How to Preserve Hot Peppers in Olive Oil
Hot pepper in olive oil is a very ancient preservation technique which preserves the flavor of peppers along with enhancing it as the pepper ages. The jar of pepper infused olive oil usually comes in handy when suddenly guests appears and demands a lovely hot meal. Beside if you have your own kitchen garden where you grow hot peppers then you would definitely like to preserve the fruits of your labor for a longer time. Preserving the hot peppers doesn’t means just chucking in the peppers inside the olive oil. There are a few steps which you must follow to ensure its longevity. Keep reading this OneHowTo article to find out how to preserve hot peppers in olive oil.
- 2 pounds hot peppers
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 cup vinegar (5% strength)
- 4 to 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup water
- Kosher salt
- Large spoon or ladel
- 1 large pot
Choose the pepper
For preservation, always choose the freshest pepper. You can tell the freshness of pepper by its shine and firmness. Old peppers don't have the glossy shine and are limp. If you grow peppers in your kitchen garden then pick the peppers the same day when you are making the olive oil preserve. If you think you would like to start growing your own peppers, check out this OneHowTo article on how to grow peppers.
Prepare the jars
This is a very important step which most people tend to overlook. You must wash and sanitize your jars. If your dishwasher has a sanitize cycle then use it. Otherwise put the jars and lids in boiling water. Take out the lids after 5 minutes and the jars after 10 minutes. Put them aside to dry.
Prep the hot peppers
Before handling peppers make sure that you are wearing gloves. You certainly don't want to be handling peppers and accidentally touch your face!
Take the peppers and give them a good rinse in cold water. Dry them in a towel. Then take the peppers and slice them in half. At this point you can remove the core and seeds. If you love the heat then leave the seeds in.
Charring the peppers
The main concern while charring the peppers is to char only the outside skin and not the flesh. Grill or broil the peppers and keep a close eye on them all the time. Keep turning the peppers at regular interval and it would be ready within 15 minutes.
Steam the peppers
Take the charred peppers in a paper bag and the steam them for 20 minutes. After removing them from the steam the skin would be easy to remove just by rubbing them with hands.
Note: People who love pepper skin should avoid charring and steaming the peppers. They can jump directly to the next step.
Add the spices
Now add the garlic cloves to the sanitized jar. You can also add some other herbs or aromatics like oregano to enhance the taste.
Peppers in jar
Now pop your hot peppers into the jars. Make sure that you leave 1 inch headspace at the top of jar. Then add the kosher salt as per your taste. Remember salt only enhances the taste, it is not a preservative.
Prep the preservative
In a pot, combine water, vinegar, salt and olive oil and then bring them to boil. Then let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
Add the preservative to the jars
Use the ladle or big spoon to transfer the preservative from the pot to the jar. Do not fill the jar completely. Leave an inch of headspace. Put the lid on the jar and seal it.
Put the jars in canner and then process it in boiling water bath.
- If you are using half pint or pints jar then process it for 15 minutes if you are at an altitude of 6,000 feet or less or for 20 minutes if you are at an altitude of more than 6,000 feet.
- If you are using quarts jar then process it for 20 minutes if you are at an altitude of 6,000 feet or less or for 25 minutes if you are at an altitude of more than 6,000 feet.
Storing the jars
After the water bath lift out the jar and let them cool. Then store it in refrigerator and wait for atleast 5 to 6 weeks before opening it.
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