How to pickle hot peppers

You don’t have to be Peter Piper to enjoy hot pickled peppers. Whether you have a garden full of peppers, or just picked up some pretty ones at your local farmer’s market, pickling hot peppers is easy and fun. You’ll be very glad you did this winter, as you enjoy fresh pickled hot peppers that you canned yourself.

There are two different methods to pickling hot peppers. One is to make refrigerator pickled hot peppers. This requires no canning and is simple and easy. You are actually letting the refrigerator do the canning for you. Just remember, refrigerator pickled hot peppers have to stay in the refrigerator, they cannot be stored in a cabinet or the pantry. For those who are more adventurous, canning hot pickled peppers isn’t difficult. In fact, pickling hot peppers is a good “first canning” experience. Both methods and recipes are included here.

Refrigerator Pickled Hot Peppers


1 pound fresh peppers of your choice, washed
2 and 1/2 cups distilled 5% vinegar
2 and 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons black peppercorns


1. Pierce each pepper three times and place in a large sterilized glass preserving jar. You can sterilize the jars by either running them through the heat cycle of your dishwasher or by submersing them in boiling water for 15 minutes.
2. In an enameled or Teflon coated pan bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, bayleaves, coriander, garlic, and pepper to a boil. Never use an aluminum or metal pan as the metal will react with the vinegar.
3. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and pour brine over peppers.
5. Let cool, then place in refrigerator.

These pickled hot peppers can be eaten at any time, but for best taste results, let sit for at least one week. They can be kept safely in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

This next recipe uses the canning process. You’ll need a pot large enough to cover the filled jars of pickled hot peppers so they can be sealed properly. You will also need canning jars with lids and rings. While canning does take a little time, it isn’t difficult. With canning you get the bonus of having food you can “put up” for later enjoyment.

Canned Pickled Hot Peppers


1 and 1/2 pounds banana or pepperoncini peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound jalapeno peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 pound serrano peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 cups 5 % vinegar
2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
34 teaspoon dried basil


1. Sterilize either pint or quart canning jars, lids, and rings by running through the heat cycle of your dishwasher or by boiling in water for 15 minutes.
2. Evenly distribute the peppers in the jars, leaving room for the brine to be added.
3. In a large enamel or Teflon coated pan, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, garlic, onion, olive oil, and basil to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5-10 minutes.
5. Pour brine over peppers, leaving 1/4 inch empty at the top.
6. Tap jars on counter gently to remove bubbles, place lids and rings on top and fasten securely.
7. Place jars in large pot, fill with enough water to completely cover the jars.
8. Bring to a rolling boil and boil 15 minutes.
9. Remove and cool.

These peppers can be kept in a cabinet or the pantry. Be sure to refrigerate after opening.

Remember when working with hot peppers, to always wear gloves and to wash hands immediately after handling. It’s a good idea not to touch your eyes either.