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May 11, 2023 3 min read


Pepper jelly is a versatile and delicious condiment that can be enjoyed year-round, especially when made in large batches. By preserving a bountiful harvest of peppers, you can enjoy the flavors of summer throughout the colder months. In this comprehensive guide, we'll discuss how to make large-batch pepper jelly, from selecting the right ingredients to properly preserving your delicious creation for long-term storage.


I. Gathering Ingredients and Equipment for Large-Batch Pepper Jelly

A. Ingredients

  1. Fresh peppers: Choose a mix of your favorite peppers, considering the heat level and flavor profile you prefer.
  2. Sugar or alternative sweeteners: Adjust the amount based on the desired sweetness and type of sweetener used.
  3. Vinegar: Use a high-quality vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, to provide acidity.
  4. Pectin: This natural thickening agent helps set the jelly and can be found in liquid or powdered form.

B. Equipment

  1. Large stockpot or canning pot: To cook and process the large batch of pepper jelly.
  2. Canning jars, lids, and bands: Ensure you have enough jars for the entire batch, as well as new, unused lids.
  3. Jar lifter, funnel, and bubble remover: These tools will make filling and handling jars easier and safer.
  4. Candy thermometer: Useful for monitoring the temperature of your jelly mixture to achieve the proper set.

II. Preparing Your Peppers and Cooking the Large-Batch Pepper Jelly

A. Preparing the peppers

  1. Wash your peppers thoroughly, removing any dirt or debris.
  2. Remove the stems and seeds, then finely chop or puree the peppers, depending on your desired jelly texture.

B. Cooking the pepper jelly

  1. Combine the prepared peppers, sugar, vinegar, and pectin in a large stockpot, following your chosen recipe's proportions and instructions.
  2. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
  3. Use a candy thermometer to ensure the jelly reaches the proper temperature for setting, usually around 220°F.
  4. Remove the pot from heat and skim off any foam that may have formed during cooking.

Large batch pepper jelly

Large batch pepper jelly; a 20 quart stock pot (right) can make about 6-7 cases of product, while the larger 60 quart stock pot (left) can make upwards of 20 cases.

III. Preserving and Storing Your Large-Batch Pepper Jelly

A. Canning the pepper jelly

  1. Sterilize jars, lids, and bands by boiling them in water for 10 minutes.
  2. Fill the hot jars with your homemade pepper jelly, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
  3. Wipe the jar rims clean, then place lids and bands on jars, tightening them securely but not overly tight.
  4. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for the time specified in your recipe, usually 10-15 minutes.

B. Storing your large-batch pepper jelly

  1. Once the jars have cooled, check that the lids have sealed properly by pressing down on the center – it should not flex up and down.
  2. Store sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
  3. Unsealed jars or opened jars should be refrigerated and consumed within a few weeks.

IV. Enjoying Your Homemade Large-Batch Pepper Jelly Throughout the Year

A. Serving suggestions

  1. Pair your pepper jelly with a variety of cheeses and crackers for a delicious appetizer or snack.
  2. Use it as a glaze for grilled meats, such as chicken or pork, for a sweet and spicy twist.
  3. Incorporate your pepper jelly into sauces, dips, or salad dressings for an extra kick of flavor.
  4. Spread it on sandwiches, wraps, or burgers for a unique and tasty condiment.

Pair pepper jelly with your favorite wine or beer

Try pepper jelly as a traditional dip for cheese and meats

Mix pepper jelly with wing sauce or use it as a spread, dip, or glaze on beef, chicken, or fish

B. Gifting your homemade pepper jelly

  1. Package your pepper jelly in decorative jars or containers and add personalized labels for a thoughtful homemade gift.
  2. Include a jar of your homemade pepper jelly in a gift basket with complementary items, such as crackers, cheese, and a spreader.
  3. Share your favorite pepper jelly recipes with friends and family along with your homemade creation.


Making large-batch pepper jelly allows you to preserve the flavors of your harvest for year-round enjoyment. By selecting the right ingredients, following proper canning techniques, and storing your homemade pepper jelly correctly, you can enjoy the taste of summer even during the colder months. Plus, your homemade pepper jelly makes for a delightful gift for friends and family. Get started on your large-batch pepper jelly journey and enjoy the sweet and spicy flavors all year long!