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How to Make Cowboy Candy

  • 2 min read

Have you heard about "Cowboy Candy" yet? If you have, you know it’s a glorious, addictive condiment. If you haven’t, well… you’re in the right place to learn!

What is Cowboy Candy?

Cowboy candy in jars

"Cowboy Candy" is a relish made with fresh peppers and a few simple ingredients and then canned for later use. It needs to be allowed to sit for at least a month before eating for the flavors to mellow. This is the answer to "What do I do with all these hot peppers?!"

Traditional recipes call for only Jalapeno peppers. We prefer a more exciting combination! We use all of the various kinds of peppers we grow in our garden to create beautiful jars of sweet-hot deliciousness. We even throw in some sweet peppers because there is plenty of heat from the hot peppers to even everything out.

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients

  • 8 half-pint canning jars (and associated equipment for processing)
  • Enough fresh peppers to fill a one and a half-gallon zip lock bag
  • 2 Cups of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 6 Cups of Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Ground Turmeric
  • Disposable gloves


Cowboy Candy chopped peppers

Wearing your disposable gloves, slice the stem end off the peppers and discard.

Slice the peppers, seeds, and all, into rings about 1/4 inch thick. Place them into a bowl and set them aside. Dispose of gloves.

In a large pot, combine sugar, vinegar, and turmeric. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once simmering, cook for 5 minutes.

Add the pepper rings to hot syrup. Stirring occasionally. Return to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat and transfer the peppers with a slotted spoon to prepared jars. Do not pack tightly. Keep 1/2 to 1/4 inch empty headspace at the top of the jar

Return the remaining syrup to the burner. This time bring the syrup to a hard rolling boil. Cook for 6 minutes at full boil.

Remove from heat and ladle the syrup over peppers in jars maintaining headspace.

Wipe the rims of the jars clean, and add the lids and bands screwing them on fingertip tight.

Transfer the jars to a water bath canner* and process for 10 mins.

Remove your jars from the canner and allow them to rest until the jars are fully cooled and sealed

Now comes the hard part! Store the jars for a minimum of 1 month before eating! If you used a variety of peppers, as we do, you can admire your beautiful jars while you wait for them to age.

What Do You Eat Your Cowboy Candy With?

These peppers are AMAZING on burgers, brats, sandwiches, pizza, nachos, or just with simple cream cheese and crackers. A very, very easy appetizer to bring along to a picnic or party. (And you’ll probably become very popular after folks try your Cowboy Candy!) Enjoy!

If you are looking for the perfect peppers to grow for making our rainbow version of Cowboy Candy, check out our non-GMO, heirloom jalapeno pepper, habanero pepper, serrano pepper, and sweet banana pepper seeds.

*If you are not familiar with water bath canning, you can visit the National Center for Food Preservation website to learn more.

Cowboy Candy

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