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Ghost Pepper Jelly – Bhut Jolokia Jelly

Ghost Pepper Jelly is made with Ghost Peppers, or Bhut Jolokia, one of the hottest peppers on the planet. Tame the heat of these firecrackers by making a delicious hot pepper jelly.

jars of homemade ghost pepper jelly

If you love hot and spicy foods this is a recipe for you. I get lots of hot peppers in our farm share, but I’ll often plant one bush of a super-hot peppers in our home garden just for fun. This year I planted a Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) plant.

Just how hot is a Ghost Pepper?

Ghost Peppers were the hottest pepper in the world until being dethroned in 2011. The Carolina Reaper is the currently the hottest of the hot. I’ve never tasted a Carolina Reaper, and I’m not sure I ever want to.

A Ghost Pepper clocks in at about 1,000,000 Scoville heat units. Scoville is the scale for measuring the heat in a hot pepper. As a reference point, jalapenos usually rate about 1,000-20,000 Scoville units.

Hmmm, I’ve got loads of hot peppers, what should I do with them?

To tell the truth, I was a little afraid to make a curry with the peppers, and if I used one to make a curry (and I’d be afraid to use more than one) what would I do with the others? I like hot food, but not so hot that I can’t taste the food.

So I decided to make Hot Pepper Jelly with my little harvest. I love the sweet-hot combination, and jelly is a great way to preserve the peppers to enjoy later in the year. Check out my  Pickled Jalapeno Peppers  and DIY Chipotle Pepper recipes for more ways to preserve hot peppers.

a ghost pepper plant

Ghost peppers are pretty, but super hot.

peppers, gloves a knife and goggles.

When working with Ghost Peppers gloves are a must, and goggles are not a bad idea.

How to make Ghost Pepper Jelly!

  • Ghost Peppers are really, really hot. I highly recommend wearing gloves, and I even wore goggles to avoid getting juice or steam in my eyes. Believe me, you don’t want to put your face over the boiling pot of jelly and breath it in, yikes!!
  • I used a combination of ghost peppers and sweet bell peppers cause I’m too chicken to eat a jelly made from only ghost peppers. Use whichever ratio of sweet to hot peppers that you’re comfortable with.
  • Make sure to follow the times listed in the recipe for cooking the jelly, especially once the pectin is added. If you don’t cook it right, the jelly might not set properly.
  • Check out the Ball Canning website for detailed instructions on water bath canning.
  • Got Habaneros but no Ghost Peppers? No problem, the type of hot pepper is interchangeable. Habanero Jelly would be just as delicious as Ghost Pepper Jelly.

Click through the step-by-step photos to see how to make and can Ghost Pepper Jelly:

a food processor with chopped peppers

Puree the peppers with some of the vinegar.

pureed peppers in a food processor.

Pepper Puree

a pot full of preserves, boiling

Be careful, the jelly can boil over very easily (mine did). Don’t breath in the steam, it burns.

a canning jar with funnel.

A canning funnel makes getting the hot jelly into the jars much easier and neater.

a hand cleaning the rim of a jelly jar

Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp paper towel. Bits of pepper on the rim might prevent the lids from sealing properly.

a water bath with jelly jars

Process the jars in a water bath for long-term preserving.

jars of ghost pepper jelly

a plate with crackers and cheese with hot pepper jelly

My Ghost Pepper Jelly has a nice flavor and a manageable heat level. I’ve tried the jelly on cheese and crackers, on a peanut butter sandwich and we even used it as a condiment for breaded pork chops.

I also put some Ghost Pepper jelly in my Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies and in Peanut Butter Mousse Pie. WOW, so good!!

I think Ghost Pepper Jelly in a pretty jar, wrapped with colorful ribbon, would make a lovely holiday or hostess gift.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider giving it 5 stars.

Ghost Pepper Jelly

Ghost Pepper Jelly – Bhut jolokia Jelly

Yield: 7-8 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Processing Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ghost Peppers, or Bhut Jolokia, are one of the hottest peppers on the planet. Tame the heat of these firecrackers by making Ghost Pepper Jelly.


  • 4 ghost peppers (or to taste)
  • 12 oz red, orange or yellow bell peppers
  • 2 cups (16 oz, 480ml) cider vinegar
  • 6 cups (3 pounds, 1.36 kg) granulated sugar
  • 2 pouches liquid pectin


  1. Sterilize 8 half pint or 4 pint jars and lids by boiling for 10 minutes or running through the "sterilize" setting on your dishwasher. Set warm sterilized jars on clean kitchen towel while preparing the jelly.
  2. Put on gloves! Ghost peppers are hot! Stem, seed and roughly chop all the peppers. In a food processor or blender, puree the peppers with 1 cup of the vinegar.
  3. Combine the puree with remaining vinegar and the sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil (be careful not to breath in the steam or get it in your eyes!!!). Boil for 10 minutes, careful it can boil over. Stir in the pectin, return to a boil and boil 1 minute, keep stirring.
  4. Ladle the jelly into the sterilized jars, leave 1/4" head space. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, moist paper towel. Place 2 piece lids on the jars (don't over tighten the screw top). Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.


See the Ball Canning Website for detailed instructions on water bath canning, sterilizing jars and other important information.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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Sunday 29th of August 2021

Hi there! I just wanted to say I absolutely love this recipe, and I was also wondering if you know what might happen if I ended up using powdered pectin at 1/4c BUT I forgot to change the order of adding and still boiled for 10 then added the pectin then boiled for 2 :( will it still set? (Just got done a little while ago, pregnant brain made me completely forget to change the order of adding)

Eileen Gray

Monday 30th of August 2021

Did the jelly set? If not, you can try pouring the jelly out of the jars and boil them again to get it to set up. Re-sterilize the jars, fill and process again.

Chelsea Hitt

Monday 18th of January 2021

How long will the sealed jar last if unopened after the water bath?

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

If you process the jars in hot water and they properly seal they should be shelf stable for at least a year.

Karen Enger

Friday 13th of November 2020

How much is 2 pouches of liquid pectin. First time jelly maker here and don’t want to mess it up.

Eileen Gray

Friday 13th of November 2020

The liquid pectin is sold in a box with a couple of pouches. That's what I used. Depending where you live, you can usually find liquid pectin in the grocery store with the canning jars, etc. Although, many markets have been sold out of canning equipment.


Sunday 6th of September 2020

You stated 12 oz of r ed, yellow, or orange bell peppers...This is the amount after choping, right?

Eileen Gray

Sunday 6th of September 2020

Yes, that's the weight after removing the stem and seeds.


Saturday 24th of August 2019

I have a 16 really little ghost peppers from my pepper plant, the biggest maybe 3/4" should I just use them all? And should a seed them?

Eileen Gray

Sunday 25th of August 2019

Yes, I would use them all. I seeded mine, but you can leave the seeds if you don't mind them (they'll probably look pretty in the jar). Also, seeding does tame the heat a little bit.

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