Unfancy Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

jalapenos

In the springtime, I approach food preservation as if it were an act of art. My jams are fussed over, with plenty of thought given to size of my fruit dice and maceration times. My pickles are packed into jars with great precision and accuracy. That time of year, I’m simply delighted to be anticipating the coming abundance.

Come August, my elevated aspirations are gone. I can to get it done, to get those bits of summer into their respective jars before the season is gone and I’m left with the potatoes, storage squash and kale of winter (I’m a big fan of all those vegetables, but they don’t excite me the way a peach does). And so my many acts of preservation become a bit frenzied and as easy as I can make them.

halved jalapenos

Take the jalapeno peppers I pickled recently. I bought a pound when we were in New York a few weeks ago because I wanted to bring back some little bit of the Union Square Green Market. The berries were too fragile and I didn’t see any garlic that was clean enough for my suitcase. Jalapenos are sturdy little guys and so I knew they’d withstand the rigors of the MegaBus. Plus a pound cost a mere $3, which I believe is the perfect price point for an edible souvenir.

When I got them home, I washed and halved them (please do get yourself some gloves to wear when dealing with hot peppers. I gave myself a humdinger of a capsaicin burn this time around), packed them into jars and topped them with a very basic brine.

jalapenos in a jar

I didn’t spice my brine at all, because I wasn’t trying to create an artisinal condiment or a pickle to be eaten on its own. I’ll use these peppers throughout the year as an ingredient in things and so I want the flavors of the peppers to remain clear and identifiable. Several will join various batches of salsa and most the rest will spice up pots of turkey chili.

The reason I like this kind of utilitarian canning is that by investing $3 and 35 minutes of effort, I’ve created something that will fill a kitchen need all year round. It breaks no culinary ground, but fills me with joy nonetheless. It also doesn’t hurt to know that I have something to turn to come January when my taste buds are in desperate need of revival.

Very Basic Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

Yield: Approximately 2 1/2 Pints

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of jalapeno peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt

Instructions

  1. Pack clean, hot jars with peppers. Pour hot brine over top. Bubble your jars thoroughly by tapping them firmly on the countertop and using a wooden chopstick to release any stubborn bubbles. Wipe rims, apply lids and bands.
  2. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Store in cool, dark place for up to a year.

Notes

This technique can be used for just about any small, hot pepper. Measurements are for 1 pound of peppers and yield approximately 2 1/2 pints. Recipe can be doubled.

https://foodinjars.com/recipe/unfancy-pickled-jalapeno-peppers/

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154 responses to “Unfancy Pickled Jalapeno Peppers”

  1. Love it. I love unfancy & utilitarian! Because I’ll actually use it. Unlike my many, many jars of pinor-rhubarb-rosemary jam and the like.
    Pickled peppers. Sigh. Must hit the farmers market…I plant 8 kinds and they got decimated by slugs and the dismal summer has only brought 2 peppers on my starts.
    I will make these though!

  2. Canning something “utilitarian” style is better than canning nothing at all! I will have to keep this in mind the rest of the season. It’s a great mindset to have when you the last thing you feel like is waiting 45 minutes for your hot water bath to heat up again.

    Plus, I would think that pickled jalapenos are exciting, regardless of the presence of spices in the brine or not!

  3. I’ll do this this year when I don’t have enough for hot pickled peppers of various kinds. I guess you can do this with Hungarian hots too. I froze my jalapenos in the past, but I think I might can them this year r/t freezer space that is very limited this year. Thanks for another great recipe.

  4. Hi there! Love this recipe..so easy for a first time canner myself. My question though is I have a few different peppers growing..jalapenos, banana and long red ones..can i mix them all together in the same jars? Love your blog btw ­čÖé

    • Hi, Kimberly. I came onto this blog to find a simple non-pickled recipe because the one that I have *calls* for a couple of different kinds. The recipe is in the Ball Blue Book, and they are not pickled. Here it is if you don’t have the book:
      1 pound jalapeno peppers 6 cups vinegar
      1 1/2 pounds banana peppers 2 cups water
      1/4 pound serrano peppers 3 garlic cloves, crushed

      Leave peppers whole or cut into 1-inch pieces. Mix peppers together. Combine vinegar, water & garlic (garlic will be removed later) in a large pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat & simmer 5 minutes. Discard garlic. Pack peppers into hot pint jars & ladle hot mixture over them, leaving 1/4″ headspace and removing any air bubbles.Adjust caps & process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Yields about 5 pints. (I imagine you could use any pepper mixture, I don’t know why not, but you might want to ask) Ball’s telephone # is 1-800-240-3340. Hope this helps!

  5. Thanks Marisa, this is exactly the kind of recipe I was looking for! Could I safely add several cloves of garlic? I get the impression that you can add a lot more to pickles than to fruit products, but I want to check with the expert to make sure!

  6. Also (sorry to add another comment) – can this be done in smaller jars, like half pints? (I don’t think I could use all those peppers in the time it would take them to go bad.) How would that affect the processing time?

  7. Thank you for this! There are so many fancy-pants recipes out there and so little use that I find for them in the kitchen. This post is inspiring to me:)

  8. I think we’ll be pickling peppers this week too. I make my husband do the chopping since he’s the one who really likes them and is less sensitive to them it seems. Everyone wears gloves though. While discussing it the other night (he was eating some of the last jar of pickled jalapenos from last year that happened to be sliced, not diced) he said that this year he’s dicing them all. I reminded him that at the end of 4 pounds of jalapenos he might be all for the quick and easy slice. I’m all for delicious canned food but sometimes it’s just about getting it done.

  9. I am heading to Hoboken, NJ in October. Will be staying right near The Path to NYC. Can’t wait to visit Chelsea Market and Union Square Market. Hope they will have a lot of good stuff for canning. I am so excited because my son knows New York and will be my guide for 2 wonderful days of ‘my kind of shopping.’ Will let you know how I do when I get back.

    • You don’t have to go to chelsea market to get peppers! Hoboken and Jersey City both have great Farmers Markets with fresh organic vegitables. Jersey City has one on Monday and Thursday’s at Grove street Path Station. You can get Peppers for $.50 each and they are organic and fresh from the farm. I usually get my pickling needs here. Also there is a Garden of Eden in Hoboken on Washington Street which also has fresh organic veggies for canning!

      • Thanks, Francis. Sorry it took me so long to get back, been doing a lot of canning before knee replacement surgery. I will be sure to go to these markets when I visit my son next; probably not until next spring.

  10. These are so usable (is that a word?). Great way to save summer. I made several batches of your Dilly Beans last week. Loved them. Thanks for the recipe.

  11. Thank you! I just got a great deal on some jalapenos last week and no time for salsa, so this is perfect. I was also wondering about processing time for a 1/2 pint…

  12. Sorry for the general answers, but…

    You can add other peppers, and you can include garlic.

    Processing time is the same for quarter, half and full pints. The rule of thumb with processing is that you never reduce the processing time for smaller jars, but you always increase it for larger jars.

  13. I turned my garden jalapenos, plus some random fish peppers, banana peppers and green bell peppers — into hot pepper jelly yesterday. We like it hot, so I left all the jalapeno seeds in the mix.

    Super yummy glazed over porkchops, or served with cream cheese.

  14. Utilitarian canning is the best thing you can do Marisa. Those Fancy preserves make for nice blog posts but when you are trying to put up enough produce to last your family a year there just isn’t time – and nor do I want to be eating all that sugar (or supporting the sugar companies making all that genetically modified, non-fair trade sugar) anyway. I’m glad to see something like this on here. You are keeping it real. You are doing more with this post to stick it to Monsanto than probably any other post you’ve ever done.

  15. I love the comforting feeling that a well stocked pantry provides, don’t you? Especially when I look out the window and I see that nobody’s getting out of the driveway today…until the snow plow comes by, that is!

  16. We had a little hot pepper bush that produced its heart out this summer, so I did this too. Not sure what exactly I’ll do with them, but I figured they’d be good for something.
    Mine are all red – so pretty!

  17. I have a jalapeno plant bursting with peppers – gonna try this recipe as a quick way to deal with them. What is the jar headspace for this recipe? Thanks!

  18. Marisa: I made these in half and quarter pints last night with jalapenos a coworker grew. So easy. They’ll be great in the winter, and will make nice little gifts too. Thank you!

  19. 6 pints of pickled peppers in the canner at this very moment! Thanks for posting this, Marisa. I’ve been walking past the pecks of peppers at the farmers markets recently and wondering what to do with them. Spicy food awaits us!

  20. I just finished putting up one jar. I can’t wait to open it later in the year to see how they taste. I have more, but am planning on freezing them. I don’t have enough jars right now. ­čÖü Thanks for the recipe

  21. Marissa, those peppers are AWESOME! I made my first batch last week and hubby is completely addicted, so batch #2 is cooling on the counter right now. This time I made a Christmas mix, I had a bunch of red ones on the plant so I mixed the green & red. I started canning this year to save on groceries and eat better since it’s all coming from our garden, no pesticide. My goal is to replicate the food I usually buy at the groceries, and this is just it! Thanks for a great recipe, we’ll be making it for years to come.

  22. Hi Marisa – I’ve been enjoying the batch that I made from this recipe all winter. One question though – all the peppers we canned are mushy and my boyfriend (the cook in our arrangement) is longing for crispier pickled peppers. Any ideas on a solution? Thanks so much!

    • I’m sorry to hear that your pickles are a bit mushy. The first thing you can do to preserve texture is to start with the freshest produce you can. Additionally, if you start with sterilized jars, you can reduce the processing time to 5 minutes, which should help a bit more. Beyond that, you just sort of have to accept that a pickled item is never going to have the snap that it has when fresh.

  23. I just made the jalapeno pickles. I sliced them in coins instead. Obviously, we haven’t tried them yet, but I feel SUCH a sense of accomplishment! I hope we get enough jalapenos in our garden to do another batch.
    As for getting the jalapenos crisper, what about those crisper granules that Ball has out now? I haven’t tried them yet, so I don’t know how they would be.

  24. Hi Marissa: I love this recipe. Made it last year and enjoyed these all through out the year in different recipes for example homemade jalapeno tortillas. Anyway, I was reading the comments and someone mentioned that it was okay to add garlic. This sounds so good to me and would love to give it a try but want to make sure it is safe to still water bath. I thought it was always required to pressure can when using garlic. Could you clear this for me please?

  25. just wondering can I dice the peppers and achive the same effect? I like both slice and diced. also can I subitute the vinegar with lemon juice? I do in my jalapeno salsa.

    • You are welcome to slice and dice the peppers. Do know that the finer the cut, the softer the final product will be. You cannot substitute lemon juice for the vinegar.

  26. I made these last night. I wore gloves to slice and pack the peppers, and even to clean up the counter! But apparently I still got the juice/oil on my hand somehow, because I rubbed my eye a couple hours later and… oh god, ow. I thought I was going to have to have my fiance take me to the hospital! Luckily it subsided after 10 minutes or so. And I can’t even eat the darn things, I’m allergic to peppers!

  27. Wanted to let you know I’m working on my 2nd batch of pickled Jalapeno’s following this recipe today. Husband loves them! I was very frustrated trying to find a basic recipe for them before I found this. I cut them into thick (very thick) coins instead of the slices, but he loves them on a sandwich!

  28. Wow what a harvest of jalapenos this year. I planted a dozen plants since not many grew last year. Picked 25 pounds last week to finish the harvest off and threw many small ones away that were good in the process. My gardening friend took some to a Mexican restautant and I knew the ladies at church would want to can some. I used your recipe for the five pounds I had and they turned out wonderfully. Thanks a whole bunch.
    Bob.

  29. Marissa, do I need to add the pickling salt to these peppers? I am on a low-sodium diet due to a medical problem. I do not use it when I pickle my regular peppers and they are fine.

  30. Just pickled my last jalapenos from the garden using this simple recipe.
    Usually I pickle veggies with water+soy sauce+vinegar mixture.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  31. Thanks for the recipe! I made these last night but didn’t have filtered water. I just read that hard water can make the brine too weak. Should I be worried about the safety?

  32. Can I use this to can Anaheim peppers? I get them often in my CSA in southern california and we aren’t big fans of stuffed peppers for dinner so they are better used for seasoning meals (like you mentioned in your post) but I can’t use them all before they go bad.
    Thanks,
    Denise

    • yes you can………but if you prefer not to can them, I burn the skins with a propane torch, then remove the skins by rubbing them ( with gloves on ). I then use a Food Saver vacume machine to vacume seal them in bags, and throw them in the freezer. They will keep for months, and you can use them in recipes.

      • Burning with a propane torch seems a little excessive for most people, mike, so here is my alternative. I grew up with New Mexico chili that was roasted in the oven (450) until the skins scorch to achieve exactly the same results as your torch method.

        I’ve amended that method this year to include using a cast iron grill on top of the stove, or my regular grill outside, to roast my chili for peeling/freezing.

        BTW, cayenne that is grilled and preserved packed in olive oil with garlic and green onion is superb!

  33. Thank you for the recipe …as soon as my newly planted jalape├▒o plants being to bear fruit, I will be trying this out – and many of your other delicious recipes. And I completely agree with your line “it breaks no culinary ground, but fills me with joy nonetheless” … over the past year i have mastered some simple sourdough bread recipes and am carefully nurturing some fruit trees and a growing vegetable garden – and EVERY time i turn out a loaf of bread or make a dinner where a good portion of the ingredients come from my garden, I get far too ridiculously pleased with myself…such a good feeling and can’t wait to add pickled jalape├▒os to the happiness list!! Cheers from a VERY hot Perth, Australia

  34. Marisa, like some of the other commenters, I am trying to create firmer, crispier pickled jalapenos. I’m curious as to whether the brine needs to be hot when poured into the jars? I want to test out whether I can create firmer pickled jalapenos by using a cold brine like I do with pickles. I made a spiced up pickled jalapeno recipe last year that my husband loves, but again, he wants them firmer.

    • If the ole boy wants them firmer, then get yourself a jar of (pickle crisp) . It is the same ingrediant that commercial producers of pickles use to enhance the crunch. you can buy it at most stores that sell canning supplies. It also elimenates numerous steps in the pickeling process. It takes 1/8 tsp per pint.
      Let the canned pickels sit for three to six weeks before eating, as this will give the crisp time to give you the ultimate crispness.

    • I used this recipe last year with one exception, I did not process them in boiling water at all. Make sure you boil the brine for several minutes before you pour it on the peppers. I made a total of 15 quarts and they were crisp and delicious, better than any other store bought pepper. The only difference is you MUST keep them in the refrigerator. I ate mine in about 8 months, but several websites claim they will list a couple of years in the fridge (They’ll be gone long before that!).
      Hope this helps.

  35. Just pulled the jars from the water bath. The liquid is cloudy and the peppers look cooked. The peppers are rather small and came out of the garden this morning, ~ 1 hour ago. Is this ok? I am new to canning so its still a learning process. Thanks!!!

  36. Exactly the recipe I was looking for. I don’t want my jalapenos to taste of allspice or clove or even garlic, and I don’t want the heat tempered by honey or sugar. Thank you. I’m doing 3lbs this weekend.

  37. Thanks for such a great site! I just finished up canning 60lbs of tomatoes and 60lbs of peaches in various forms of salsas and sauces and am left over with appox 2 cups of chopped jalepenos that I can’t bear to loose. Will this work for a very small chop or will I end up with mush. Any other ideas on what I can do with these and the extra 6 cups of chopped onions?

    • Rosanne – whenever I have had tons of extra onions from my CSA, I chop them, place them in a zip-loc freezer bag, and toss in the freezer. This way, I don’t waste them and have super speedy chopped onions to use in recipes. As long as your water/vinegar/salt ratios are correct, you shouldn’t have any trouble pickling chopped jalepenos. I can mine at a fairly small chop (it’s the form I prefer for the types of dishes I use them in later) and don’t have problems. Good luck!

  38. Just opened my first jar of Jalapenos I canned a week ago! Perfect, just what I wanted!! (didn’t want the added flavour of spices and garlic like some other recipes call for) Glad I still have some peppers on my plants, don’t know if my 3 lbs I’ve pickled so far will last the winter ­čÖé Thanks again!!

  39. This is just what I have been looking for. I didnt want the allspice flavors and I just wanted them plain to go in different recipes. Thanks soo Much I will try it this afternoon…

  40. Made these last year. They were so good that I planted more jalape├▒os to make more jars this year. Have a couple pounds sitting on my counter getting ready to go right now!

  41. I made these with my first batch of jalapenos this summer and they are perfect! I use pickled jalapenos all the time and am so happy with this recipe! I’ll use this forever. I have a question though, I just picked my last big batch of jalapenos and I want to do them all in one big jar instead of several small ones, would it I need to change the processing time if I use a pint or quart jar?

  42. Does this recipe make the peppers taste like pickles. I have 35 #s to process. Also all I have is qt. jars, do I have to process longer than the 10 min.

  43. This is fantastic! I just did 3 pounds of jalapeno rings. My husband thinks I’m a bit odd that I always get excited when the lids pop, but I know people who can food totally get it:-) Thank you for posting so many wonderful things!

  44. I’ve seen others comment that this is just what they were looking for–so I’m apologetic about it, BUT this is exactly what I have been searching the web for—just wanted a plain recipe for canning the bounty that I have–hubby loves jalapenos and I just didn’t want all those other flavors and have plenty of pickled jalapenos–so just wnated to be able to can and enjoy the flavor of jalapeno and not pickled other flavors–so glad I came across your site. THANKS

  45. Here in Georgia there are many “pick your own” farms and I just went and picked my second batch of jalapenos for $8.00 a 5-gallon bucket ;0)……
    anyone else who can’t/don’t have garden space..look up “pick your own” and search your state and area to find these farms that allow you to pick your own produce and fruits—great site and also for recipes and tips on canning. I believe the site is http://www.pickyourown.org …blessings, KT

  46. I have never canned before and I have a pound of jalape├▒os to use up. Do I need anything else at all besides what the recipie calls for and a ball jar with lid and ring?

  47. Hi,
    I used your recipe and loved it because it was so simple and easy to follow. I just pulled them put of their water bath and the jalape├▒os have floated to the top of the jar leaving about an 1/2in to an inch of space at the bottom of the jars. Is this normal? It was my first time canning so I’m afraid I did not pack them tight enough. Will they still be okay if this is the case? Thanks a bunch for any help or advice you can give this newbie;)

  48. Hi Marisa,
    Love your blog!! I just found you this year, and your posts have been so helpful as I learn to can ­čÖé I just made these jalapenos last night, except I sliced them in rounds. I think I packed some jars too tight because when they settled down, one jar has jalapenos that sit well above the brine. Is there a basic formula when filling jars with smaller pieces, like fill halfway or 2/3 with pickles first?
    Thank you!
    Ps, I am making your tomato butter next – looks delicious and unique!!

  49. I used large anaheim chiles, and diced them instead of slicing lengthwise. The recipe specifies that any small hot pepper will work, are the larger hot peppers safe too? I do not like jalapenos, but I love poblano and anaheim. Are these varieties also safe for pickling?

  50. I’m so excited that I found this. Thanks so much for posting this. I’ve been looking for a basic canning recipe for all of the jalapenos in my garden and this looks like it’s perfect.

  51. I would love to use this recipe, but I want to use it on whole jalape├▒o peppers. Anything special I need to do on whole peppers, other than wash them?

  52. I just made these but as I think back on the process I think I used too much salt thinking I was tripling the batch instead of the doubling that I really did. Will too much salt make these unsafe? Should I keep them refrigerated instead of on the shelf?

  53. Thank you for this recipe. I used it to can jalapenos from my garden, and other than slicing the peppers into rings, I followed your recipe exactly. I tried some of my canned peppers and I love the flavor, but they are mushy. Is there any way to prevent this without adding chemicals? I will take the mush over the chemicals (pickle crisp or alum) but I was just hoping for another solution. I have more to can tomorrow. Thanks in advance for your help and I love your blog!! You are helping me (a rookie canner) preserve the goodness from my garden. ­čÖé

  54. 123 comments for a simple hot pepper pickling! wow!
    my grandmother who was born 1905 and lived 86 years, only with 4 classes of primary school, was doing this without any list of ingerdinents, even not boiling the jars and hot peppers (and not only peppers) were fine all year round on room temperature. i am doing it for years without knowing that it is such a big deal.
    respect marisa!

  55. I have made this recipe many times! We use them pretty much anytime heat is needed in a recipe, and it adds a special something to salsa. Thanks for this perfect recipe!

  56. […] This year I made an effort to increase the number of pepper plants in my garden. Back in May I wrote a little post about my Jalape├▒o pepper plants. The plants are doing great in the ground and the other day┬áI was able to harvest about a pound of peppers. One reason why I am growing the peppers is to make pickled Jalape├▒os. I ate so many of these last year and I didn’t have any to can so I am hoping to have enough this year to can. I only can when I have lots to can at once. I don’t want to waste the energy of boiling that large amount of water if I only have a few jars so the other day I made quick refrigerator pickled Jalape├▒os. These are not canned and I put them directly into my fridge. I am hoping that late in the summer I will actually have enough peppers to can and store for the rest of the year! Looking at how healthy my plants are in the garden, I am sure I will have plenty of peppers! They are almost exactly like the quick refrigerator pickles┬áand I got the recipe from the same blog, Food In Jars. You can find a more detailed step by step of the recipe here. […]

      • Jalapenos are mostly air on the inside, a lot of air. They are little life-preservers. If Dustin Hoffman had grown them in his garden on Devil’s Island, then Steve McQueen could have built an escape raft with them. If you want to pickle them whole, and you can, and I do, then you have to find a way to get the air out of them as they pickle. I pickle mine naturally in a salt water brine. I think jalapenos taste much better with lactic acid versus acetic (vinegar). With natural fermentation, you have to put a weight over the veggies anyway. I also cut a cross in the pointy end and two small slits at the crown with a sharp knife before placing them in the brine. Over time, with the weight on them, and slits, the air eventually bubbles out and is replaced by the pickling brine. Result: delicious, crunchy, pickled, whole jalapenos. When mine are done pickling, I can just put them in jars in the fridge for 6-8 months, but they rarely last that long. The boiling water process used here will lose most of the crunch, but you can still do it with a weight holding the whole peppers under the vinegar brine. I recommend glass weights. You can retain some crunch with boiling water processing by adding some calcium chloride to the vinegar brine.

  57. Most other pepper brines use a much higher ratio of vinegar to water than this recipe. Can you disclose where this ratio/recipe came from?

    Would this recipe work for banana peppers?

    • According to this pH chart, peppers typically have a pH of between 5.20-5.93. That is a similar range to cucumbers. Cucumbers are safely preserved using this brine ratio and so peppers can be as well.

      Any pepper that has a similar pH range can be safely canned using this recipe.

  58. Question — I’m looking to make escabeche, with jalapenos, carrots and onions. Would this brine ratio work for that, or what would you recommend? Thank you!

  59. I just used this, more or less, for unripe tabasco (green and yellow) peppers. Due to the late frost in the midwest, I had a 2 qtof peppers on the bush tha t were going to freeze. I pricked them with a pin. A couple of jars got garlic slices. I put some leftovers in sterile baby food jars in the fridge for give aways

  60. HI! Has anyone tried roasting and peeling their jalapenos (or other peppers) before pickling and processing in boiling water? I usually freeze my roasted chiles but I’m just wondering if this wonderfully simple recipe would work with roasted peppers. If not, I am definitely still going to try this recipe. My jalapenos usually end up on pizza or in salsa so I like to keep it simple. thanks!

  61. In your book it says to process for 5 minutes, here it says to process for 10 minutes. Is it dangerous to under-process in the water bath?

  62. How much does pepper acidity vary? Could I use this recipe with bell peppers? Or could I substitute bell pepper for the poblano pepper in your Green Tomato Salsa recipe (Preserving by the Pint)? (As you may surmise, I have some extra bells I’d like to use up.)

  63. Is there a safe amount of sugar to add in order to balance out the heat? I’ve used a recipe in the past that I really like the flavor of but I’m finding that the flesh of the peppers doesn’t maintain throughout the year. They end up turning to mush after about 6-9 months. They’re sliced as rings and I’m wondering if just slicing them in half lengthwise would help. But I love the dynamic of the sweet and heat combo.

    • Any amount of sugar would be safe to add. Sugar never impacts the safety. And you’re right. The fewer cuts, the better they hold their texture.

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