Hot Peppers and How to Preserve Them

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Gardening season is upon us and many people will be growing hot peppers. As they grow, gardeners may find there is an abundance of these hot peppers and will need to find a way to preserve them. Most people would be familiar with jarring vegetables to preserve them. However, they can also be frozen. Regardless of the method, one must proceed with caution.

Nobody likes the feeling of hot peppers in their eyes or on their skin, so before getting started it is crucial to put on some gloves. Rubber gloves would probably work best. Before using jars if you choose to go the traditional way of preserving hot peppers, be sure to sterilize the jars.

In order to sterilize jars, one must put them, along with the lids and rings, into a large soup pot filled with water. Then the water needs to be brought to a boil. The water should remain at a boil for at least 10 minutes to ensure that they are fully sterile. Use tongs to remove them from the boiling water and place them on a rack until ready to pack hot peppers in to the jar.

The first step in preserving peppers is to slice them in half. It is important to remove the white fleshy part of the hot peppers as well as the seeds they contain. Use a knife to carve these parts of the pepper out. Part of the process is disposal of the seeds, stems, and white tissue from the peppers.

Get out your frying pan and olive oil, you will need it. It should be extra virgin olive oil. It takes two tablespoons of olive oil heated in a pan. The hot peppers should be pan fried until they are cooked through. It will be clear because they will also be limp. Be careful, however, that they do not brown or burn.

Get those jars ready since it is now time to pack the hot peppers in them tightly. Bring that olive oil back out and heat one cup for each jar of peppers. You will need a candy thermometer to be sure the oil has reached the optimal temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

A sharp knife will serve you well in the second to last step in preserving hot peppers in a jar. Take a knife and poke through the middle of the peppers in each jar. Then take the oil and pour it through the hole within a jar. Once the oil has reached about 1/4 inch shy of the top, there is no need to continue pouring the oil. All that is left is to wipe the tops of the jars clean and place the lids and rings on the jars. The jars should be placed in a dark pantry.

An alternative way of preserving hot peppers is to freeze them. As with using jars to preserve peppers, before freezing hot peppers, cut them in half. It is also important to remove the seeds and core of the peppers. Cut the peppers in julienne style strips or chunks that measure about 1/4 inch thick. The hot peppers should be placed in a freezer bag with the air squeezed out. The bag can then be placed in the back of the freezer. Frozen peppers make a great addition to stir-fry or an omelet.

One might find themselves with an abundance of hot peppers as the summer growing season rolls along. To keep those extra peppers from going to waste, one can preserve them. Two popular ways of preserving hot peppers are jarring them and freezing them.

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