I wrote another recipe here for fresh pickled jalapeños. It’s a super easy recipe that requires only jalapeños and vinegar. That recipe is meant for jalapeños to be stored in the fridge and used over a three month period of time. If you’re wanting to actually can jalapeños for storage, this is the one for you. You’re going to need quite a few items to do this. If you’ve canned anything before, then this is old hat. If you’ve never canned before, don’t worry! It’s not that hard.
- 1 1/2 – 2 pounds fresh green jalapeños (use red if you want it super hot)
- 3 1/2 cups white vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tbsp pickling salt
- Ball® Pickle Crisp
- 2 small Mason Jars or Ball jars (available at your grocery store)
- Rings and Lids to fit those jars
- Stock pot big enough to fully submerge the jars and then some
- a rack that fits in the stock pot
- another pot or medium saucepan (whatever you have on hand)
- rubber-tipped tongs
Gather your supplies before you purchase the jalapeños, just in case you have trouble finding something and have to order. Once you’re ready, wash your jalapeños in soapy water and rinse well. Set them on a towel to dry. Get out your cutting board, sharpen a big knife and a small paring knife, put on some gloves and chop each jalapeño into rings. I usually start at the pointy end and continue up the pepper to the stem. Once I get about halfway up the pepper, that’s where the seeds and the membrane are.
The membrane is where the heat is. I like spicy, but I also like to be able to enjoy the flavor without burning my mouth up, so I take the seeds and membrane out. Just take the paring knife and slide it up inside the pepper and cut those bits of membrane loose. Then, as you continue cutting the jalapeño into rings, the membrane piece falls out onto the cutting board and gets discarded. Of course if you want them spicy, leave them in.
Place the rack in the stock pot, set your jars on top of that, and fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars by an inch. Put the pot on the stove and get that water simmering. The jars will need to simmer in the water for at least 10 minutes to properly sterilize them. Here’s a great YouTube video about canning.
While the water is simmering, make your brine. In another pot, combine the vinegar, water and brining salt. Boil this on med-high for about 5 minutes. Once your jars are ready, remove them from the hot water with tongs. They sell special tongs just for this but you could really just use whatever rubber tipped tongs you have already. Just be careful and use a hot pad to handle the jars. Wearing your gloves, (or using the tongs) pack the jalapeños into the jars, taking care not to burn yourself on the hot glass. Add a 1/4 tsp of the Ball® Pickle Crisp to each jar. Add the brine to each jar and then use a spatula to gently tamp down the jalapeños to remove any air bubbles. You also want to get each jar as full as possible and this will help create some room. Don’t fill them too full, though. You will need to leave a 1/2 inch from the top of the brine to the top of the jar. This is called headspace and it allows for the expansion and contraction of the contents throughout the heating and cooling process. Add more jalapeños and brine until they reach the allotted headspace.
Wipe your lids and rings with a damp cloth. Put the lids on the jar first, then add the rings and finger tighten. Put the jars back in the stock pot, add enough water to cover at least an inch above the top of the jar, and boil on high continuously for 10 minutes. This step is crucial in the success of your canning, so don’t skip it. Once the jars have boiled for 10 minutes, turn off the stove and set the pot off the hot burner. Now would be a good time to decide where you are going to set your jars for the next 24 hours to cool. You will want to put them somewhere out of the way. After about 5 minutes, remove the jars from the water using the tongs. Lift them straight up out of the water: you don’t want them to tip at all. Place them on a hot pad or towel in the spot you previously designated for them and let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
After the 24 hours is up, check the seals on the lids of your canned jalapeños. Remove the rings and very gently try to pry up the lid. If you’re met with resistance, the jar has sealed properly and it is ready to be stored. Return the ring to the jar and store in a cool, dark place. If the lid pops right off, the jar did not seal properly. You can still enjoy this one, just put it in the fridge and plan to use it within a few months.