Homemade hot pepper vinegar is simple to make and delicious over black-eyed peas, butterbeans, beef and much more. I prefer to use cayenne peppers, but other types would work as well. When possible, I use some ripe but unshriveled red peppers with the green for cosmetic reasons. Jars of pepper vinegar make a nice display in your kitchen.
WHAT YOU NEED AND HOW TO
sterilized jars and new lids
Wash the peppers and pack into a sterilized jar. It’s your choice as to whether to make slits in the peppers – I don’t. You can pack the jar or have it half full if you don’t have enough peppers. I use apple cider vinegar, because to me it has a better flavor, but white distilled vingegar can be used.
For one pint add 1/2 teaspoon of salt per jar. Bring vinegar to a boil. Pour the boiling vinegar over the peppers and salt, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. I can’t tell you exactly how much vinegar you’ll need – that will depend on how many peppers are in the jar.
Place lid on jar and screw the ring on well. After a couple hours check to make sure the jar sealed.( If it didn’t, store it in the refrigerator.) Allow the jars to sit for at least two weeks before using for the best flavor.
A FEW TIPS
You may want to wear plastic gloves while handling the peppers, especially varieties considered extremely hot. Don’t touch your face, lips or eyes!
Some people strain the vinegar and throw away the peppers. I don’t. When the vinegar is about half gone I add a little more (cold from the vinegar bottle), shake it and allow it to sit a couple of days. There’s still a lot of good left in those peppers!
Sometimes if I have any handy I’ll put a clove of garlic in with the peppers.