A few months back I wrote a post about making sauerkraut. It was a bit wordy considering how simple the process really is.
Along with kraut, I have been pickling [hot] peppers. At any given time, I have at least a couple of jars of peppers hanging out on the counter.
In my opinion, pickling peppers is a ton easier than making sauerkraut. Hopefully I won’t overcomplicate the instructions ;)
Step 1 - Procure peppers
Doesn’t matter what kind. Spicy or sweet, all of the same or a mix. I end up buying a few pounds in case I cut one open and it’s wonky inside.
Step 2 - Wash and dismantle your peppers
Rinse the peppers off, make sure they don’t have any dirt or gunk on them. Cut them up however you see fit. Slice them into rings, cut them into strips, pulverize them with a food processor. Knock yourself out but be sure to toss the stems†.
Step 3 - Pack your vessel
I’m partial to regular mouth mason quart jars. I like the regular mouth because they make a wide variety of sizes and the plastic storage lids are interchangeable. You can use what you have, no judgement if you end up using an old pickle jar. I highly recommend using a lid with a safety button to make it easier to check for built up pressure.
Step 4 - Insert brining pun here
Brine. It’s water and salt. Two cups of room temperature water to 1 tablespoon of salt. Some will tell you not to use tap water because of the chlorine or whatever. I’ve had great success with tap water, but YMMV. Make enough to cover your peppers, be sure to leave some headroom in the jars. I fill to the top measurement line on Ball jars.
Step 5 - Wait… and burp… and stir
You’re done, peppers are covered in brine and you’ve put the lid on the jar. Now you wait. If you did everything correctly the peppers will start to bubble and build pressure in a day or two. The first week you will want to burp the jars and stir once or twice a day. After the first week, you can scale that back.
Fermentaiton will slow down after a week or two and the peppers will be ready to consume at any time during the process. The longer you wait, the better they will be. They are supposed to be best after 3 months but I tend to eat through them before then.
You don’t have to limit your peppers to just water and salt. You can add in other vegetables like onions or garlic. You can also throw in herbs if you want to impart some additional flavors.
I shouldn’t have to say this, but if everything gets moldy and nasty, don’t eat it! Also, don’t get all emotional over it, I lose a batch here and there, NBD, LIFE GOES ON!.
† You can save the stems from hot peppers to make yogurt. If I ever produce an edible batch I’ll post about it ;)