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Pickled Hot Peppers

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My pickled hot peppers are not crisp. The recipe calls for 1/2 lb. of hot peppers (I use a variety)1 cup of cider vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 4 tsp. liquid honey, 2 tsp pickling spice, 1/2 tsp. pickling salt, 2 garlic cloves. I made 12 times the recipe.
Instructions is to pour the boiling pickling liquid over the peppers and than process the 1/2 pint jars for 10min. Any ideas why this isn't turning out???

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  1. I've never pickled hot peppers before but just received this recipe from my email list. Thought I share it with you.

    Pickled Jalapenos

    4 cups (1 L) whole jalapeno chiles
    1 cup (250 ml) kosher or pickling salt dissolved in
    4 cups (1 L) cold water
    2 cups (500 ml) distilled vinegar
    1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
    1 tsp (5 ml) salt
    2-3 onions, sliced
    2-4 cloves garlic, sliced
    1 bay (laurel) leaf, crumbled
    Olive oil

    Combine the jalapenos and salt solution in a clean container and let stand at room temperature for 3 days. Drain the chiles and slit each, scooping out and discarding the seeds if desired. Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, onions, garlic, and bay leaf in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Add the chiles and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Transfer the chiles to sterile glass jars and pour the vinegar mixture over them to fill the jars about three-quarters full.
    Fill the jars with olive oil and seal immediately. Turn the jars at least once a day to mix the oil with the chiles. Store refrigerated for up to 3 months. Makes about 2 quarts (2 L).

    1. Most hot pack pickle recipes use a 1:1 vinegar / water ratio. But more vinegar than water is better for long term keeping, this may be one of the causes of soft pickles, but probably not in this case. I personally work with this ratio since then the pickles are'nt too sharp / bitter / acidic tasting.

      Another one is that you probably need 2-3 times that amount of pickling salt. Recommended is 1/2 a cup for apx 8 cups of the 1:1 vinegar/water mixture. I am almost positive this is your main problem.

      Also you may want to use a small amount of calcium chloride or pickling lime. These increase the crispness. Ball makes ready to use calcium chloride under the name "Pickle Crisp" it works great.

      Also if the vegetables are old, over ripe, not fresh, wilted, etc. you end up with soggy pickles. The fresher, the better.

      I know with cucumbers that you need to cut off 1/8 inch of the blossom ebd to make sure the pickles are crisp due to enzymes that are in the blossom. But I don't think that peppers have the same problem.

      What size containers did you use? Smaller jars need less time in the water bath and larger ones need more. 10 minutes is about right for pint jars. 5 minutes for 1/2 pints. 15 minutes for quarts.

      If you use your pickles within 4-6 weeks you can omit the hot water bath and just store them in the fridge.

      Link: http://www.jonathanforester.com

      2 Replies
      1. re: JMF

        Thank-you so much JMF. Your advice will enable me to develop my own recipe for the pickles. One thing though, I follow Canadian health safety standards and the minimum time I have seen for processing 1/2 pint jars is 10 min. I will try processing some pickles and just refrigerate others and see if there is a difference. Again, I really appreciate your time. Also, your company looks very interesting. I could probably use your services but I live in Canada.

        1. re: deborah

          Deborah- Can you contact me through the site? Thanks