I often wonder how to pickle peppers, but I seem to put it off because it looks complicated. Well, recently I got a nice surprise when I noticed that pickling peppers is not only easy, but cost-saving and tasty.
You don’t have to be an expert at pickling to get started. If you follow a few tips and know the basic facts, you will be ready to pickle your favorite peppers any time.
Plus, what is a better gift these holidays than a homemade one? I love to pickle peppers in time for family gatherings, and always have jars to spare to give as a party gift.
Here are the 8 facts to help when you wonder how to pickle peppers:
Fact #1: Inspect and clean your peppers
You would be surprised at how many people try to pickle peppers past their prime, which doesn’t turn out quite as it should. Before you do anything, the first step is to inspect your peppers.
Make sure they look firm and bright. You can throw out the old ones, or cut out the bruised parts.
After the inspection, it is time to clean them. You can use cold water for a few minutes and that should do the trick. Allow the peppers to air dry on paper towels afterward.
Fact #2: Slice up the peppers however you like
While many prefer to slice their peppers julienne, you can choose whatever shape you want. Thin strips or small squares allow for mixing better, but you can go thicker if you choose to.
Fact #3: Choose other vegetables to go with
I like to make my pickled peppers with some onions or shallots. Not only are pickled onions a favorite at home, but they are also extremely crunchy and pair well with peppers.
Another key ingredient is garlic. Some like to use whole garlic cloves, while others use minced or mashed garlic.
If you aren’t a fan of onions, other good options include cucumbers, tomatoes, or olives.
Fact #4: Prepare the brine with plenty of time ahead
As you may already know, pickling is all about the brine you use. This means, however, that you will need to choose the brine ingredients carefully.
Depending on the flavor profile you want, the brine can contain various spices and flavors.
When it comes to pickling peppers, I go with white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, water, and spices.
What spices you use will depend solely on your own taste. I usually go with black peppercorns, coriander seeds, anise, celery seeds, and bay leaves.
Other good spices to include are red pepper flakes, onion powder, oregano, or cumin.
Fact #5: Learn how to pickle peppers by mixing everything
Since you have all your ingredients ready to go, you can begin mixing the peppers, onions, and garlic in a bowl. After the vegetables are all blended, press them into your prepared jars.
Fact #6: Pre-heat the brine and pour it over the vegetables
Don’t wait until the last minute to warm up your brine, instead, start it early. To do this, place all the brine ingredients in a saucepan and heat for a while until it boils. This should all take about 5 minutes.
After your brine is boiled, it is time to pour it over your vegetables. Remember to add enough liquid so that it covers all of the vegetables and leaves at least 1 cm of head-space at the top.
Fact #7: Process your jars for adequate storage and sealing
Once your jars are full, place the lids tightly, making sure they fit. Once closed, it is time for processing, which is essential for food safety measures.
To process your peppers, boil your jars in a hot water bath canner for at least 10 minutes. Allow your jars to cool down for at least 12 hours before you store them.
Fact #8: Check the seal and store your pickled peppers
After your jars are cool, you need to check the seal is right. Signs of bubbles, dents, and food deposits on the lid will signal that your jar didn’t seal correctly.
If your jars are good to go, then you are all set to store them appropriately. I tend to store these pickled peppers in the fridge, where they keep for at least one month. If you open them, be sure to consume them within one week.
How to pickle peppers is no longer a question you need answering!
After reading about the facts on pickling peppers and how to do it safely, you are ready to take on this activity.
If you follow directions carefully, there are no risks, and in fact, with some time, you can be more adventurous as well. Try making these at home now that there are excuses to gift people homemade treats.
Enjoy these pickled peppers as an appetizer with bread or crackers, with cheese, or in salads!