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How to Pickle Your Own Jalapeños

On nachos, burgers, pizzas, or salad; the tangy and mildly hot flavor of pickled jalapenos is a win. Check out this quick and easy recipe to make your own.

How to Pickle Your Own Jalapeños

Pickled jalapenos are that perfect combination of sweet, sour, and spicy. Jalapeno peppers come in at 2500 – 8000 on the Scoville scale. Which is a little more than a poblano pepper (1000 - 1500 SHU) and a lot less than a Cayenne pepper (30,000 – 50,000 SHU). They are not too hot, so they're ideal for those of us who like a bit of heat but are not keen on breathing fireballs.

Jalapeño recipes: How to pickle jalapenos

If you are new to the pickling game, don't worry. Pickling jalapenos is quick and super easy to do. Here’s a great basic recipe.

  • 10 – 12 fresh jalapenos
  • 1 cup white vinegar (apple cider vinegar also works well)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. Wash the peppers and cut off the tops.
  2. Thinly slice the jalapenos and place them in sterilized jars.
  3. Prepare your pickling liquid by placing the remaining ingredients in a pot over low heat.
  4. Bring the liquid to a simmer, stirring regularly to dissolve the sugar. This should take about five minutes.
  5. Pour the brine solution over the sliced jalapenos and seal the jars firmly.
  6. Allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator.

Canned jalapeno recipe

Preserving your jalapenos in a brine solution will keep them fresh for about two months in the refrigerator. If you want your pickled jalapenos to be shelf-stable for longer the basic brine and chili recipe above will work well. You don’t need a special jalapeno recipe for canning. You will just need to use a technique such as the boiling water bath method to make sure that your pickles are shelf-stable.

Jalapeño recipes: A few tips for preparing jalapenos

Pickling jalapenos is super easy, here are some handy tips to keep in mind.

  • Some like it hotter than others. If you prefer less heat, before you slice the peppers, cut them down the middle and remove the pith and seeds.
  • The compound in peppers that gives them their heat, capsaicin, can cause skin irritation. Wear gloves when preparing peppers for your jalapeno recipe.
  • Make sure to wash your hands after working with peppers. Even if you wore gloves.
  • Don’t touch your face and eyes while cutting chili peppers!
  • The spicy heat of the peppers will mellow out with time in the refrigerator.

Personalize Your Pickles

Once you have tried out one of these easy pickled jalapeño recipes, you will probably want to start experimenting with different flavors and ingredients. You can tweak and flavor your pickled peppers in any number of ways.

  • Add a peeled garlic clove to each jar.
  • Add some peppercorns to your pickling liquid.
  • A bay leaf in your brine will also add interesting flavor.
  • Cumin or coriander seeds can add a nice flavor as can fresh herbs such as rosemary, oregano, or thyme.

Save money with DIY jalapeño recipes

Making your own pickles is a great way to save money. Buying in bulk is often more affordable. So, when jalapenos are going at a good price, you can buy a whole lot and make a few jars of pickled jalapenos. If you love pickling jalapenos, you might want to try your hand at pickling onions, cucumbers, or even asparagus. If you like saving, look out for the Save mailer.