Food Preservation

Pickled Jalapeños

 Nachos with fresh pickled jalepenos

This may have been the most terrifying canning process to date.  Only the truly daring handle massive amounts of hot peppers during the peak of allergy season.  As I prepared to embark on this journey, I was pretty convinced that I would land in an emergency room with chemical burns in both eyes because of my tendency to not leave my own face alone.  I knew that I would have to dig deep and employ the discipline learned long ago during surgical rotations to avoid the searing pain of jalapeno in the eye.


Pickling jalapenos turned out to be a quick and painless (phew!) process.  Be sure to get your self some trusty latex gloves.  Pay careful attention to what you are touching after you start to handle the peppers.  From three jalapeno plants, our garden managed to yield a whopping 3/4 pound of peppers.  Apparently we are not pepper farmers.  I did manage to convert those into a nice stash of  six small 4 ounce jars full of pickled jalapenos.  These should sufficiently meet our needs for a handful of recipes and reduce the waste that we typically have with the huge jars from the store.

Anyway, this was one of the easiest canning projects to date.  Wash your jars and then place into the canner and warm jars while your water comes to temperature.  Next prepare the brine by adding vinegar, water and salt to a stock pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat.  Next, risk your eyesight by slicing up one pound of jalapenos into cute little rings (Be sure to wear gloves while handling the peppers).  Drop the peppers into your brine and bring the whole mixture to a boil.  Then, let it simmer for about 5 minutes.  Transfer to hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace, remove air bubbles and apply lids.  Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes and ta-da, pickled jalapenos!  The whole process took less than a half hour and no one went to the ER!

Pickled Jalapenos
  1. 1 pound jalapeno peppers, sliced into rings
  2. 2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
  3. 2 cups water
  4. 2 Tablespoons pickling salt
  1. Wash jars and lids in warm soapy water. Add jars to the boiling water canner and fill canner with enough water to cover the jars by about one inch. Bring jars to simmer while your prepare the brine.
  2. Combine vinegar, water and salt in a stockpot over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
  3. Add the pepper rings to the brine. Return mixture to a boil. Now reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove hot jars from the water. Place hot jars on a kitchen towel to avoid cracking jars. Fill the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles by running a plastic knife around the inside of the jar. Wipe the rim of the jar clean. Place clean lid on top. Using tongs, dip your band in the hot water for two seconds and then place on top of the jars. Do not over tighten. Repeat with each jar.
  5. Carefully transfer each jar (using jar lifters) back to the water bath. Check the water level to be sure that there is one inch of water above the jars. Return the water to a boil and continue at a full boil for 10 minutes.
  6. Once 10 minutes has passed, turn off the heat and let the water settle. Carefully transfer each jar to the counter top and leave undisturbed for 24 hours. Jars should pop to seal. After 24 hours, if any jars remain unsealed you may process again or refrigerate the jar for immediate use.
Adapted from Food Network
Adapted from Food Network
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