Pickled Hot Peppers or Bell Peppers

For every 2 quarts of peppers you will need:
2 cups vinegar
2 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
Olive oil (optional)
Canning tongs, large water bath canner with lid and rack, jars, lids and rings

Container Prep:
Wash jars and rings (not lids!!) thoroughly in clean hot soapy water, rinse thoroughly and either hold in a pan of boiled water OR place desired number of jars (without lids or rings) in your canning vessel, fill with water until covered by at least 1 inch, bring to a boil and hold thusly until ready to use.  Rinse lids (or “flats”), then place in a pan and cover with boiling water, holding in pan until ready to use.

Product Procedure:
Wash peppers thoroughly.  Remove core, seeds, and stems of large peppers.  Cut as desired, or leave whole after coring.  The small, hot peppers may be left whole with stems intact.  Make 2 small slits in whole peppers.

Mix vinegar and water; heat to 150-160 º F (66-71 C) about to the simmering point.  Since it is rather volatile, vinegar should not boil a long time. Empty hot water out of desired number of jars (don’t pour it in the canner, as the product replaces the weight of the water). Pack peppers rather tightly into jars.  Pour hot vinegar and water over the peppers to within ½ inch of jar rim.  If oil is desired, add vinegar to only ¾ inch of jar top and add olive oil to within ½ inch from top. The peppers will be coated with oil when they pass through the oil layer as you use them.  Add salt to taste, then wipe rims of jars with clean damp paper towel (change paper towels with each jar) to remove any residue. Seal with lids and rings hand tightened only and process 15 minutes in simmering (180-185º F (82-85 C) Hot-Water Bath.  Two quarts of peppers will yield 4 pints finished.

Hot Water Bath explained:
This is basically same as Boiling Water Bath with one difference. You simmer rather than boil. Fill your canning vessel (with rack in bottom to protect jars from direct contact with heat source) with enough water to cover jars with at least 1 inch of water.  Bring to a simmer rather than a full boil.  The purpose for this is to prevent extremely tender type vegetables and fruits from cooking into mush during the canning process.  Water must remain consistently simmering, with no dormant period, throughout the entire timed process.  Begin timing only when water has reached a steady non-stop simmer.  Upon completion of the timing period, immediately remove jars from water and set on several layers of toweling in a cool but draft-free area and let sit completely undisturbed overnight or at least 12 hours.  Within a couple of minutes after removing from the kettle, expect to hear “snaps” or “pops” as the lids seal themselves.  After 12 hours or overnight, you may gently hand-tighten any loosened rings, wipe outside of jars down if needed, label and store in a cool, dark, draft-free place.

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