About 3 years ago after buying a yet another jar of pickled jalapenos at the grocery store I realized that (1) as much as we were buying them I should be making my own and (2) the ingredients on the bottle were vinegar, jalapenos and salt. Who couldn’t replicate that and make it better homemade?!?
At the time, I had not grown Jalapenos yet. All I had grown in the pepper family was California Wonder (Bell) Pepper so I purchased 4 plants from my local nursery and away I went!
I quickly realized that they are very easy to grow and they produce prolifically!!
I found a few recipes online and combined what I liked about them both and struck gold! My recipe is simple, straightforward and can be used with a variety of peppers. Can’t beat it!
5 cups vinegar, I use white
1 cup water
4 teaspoons Sea Salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2- 3 pounds fresh jalapeno peppers
2-4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole (optional)
Wash your canning jars in soapy water and rinse. Soak canning jars and lids in boiling water until ready to jar your peppers. I like to put my jars in the dishpan in my sink (after I have cleaned them) and I pour boiling water in and around them. I let them sit in the water until I’m ready.
Make a brine. Place the vinegar, water, sea salt , and sugar in a medium stainless saucepan. The pan needs to be non-reative. No cast iron for this recipe! Bring to a boil over high heat and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Cover and keep hot over low heat while you prepare the peppers.
Wash your jalapenos and slice roughly 1/4 inch thick and discard stems. Remove the jars from boiling water and pack with jalapeno slices putting one garlic clove per jar about halfway up the jar. Really pack the pepper slices in there. I take a wooden spoon and gently push them down in the jar. You want it packed tightly! I can usually get 4 pints per batch. Ladle the hot brine over the sliced peppers in the sterilized jars. Clean the rim of the jar with a clean cloth and place canning lids securely on jars.
***Quick note, You can use gloves to prepare the jalapenos to keep the Capsaicin oil (found in the skin of the pepper) from getting on your hands. I never do but my hands always ‘hum’ for about an hour after! And you definitely don’t want to touch your face!***
At this point you can process the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes. I have done this and I haven’t done this. I found that processing the jars in a water bath gave me a softer jalapeno than I liked. What I like to do is after ladling the jars with the hot brine, I fasten the lids securely and turn the jars upside down to seal. I leave them upside down on the counter until they are cool to the touch and they have always sealed for me.
This gives me a jalapeno that isn’t too soft but still pickled.
It is always important to follow proper canning guidelines. So when in doubt, process them babies in a water bath! This is just my own personal preference.
We absolutely love them! We eat them with everything and I NEVER throw that pickling juice away at the end of the jar. It goes in my crockpot with my meat, added to frittatas and quiches, added to casseroles and sauces… anything that you want to add a little heat to. That stuff is liquid gold as far as I’m concerned. You can also place more sliced jalapenos in the leftover pickling liquid and keep in the refrigerator until pickled through.
Bottom line… Pickle your own peppers, people!