I finally succeeded in growing something in my garden! (I never claimed to be a pro) So, now we have an overabundance of banana peppers and needed something to do with them. I already diced up and froze about 2 cups of them previously so I can use in stir fries and general cooking later. We ate them fresh, dipped in ranch. Now, we still have a ton and we only planted 1 plant. It was a bonnie brand plant for like 3 bucks at Lowes and it thrived.
So, I decided to give canning a try after having multiple conversations with my grandmother about it; who I believe is a country-style homemaker goddess. Below is my final product and how I made them. Try it out and let me know what you think! It’s doesn’t seem nearly as overwhelming now as it did before I ever tried to do it.
- 1/2 pound banana peppers, sliced
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- Cutting Board
- 2 1/2 pint canning jars (I use Ball jars)
- Large pot
- Small sauce pan
- Jar lifter
- Wide Mouth Funnel
- Measuring spoons
Sterilize Your Canning Jars
- Place empty jars in a large pot. You may use the same pot you will be using as a boiling water bath to can the jars once they are filled.
- Completely cover the jars with water.
- Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once the water reaches a full rolling boil, begin timing. Boil the jars for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and leave the cans in the water so they stay warm.
Note: Do not boil the canning lids as this can harm their adhesive rings. Instead, add the canning lids to the hot water after you turn off the heat when the jars have finished boiling.
During the 15 minutes you are getting the jars ready, this is the time to prep the peppers and the pickling juice. This way, they will both be ready to go into the nice hot jars. You don’t want to pour boiling hot liquid into a room temperature or cold jar, it can shatter. I learned this pouring my fresh brewed sweet tea into a glass of ice..
Chop up Banana Peppers
Whether you got your peppers from your garden or the store, make sure to rinse them first. There may be left over dirt, bug poop, etc. still on them. Cut both ends of the pepper off and then cut 1/4 inch rings. A few of the rings will have most of the seeds in them, so just push your fingers through the middle to get the seeds out. Place all of your rings in a colander and run water over them. Use your fingers to stir the rings in the colander to loosen and dislodge any of the other seeds still left behind.
Create Pickling Juice
Measure out and add your ingredients to a small sauce pan. This includes your vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, and celery seed. Bring the juice to a rolling boil and stir to get the sugar dissolved.
Pack the Jars
Carefully remove the jars and lids from the hot water with a jar lifter, and place on a towel on a flat surface. Fill the jars with your pepper rings, and finish by pouring your pickling juice over them. Fill the jars to about 1/2 inch from the top. Place lids and screw on bands hand-tight.
Process the Canning Jars
If your only making a couple of jars and you will use them right away, it isn’t necessary to process them in the hot water bath. You can just screw on the lids to finger tightness and put in the fridge to pickle for about 2 weeks. Then they are ready to eat. If you are going to be making a large batch or storing them at room temperature, you need to process them in hot water. This sucks all the air out and keeps bacteria from growing inside.
To process the cans, put them back into the pan of water you used to sterilize them. USDA guidelines recommend placing them in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes at sea level up to 1000 feet. Remove from the water with your jar lifter and leave to cool upright and undisturbed on a cloth for 24 hours. After that, you can put them in your cabinet to pickle for the 2 weeks.
Make sure to check the seal on the jar and reprocess them within 24 hours if it did not seal right. If you push on the middle of the jar and it does not bounce back up, that means it is sealed.