Pickling Chili Peppers




Chile peppers are usually preserved in salt and vinegar. Adding sugar or honey produces a more mellow tasting pickle. Adding spices gives additional flavour.

  • Salt: Used to extract moisture from some vegetables, which would otherwise dilute the vinegar and cause the pickle to ferment, and the vegetables to toughen. Use cooking salt rather than table salt; the latter contains a higher iodine content which can discolor the vegetables (it makes them darker).
  • Vinegar: Use bottled vinegar's (malt, distilled, wine, cider, spiced etc); draught vinegar's are not strong enough. White distilled or cider vinegar's of 5 percent acidity (50 grain) are recommended. Use cold vinegar for crisp vegetables and boiling vinegar for softer ones. The vinegar should cover the vegetables by at least an inch (2.5cm). For a home-made spiced vinegar, boil 1oz (25g) of mixed pickling spice in 1 pint (600ml) of vinegar for 5 minutes. Strain when cold.
  • Spices: Use whole spices, powdered ones will make the vinegar cloudy. Mixed pickling spice consists of equal amounts of stick cinnamon, allspice berries, cloves, mace and peppercorns. Extras can include root ginger, celery seeds etc.
  • Pre-cooking: Some recipes require the chile peppers to be blanched before pickling, some don't.
  • Pans: Use unchipped enamel, aluminum or stainless steel pans. Copper, brass and iron pans will react with the vinegar, giving an off taste.
  • Sealing: Jars must be sterilized and well sealed. Metal lids will corrode on contact with the vinegar. Kilner jars are recommended.
  • Maturing: A minimum of 2 to 4 weeks maturing time is recommended. Crisp pickles will tend to soften after about 3 months.

Garlic Pickled Chile Peppers

  • 500g (1 lb) Cayenne peppers
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 cloves of garlic cut in halves
  • 900ml (1 1/2 pints) vinegar (garlic vinegar if available)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 8 peppercorns

Wash the peppers and place into hot sterilized jars. Mix the allspice with the celery and mustard seeds. Pack into the jars. Add the garlic. Place the vinegar, sugar and peppercorns into pan and bring to the boil. Pour over the peppers and seal the jars. Makes about 1.5kg (3 lb)


Fresh Pickled Jalapenos

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.


Easy Pickled Peppers

  • 1 - 1 1/2 lb. fresh hot peppers (any kind you like)
  • 1 good sized handful of cayenne peppers (optional - adds color to mix)
  • 1 lb package of peeled baby carrots
  • 1 or 2 heads garlic - peel and separate cloves
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup whole coriander seeds
  • White vinegar to cover

Put the carrots on to boil in the vinegar. Stab each pepper with a paring knife. After the carrots have cooked for about 10 minutes, add everything else to the pot. Simmer 5 (crisp) to 15 (soft) minutes depending on your taste. Pour mixture into old mayonnaise jars or what ever else large glass jars you have on hand that have a cover. Cover (not too tight) and let cool for an hour or so. Then refrigerate. You can eat these right away but if you way for a few days the vegetables (carrots and garlic) will get hotter.


Grandma's Pickled Banana peppers

Recipe By : Jerry Ziehm

  • banana peppers
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbs. good olive oil in each jar
  • Brine
  • 3 qts. water
  • 1 qt. white vinegar bring to boil

Place peppers, salt, oil in jars, pour hot brine to the top of jar, seal jars, water bath for about 5 min.
(When I water bath I only boil about 2 min). Peppers stay very crisp. Also you can put a clove or two of garlic in each jar if you wish. Recipe yields about 10 quarts.


Pickled Jalapenos

Recipe By : Pacific Northwest Extension Bulletin

  • 6 pounds jalapeno
  • 5 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons pickling salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic

Wash peppers. If small peppers are left whole, slash 2-5 slits in each. Quarter large peppers. Blanch in boiling water. Flatten small peppers. Fill half-pint or pint jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Combine and heat other ingredients to boiling and simmer 10 minutes. Remove garlic. Pour hot pickling solution over peppers leaving 1/2 inch head space. Adjust lids. Use conventional boiling water canner processing. Process for 10 minutes at below 1000 feet, 15 minutes at 1001 to 6000 feet and 20 minutes above 6000 feet.


Pickled Chiles

Recipe By : The Goodness of Peppers by John Midgley (Pavilion Books Unlimited, London).

  • 225g/8 oz. whole fresh chiles
  • 350ml/12 fl. oz/1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar with 1 teaspoon salt
  • sprig of bay
  • sprig of rosemary
  • 4 gloves of garlic, peeled
  • up to 350ml/12 fl. oz/1 1/2 cups extra white wine vinegar

Inspect the chiles for damage, discarding any that are bruised, lacerated or otherwise blemished. Snip off all but the base of their stems. Bring the vinegar and the chiles to a boil in a pan. Add the remaining ingredients except the extra vinegar and simmer for 6-8 minutes. With a clean spoon, transfer them to a jar previously sterilized with freshly boiled water. Pour in the pickling liquid with its herbs, top up with the additional vinegar to cover and allow to cool before sealing.

The chiles will be ready within a month.

This quantity will fill a medium-sized jar with whole chiles, preserved with herbs and garlic and up to 675ml /1 1/2 pints /3 cups of vinegar. Increase the vinegar quantity and dilute it with a little water if you want to preserve a larger quantity of chiles, or sweet red and yellow peppers, which should first have their caps, seeds and pithy membranes removed.