Soft peppers, ewww! Need help quick!!

sprkmakerAugust 24, 2010

Hello all - first time posting here. Quick question i hope i can get an answer to before this huge bag of peppers goes to waste. Last year i tried canning some banana peppers and ended up with a few jars of mushy pepper rings. I was supremely disappointed. This year, i do not want to have the same thing happen with the Jalapenos. Here is what i did last year...maybe you can help me fix the issue.

cut a bunch of peppers and put them in the canning jars.

created a brine of vinegar and water...added some mustard seed and a little sugar and got it boiling...a recipe from the ball canning book.

Poured the brine into the jars and sealed them (everything was sterilized).

Placed jars into boiling water bath for around 10 minutes.

Pulled them out and waited for them to cool and seal...

that is it.

What do i need to do to prevent these soft, mushy peppers? I dont remember using any calcium additive, is this needed? I want them to have similar, if not crisper, texture as jarred ones...a little more heat and a little more freshness in the flavor.

I feel the main reason they were ruined is that i heated them for 10 minutes. Is this pasturization process really necessary? My aunt says she just puts the boiling brine over the peppers and seals them and then the jars still seal this okay to do? can i maybe reduce the time to 5 minutes?

Need help guys, quick! Sorry if this has already been asked a bazillion times!


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readinglady(z8 OR)

No, you can't do what your aunt suggests. (Well, you can, but the risk is yours.)

When you open kettle can as your aunt does (dump-in-jar-slap-on-lid) it does "seal" but it's a weak seal and air (along with any contaminants in the air) remains. At the least there's a higher risk of spoilage.

Try it with jam if you wish, but not peppers.

Your only safe option is Pickle Crisp.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 12:29PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

The only way to make them crisp and do it safely is to use Pickle Crisp.
You process to kill bacteria, yeasts, molds,and enzymes.
Otherwise you sealed up all that bacteria in the jars with no place to go but to grow.
Never cut down on a processing time.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 2:59PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You could also do a pickling lime presoak but it is a messy pain to do. I too prefer using Pickle Crisp.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 3:35PM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

Where can I get pickle crisp? And does it actually do that -- my canned pickles last year were mushy. I make refrigerator pickles, but I'd like to be able to process some, too.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 4:20PM
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thanks, i'll get the pickle crisp and give it a shot. hope it works out!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 4:57PM
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Brian, did you use Pickle Crisp, and if so, did it make a difference? I tried canning banana peppers last year as well using a Ball recipe and got the same, mushy/inedible result. This year I purchased Pickle Crisp and have used it for pickles (haven't tasted them yet, allowing 4-6 wks to season), but not with peppers yet. If PC doesn't make a big difference, I may just choose to make refrigerator pickled peppers instead. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 8:35AM
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