How to Pickle Jalapeno Peppers Without Canning


You will find that canning (pressure and water bath method) changes the texture of food once it has been processed. This can be disappointing when you are creating pickled foods, particularly if you like a good crunch. Jalapenos and other peppers turn to complete mush when they are processed, which is rather unappetizing. You can pickle peppers in the refrigerator, safely, by using a few tried and true techniques. The peppers will retain their heat and their crunch and will make a delightful addition to everyday meals.

How to Pickle Jalapeno Peppers Without Canning
(Thomas Hooke/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lb. fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 tbsp. salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • Dill heads(optional)
  • Long handled spoond
  • Storage jars
  • Large soup or stock pot
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Non-latex gloves (optional)
Step 1

Wash the jalapenos with cold water and allow them to dry on a cutting board.

Thomas Hooke/Demand Media
Step 2

Pour 2-1/2 cups water, 3 cups vinegar, 3 tbsp. sugar and 4 tbsp. salt into a soup or stock pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and stir until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium and add 2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp. whole coriander seeds, 2 tbsp. black peppercorns and a 1/4 tsp. turmeric. Chop the garlic into small chunks and add it to the pot. Allow this to simmer for five minutes.

Thomas Hooke/Demand Media
Step 3

Leave your peppers whole and pierce their sides three to four times or slice the peppers into 1/8 thick rounds. Stuff the jalapenos into storage jars and leave about 1/2 of head space.

Thomas Hooke/Demand Media
Step 4

Pour the hot liquid into the jars containing the jalapenos, screw on their lids and allow the jars to cool before placing them in the fridge. Let the jalapenos marinade for at least a week before using. The pickle flavor will be stronger the longer the jalapenos sit.

Thomas Hooke/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • The pickles will keep for several months in the refrigerator. Do not use if pressure develops in the jars or if the liquid becomes really cloudy and begins to smell. This can be a sign of contamination and the pickles are not safe to eat.
  • Don a pair of non-latex gloves to protect your hands when handling fresh chilies. Some individuals are more sensitive to the irritants in peppers than others.


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