Unless you’re canning vegetables like tomatoes or beets, where you have to take the extra steps to peel them, canning doesn’t have to be labor intensive and time consuming. These pickled jalapeño peppers taste exactly like the little ones you buy in the jars or cans at your grocery store (next to the taco kits), and are easier to make than you think.
Bring the herbs and spices to a boil in a Dutch oven (enamel coated) or a stainless steel pot. Cast iron, copper or brass will react with the acidic brine and create an off-taste and discolor the peppers.
If pickling whole peppers, take a thin skewer (like a cake tester) and pierce the whole peppers several times all around. This will allow the brine to enter inside the pepper and prevent it from collapsing when canned. A small amount of sugar is added to the brine to balance the hard acidity from the vinegar.
While the brine is simmering, quickly blanch the whole peppers for 4 minutes.
For sliced peppers, place jalapeño rings (discard stem but leave membrane and seeds intact) into brine and boil for 4 minutes. Ladle jalapeño rings into sterilized jars, and cover with hot brine, leaving an inch head space. Wipe rims clean, and seal with prepared lids.
Pack hot blanched whole peppers tightly into sterilized jars along with any fresh herbs and spices you’d like from the brine.
Fill half the jar with the hot brine mixture, pressing down on the peppers so the insides fill with brine. Add more brine until within an inch of the top of the jar. Wipe clean the rim and seal with prepared canning lids. Place jars into water bath and process for 15 minutes. For more detailed canning procedures see Bernardin canning jars home page or the USDA safe canning procedures.
Whole peppers or sliced, red or green, these add a punch of flavor to your foods and make a great gift!
Pickled Chili Peppers
- 1 lb red or green jalapeno peppers washed and dried
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 4 Tbsp kosher coarse salt
- 2 cloves garlic + more if desired to add to each jar
- 1 Tbsp peppercorns
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- Fresh oregano leaves optional
- Fresh thyme sprigs optional
- In a Dutch oven (enameled pot) combine water, vinegar, salt, garlic, peppercorns, cumin and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
- For sliced jalapeños – wearing latex gloves, cut off stem, slice into ¼” rings (do not seed) and add into brine, simmering for 5 minutes. Ladle jalapeño rings into small jars, add fresh garlic cloves if desired and top with the brine leaving ½” head space. Seal and process in a water bath for 15 minutes. For more detailed canning procedures see below.
- For whole jalapenos – with stems intact, poke a few small holes (use skewer or cake tester) in the jalapenos to allow brine to infiltrate and to keep them from collapsing when canned. Blanch in boiling water for 4 minutes. Remove from water and squish out excess water with tongs, then pack immediately into sterilized jars along with some fresh garlic cloves if desired. Fill half the jar with brine, pressing down on peppers so brine is pulled inside the peppers. Add more brine and repeat pressing down. Fill until an inch from the top of the jar. Add some spices and a few sprigs of the herbs from the brine mixture along with 1 Tbsp of olive oil into each jar. Seal and process in water bath for 15 minutes.
-Use whole, not ground spices which can cloud the brine.
-For a slightly different flavor, use apple cider or wine vinegar in place of white vinegar.
-Do not use copper, brass or iron pans to boil brine in. The vinegar will react with the metals in the pan creating a off taste to the brine, and can discolor the peppers.