Pickling peppers is the best way of keeping your peppers fresh for weeks or even months.
Bell peppers have a refreshing, mild taste when they’re eaten raw or cooked without much flavoring.
However, by pickling your peppers, you can enhance their flavor and make them more interesting to cook with.
Additionally, pickling peppers helps to preserve them for longer, reducing food waste, which is common with perishable produce.
If you’d like to learn how to pickle peppers, this is your complete guide, including a simple recipe for pickled peppers and answers to your most common questions.
Why Pickle Peppers?
If you’ve never pickled peppers before, and you enjoy the taste of bell peppers and different pepper varieties in their raw forms, you might be wondering why you would want to pickle peppers in the first place.
Well, pickling peppers extends their shelf life and means that you can add even more flavor to your meals when you cook with your peppers.
Additionally, there are some health benefits to eating pickled peppers.
For one thing, pickled peppers can act as probiotics, promoting the growth of good gut bacteria.
Therefore, your gastrointestinal microbiome can really benefit from a regular dose of pickled peppers.
How To Pickle Peppers
You Will Need
You don’t need many ingredients or utensils to pickle peppers.
All you need in terms of ingredients is:
- 3 bell peppers
- Distilled vinegar (½ cup)
- Water (1 cup)
- Kosher salt (as needed)
- White sugar (⅓ cup)
When it comes to utensils, you’ll also need:
- A saucepan
- Glass jars with lids
Step 1: Combine And Boil Your Ingredients
First, you should combine all your ingredients except for the peppers in a saucepan.
That means adding the vinegar, water, salt and sugar, and bringing the mixture to a boil.
Step 2: Add The Peppers
Once the liquid has reached boiling point, you can add the peppers and turn down the heat so that the liquid is simmering.
At this point, you need to wait for the peppers to soften.
This is likely to take around 10 minutes, but keep watching and checking the texture because it could take closer to 8 minutes.
Step 3: Seal And Refrigerate
Carefully transfer your pickled peppers, along with the vinegar and water liquid, into your glass jars.
Make sure to screw the lids on tightly to make sure no air is able to get into the jars, and put them in the refrigerator.
Although you might be tempted to try your pickled peppers right away, it’s best to leave them to cool for at least 8 hours. An overnight cooling period is ideal.
Extra Tips For Making Pickled Peppers
The above is a basic recipe for pickled bell peppers.
You can use it to preserve and add flavor to bell peppers as well as other types of peppers.
However, if you’d like to make your pickled peppers a little more interesting, here are some more suggestions:
Add Mustard Seeds
Mustard seeds can be used to give your pickled peppers a bit more spice, which is good if you’re working with a milder pepper variety.
They also have a somewhat earthy flavor.
Peppercorns will also add some spice to your pickling mixture, but as long as you don’t use too many (10 should be enough) the spice will be mild and pleasant.
Mix In Some Celery Seeds
If you want your pickled peppers to be slightly bitter, celery seeds can help you here.
However, if you don’t like the overall flavor of celery, you may want to avoid this method since the flavor will also be infused through the mixture.
Smash Garlic Cloves
When you add smashed garlic cloves to your pickled peppers, they will take on a garlicky flavor while bringing out any other spices in your recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pickled Peppers Less Healthy?
Pickled peppers can contain a lot of sodium, depending on how much salt you added to the pickling liquid.
Too much sodium has been linked to numerous adverse health effects.
However, on the plus side, vinegar (which is a key ingredient in the pickling process) contains polyphenols, which means it can protect against oxidative stress on a cellular level and maybe even stop cancer cells from growing.
How Long Do Pickled Peppers Last?
Pickled peppers can last for up to 3 months in the refrigerator, provided that you keep them properly sealed in glass jars.
However, start checking on your peppers from the 2-month mark, since they may start to lose their freshness from this point.
What Peppers Are Best for Pickling?
You can pickle most pepper varieties.
Of course, you can pickle bell peppers, and this tends to work really well since bell peppers have a mild flavor that can benefit from the enhancement of the pickling process.
The same can be said for banana peppers.
However, you can even pickle some of the hotter pepper varieties, such as jalapeños.
Do I Have To Add Sugar To Pickling Juice?
No, you don’t have to add sugar to your pickling juice, but most people find that the pickles are too sour without the sugar to balance out the vinegar.
To start with, we recommend reducing the amount of sugar the recipe calls for and trying out the results.
If you still think you would like the peppers to be more sour, you can eliminate the sugar altogether.
Pickling peppers is easy and practical.
You only need water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in addition to your chosen peppers, although you can also add other ingredients such as mustard seeds, celery seeds, peppercorns, and smashed garlic to enhance the flavor even further.
Once you have prepared your pickled peppers, be sure to store them in tightly-sealed glass jars and keep them in the refrigerator so that they stay fresh for as long as possible.
You can make your pickled peppers more or less sour by either decreasing or increasing the amount of sugar you mix in with the vinegar and water.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces chilies
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Heat the oil in a big skillet over medium-high heat before adding the garlic and chilies. Around 5 minutes of constant stirring until melted. Let the peppers cool down enough to handle.
- Put the garlic and chiles to a clean 1-quart jar (or 4 smaller mason jars).
- Note: If desired, cut some of the chillies in half lengthwise to impart more chili flavor and heat to the vinegar.
- In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
- The chilis should be covered with the water/vinegar mixture, and the jar’s contents should be allowed to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate after sealing the jar. In an airtight jar, pickled peppers can remain fresh for up to one month.