How to Preserve Jalapeños

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Preserve a peck of peppers for later use. Pickling, drying and freezing are the most common methods of preserving chili peppers, including jalapenos. Preserving red or green jalapeno peppers will determine the final flavor. Keep your preserved peppers on hand to use when you need them, without resorting to the tinny taste of commercially canned jalapeno peppers or skipping the peppers in the recipe.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 quart cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Deep cooking pot
  • 8 cups jalapeno peppers
  • Sterilized canning funnel
  • Sterilized canning jars and lids
  • Canning tongs
  • Boiling water canner
  • Colander
  • Bowl of ice water
  • Paper towels
  • Food dehydrator
  • Wax paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Resealable freezer bags

Pickling

  • Combine and bring to a boil 1 quart cider vinegar, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

  • Add 8 cups sliced red or green sliced jalapeno peppers to the pot and cook for one minute.

  • Pour the jalapeno pepper mixture through a sterilized funnel into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch space at the top of the jar.

  • Place the lid without the ring on top of the jars. Loosely screw the ring around the lid.

  • Bring water to a boil in a boiling water canner so it will cover the jars.

  • Grip the neck of each jar with a pair of canning tongs and lower it into the boiling water.

  • Return the water to a rolling boil and process the jars for 15 minutes.

  • Transfer the jars to a towel to cool and dry for at least two hours.

  • Remove the lid ring from each jar and press the center of the lid. If the center of the lid pops back up, store the jar in the refrigerator because it was not properly sealed during canning. If the lid does not pop back, replace the lid ring and tighten it. Store the pickled jalapeno peppers in the pantry for up to one year.

Drying

  • Slice red jalapeno peppers into rounds and boil for one minute.

  • Drain the peppers in a colander and pour into ice water to stop cooking.

  • Remove the peppers from the ice water and drain on paper towels, patting the tops dry.

  • Transfer the pepper slices to the drying rack of a food dehydrator and dry at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for six to eight hours or until the pepper slices are crisp.

  • Cool the pepper slices and seal in a freezer bag. Store the dried peppers in a cool, dry place indefinitely.

Freezing

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and add whole, washed and dried jalapeno peppers to it.

  • Boil the peppers for one minute.

  • Pour the boiling water and jalapeno peppers through a colander and submerge the peppers into ice water to stop cooking. This blanching locks in the heat level by preventing the loss of capsicum from the peppers, according to Jean Andrews in "The Peppers Cookbook: 200 Recipes from the Pepper Lady's Kitchen."

  • Dry the peppers with paper towels and arrange them in a single layer on a wax paper-lined baking sheet.

  • Freeze the peppers for two hours. Transfer the frozen peppers to resealable freezer bags, squeeze out the air and return to the freezer for up to one year.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sterilize equipment for canning by running it through your dishwasher on the hottest setting or boiling the pieces for at least 10 minutes.

References

  • Culinary Mexico: Authentic Recipes and Traditions; Daniel Hoyer
  • Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation; Sharon Astyk
  • The Peppers Cookbook: 200 Recipes from the Pepper Lady's Kitchen; Jean Andrews
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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