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Sunday, 15 May 2011

How to Preserve Chilli Peppers

If you lucky enough to grow more chili peppers than you can eat one year then you will need ways to keep them. I often end up with to many jalapenos! There are several very simple recipies and methods to do this:


Chilli peppers freeze very well and will last for ages in the freezer. I have some habaneros and scotch bonnets from 2 years ago and they are still as powerful now as they were when they first went in!


If you choose the option of drying your chillis its best to select the mature peppers that have grown fully and have a nice colour to them. the peppers can be left on a sunny windowsill to dry out or following a suggestion from Jamie Oliver if you get a needle and sewing threat you can string the chillis up through their stalks and create an attractive display while drying at the same time. I have used this method successfully for a few years now and have made my own chilli crushes from them.


Any chilli can be at any stage of its growth. If picked when immature they will be milder in flavour and heat level. after looking on may of the food websites i could not find a straight forward recipe that produced good results. At one of the fiery food festivals in Brighton i was discussing this with Chilli Pepper Pete and he told me to simple use white wine vinegar.

  1. Prepare your chillis removing the stalks, if the chilis are small place them in whole or if large like jalapenos you can slice them like you find in the shops.
  2. Get together enough jars for your supply, place the jars in a hot oven to sterilise them.
  3. Place the lids to the jars in a separate bowl and cover with boiling water to sterilise them.
  4. Remove the sterilised jars and lids carefully making sure not to touch the insides or bur yourself
  5. Heat up carefully in a pan on your hob some white wine vinegar.
  6. Put your chosen chilli selection in your jars and carefully pour in enough hot white wine vinegar to cover every chilli.
  7. Leave to cool and then keep for a few weeks before trying to allow the flavours to work.
  8. Now you can eat your chillis all year round!

Good Luck and hopefully your crop this year is more than you need so you can test these simple recipes

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  1. I'll have to try the drying method, you don't process the pickles in a hot water bath?

  2. Hi David, no i have never used a hot water bath before and still got good results. How do you use the water bath?