The other day my friends Mike and Stephanie dropped off about 4 pounds of hot peppers.  Their garden was a lot more fruitful than mine.  I only got about 40 hot peppers all year.  I had no idea how to use 4 pounds of hot peppers before they went bad.  Then I remembered a book that I reviewed earlier this year, The Joy of Pickling.  Yep I was gonna pull a page out of a fairy tale and pickle peppers.

Pickled Peppers
Pickled Peppers

Pickling is rather easy to do.

Pickled Hot Peppers

  • 3 pounds hot peppers
  • 16 black peppercorns
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 8 allspice berries
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 5 cups white vinegar – 5% acidity
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tbs pickling salt
  • 2 tbs sugar

Wash the hot peppers and then slice into rings.

Random Peppers
Random Peppers

Sanitize two 1-quart mason jars, lids and rings.  Place the jars, rings and lids in boiling water for 15 minutes.  While the jars are still hot, divide the garlic, allspice, peppercorns, bay leafs among the two quart mason jars.  Next divide the hot peppers between the jars.

In a non-reactive saucepan, bring to a boil the vinegar, water, sugar and salt.  Pour the hot liquid over the peppers, leaving slightly more than 1/2 inch headspace.  Wipe the lids and then close the jars with two-piece caps.

Place the peppers in the jars almost to the top.
Place the peppers in the jars almost to the top.

Then process the jars for 10 minutes in a  boiling water bath and then remove and let cool.

Store the cooled jars in a cool, dry, dark place for at least 3 weeks before eating.  Once you open the jar, store it in the refrigerator.

I can hardly wait to eat these.  These are going to top some amazing burgers.

A big thanks to Steph and Mike for the peppers.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.


  1. I was first puzzled how to eat them…but on top of burgers with Swiss, I see your direction.

    I have never pickled anything. I assume it resembles bottling wine. Bottle, let sit, and open the surprise?

  2. When I die, I think I want to be cremated in a jar of something like that! That sounds and looks like a punch of flavor right in the mouth.

    • Chris – I am hoping that they have as much kick as they did when I put them in the jars. When I sliced the peppers they made my eyes hurt. It didn’t help that I kept on touching my face to wipe my eyes. Basically it was a vicious circle.

      Philtron3030 – Pickled peppers are amazing on burgers, pizza, cheesesteaks or even on their own. As for pickling, it is a hurry up and wait game. You hurry to get everything sealed in sanitized bottles and then you have to wait at least 3 weeks to see if they turned out. But, when done right they are awesome!!

  3. I could imagine! My friend has a garden, and she randomly pickles peppers. Might look into getting some from her to try on top a burger.

    Thanks for the tips…

  4. They aren't going to be that hot…we ate a bunch of the peppers last night…it just wasn't hot enough. They are all banana pepper level

    • Steph, Luckily you told me that they were not that hot. So I picked about 20 cayenne peppers and 10 jalapenos and 5 Serranos and added them to the jar. Hopefully that will add a little kick to the whole thing. We will see. Thanks again for the peppers.

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