Saturday, July 25, 2009

Canning Jalapeños Tutorial

Yeah, yeah, this is a "gaming" blog and here's another dang gardening post! Get used to it, 'cause I think here at Mik's Minis, we're going to be renaming the place "Mik's Veggies" in the summer. So my little experiment of a garden is going well, very well. In fact, I've got so much produce yield, I have to start getting creative with the excess. I've given away about all I can, so now I'm adding pickling and canning to my repertoire.

These two mason jars were filled up with sliced peppers from just a single visit to the garden one afternoon. Just that morning I had given away fourteen peppers to some friends and family, now I had another two jars worth, so I turned to canning. These jars aren't very big, I bought standard Masons with the idea of smaller portions in mind.

Canning is a cool process and if I can do it, anyone can, it's incredibly easy. Plus, with very little prep, you can keep food (fairly natural) for up to a year or so. For all the budding zombpocalypse survivalists and end-of-the-worlders out there, this could be just one more tool in your preparation. There's also something cool about canning your own stuff. We (used to) buy jars of jalapeños at the store all the time, no longer.

First off, wash your jars, lids, and bands inside and out with lots of hot, soapy water. I then used boiling water to rinse them with. I had a bad experience years ago with a batch of home brew beer that ended up with worms in it because we (Oz and I) didn't properly sanitize our kit. It might be overkill here, but I didn't want a repeat.

So, you've got your jars and lids sanitized. Next is your high tech canning solution, white vinegar and water. That's it. Your mix should be one to one (1:1), and here I used two cups of each. Then you boil it up, as shown above. All you're going to do here is place your jalapeños, sliced, in the jars and scoop out the boiling mixture and pour it in the jars right away. The jars I kept in a large pot in the sink with hot water prior to this step. This way when you pour in the boiling water, your jars don't shatter on you, even thought they still might.

Just me talking through the lid process.

All right, that's all there is to it! Here's two jars, good to go, they're in the cabinet, labeled, as we speak. I've got plans for these puppies this fall come football season, I may just eat them right from the jar. I was out watering this evening and noticed a good haul hanging on the branches right now, so I'll be doing up another batch of two (or three) jars sometime tomorrow.


  1. I think gardening and canning should be high on a lot of people's priority lists right now. We need to get back to some basics in this country, IMO. Keep up the good work, Mik!

  2. I couldn't have said better myself Jonathan! Growing up as a kid, my folks gardened and canned all the time, but our generation has definitely forgotten all about it.

    This whole gardening thing for me is a fluke really, it started out pretty much on a whim, and has taken on a life of its own. I'm pretty glad for it though...

  3. For a less healthy alternative, here is a recipe for jalapeno poppers.

    The guys says he makes 100 at a time and freezes them.

    If you did this, it would impress at least one (me) of your gaming buddies to have fresh 'poppers at the game.

  4. No joke, by the end of the growing season, I'll easily have produced over a hundred jalapenos. Maybe I will do up some poppers for game night, I won't have them ready by tonight, but maybe next time. Thanks for the link Oz...

  5. Over the weekend, some friends and I split the appetizer plate: fried zucchini, onion rings, jalapeno poppers, and fried cheesy broccoli. Great food but not exactly healthy =) I was going to send you a link for some good sounding jalapeno poppers but when I checked, Oz had already sent you the exact same one! Oh well, great write up!

  6. Well if both of you are sending the same recipe, I guess I better get cracking!

  7. Mik, did the canned jalapenos stay somewhat crunchy or did they get pretty soft? Thanks!

  8. Thanks Anon: I don't know frankly! I'm keeping them canned up at least until football season (mmmmm, nachos, homemade chili, hot dogs)and I'll tell you then.

    I check on them pretty much whenever I get something out of the cabinet and they still have a nice, dark green color, and the 'push tabs' on the jars are still down, so I think that's a good sign...

  9. How long did you process them for and did you pressure can them or hot water bath? I think hot water is ok with the acidity of the vinegar. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks....

  10. @Cindi: Thanks for stopping by! I used the hot water bath method. After sanitizing the jars I kept them submerged in near-boiling water, took them out and added the sliced peppers, screwed on the lids, and then put them back in the hot water.

    As far as processing goes, they went from plant to jar in less than a day, getting sliced within the hour of being jarred.

    I hope this helps, I'm a rookie but let me know if there's anything else I can help with...

  11. How long did you keep them in the hot water bath? 10 mins? 20? Thanks.

  12. @Cindi: Not long at all, 15 minutes tops. The water was hot enough where I had to use tongs and not my hands to get them out. Let me know how they do!

  13. Ok, am I wrong in assuming you are fairly new to canning? I really appreciate all your help so far, however, jalapeno's are a low acid food, and therefore should be pressure canned. However, that said, by adding vinegar, you are changing the acidity of your product. The final product should have a pH of less than 4.5 in order to use the hot water bath method. I have not checked the acidity on these. I did can them for 20 mins. and they look pretty good. I had a lot of peppers that came in while we were camping, so they were red jalapenos by the time I harvested them. They add a pretty color to the jar. I am going to try the following recipe next, this definitely will be fine with the added salt and pure vinegar (no water). Good luck!

    Pickled Banana or Jalapeno Peppers

    10-cups banana or jalapeno peppers
    2-cloves garlic
    4-cups white vinegar
    2-tsp pickling salt

    Pack washed peppers into hot sterile jars
    Put 1/2 clove garlic in each jar
    Boil vinegar & salt
    Pack peppers in hot pint jars leaving ¼” headspace
    Ladle hot liquid over peppers leaving ¼” headspace
    Remove air bubbles with a non-metallic utensil
    Put on caps
    Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner
    Best if left for 5-6 weeks before eating

  14. Sorrr, and one other thing, the water must be at a rolling boil before you start timing. The time is takes to get to boil does not count. Super important to process items for the right amount of time. I love canning, and my family reaps the benefits each winter. With the current H1N1 virus coming down the bend, it will be good to have all these things on hand so you're not standing at walmart with a loaf of bread and jar of mustard being all you could find. If you have ever been in a panic situation, best to be prepared beforehand. Have a great day!

  15. I'm not just 'fairly new', I've never "canned" before in my life. Thanks for all the tips!

  16. I've also got an abundance of Jalapenos from the garden this year that I'd like to preserve. I was thinking of going and getting a canner before they go bad. However, I'm not a huge fan of the pickling taste. Is there another way of preserving hot peppers w/o adding vinegar?

  17. I don't know of any other methods unfortunately. I'm with you on the vinegar taste, but it's not that bad for me anyways, and it's better than seeing all my peppers go bad!

    Another way is always slicing them up and simply freezing them, that should work out just as well...and no pickling taste to worry about to boot.

  18. yeh.... you might want to look into pressure canning.... do some google searches...
    i've done boiling water and pressure canning and it's not something you can guess at, or that you should mess around with.... you could open those peppers jars and kill your entire family...

  19. Heh, well "killing my entire family" would put a damper on things! Seriously though, thanks for the tip...

  20. Hey man, thanks for the video, I have been canning for about 5 years now.

    With such a high acidity level you could honestly take the boiling mixture of water and vinegar and pour it straight onto the packed jars, clean the rim area, apply the lid and tighten the band and let them cool at room temp for 24 hours, after this they will be sealed.

    Let me explain how canning works for those that are running across this page. First with low acidity foods such as peppers you must add vinegar or lemon juice(citric acid) to your canning mixture to bring the ph level up high enough to be considered safe, if not you have to use a pressure canning method which is a hassle, I only do this when canning cooked meats and such. Now once you pack the jars and pour the hot liquid into them you seal them quickly and most of the time process them in a boiling water bath, for a given time, when using as much vinegar as 1:1 ratio with your water or even 1:2 vinegar to water then the need to process really isnt there. All you are doing at this point is creating a vacuum, the way this is done is when you add the mixture into the jars and close them while the water is still at boiling temp, this creates a lot of pressure but as the temp drops the pressure subsides and draws back creating a vacuum.

    WHEW long post but I hope it helps! I was scouring the internet to see if anyone else canned their jalapenos with the seeds still in em, and I found this, it is a great video and thanks for sharing!

  21. @frosstyx: Thanks you so much for this comment, it really helps out a lot, and hopefully will help out others like you said. Thanks again!

  22. I followed your recipe except I did a 1-1 ratio with water and vinegar. I tried just vinegar but everybody hated it, they said they tasted like pickles and were too strong. I boiled the water vinegar mixture then poured it over the japs, sealed them, and put them in boiling water for about 20 minutes. Everyone keeps warning of the poisoning factor so I hope what I did keeps us safe from it.

  23. One more thing, I made a salsa with japs and tomatillos. I browned them in a saucepan then blended in the blender. I canned them with a little lemon and vinegar as not to taint the taste. Boiled the jar for about 15 minutes. They are a type of tomato so with the acid a bit higher I think I'm ok on the "poison alert".