Keeping Hot Peppers for Later
My Dad sent a nice bag of hot peppers home with us when we visited family in New York recently. He had a new variety called ‘Inferno.’ I asked if they were really all that hot and he said, ‘They have a little bit of heat to them.” If my Dad says they have a little bit of heat, then they are probably too hot for me!
Tom likes hotter peppers than I do, so he was quite happy with the ‘little bit of heat’ those peppers provided for his meals. But he couldn’t eat them up fast enough and I knew they would be going in the compost if I didn’t do something with them. We have hot peppers in the freezer, pickled and canned, and dehydrated for sprinkling in chili, etc. This batch of peppers wasn’t large enough to warrant a canning session, so I decided to brine cure them as pickles and store them in the refrigerator for using up over the rest of summer and fall.
Pick a Peck of Pickled Peppers
Ok, it’s not a peck of peppers, but I did pickle them! Here is the recipe for brine cured hot peppers that you can leave in a crock in a cool place for a week or two, then store in glass jars in the refrigerator to use as you wish.
Brine Cured Hot Pepper Pickles
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 2 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 Tbs peppercorns
- 8 or so hot peppers of your choice, washed and sliced
Heat water in a small pan and add salt. Stir to dissolve salt then remove from heat. Pour salt water and vinegar into a glass bowl or small crock and stir to combine. Add peppers and peppercorns. Make sure brine solution is deep enough to cover all of the peppers. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Place a plate on top that is small enough to set right on top of wrap and solution. You will need to put some weight on top of the plate to hold all of the peppers under the solution. Vegetables that are in contact with the air may spoil. After a day or two you can start dipping into your new pickled pepper stash! Don’t use your fingers, use a slotted spoon to remove pickles and prevent contamination of your brine solution.
Note: You can used cucumbers or other vegetables along with your peppers and they will pick up quite a bit of the heat from the peppers. I pickled cukes in with my peppers and they are delicious!
Have you ever pickled hot peppers? Do you have a favorite recipe?