Monday, September 1

Canning Hot Peppers

Most years we go through our garden fresh peppers pretty quick and never seem to have enough peppers. We use them on sandwiches, to make appetizers, on pizza and subs and as the main ingredient for Stuffed Hot Peppers.

So this spring I planted extra pepper plants.  Now, near the end of summer, I have such an over abundance of hot peppers I decided to can them so we have a supply this winter.

Peppers are also great as added heat or flavor booster in many dishes, soups, stew, in breakfast eggs, on a relish tray and in salads.  Their great on hot dogs too, along with this Homemade Pickle Relish!

Heat Measurement
The heat in peppers is measured by the Scoville scale with the highest numbers having the most heat.  As of writing this post, the Trinidad pepper is the hottest on the chart, followed by the Ghost pepper, then the Scotch Barnet and Habenero peppers. 

Prehistoric remains in Peru show that peppers were around way back then and were even cultivated in Central and South America in very early times.

Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to encounter hot peppers and brought them back with him to Europe in 1493.
In fact, it was the Europeans that gave peppers their name. 

When the peppers were first introduced into Europe, they were grown in the gardens of Spanish and Portuguese monasteries. 

The monks experimented with the hot peppers and discovered that they could be used as a substitute for black peppercorns. At the time black peppercorn was extremely costly and used as legal currency in some countries.

Pickled Hot Peppers
Makes about 7 to 8 pints

Items Needed

2-3/4 lbs banana or jalapeno peppers
6 cups vinegar (5% acidity)
2 cups water
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Mustard seed (optional)
Celery seed (optional)
Pickle crisp (optional)

How To Can Them

Wash and sterilize jars.  Prepare Water bath canner.  
I place my jars in the water bath canner, fill with water and boil jars. This sterilizes the jars and prepares the canner at the same time.
Place lids in hot simmering water, do not boil.
Newer lids made without BPA (or BPA Free) do not need to be placed in hot simmering water. These are new guidelines and are not as yet on the Ball website but is being widely discussed on many websites.

Use fresh blemish free peppers.  Garden fresh or farm market fresh are best and have the most flavor.

Slice peppers or leave whole

Leave peppers whole or slice into rings.  If slicing into rings, remove stem and discard, then slice.  Make sure to wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from burning from the hot peppers! 
If you do get some of the hot pepper juice on your hands or skin, rub on or soak hands in vinegar.  It helps to neutralize the pepper acid and stop the burning.

I found that repeated rinsing of the pepper rings will remove most of the seeds. But leave them in if you like the peppers hotter.

Repeated rinsing will remove most of the seeds

Combine vinegar, water, and garlic in a large sauce pot. 
Bring vinegar mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Discard garlic.
Do not alter the vinegar to water proportions.  The acidity in a pickled product or recipe is for food safety to prevent the growth of the botulism bacteria.

The following spices are optional but do help with flavor:
Add approximately 1/4 teaspoon to half pints and a half teaspoon to pints of celery seed (or to desired taste). 

Add celery seed

Add approximately 1/4 teaspoon to half pints and a half teaspoon to pints of mustard seed (or to desired taste).

Add mustard seed

Pack peppers into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. 

Pack peppers into hot jars

Add Pickle crisp to each jar, if desired, but it does help with texture
Add pickle crisp

Ladle hot vinegar mixture over peppers, leaving 1/2 inch head space. 
If you need more vinegar mixture, mix another full batch or mix 3 cups of vinegar with 1 cup of water and boil with garlic. Do not decrease or change the vinegar to water proportions.  

Ladle hot vinegar mixture over peppers

Remove air bubbles.  Wipe rim and adjust two-piece lids.

Add two piece lid

Place filled jars in hot water bath canner and process 10 minutes.  Timing begins when canner starts to boil.  Water should cover jars by about 1-1/2 to 2 inches.

Place jars in water bath canner

Remove jars from canner and allow to cool, undisturbed for 24 hours.  Check lids for seal, then store jars in a cool dark pantry.  If any jars did not seal, store in the refrigerator.

  • Use a combination of hot peppers and mix together in each jar. 
  • Dice jalapeno peppers before canning  
  • Peppers are adaptable to many forms of preservation; canning, freezing and even drying.

I'd love to hear back if you canned hot peppers and which types.  Have you tried canning them whole or mixed many kinds together?  I canned whole habenero recently and they look beautiful in the jar.


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Anonymous said...

Saved as a favorite, I love your blog!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

I appreciate that, stop back anytime!

Anonymous said...

It's remarkable to visit this site and read the views and comments of all mates concerning different posts. I am also keen on getting the know-how to can. Thanks!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Hope the canning posts make it easier to learn how to can, thanks for stopping by my blog!

Anonymous said...

These look good.

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

And they are. I use the jalapeno peppers in cooking but I'm not much for the banana peppers. The guys love them though!

Anonymous said...

This is my first time visit your blog and I am really happy to see so many canning recipes and directions. The steps and photos help this newbie canner! Thanks, Cindy Howell

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Glad the post helped out. I like step by step directions myself!