Canning Hot Peppers
I sort of overdid the planting of hot peppers this year and ended up with 13 plants, 4 chilis, 4 habeneros, 3 Chef Jeff's the world's hottest pepper (so they say), 1 cayenne, and one chili pepper overwintered from last year that is now huge and it alone will yield a huge amount of peppers. As the fruit sets and I watch it, I'm starting to worry about what to do with all the hot peppers. I like hot peppers but there are only so many hot dogs I can eat and salsa I can make and give away before this crop overwhelms me. At the end of February I'm part of an annual chili contest at one of the local pubs. Next year I'd like to use the peppers from this year's crop but am a bit unsure as to how to store these things over the winter.
I'm hoping to do regular boiled water canning since I don't want to buy a pressure cooker canner. I bought the canning jars, quart jars for my tomato crop and pint jars for these hot peppers if I can figure out how to do it. The tomatoes seem easier since they're acidic and canning them seems straightforward. My neighbor cans tomatoes so I'll watch how they do it. Hot peppers, on the other hand, are low acid which means they require vinegar or lemon juice or something to raise the acid level when canning without a pressure cooker.
My question for the group is: What do pickled peppers taste like after say 4 months storage in the can? Can you use pickled peppers in a chili recipe without the chili tasting like vinegar? I'm also open to simple freezing techniques too if that's easier. I read somewhere where you can chop up the peppers, place them on a cookie sheet and into the freezer. When frozen just scoop them into a zip lock baggie and store in the freezer until needed. For me this might be the easiest method since I do have extra freezer space.
How do you store your pepper crop for the winter?