Chile petins are a fitting choice for infused vinegar when you want a lot of heat but little pepper flavor. Petins have 50,000 to 100,000 Scoville Heat Units, or SHU -- a standardized measurement given to peppers based on their capsicum content. By comparison, habaneros, the hottest peppers, have 100,000 to 300,000 SHU, so you don't need many petins to spike vinegar; 1/4 the amount of vinegar by volume is enough for moderate to high heat. Wear food-handler gloves when you handle petins, and don't touch your face or skin with your gloved hands.
Things You'll Need
- Food-handler gloves
- White distilled vinegar
- Herbs and spices (optional)
Rinse the petins and cut off the stems. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.
Add the peppers to a saucepan. Press the peppers using a fork to mobilize their essential oils and capsicum.
Add secondary flavoring ingredients, such as herbs, aromatics and spices, if desired. Sliced shallots, garlic and tarragon work nicely with chile peppers.
Add white distilled vinegar to the saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Simmer the peppers and vinegar for 1 to 2 minutes and transfer them to a sterilized jar.
Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dry place for 3 to 4 weeks. Shake the vinegar every few days.
Strain the petin vinegar through a sieve lined with a couple of layers of cheesecloth into a measuring cup or bowl. Pour the strained vinegar into a sanitized bottle with a rubber stopper.
Add 2 or 3 whole, rinsed petin peppers to the vinegar as garnish, if desired. Store the vinegar away from heat and direct sunlight.
Tips & Warnings
- Sterilize jars and bottles by boiling them for 10 minutes or rinsing them with a solution comprising 1/4 tablespoon of bleach mixed with a gallon of water and letting them air dry.
- Photo Credit Yordan Markov/iStock/Getty Images
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