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Pickled Chillies


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It is now November and although we have smoked and dried a lot of our chillies already and we still have a few more to harvest, it is time to get some pickled.  As these are to be eaten as a side dish or garnish I have selected mainly the milder chillies but with a few hot ones to add a little punch. If you are looking to make a hot chilli salsa or chilly sauce then just use the hotter chillies

Chillies halved/sliced and de-seeded


The spices I am using are garlic, bay leaves and mustard seeds.

The chillies and spices are layered in the jar and the brine is added. I am using a 5% brine


Reserve some of the brine and use it to fill a ziplock bag in the neck of the jar. This acts as an air tight stopper but also allow any carbon dioxide produced by the fermentation to escape


After 2 weeks you can see the CO2 bubble to the surface as you gently rock the jar. The smell of the naturally formed vinegar is wonderful too. After 3 weeks the fermentation had produced a mild natural vinegar and the salinity is reduced slightly as the salt is diluted by the juices from the chillies. The pH of the brine also decreased (become more acid) as the natural vinegar was produced. In this case the brine pH dropped fro 5.6 to 4.2 over the 3 week ferment.


The chillies are now ready.

Next, strain the chillies and reserve the brine in a non reactive saucepan. Bring the brine to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, straining off any scum. Allow the brine to cool.

5a19685d175c8_PickledChilliesstrained.thumb.jpg.42e2284b0401ec661bbd5899a2193af2.jpgPickled Chillies Boiling Brine scum.jpg

To help reduce storage space, this time I packed them in pouches - but jars work well too. Fill the container with the chillies and then cover with the cooled brine before sealing.


By packing using the picking brine you retain more flavour however it can remain a little cloudy. If you want it to be crystal clear then you can pack using a fresh 5% brine with fresh spices.


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