Pickled Peppers From Your Garden
Late September is one of those grand times of the year. The season is changing, football is back and Fall is in the air. If you planted peppers, chances are you’re getting a lot right now.
With everything ripening up all around the same time you might be wondering what you can do with them. Eating them fresh is great. You can make salsas, grill them, fry them, stuff them, dry them.
The options go on and on. But if you want to make them last and be delicious you can pickle them. This opens a whole new world of possibilities.
There are basically two options to to canning your pickled peppers:
1.) Water bath canning, which will preserve them for a long time. This process takes a little bit of care to do it right, but the end result is shelf stable for up to a year or more. This process will cook your peppers in the jars however, and can leave them soft.
2.) Quick canning, which takes less time to process than water bath canning. The drawback is that your peppers will need to be stored in the fridge and even then won’t last as long. But the other benefit is that your peppers remain crisp.
There is a third method if you consider fermenting. Personally I haven’t liked the fermented peppers I’ve made in the past based on this guide. However, I will try some more recipes and see how it goes.
Water Bath Canning
When it comes to water bath canning there is one key thing that comes into play: sterilization. Before you even add your ingredients to your jars they have to be sterilized.
To do this, simply use the pot you will be canning with. Insert the jars open, top up and fill the pot & jars with hot water to one inch above them. Then bring it to a rolling boil and let them boil for 15 minutes.
Afterwards, you can kill the heat and carefully remove the jars. Try to leave roughly the same amount of water for later. It’s a good idea to have your ingredients ready to pack immediately. Simply put, your jars won’t stay sterile for long.
Next step, pack your jars with peppers and whatever other ingredients your recipe requires. Fill the jars with liquid and try to remove all the air bubbles. Tapping them on the counter helps.
Make sure you use new lids, which can be sterilized by boiling in a separate small pot of water for 10 minutes.
The Cooking Part
Bring your main pot back to a boil and put the jars back in. Let them boil for the required recipe time, which is usually no less than 10 minutes. Then remove carefully and let cool on you counter.
Within an hour or so all of your jars should seal. If they don’t and you can depress the tops, then you can try processing them again. If you don’t want to, then eat whatever is in those jars right away and don’t try to save them long term.
Cooking them again will cause your peppers to get even softer. So you may decide you don’t want to, and that’s fine. Just be sure to refrigerate and finish within a month or so.
The Quick Canning method is very simple. But it does require refrigeration. Just this past week I made pickled peppers from the Cherry Bombs shown above.
I used this recipe and it is absolutely amazing! It’s very easy and I highly recommend trying it. The mixture is kind of sweet and tangy. These peppers aren’t going to last long.
Unlike the Water Bath method, you don’t have to sterilize the heck out of everything. Just make sure your jars are clean. Pack them tightly with your peppers and whatever other ingredients you want.
Now for your pickle mixture. Bring it to a boil, remove from heat, let cool for a minute and pour into your jars, up to about 1/2 inch from the top. Again, do your best to remove bubbles. Then let everything cool to room temperature, put the lids on and stick them in the fridge.
The other option would be to bring your peppers to a boil with the pickle. Then you’d just move the peppers to jars with tongs and pour the pickle over it. That’s all there is to it! Just be sure to eat them within a month or so.
What kind of pickles will you make?
I hope this article found you well and that you learned something. If you’re planning to make pickled peppers yourself, or have had some great success with other recipes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
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