Many of you know that I have a fairly large garden for growing fresh veggies all summer long. The trick to gardening is to either limit yourself to growing only what you can eat fresh or to learn what to do with it when you have an abundance. Since I can’t be trusted to limit myself to only a few plants, I ALWAYS have extra. I learned to can foods when I was a girl watching and helping my mom and grandmothers preserve what our garden had to offer. Now, call me crazy, but I don’t like pickles. I know… it’s SO un-American. I do, however, like when spicy peppers are pickled. Then you can add them to all sorts of wonderful things! It only seemed natural that my love for preserving the fresh tastes of the garden be extended beyond canning tomatoes and jams and into pickled delights such as these pickled jalapenos. This recipe, of course works with any other pepper as well. The cool thing is this recipe can be used as a refrigerator pickles too if canning ain’t yo’ thang.
If you’re water-bath canning, you’ll want to start that water boiling before anything else so it’s ready when you are. While that’s heating, carry on to slicin’ and dicin’!
Now that the peppers are picked (Cue annoying childhood tongue-twister Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers), wash them up and get them sliced. I keep the seeds in mine for added heat but feel free to take them out if you prefer. Pack your pepper slices into sanitized jars leaving about 1″ headspace.
Next, make the brine of vinegar and salt and heat it to boiling. Once boiling, carefully pour the brine into your jars filling to 1/2″ headspace. If you wish the peppers to have a crispness or crunch, you’ll want to add a pinch of either alum or calcium chloride (also called pickle crisp) to each jar. I like mine both ways but just know that if you don’t add the alum or calcium chloride, they will be soft which I think is PERFECT for stirring into omelets and hashbrowns (No need to add the crisping agent for refrigerator pickles as they will stay crisp). After filling jars with brine, the peppers may float up a bit but as long as the brine is up to 1/2″ headspace, you’re good to go. Wipe the rims of each jar with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel and place a lid on each jar. Tighten a ring onto each jar until finger tight. If you want these to be refrigerator pickles, you’re done! Let the jars cool and store in the fridge for about a month. For canning, continue on….
Next up, lower the jars into the boiling water-bath canner so water covers at least 1″ above tops of jars. Boil for 10 minutes (8oz jars), or 15 min (pint jars). Once processing is complete, remove the jars with a canning tongs and set out on a towel to cool. Be sure to leave some space between jars for air circulation. You’ll note that after processing, the pickled jalepenos will have shrunken up so the jar doesn’t look full. They will gradually increase in size again as they cool. Once cooled for 24 hours, check to be sure all the jars have sealed. If any have not, you can re-process with new lids. Store at room temp for 12-18+ months.
The uses for pickled jalapenos are many. My favorites are in breakfast omelets, huevos rancheros, overtop of casseroles and hotdishes, stirred into soups, or in anything Mexican like enchiladas, enchilada casserole, carnitas or my new favorite breakfast: hangover hashbrowns! Enjoy the deliciousness my culinary canning friends!
- 3 cups vinegar
- 3 cups hard water
- 6 tablespoons pickling or kosher salt
- a whole bunch of jalepenos or other hot peppers
- pinch of alum or calcium chloride for crispness if canning (optional)
- If canning, start a water bath canner with water to heat until boiling so it's ready when you are.
- In the meantime, combine vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and heat until boiling.
- Slice jalapenos and pack in sterilized jars up to 1" headspace.
- Pour hot brine over jalepenos to ½" headspace.
- Add lid and tighten ring to finger tight.
- For refrigerator pickles, let cool and store in fridge up to 1 month.
- For canning, submerge jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes (8 oz jars) or 15 min (pint jars).
- Remove from canner with a canning tongs when processing time is complete and set on a towel on your counter to cool with space between jars.
- Once cooled for 24 hours, check to be sure all jars are sealed and store at room temp for 12-18+ months.
- Refrigerate once jars are opened for use.