Canning cowboy candy

How to make and can COWBOY CANDY (sweet jalapenos)

July 06, 20242 min read

How to Make and Can Homemade Cowboy Candy


Cowboy Candy, also known as candied jalapeños, is a sweet and spicy treat that's perfect for adding a kick to your favorite dishes. Whether you're topping off a burger, spicing up a cheese board, or just enjoying a sweet and spicy snack, Cowboy Candy is a homestead favorite. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the recipe and step-by-step directions for making and canning your own Cowboy Candy, following FDA guidelines to ensure safety and deliciousness.


  • 3 pounds fresh jalapeño peppers, sliced into rings

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar

  • 6 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

  • 3 teaspoons granulated garlic

  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


  • Large pot

  • Canning jars (pint or half-pint)

  • Canning lids and bands

  • Water bath canner

  • Jar lifter

  • Funnel

  • Slotted spoon


  1. Prepare the Jalapeños: Wash the jalapeños thoroughly. Remove the stems and slice into 1/4-inch rings. Set aside.

  2. Make the Syrup: In a large pot, combine apple cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  3. Cook the Jalapeños: Add the jalapeño slices to the pot and bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat again and simmer for 4 minutes. The jalapeños should start to look a little translucent.

  4. Fill the Jars: Using a slotted spoon, transfer the jalapeños into sterilized canning jars, packing them in tightly. Leave about 1/2-inch headspace at the top of each jar.

  5. Add the Syrup: Pour the hot syrup over the jalapeños in the jars, maintaining the 1/2-inch headspace. Use a clean knife or a canning bubble remover to remove any air bubbles.

  6. Seal the Jars: Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue. Place the lids on the jars and screw the bands on until they are fingertip tight.

  7. Process the Jars: Place the filled jars into a water bath canner, ensuring they are covered with at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Adjust processing time for altitude if necessary (consult FDA guidelines).

  8. Cool and Store: Carefully remove the jars from the canner using a jar lifter and place them on a towel to cool. Do not disturb them for 24 hours. After they have cooled, check the seals by pressing the center of each lid. If it doesn’t pop, the jar is sealed. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within a few weeks.

Enjoying Cowboy Candy

Cowboy Candy is perfect for topping nachos, adding to sandwiches, or enjoying as a spicy-sweet snack. It’s a versatile treat that adds a unique flavor to many dishes.

Cowboy Candy with KrisandLarry

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We are a large, Christian, homeschooling homesteading family from Chino Valley, Arizona. (2 parents - Kris and Larry, 8 kids, some not so little any more and 3 spouses of the kids)

We have a fun Youtube channel, a blog, and a homestead shop with goat milk soap and lotion, signs, jewelry & more.

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