Pickling Cayennes

June 7, 2012

Ok, I can't dehydrate my 20 peppers and I don't want to freeze them because they get mushy. Can you just put them in a refrigerator pickling. I did jalapenos last year and they were preserved immediately. I didn't cut them or anything. They were not moldy. Does the immediate immersion in vinegar and salt/pickling spice preserve the peppers as they are assuming you keep them in the refrigerator?


Comments (18)

  • esox07 (4b) Wisconsin

    Daryll, I did that with my Hot Hungarian Wax Peppers last year. I sliced them and put them in a vinegar solution and used them on sandwiches for a couple months.

    I used 3 parts distilled white vinegar to one part water, with a couple teaspoons of minced garlic, a couple teaspoons of black pepper corns and a teaspoon of sea salt. I then sliced all my peppers and put them in the jars with the other ingredients.


  • Darylltx

    Thanks for those pictures, they are beautiful. I also have one sweet banana pepper plant and ate one fully grown pepper, which had no flavor. I will pickle the rest and let a few go orange or red like you did.....


  • woohooman San Diego CA zone 10a


    I've been pickling Jalapenos, Serranos, and doing the hot carrots for a few years now.

    I've been told they're pretty damn good eats.

    Here's my recipe:

    You may can(preserve) if you want, but I just fill up one of those big gallon jars with a lid.

    2:1 ratio water to white vinegar(so, maybe 8:4 cups each)

    A couple palmfuls of dried mexican oregano(crush in palm)

    A couple of palmfuls of coriander seeds -whole(easily harvested when your cilantro goes to seed)

    a quarter to half cup salt(any salt will do, but pickling salt won't get cloudy after awhile like regular salt does).

    Heat this up just to boiling in a pan, remove from heat.

    In a large stock pot, heat up plenty of water and salt to boiling.

    Take 1 to 1 and one half pounds at a time of jalapenos and/or serranos and blanch them for 4-5 minutes with the lid on. After blanching, use a strainer or spider to remove from water and immediately put in ice bath to shock. continue this process with the remainder of peppers.

    Sometimes I'll even throw in a couple handfuls of habaneros.

    After peppers are finished, I'll take about the same amount of carrots sliced on the bias 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and do the blanching and shocking with them.

    Now add about 8-10 large cloves of garlic(peeled) and 1 large or 2 small brown onions, halved and sliced to your other vegetables(no need to blanch the onions or garlic)

    Throw in jar, pour pickling mixture to 1/2 inch from top, put lid on. Leave on counter for a couple to a few days. Put in fridge after that--- they'll be good now, but even better a couple weeks from now. Will last months in the fridge-- I'm still eating the ones I had from last years harvest in December.

    If you want hot cucumbers, chunk them up and throw them in-- no blanching. Zucchini and squash also.

    If you just want pickled peppers and no veggies, the recipe is the same.

    As far as cayenne is concerned, I didn't care for them pickled. You don't have to dehydrate them--- just dry them naturally. It takes awhile, but use the summer heat. When nice and dry, grind away or leave whole until you need to grind more. They'll stay fresher this way.

  • alross

    To woohooman: When you pickle the peppers do they remain crisp? I like to pickle my peppers but they always seem mushy, and I would prefer them with a little crunch.

  • woohooman San Diego CA zone 10a

    Mine aren't mushy, but crispness is pretty subjective. I guess after 6 months in the fridge at the bottom of the 1 gallon jar, they're "softer" that they were.

    Experiment a little. Blanching less will give more crispness. Try a 2-3 minute blanch. That's what the ice bath is for though-- to stop the cooking process. If you're not shocking with the ice bath, then I can see why they're mushy.

    My Mom told me they used to add grape leaves to pickle cucumbers to keep crispness. I've never done it that way though. If I make dill pickles, I just go down to Walmart and pick up some Mrs. Wages Quick Process pickling mix...lol.

  • Darylltx

    Ok I picked my Cayennes today and will pickle them. They were all about 8-9 inches each. As far as being hot, I bit into one; it tasted like a bell pepper and had a little heat, but not a lot.

  • esox07 (4b) Wisconsin

    Dang, those are some monster Cayennes. I grew some last year and they were all about 4-5" long.

  • DaMonkey007

    I'm the cook of my house, and not to pat myself on the back or anything (lol), I'm pretty dam good at it. I use pickled components to many of my dishes.

    Blanching serves a few purposes. Cleaning the veggies, is one of course, but just as (maybe more) importantly, it deactivates enzymes that will cause the product's color and texture to deteriorate over time.

    That being said, I Quickle (Quick Pickle) more often than not. Meaning that I make small batchs for use with a single meal or a series of meals. For this I never blanch, just rinse really well, slice, pour over hot pickling liquid, and cover. It keeps everything really crispy. For example, last week, I Quickled some red onions in red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt to put on some Carnitas Tacos along with Queso Fresco and Cilantro. Ummm, Delicioso!

    For long term storage or usage goes though, your product will go downhill quickly if you don't inhibit those enzymes. And as WooHoo said, you absolutely MUST shock the product to avoid the mush. If you reduce the blanch time too much, you can actually stimulate the enzymes - rather than deactivate them.


  • Darylltx

    You are right I didnt even blanch mine just cold pickling liquid. I kept all of them whole and sliced one and just overnight the sliced one is soft,not mushy. And that one has lost its color. The whole ones are still firm. I will blanch them now and hopefully, save the rest. I really dont mind soft peppers, but it is nice to have crispy sliced peppers on sandwiches.

  • woohooman San Diego CA zone 10a


    I've noticed SOME chiles just don't have the heat level when they're not allowed to ripen to red(or final color). Jalapenos and serranos I don't see that much difference in heat, flavor yes.

    When I've picked cayennes and chile de arboles grean and ate raw, they didn't even come close to a raw Jalapeno even. Let them ripen though and they got some kick.

  • esox07 (4b) Wisconsin

    Those sliced peppers that I posted above came out great weeks after I cold canned them and didn't blanch them. Not sure if the variety of pepper matters but they were Hot Hungarian Wax. Eating them on sandwiches is why I canned them.

  • Darylltx

    Thanks esox, that's good to know. I like cold pickling mine too.

  • woohooman San Diego CA zone 10a


    I would think that the waxy peppers hold onto their crisp a bit better.

    Maybe I'll try an experiment this year and blanch the carrots but leave the Jalapenos and Serranos raw. The carrots HAVE to be blanched--- you want them "toothsome." Not crunchy.

  • esox07 (4b) Wisconsin

    woohooman: not sure if the Hungarian Wax peppers hold their crisp better or not. I haven't canned any Bananas or other peppers that way yet.

  • tsheets

    Isn't there alum or something that you can add to pickles to keep them crisp? I wonder if it would work with peppers too.

  • DMForcier

    "When you pickle the peppers do they remain crisp? I like to pickle my peppers but they always seem mushy,"

    4-5 minutes isn't blanching, it's cooking. You can blanch/shock at 30-60 seconds for crisper pickles, but you probably should boil the filled jars for 3-4 minutes (depending on the heat of the pickling liquid when added) to kill off more microbes.

  • esox07 (4b) Wisconsin

    OK, as far as canning goes, do you need to blanch/peel the peppers. I like mine in slices and I really don't think the skins would be an issue if I left them on.

  • woohooman San Diego CA zone 10a

    DMForcier: It's probably 4 minutes total and I work in larger batches(2 lbs or so) Total BOILING time is probably 2 mins. once the water reaches boiling point again.

    Cookery .
    to scald briefly and then drain, as peaches or almonds to facilitate removal of skins, or as rice or macaroni to separate the grains or strands.
    to scald or parboil (meat or vegetables) so as to whiten, remove the odor, prepare for cooking by other means, etc.

    Don't knock my way until you try it. I've been told my hot carrots are better than the taco shops that are on every street corner here in San Diego. The peppers have the crisp of a pepper that you would pull out of a #10 can of whole Jalapenos from Mexico that you might find at Costco.

    But yes, you're right. Logic tells one that blanching less will tend to lead to more crisp


    The only time I ever peel the skins is when I fire roast. And sometimes I don't even do that if it's a slight char on smaller chiles like jalapenos, serranos, and habs. and I want to obtain a more rustic and caramelized result.

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