Pickled hot peppers (and some notes on canning)

I have read about canning. I have written about canning. I have taken canning classes. But yesterday was the first time I actually attempted canning for the first time by myself.

Therefore, this is one of those posts where I may be able to learn more from you than the other way around. So by all means, if you have tips, tricks, or if you see that I am doing something horribly wrong please comment and let me know! (You can also email: EKL@ErinLanders.com).

My friend Joshua Sheehan of The Hungry Fish Cafe (that I posted about a couple of days ago) has been participating in a community/neighborhood garden. He was kind enough to recently share with me some of his bounty.

See those beautiful jalapeno and habanero peppers? I pickled and canned those babies.

For this recipe, I used “Unfancy Pickled Jalapenos” from FoodInJars.com, and I also consulted my Ball Blue Book of Canning.

I feel the need to mention that when adjusting or altering canning recipes you have to be careful not to compromise the safety of the food – I would imagine you cannot reduce the amount of vinegar, for instance. Spices can be adjusted, or as I did here, different kinds of peppers.

If you ever have a question regarding safety and home canning, consult a professional such as the friendly and highly knowledgeable folks over at Cornell Cooperative Extension. “When in doubt, throw it out” is a good rule of thumb.

While I’m talking about safety, please remember to wear gloves when handling hot peppers. I had an incident a few years ago involving burning my eyes and jumping into the shower with my clothes on where I learned my lesson. Use gloves, people.


  • 1/2 pound hot peppers (I used jalapeno and habanero)
  • 1 cup white vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
  • 1 cup filtered water (I used bottled)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp pickling salt*

*This is is found right with the regular salt at the grocery store.

You can choose to the leave the peppers whole or cut them in half; I cut them. Pack clean jars with peppers.

I am using the smallest half pint canning jars.

Combine vinegar, water, and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Discard the garlic and pour the vinegar and water over the hot peppers. Ideally, you’re using a funnel to do this, but I admittedly do not have all of the canning tools I need yet – I used a sieve to catch the garlic, and poured the brine in the jars that way. 

Leave 1/4 inch head space at the top of the jars. Add the pickling salt. Remove air bubbles with a nonmetallic spatula. 

Place clean, sterilized lids on jars (ideally using a canning tool that has a magnet on it).

Fasten the second part of the lid on, squeezing only until you just feel the seal.

Place jars in a water bath canner with water filled at least two inches above the jars.

Boil jars for 10 minutes, starting the counting time from when the water is at a rolling boil.

Remove jars from the canner, ideally using a jar gripping tool. Place jars on a towel to cool, and then store in a cool, dry spot.

I cannot wait to try these out. I’m thinking chili!

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