrant and delicious looking! We are growing some Ghost Peppers this year and plan to make some pepper jelly. Thanks for your recipe. My favorite way to eat pepper jelly is as a topping on vanilla ice cream. Something about the sweet and the heat that is incredible.

  23. This is excellent, thank you!!! I have been wanting to try to make this for some time now looks like I’ve got some shopping to do :D

    1. thanks for the tip!!!!! I was at TJs yesterday in Hillcrest, still out. I will be trekking up to La Jolla soon!

  24. Your pepper jelly looks incredible! I’ve never tried this, but what an awesome idea… I have featured this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup. Let me know if you have any objections and thanks for the inspiration

  25. I don’t do a jelly (using canning process) … I just do a batch and eat … it is much easier and less time consuming … if I want some more I do it again … I do it the Venezuelan way.

  26. just yesterday I was telling my friends on FB that i want to start canning.
    and had found a book that is perfect for beginners
    then someone told me all the things i need to get and i backed out lol
    the air-sucker-outer-thingee for one
    and all I want to do is make raspberry jam
    and now it seems i have to make hot pepper jam too?
    tell me they aren’t discounting it?

    1. The last time I saw pepper jelly in TJs was Dec 30 (the day I got back from Aruba). I bought 2 jars and went back the day after New Years (Jan 2) and it was gone. They said then they were getting more but never did. That tune has now changed to “well maybe we’ll bring it back seasonally next fall/pre-Xmas because it sold well….” But you never know. If you have any in your stores, buy them up!

      I just made more pepper jelly *tonite*. Girl it’s easy. No big specialty appliances required.

      Raspberry jam. That’s easy. Google it for microwave/freezer jam recipes. There’s tons and my mom used to do it and it’s amazing.

  27. I have canned (still do some times) I’ve also made Jalapeno Pepper Jelly — love it, love it, love it! We made some pinwheels (crescent rolls flattened out, then mix cream cheese with 1/2 can of minced jalapenos. spread the cream cheese on the crescent rolls, roll up, freeze until you can slice them easily. After slicing thinly bake for 12 minutes)— THEN we put a small dollop of my pepper jelly on top of the warm roll up. UMMMMMM. I need to make more jelly now. Thanks for the awesome recipe and beautiful pics!

  28. SO cool Averie!!!!!! I am impressed!!! Canning is so intimidating for me as it was for you … I have never done it, but I am intrigued. I absolutely LOVE hot pepper jelly, but luckily we can buy it all year round here at most grocery stores. I do like the idea of homemade though …

    1. If I could buy it year round, I would never have embarked. I can buy really fake red dye#40 pepper jelly but nothing like this; thus, I had to learn to make it because I wanted it, that badly :)

  29. As a longtime canner I have to say the finished product doesn’t look right…it looks like your sugar isn’t dissolved? There seem to be lots of visible sugar crystals or something clouding the jelly.

    Also, washing jars in soapy water does not sterilize them – you need to put them in your canning pot and bring them to a boil with the water, and then lower the heat, remove them, fill them, and replace them. Then you bring them back to a boil for the 10 minute processing. Hope this helps.

    1. As I mentioned in the disclaimer in the recipe, I am not an expert as this was my first time canning. The sugar was dissolved; it’s very hard to take photos of a clear-ish substance in glass jars and have the light bounce but not have glare, but I did the best I could..but nope, no issues with undissolved sugar or cloudy jelly. In person, it’s perfect. A little hot but that’s okay. If you click on the links I gave in the recipe, if you read what both Kraft and Allrecipes wrote, that’s where I based my info from re the sterilization.

    1. thanks for the info and I actually asked the produce manager in my grocery store about the peppers just to double and triple check I was buying the proper kind (because I’ve accidentally bought too hot of peppers in the past for a dip and on this I didnt want to make a mistake) and he assured me I was buying jalepenos but maybe he didn’t know either.

  30. I’ve never canned anything or tried hot pepper jelly for that matter. I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to spicy foods so not sure the jelly would be a hit, but I do want to learn to can!

  31. Way to go Mama!! I’m not into spicy peps, but the cookie butter on the other hand…how did that one get by me?!

  32. I love the one from Harry & David’s but it is SO incredibly expensive. This sounds very similar! And it’s completely gorg!

    1. Oh I didnt even know H & D made one..I’m going to the H & D store at the mall and am going to stalk it now! I blame you, already. :)

  33. I have never heard of this jelly, either, but your post really makes me want to try it! I love the pictures, the setting is absolutely gorgeous!

  34. I hear you. By now I know not to get attached to TJ’s products, it will surely be dropped! Their frozen avacado’s , sweet mustard were some of the best products ever. I make my own sweet mustard now!

  35. This looks so good! I love canning! Every fall we go apple picking when the crop’s at its best, then I make apple butter, applesauce, and apple pie filling with them so that we can enjoy those fall fresh apples all year round! :)

  36. My tongue can barely handle bell peppers, let alone anything spicier. I wish I could fully enjoy all of the dishes people make with spices, but my tongue is a wimp!

    My grandma used to can all the time. I remember going down into the basement to grab a jar of pears or peaches to go with our ice cream for dessert. She was always canning stuff, but I don’t remember needing to be quiet or anything. If she was in the kitchen she was usually singing or dancing, or doing both with a big smile on her face. Oh the things you remember after people are gone. I miss her!

    1. yes it always is amazing what you remember…for me the same is true about my own grandma. I miss her!

  37. Wow! Never would have guessed that’s what you were up to. That looks fantastic! And I so love that it’s gelatin-free!

  38. Oh, yeah. This looks great. I love canning … after I overcame my totally unfounded fear of blowing the house up with the pressure cooker! I’ve been meaning to try a hot pepper jelly, and this looks perfect.

    1. Glad you overcame that fear.

      I have a similar one of running my dehydrator all night. Some people do it but I can’t get into a deep sleep with that hot box running. Unfounded, but it’s my “thing”. :)

  39. Awesome recreation here, jealous of your canning skills since I’ve yet to get into that. Great pics too, as always. :-) I’ve never tried the jelly, but sure I’d like it since I’m a fan of spicy.

  40. Ooh pepper jelly is the BEST. I laughed out loud at your line: “I did something I never thought I would do in life: I canned.” Haha! I can’t see myself canning either but you see, something I love might run out and then I might end up canning away myself!

  41. Good for you Averie. It’s actually fun once you have the process in your head and can worry about what else you can “can” . It is addictive though. I have a basement walk in closet full of chili and all kinds of meat, salsas, soups, stews. Really nice to have on hand.
    Here’s a fun one that’s just the water bath for anyone new to the Canning experience and a really good dipping sauce, great gift for someone you’re not really sure what they’d like too :

    Beautiful photos as usual, love it!

      1. No pro but I researched it to death to get all the science and safety down and then just started trying things. It’s a little frustrating not being able to try some of the things you can right then but it’s really worth being able to grab when you can’t think straight some nights.

        My blog, like yours got away from it’s beginnings a lot! I wanted to ask you when we might see any more Yoga expertise from you. I’m trying to get motivated to start. Thanks again, have a good one!

        Looks like I gave you the wrong posting in the first comment. I wanted to share this really easy, super tasty Chinese Dipping sauce. The pears are great too though.

  42. One of my best friends serves a super easy appetizer with cream cheese spread with hot pepper jelly and we put it on salty wheat crackers. Ohhhh yum its so good! Your pics are poppin! Love it!

  43. Thank you for the recipe. My husband usually makes our pepper jelly, but I don’t like that he adds green food coloring. Also, unlike your recipe, you don’t get to see the beautiful pieces of pepper. I can’t wait to try this!

    As for my last canning ventures, they include an amazing Italian Prune Plum jam (with fruit sourced from my father’s tree) and Apple and Pear Sauce (sourced from my orchard).

    So glad that I stopped by your beautiful blog!

    1. Thanks for saying hi and I hope you try this. LMK if you do! Since you’re already familiar with canning and making jam and pepper jelly, this will be a snap for you!

  44. One day about 5 or 6 years ago I got suddenly obsessed with canning (thanks a lot, Alton Brown). I went out and bought a huge canning pot, tons of Mason jars, the jar grabber and rack and funnel thingie and all that jazz, along with several pounds of out-of-season berries, and proceeded to spend 7+ hours making gallons of jam. I just finished my last jar of that jam a few weeks ago – seriously.
    Guess it’s time for me to jam it up again. ;)

    1. No way…you had jam that lasted 5+ years?! Not the shelf life, I know things can last “forever”…but the fact that you had such a quantity that it lasted you that long. You TRULY did can and make gallons++ of it! That’s impressive!

      1. Crazy, right? I totally burned myself out on canning, of course, in the process, but I think I’m about ready to tackle it again when we move in a couple months and I have room to turn around in my kitchen! I <3 hot pepper jelly, so I'm saving this recipe :)

  45. You have the worst luck with products, Averie! I’m so sorry they don’t make it anymore. Is this something TJ’s does a lot of? Sheesh! Good on you for just making your own. It’s better anyways :)

    1. Some things are seasonal and some things were popular but they weren’t expecting it and they run out…it is the type of store that if a product is “new” and you realize you love it, you better stock up right away b/c there is no telling if it will be around long term. They bring out “new” products, maybe about 20 per month, in addition to the thousands of regular offerings, but on new stuff, I know to stock up (now) more than ever.

    1. Doing it now, I can understand why she didn’t want kids in the kitchen…it goes fast and there’s lots of boiling water :)

  46. I’m also on my last jar of TJs hot pepper jelly, and I’m going to miss it.

    I’ve got the stockpot and the tongs…now I need the pectin and the courage to try it.

  47. This looks truly delicious — I have always passed over the pepper jelly at whole foods notwithstanding my love of sweet heat in favor of other impulse buys, but this looks like a project I could definitely sink my teeth into. I bet it goes fabulously with a soft cheese . . . . or anything . . . .

  48. Your pictures of that jelly are gorgeous. I don’t think I’ll be canning anything anytime soon, but it is something that I’ve *thought* about trying.

  49. I’ve never actually enjoyed hot pepper jelly but I feel like I should definitely give it another shot with “grown up” taste buds :)
    btw- do you know what the cookie butter verdict is? Is it a seasonal thing, is it coming back? I can’t take the suspense!

    1. Cookie butter – they keep saying they are bringing it back, that they are having trouble getting it, they weren’t expecting the sales that it got but they don’t know when it’s coming back. I ask every couple weeks or so. I am pretty sure what I get in Aruba is the same as what they get. It’s the same jar, same texture, same everything! I am bringing tons back next time!

      You’d love the jelly…it’s savory and I think right up your alley.

  50. Averie, I am impressed! Great job on making your own jelly. I do actually a lot of canning when I can get my hands on some fresh and good produce. Nothing can compare to a home made apricot or peach jam in the middle of a crisp winter. Open a jar and the aroma penetrates in every corner of your house, awakes every sense you have. I am as intimidated of baking as you were of canning. Maybe I shell just try it more often?

  51. wow averie, nothing like what your usual recipes are like and the last thing I was expecting when you teased us with the pepper photos yesterday. This looks awesome!! I’ve never canned a thing before and think its intimidating just as you did but you make it sound doable. I would love to try making jam sometime. Nothing compares to homemade jam at all.

  52. YUM. Love pepper anything LOL. I’ve never made a jelly or jam, but I’ve definitely jarred things. It can be sort of a hassle, but so worth it in the end.

  53. I really really want to try this! Did it set right away? I know you can’t tell with the ones that are canned, but the open one – what is the texture like?

    You have outdone yourself here. I’m SO on this!!

    1. Yes it set right away. In all my research, I read that two packets (rather than 1) of the Sure-Jell was highly recommended by users, even though the actual recipes call for one packet. So I went with two and it’s a very thick but spreadable jelly. If you compare it to say a Smuckers grape jelly, this is even a little thicker than that. It’s not some watery little jelly; it has some thickness to it which is really the only way you’d want it, IMO, given the heat factor, too. You could possibly try it with 1.5 boxes of pectin but I’d rather have it a little thick than not set and there were field reports of 1 box recipes not setting.

  54. I’m glad to know my mother isn’t the only one who goes scary when canning. I fully understand the tip toe but the canned peaches were totally worth it back in the day. Unfortunately my mother once got sick one canning day and was unable to finish. Sick + the ever present stress of canning = irreparable memory of horribleness which resulted in no canned food ever entering our kitchen again. In a couple years though, when I’m out of school, I will bring it back.

    1. Doing it now, I can understand why she didn’t want kids in the kitchen…it goes fast and there’s lots of boiling water. Try it someday if you’re feeling up to it!

  55. My boyfriend’s mom gave me a canning set and book for Christmas, and while I was excited, I was scared, too (I’ve never done it either). This looks wonderful, though, and I have a ton of hot peppers in my freezer from pepper picking this past fall. When I get a weekend to experiment, I’ll be coming back to this. Thanks!

  56. I also remember my mom canning every year when I was young. I’ve never done it so now that I think about it, I would have to say there is an intimidation factor there for me! I have made freezer jam with instant pectin. Hmmm- wonder how that hot pepper jelly would be with a little mango?!?

    1. It would be good but the mango in this particular batch would have been overpowered by the heat, I think…if you try it with mango, definitely scale back the pepper amount or else the jalepeno flavor will overpower everything :)