Meet the season’s “hottest” condiment.

By Patricia S York
August 27, 2020
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Credit: Christine Nanji/Getty Images

You may grow fruits and vegetables in your own garden or enjoy making early morning runs to the farmers’ market. Either way, you are often left wondering what to do with the excess produce you have in the kitchen. The time-honored tradition of pickling is one of the easiest ways to preserve the season’s goodness and can be used for everything from tomatoes, peaches, beans, and onions. One of the most popular items to pickle is the jalapeño pepper. Not only are peppers easy to grow, but a pickled pepper serves as the perfect condiment and lends a bit of heat to tacos, sandwiches, festive breakfast enchiladas, shrimp and grits, and - well, you get it. Making pickled jalapeños is so easy you can have enough to put them on whatever you want.

How to Pickle Jalapeño Peppers

With just a few ingredients, homemade pickled peppers can be enjoyed throughout the year. This recipe for Pickled Jalapeño Slices will give you the exact measurements for the ingredients, but here is a quick run-down on how to quick pickle jalapeño peppers (refrigerator pickled) and how to can jalapeño peppers:

Step 1. Sterilize the jars and lids. The lid component is comprised of a flat lid with a rubber ring on the underside, (this creates a vacuum seal) and an outer band with screw threads. Safety note: The flat lids can only be used to seal once, but the jars and bands can be reused many times.

Step 2. Wash the peppers and, using disposable gloves to protect your hands from the pepper oils, chop the peppers into rings. Even after you remove the gloves, it is a good idea to thoroughly wash your hands.

Step 3. Bring the vinegar, salt, and water to a boil. Place peeled garlic cloves, bay leaves, or other spices and aromatics such as peppercorns or cumin seeds in the jars, pack jars tightly with the pepper rings, and cover with the hot pickling liquid. Leave about a 1/2″ head space at the top of each jar. Top the jars with lids and screw bands.

Step 4. At this point for quick pickled jalapeños, simply place the jars in the refrigerator. They’ll last for several months and be ready for snacking in about 24 hours, or in an hour for the quickest pickle! Use the water bath method to can the pickled jalapeños if you want to store them in your pantry.  

How Long Will Pickles Last?

Quick pickled jalapeños can last several months in the fridge or if properly canned, up to one year at room temperature. An opened jar of pickled jalapeños will last months in the refrigerator. 

Want to put add a little sweetness to the heat of your pickles? This quick method will produce a tasty batch of Cowboy Candy.

Like Things a Little Sweeter?

If you like a little sweetness to offset the heat, try these Candied Jalapeños, otherwise known as Cowboy Candy. Start with some of your homemade pickled jalapeños or use a jar of store bought pickles, add some sugar and other ingredients, and within minutes you will have candied peppers.