Making Pickled Peppers at Home by M. Hill and P. Kendall 1 Quick Facts... Use only fresh, blemish-free vegetables and up-to-date, research-based recipes when pickling peppers and pepper blends. Use pure, granulated, non-iodized canning or pickling salt, high grade vinegar of 5 percent acidity, and fresh spices. Process pickled peppers in a boiling water bath for the altitude-adjusted length of time specified in a tested recipe. For oil peppers, use only fresh vegetable oil in the amounts specified in tested recipes. Additional processing time and head space are needed to preserve pickled peppers in oil. Pickled peppers and mixed vegetable-pepper home-canned products are commonly prepared by many Colorado households. These products also have been implicated in botulism deaths due to the use of untested recipes, under-acidified products, addition of too much oil, or lack of processing. Ingredients Peppers. A variety of peppers work well for home canning. Common varieties are Cubanelle, Hungarian, yellow wax, sweet cherry, sweet banana and sweet bells. Thick-fleshed peppers with firm waxy skins and bright, glossy color, free from defects, give the best pickled products. Avoid peppers that are soft, shriveled or pliable, and dull or faded in color. As with all pickled products, the shortest time from pick to pack offers the highest quality pickled product. Cut large peppers (Cubanella or bells) into jar-size pieces. Remove seeds and white inner core. Smaller varieties may be packed whole but must be slit to allow the vinegar solution to enter the hollow portion of the pepper. Make two small slits through the flesh of each whole pepper. Other vegetables. For vegetable-pepper blends, follow a recipe with tested proportions. Select fresh, tender but firm vegetables. If the vegetables and peppers cannot be used within one or two hours after harvesting, refrigerate without washing. Thoroughly wash all vegetables in cold water before pickling. Salt. Use noniodized canning or pickling salt. Noncaking materials added to table salt may make the solution cloudy. Vinegar. Use a high grade cider or white distilled vinegar of 5 percent acidity (50 grain). White vinegar may be preferred with light-colored peppers or vegetables to retain color or if clear liquid is desired. Do not use vinegars of unknown acidity. For a less acidic flavor, add a small amount of sugar. This offsets the sharp acid flavor without affecting the pH or acidity of a product. Caution: The acidity in a pickled product is as important to its safety as it is for taste and texture. There must be a minimum, uniform amount of acid throughout the mixed product to prevent growth of botulinum bacteria. Use only recipes with tested proportions of ingredients. Do not alter vinegar/water proportions in the recipe. Spices. Spices lose their flavor quickly. For best results, always use fresh spices in home canning. Garlic. If desired for flavor, use mature, fully-dried, white-skinned garlic, free of blemishes. Garlic contains a water-soluble pigment that may turn blue or purple. A blue-green color may develop in pickles made with stored red-skinned garlic. Immature garlic, garlic that is not fully dry, or red-skinned varieties may turn blue, purple or blue-green. Except in the case of a bright blue-green color resulting from abnormally high concentrations of copper-sulfate, such color changes do not indicate the presence of harmful substances. Oil. Specific problems exist when canning pickled peppers in oil. Follow the recommended amount of oil (2 tablespoons per pint) and allow proper headspace. Peppers in oil need additional processing time over recipes not containing oil. If peppers to be home-canned contain oil, take care that no ingredients touch the jar rim or flat lid. The oil tends to soften the natural rubber-based lining found in some brands of home-canning lids and may result in loosening of the seal over time. The Kerr Company, for example, does not recommend using their lids in products canned at home with oil. Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves when handling hot peppers. Hot pepper juice can be caustic to eyes or skin. To review the steps of packing, sealing and processing pickled products, see fact sheet 9.304, Making Pickles at Home. For information on canning chili, pimentos or other pepper products see 9.348, Canning Vegetables. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09314.html Colorado Mix (Pickled Pepper Vegetable Blend) 2 1/2 pounds peppers, mild or hot as desired 1 pound cucumbers, cut into 1/2-inch chunks 2 to 4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks 1/2 pound cauliflower, cut into 1-inch flowerettes 1 cup peeled pickling onions 7 to 14 garlic cloves, as desired 6 cups vinegar 3 cups water 2 tablespoons pickling salt 2 tablespoons sugar, if desired Yield: Makes 7 to 8 pints Procedure: Wash and prepare vegetables. Slit small peppers. Core large peppers and cut into strips. Remove blossom end of cucumbers and cut into chunks. Peel and chunk carrots. Break cauliflower into flowerettes. Pack vegetable medley into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. In 3-quart saucepan, bring vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a boil. Pour hot solution over mix in jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Add liquid to bring headspace to 1/4 inch. Wipe jar rims. Add pretreated lids and process in boiling water bath. For best flavor, store jars five to six weeks before opening. Table 1: Recommended process time for Colorado mix in a boiling water canner. Style of pack/Jar size Process time at altitudes of: 6,000 ft or less Above 6,000 ft Raw: Half-pints or pints Quarts 10 min. 15 min. 15 min. 20 min. Pickled Peppers 2 pounds Hungarian or banana peppers* 2 pounds sweet peppers (in strips)* 1 pound cherry peppers* 1 Jalapeno per jar (if desired for hotness) 1 clove garlic per jar 6 cups vinegar 2 cups water 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pickling salt 1 tablespoon sugar, if desired *Note: May use a variety of peppers to equal 5 pounds (4 quarts). Yield: Makes 7 to 8 pints Procedure: Wash peppers. Small peppers may be left whole with two small slits in each pepper. Core and cut large peppers into strips. Pack one clove garlic and a variety of peppers tightly into clean, hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Combine vinegar, water, salt and sugar. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Pour hot pickling solution over peppers, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Readjust headspace to 1/4 inch. Wipe jar rims. Add pre-treated lids and process in boiling water bath. For best flavor, store jars five to six weeks before opening. Table 2: Recommended process time for pickled peppers in a boiling water canner. Style of pack/Jar size Process time at altitudes of: 6,000 ft or less Above 6,000 ft Raw: Half-pints or pints Quarts 10 min. 15 min. 15 min. 20 min. Hot Peppers Marinated in Oil 3 pounds hot peppers (Jalapenos or other varieties) 7 to 14 cloves garlic 7 tablespoons dried oregano 5 cups vinegar 1 cup water 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pickling salt 3/4 cup vegetable or olive oil Yield: Makes 7 to 8 pints Note: Improper procedures when canning vegetables in oil can result in risk of botulism. Read the section on oil and follow exactly the recommended procedures and tested recipe below. Procedure: Wear rubber gloves when handling hot chilies. Do not touch the eyes or face.Wash peppers. Make two small slits in each whole pepper. Pack one or two garlic cloves and one tablespoon oregano into each clean, hot, sterilized pint jar. Pack peppers tightly into jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Combine vinegar, water, salt and oil and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Pour hot solution over peppers, leaving 1-inch headspace. Make sure oil is equally distributed across jars. There should be no more than two tablespoons of oil per pint. Carefully wipe the jar lip so it is free of all oil. Add pretreated lids. Process in boiling water bath. For best flavor, store jars five to six weeks before opening. Table 3: Recommended process time for hot peppers marinated in oil in a boiling water canner. Style of pack/Jar size Process time at altitudes of: 6,000 ft or less Above 6,000 ft Raw: Half-pints or pints Quarts 15 min. 20 min. 20 min. 25 min. Marinated Refrigerated Peppers Remember, all pickled pepper products stored at room temperature must be processed, to avoid the risk of botulism toxin development during storage. The boiling water bath processing step can be omitted if pickles are stored in the refrigerator. Use the following procedure. Wash peppers. Small peppers may be left whole with two small slits in each pepper. Core and cut large peppers into strips. Sterilize jars, lids and screwbands. Pack peppers tightly into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. For each 6 cups of brine, combine 5 cups vinegar, 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon pickling salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer five minutes. Pour vinegar solution over peppers, leaving 1/8-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust headspace so that brine covers all peppers. Wipe rims. Place sterilized flats on jars. Do not put on screwbands. Allow jars to cool. Put on screwbands and wipe jars. Refrigerate six to eight weeks for the pickled flavor to fully develop. Keep refrigerated and use within six months. This pepper product allows the peppers to marinate in a high acid solution, at a cold temperature, and in the presence of air. These conditions are not favorable for botulism toxin formation. It does not ensure against other types of spoilage ========= Pickled Jalapeno Peppers (1 quart jar) Jalapeno peppers (about 2 pounds) 1 cup vinegar 3/4 cup water 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon mixed pickling spices 2 carrot slices, 2 celery sticks and a garlic clove (optional) Caution: Always wear gloves or coat hands with fat when working with hot peppers. They may cause burns. Wash peppers and pack into a hot jar. Add carrot slices, celery sticks and a clove of garlic if desired. Pack tightly, leaving 2-inch headspace. Combine vinegar, water salt and pickling spices. Heat to boiling. Pour boiling hot liquid over peppers to two inches from top of jar top. Remove air bubbles by running a plastic knife or rubber spatula down the side of the jar, rotating, releasing trapped air between the peppers.Wipe jar rims clean. Adjust prepared two piece canning lid. Process jar in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Using jar lifters, remove to a draft free area, and allow to cool. Check the seal. Label the container. ======== Using fresh Jalapenos peppers, blanch for 3 minutes in boiling water. To prevent collapsing, puncture each pepper with a needle. Add the following ingredients to a pint jar packed with the blanched peppers before cooling occurs: 1/4 medium sized Garlic clove 1/4 teaspoon of onion flakes 1 small bay leaf 1/8 teaspoon ground Oregano 1/8 teaspoon Thyme 1/8 teaspoon Marjoram 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Cover with boiling brine solution prepared as follows: mix together; 3 tablespoons sugar 9 tablespoons salt 2 pints water 2 pints 5% vinegar Close containers and process for 10 minutes in boiling water, then cool. Note that the jalapenos must be hot when brine solution is added. ===== Carrots and Jalapenos This recipe works best with firm, shiny peppers. Goes well with cream cheese. (Makes 900ml) convert measurements 2 large carrots 5 medium Jalapeno peppers 1/4 of a medium onion 225 ml of water 125 ml of white distilled vinegar 30 ml of red Balsamic vinegar 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil 1 tbsp of salt 2 tbsp of sugar 1/2 tsp of dried oregano 2 dried bay leaves 1 garlic glove, crushed 1. Put a small pan of water on the stove to heat. 2. Scrub the carrots, and wash the Jalapeno peppers. Slice the peppers into 1/4" thick slices, then add to the boiling water and boil for three minutes. 3. Slice the carrots and onion into 1/4'' slices. Once the peppers have boiled, add them to the boiling water and boil for a further five minutes. 4. Mix together the water, vinegar and spices. 5. Quickly drain the cooked carrots and peppers (they should still be a bit crisp) and place in 1 1/2 pint sterilized container. Pour over the water/vinegar/spice mixture. Seal firmly. 6. Cool and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating.