August 4, 2013

Pickled Jalapeños

A combination of poblano and jalapeño peppers

Peppers chopped into rings and packed into jars.

Here are a few pictures for the set up:


I've got a few tips before you attempt to pickle jalapeños. The first is to make sure you use a plastic cutting board. Wooden cutting boards can become saturated with the capsaicin. This is the phytochemical in peppers that gives it the heat. Use a plastic cutting board. Secondly, sandwich size ziplock bags are perfect for gloves. This will be a useful tip if you purchase everything for the pickles and find yourself a bit scared of cutting all those jalapeños.

If you've never canned anything before, I recommend doing some background reading. Everything must be absolutely clean and sanitized before you begin. Here is an excellent Pinterest board for ideas and resources from University of Nebraska's Cooperative Extension Dietitian, Alice Henneman. These pickles use a boiling water canner, and not a pressure canner.

I covered the overall cost of pickling in this post, if you want to compare how much these cost vs buying store bought. I assure you that your homemade pickles will taste different and better than the store variety. Why? Because you made them, and that is what happens when you make things.

These pickles transform into spicy rings with just a bit of bite. They are pretty darn delicious. 

Pickled Jalapeños
Yield: 6 pint jars

1.5 lb jalapeño peppers
1.5 lb poblano peppers
3 cups water
3 cups white wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp pickling salt
6 cloves garlic

Step 1. You will need to prep the jars, lids, and rims so they are sanitized and clean. Once your canning supplies are all clean, you can set them out on clean wire racks until ready to use. For the jars, I wash all the components with soap and water, and then boil the jars and rims for about 3-5 minutes in boiling water. Don't boil the lids! Turn the heat down so the water is no longer boiling and let the lids sit for a few minutes. I clean and sanitize all the tools I use, and then store them on a clean cooling rack. You can see the photos above for how I store them once they come out. 

Step 2. Wash the jalapeño and poblano peppers. Using gloves, slice the peppers into thin rounds. I do not discard the membranes or seeds. If you cannot stand any spice, I suggest removing them. Place the rounds in a large mixing bowl. 

Step 3. Peel the garlic and set aside. 

Step 4. Combine the water, white wine vinegar, sugar, and pickling salt in a 4 quart saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer together for 5 minutes until the sugar and salt are dissolved completely. In my picture above the largest pot I had around was my canner, so I had to split up the vinegar making into two parts. This was a bit of extra work, but it was easier to handle. Plus, the smaller pot has a convenient pouring spout. 

Step 5. Place a clove of garlic in each of the 6 jars. Using plastic gloves, pack the peppers into the sterilized jars. Really pack them in. 

Step 6. Carefully pour the hot vinegar mixture into each jar. Leave 1/2" of head space. You can tap the jar very lightly against the counter to get the air bubbles out or use a commercial combination ruler/spatula. Wipe the jars rims clean, put the lids on top, and screw on the rims.  The sealing will take place in the water canner.

Step 7. Fill the water canner with enough water and bring it to a boil. This step can be done ahead of time so the water is boiling when you are ready do begin. From my pictures above, I used a large pot where I made sure that at least 1" of water was remaining above the jars once they were submersed. The cans will displace water, so if it looks like less, it may actually be enough.

Step 8. Place the prepared jars into the water canner. Boil for 10 minutes. Begin counting when the water returns to a boil in the water canner. Remove the jars and let cool on a wire rack. If the counter is too cold it can crack the jars.

Step 9. Let the jars rest for a day (24 hours), check to see if all the lids seal. This means that they do not pop at all. If any of them pop, store them in the fridge and use up in a week. Label all jars with the contents of the jar and the date. Let them rest for a week, before using. They store best in a dark, and cooler place in your house or kitchen.

I highly recommend the Better Homes and Gardens Can It! canning book. The recipes are easy to follow, and the pictures themselves make this a fun purchase. With this book, I have made apricot vanilla jam, chipotle salsa, cucumber pickles, pickled jalapeños, and pickled banana peppers. All to favorable reviews. 

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