how to make Pepperoncini's hot?

chopstocky(z6 NY Sunset 37)October 24, 2005

This is the first year growing peppers. The two pepperoncini plants I grew are healthy and seemed to blossom and fruit pretty easily. As the season progressed they got nice and big and green. The first ones started to turn red then get ugly. I heard they were supposed to turn yellow when ripe so I let a bunch go. They just went from green to red. Now that it's getting cold out I figure there's not much time left. I picked some green and red ones to taste raw. Neither were hot. In fact they tasted like their bell pepper counterparts. Is there anything I'm supposed to do or is there certain type of weather required to get them hot? Is it the pickling process that gives them heat? I did plant them a little late so not sure if that has to do with it.

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john47_johnf(Maine z4/5)

Pepperoncini are usually mild peppers. They turn from green to red except for a golden variety which remains that color.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 6:46PM
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I've eaten about 100 and never had a "hot" one. I don't know anything about crossing varieties but if it's possible to cross pollinate it with a habanero the seeds for the next years crop would be pretty hot , I assume.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 12:48AM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

Why not just find a little hotter pepper?

Pepperonini is a very mild to no heat pepper, Try Jals, Purple Jals, Ancho, New Mex, Chimayo etc.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 9:35AM
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chopstocky(z6 NY Sunset 37)

I will probably try something hotter next year. But I thought pepperoncini's were a little hot too. At least the pickled ones you find in a jar in the supermarket have a little kick to them- nothing like habaneros or the like. That's why I was wondering if the pickeling process had anything to do with it.

I started two additional plants late in the season and will be overwintering them by south windows. They both have blossoms and a few set fruit. Do you think I should pull these off for the health sake of the plant or can I get them to mature with a light setup?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 11:41AM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

If you use a HID or Agrosun set up you might have ripe pods.

Or you can keep the plant alive with a 65W grow lght

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 12:26PM
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chopstocky(z6 NY Sunset 37)

I've been looking into a light setup for a number of plants I've brought indoors (peppers, tomatoes, citrus trees, seedlings for the spring)

I'm open to suggestions on what other people have had sucess with. I am leaning towards a 400W metal halide/HPS convertible ballast so that I can get growth AND have flowering/fruit. I will also have them next to a relatively small south window. Winters are grey around here.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 12:43PM
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Am guessing that a south window alone will suffice for Pepperoncinis.

I have HPS and MH fixtures and still use, but what with the high lumen output of both cool and warm flouro tubes these days the more $$ setups might be better, but not absolutely necessary.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 2:53PM
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If you have a strain of peperoncini that is mild and you want them to have a little kick, you can pickle them by putting one hot pepper in each jar of peperoncini.

I used to pickle mild peppers with one jalapeno in each jar to add flavor. You might want to put a habanero in there for even more kick.

When I owned a pizza shop, I noticed that every case of peperoncini I bought varied slightly from the previous case with regard to heat level. Most of the peperoncini I bought that had noticable heat were grown in Greece. The ones grown in U.S. seemed milder. I suppose it's a function of strain, climate, soil, and other growing conditions.

Of course, in the food industry, it's really just a matter of little adjustments in the added contents like food coloring and capsicum oil that creates the product appearance and taste profile for the packer.

So, again, if you want your peperoncini to appear more "yellow" in the jar, add a pinch of tumeric to the brine or vinegar solution; and if you want a little kick, add a jalapeno or habanero as a companion to each jar.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 8:13AM
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chopstocky(z6 NY Sunset 37)

Wow, thanks Bill! That's great info and very interesting. I'll have to try that next year. I guess the strain of pepper seeds I planted just aren't hot. I'll have to do some research and find some interesting peppers to plant- like habs.

I also saw a multicolored pepper plant once in a nursery that looked beautiful. Like it was adorned with holiday lights. Don't know if they were edible or decorative but I've got to try growing that- wish I wrote the name down.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 10:16AM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

FWIW In the Pepper Gal seed catalog Pepperoncini's are listed as a sweet pepper.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 11:33AM
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Click on this link: Craig Houlier's Hot Pepper Photos and you will see a table with blue lettered hyperlinks to photographs of a wide selection of pepper varieties. The site is a wonderful resource for identifying peppers you might find beautiful.

Then you can go to this site: Tomato Growers Supply's Pages of Hot Pepper Seeds to find a boatload of varieties for sale.

There are dozens of other seedsmen who also have online catalogues of available hot pepper seed varieties.

And you can go to the top of the Chile Pepper discussion forum page and you'll see two hyperlinks just above the top of the list of topics. One is "Exchange" where you will find several offers of free seed from very generous pepper growers who post messages here, and "Gallery" which will take you to several links to photographs of peppers the members have grown.

Those ornamental peppers you describe are edible. All hot peppers are edible if you can keep them in your mouth.

Keep it HOT, Bill

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 6:43PM
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chopstocky(z6 NY Sunset 37)

Hi Bill! THanks for all the great info! I called the nursery today to find out the pepper name was Masquerade. After looking at the links you sent I think the Bolivian Rainbow would be even prettier- more colors on the plant at the same time. I can eat both of these? COOL!

Any special growing medium that y'all use for peppers in pots? I figure this would be the best way since I'd take them in every winter.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 3:04PM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

If your eating Pepperoncini's on a scale of 1 to 10 these Are a 1 or less, Bolvian Rainbows are tiny but they are a 7 to 8 on the scale

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 5:40PM
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Here's another link with photos and description of lots of chiles.

Chile growing is addictive......

Here is a link that might be useful: Chile Head

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 8:48AM
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chopstocky(z6 NY Sunset 37)

Willard-It sure is addicting!! I have barely started and I'm already looking to order many different types of seed! thanks for the link.

Byron- it's funny how Bolivian Rainbows are 7 or 8 times hotter than pepperoncini's! My wife can barely handle the jarred 'cini's- she's in for a surprise! Still don't know why my peppers had NO HEAT, ZERO, ZIP, NADA! I guess I let myself be mislead by the packet. What's the point of a no heat pepperoncini when I can grow bell peppers with the same taste?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 12:33PM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

Some folks grow different peppers for different colors, and some for a different taste, I had a sweet pepper this year called Aconagua, This pepper is awesome when stir fried.

At one time I did Red Savina and Chocolate habs, ( on a scale of 1 to 10, some years these are 12 to 15) which are about 65 times hotter than a 'cini. now my favorite is Chimayo, on a scale of 1 to 10, it's about a 3, But the taste is fantastic.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 6:42PM
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stevent(Z6, Coastal MA)

Sorry this post is so late -- the kick in pickled pepperoncini comes from horseradish in the pickling brine. Find a copy of the Ball Canning Guide (The Blue Book) for the recipe for these -- also lots of others. I pickle New Mexicos and they come out just fine.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 8:36PM
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