Step 1 – Have all the things
For this recipe you will need:
- 6 x 250 ml jars and lid sets
- large canning pot
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 2 tblsp pickling salt
- 1 lb jalapeño peppers
Step 2 – Find appropriate music
I like jammin’, and always put on Bob when it’s time to get my fruit on, but I’ve yet to find the perfect pickling tunes.
Arlo Guthrie’s “Motorcycle” opens with “I don’t want a pickle,” so that’s out, even though that’s the only song I can think of that so much as mentions pickles.
Whatever. Find something you can groove to. Doesn’t need to be too long, as pickling jalapeños is absurdly easy.
Step 3 – Sterilize jars
Wash at least a half dozen 250 ml jars and lid sets. Then boil the jars, fully submerged, for ten minutes.
Once sterilized, remove the jars with tongs and set them on a rack or clean towel to cool down.
Leave the water on a low boil, as it won’t be too long until your filled jars hop back in.
Place the lids in a small saucepan half-filled with water and simmer.
Pro-tip: Use new lids every time. It’s safer, and lids are cheap. It’s not worth the risk.
Step 4 – Make brine
Combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt in a large pot and bring the brine to a boil over high heat.
Pro-tip: Table salt is not an acceptable substitute. If, for some reason, you can’t find pickling salt (check any grocery store or Canadian Tire), try kosher salt.
Step 5 – Slice and pack jalapeños
While the brine is reaching a boil, cut the tops off the jalapeños and slice them in half lengthways.
Discard the tops, and pack the halves into the sterilized jars.
Pro-tip: Do this while wearing gloves. Trust me.
Step 6 – Fill jars with brine
Slowly ladle the hot brine into the jars, leaving about half an inch of room from the top.
Poke around with a chopstick to remove any air bubbles, and top up with brine as necessary, still leaving the headspace.
Dip paper towel in the boiling water and wipe the rims of the jars.
Carefully apply the lids and rings.
Pro-tip: The rings should only be fingertip tight.
Step 7 – Water bath
Using tongs, place the jars in the boiling water, ensuring at least an inch of water covers the top of the jars.
Boil for ten minutes and remove.
The lids should snap within half an hour, but if after an hour it’s clear the jars haven’t sealed, re-process them in boiling water for another ten minutes.
Step 8 – Wait
Wait at least a month or two before opening up your delicious noms. They need time time to cure. Maybe rock out to The Cure while you wait?
Step 9 – Omnomnom
Eat them. In a taco. On nachos. On pizza. Raw. However you like.