How to Make Pickled Chiles

Pickled chile peppers, sometimes spelled “chili peppers,” are a tasty side and a popular topping for foods like tacos, burgers, and nachos. Pickle chiles in water, rice vinegar, salt, and sugar. Pickle chiles in white wine for a rich, unique flavor. Use a pressure canner when pickling to seal your jars and get the maximum shelf life from your pickled chiles. When pickled properly, chiles will last for up to 12 months.[1]


EditPickling Chiles

  • 5.3 oz (150 g) long, green chile peppers
  • 5 oz (150 ml) warm water
  • 3.4 oz (100 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) salt
  • 2½ tbsp. (37 ml) icing sugar (or regular sugar)

EditPickled Chiles in White Wine

  • 4 cups (1 liter) white wine
  • 3 tbsp (44 ml) sugar
  • Dried bay leaves
  • 5 tbsp (74 ml) cider vinegar

EditPressure Canner Pickling

  • 8 lbs (3.6 kg) of chiles
  • 5 cups (1.2 L) distilled white vinegar (5%)
  • 1 cup (236 ml) water
  • 4 tsp (20 ml) canning or pickling salt
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic


EditPickling Chiles

  1. Separate out bad chiles. Because the oil from the chiles can irritate your skin and eyes, wear plastic gloves when handling your chiles and wash your hands after handling chiles barehanded. Remove limp, spotted, and soft chiles. Crisp, firm, fresh peppers will yield the best pickled chiles.[2]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 1.jpg
  2. Cut the chiles and remove the seeds. Use a knife to remove the tops of the chiles. Slice them in your preferred fashion. Transfer the sliced chiles to a colander and rinse them under warm water.
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 2.jpg
    • When most of the seeds have been removed or washed into the bottom of the colander, place the chiles and colander off to the side.[3]
  3. Combine pickling ingredients in a mixing bowl. Heat your water in a kettle or pot until it is lightly boiling. Add the water and all other ingredients to a suitable mixing bowl. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the sugar completely dissolves.[4]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 3.jpg
  4. Add chiles and the pickling mixture to the jar. Insert the chiles into a sterilized jar. Pour the pickling mixture into the jar with the chiles. Leave at least a half inch (1.3 cm) of space between the mixture and the top of the jar.
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 4.jpg
    • Jars can be sterilized by boiling them in water for 10 minutes. Submerge the jars completely. Use tongs to prevent getting burned by hot water or jars. In this fashion, sterilize lids in nearly boiling water.[5]
  5. Allow the jar to cool before fastening its lid. Jars filled with the heated pickling mixture may cause burns if touched. Place these in a safe, out of reach location where children, other adults, and pets won’t have access to them.
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 5.jpg
  6. Refrigerate your pickled chiles and enjoy. When the lid has been fastened to the cooled jar, store it in the refrigerator. Wait at least an hour before eating the chiles. Chiles may lose spiciness over time.
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 6.jpg
    • Eat your pickled chiles within a week for a more intense flavor. Wait at least a week for milder pickled chiles.[6]

EditMaking Pickled Chiles in White Wine

  1. Select crisp, fresh peppers for pickling. Tender, firm, crisp peppers will taste best when pickled. Peppers with discoloration or soft spots should be thrown away. Wear rubber gloves when handling peppers to prevent skin irritation or transferring hot pepper oil to your eyes.
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 7.jpg
    • If you handle the peppers with your bare hands, thoroughly wash your hands immediately afterward in warm, soapy water.[7]
  2. Cut your chiles, if desired, then wash them in warm water. Pickling whole small chiles is perfectly fine, but sliced chiles may be preferable if you plan on using them as a side or topping. Rinse the chiles in warm, salty water. Drain the chiles, then set them off to the side for later.
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 8.jpg
    • If you plan on pickling whole small chiles, use a knife or toothpick to poke a hole in each chile at its tip.[8]
  3. Heat the wine and add pickling ingredients to it. Pour the white wine and apple cider vinegar into a pot. Set a burner to high and heat the mixture. As it heats, add 3 tbsp (44 ml) of sugar. Stir the mixture occasionally until it comes to a boil and the sugar is completely dissolved.[9]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 9.jpg
  4. Add the chiles and bay leaves to the mixture. Turn off the stove. Add about 3 bay leaves to the mixture. Insert the chiles into the pot. Mix all the ingredients in the pot with a wooden spoon by stirring periodically with a wooden spoon.[10]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 10.jpg
  5. Pour the chiles and pickling mixture to jars. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before transferring the chiles and pickling solution to sterilized jars. Heat from the mixture will transfer to the jars quickly, so be careful while doing this. Leave at least a half inch (1.3 cm) of space between the mixture and top of the lid.[11]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 11.jpg
    • Sterilize your jars before pickling by completely immersing these in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Use tongs to immerse and remove jars so you don’t get burned. Sterilize lids similarly in water that is nearly boiling.[12]
  6. Seal the jars and store pickled chiles in the refrigerator. Allow the mixture to fully cool before sealing the lids. Once lidded, store your pickled chiles in your refrigerator. Allow the chiles to pickle in your refrigerator for two weeks before eating.[13]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 12.jpg

EditUsing a Pressure Canner

  1. Select chile peppers for pickling. Handle peppers with gloves to protect your skin and eyes from irritation. Pods that are young, firm, and crisp will result in the best pickled chiles. Any peppers with brown or soft spots can be thrown away.
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 13.jpg
    • Whenever you handle chile peppers with your bare hands, be sure to wash them in warm soapy water immediately afterward to remove chile oil.[14]
  2. Sterilize your jar(s) in boiling water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Use tongs to submerge your jar(s) in the water for at least 10 minutes. To protect your lid(s) from deforming, sterilize lids with water that is nearly or lightly boiling for the same amount of time.[15]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 14.jpg
  3. Heat up the pressure canner. Rinse your pressure canner with clean water. Insert the rack plate in the canner’s bottom. Fill the canner with about 4 in (10.2 cm) of water, or to the point indicated in the canner’s user manual. Heat the canner over low heat with the lid off.[16]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 15.jpg
    • Some pressure canners may need to be adjusted according to altitude. Check your pressure canner’s instructions to determine its correct.[17]
    • Always follow the manual directions for your pressure canner. Some brands may have special procedures. Improper usage to result in damage or ruined peppers.
    • If you cannot find the directions for your canner, look for a digital manual online with a keyword search for your canner’s make and model.
  4. Wash chiles in warm water and remove their seeds. Small peppers can be pickled whole. Simply slice the pepper lengthwise and remove the seeds. Large peppers should be quartered with a knife. Remove the core of large chiles and most of the seeds.[18]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 16.jpg
    • If you like your peppers spicy, leave a few seeds behind. Save a few seeds for later and add these to the pickling mixture for spicier pickles.
  5. Remove the skins from the chiles. If your chiles have thick skin it will toughen when pickled. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and lay the peppers in the pan. After a few minutes, turn the peppers. When the skin begins to darken and bubble, it will be easier to pull free with your hands. Rinse the peppers after the skin is removed.
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 17.jpg
    • Use a knife, vegetable peeler, or a similar tool to scrape away the skin on chiles. Tools like these are especially useful for peppers with stubborn skins.
    • Pepper skin can be similarly blistered for easier removal in a broiler or on a grill. Apply medium heat to the peppers until the skins loosen.[19]
  6. Heat together the pickling mixture. Place a saucepan over high heat. Add the vinegar, water, pickling salt, sugar, and garlic cloves to the saucepan. When the mixture reaches a boil, decrease the heat and simmer it for 10 minutes. Remove the garlic with a ladle and throw it away. Turn off the stove top.[20]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 18.jpg
  7. Insert the chiles and pickling mixture into jars. Fill your jars with chiles until none remain. Leave at least an 1½ in (3.8 cm) of space between the chiles and the top of the jar. Use a ladle to transfer the pickling mixture to jars until there is only a half inch (1.3 cm) of space between the mixture and the top of the jar.[21]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 19.jpg
    • Heat will transfer from the mixture to the glass of the jar quickly. Handle jars filled with hot pickling mixture with safety implements, like an oven mitt, potholder, or tongs.
  8. Lid the jars. Position the round lids on top of the jars. Seal the lid to the jar by screwing the lid-ring on snugly. Do not over tighten jars when using a pressure canner. Doing so may make the jars very difficult to open later.[22]
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 20.jpg
  9. Boil jars in your pressure canner. Use tongs or a similar tool to place the jars in the boiling water of your canner. Jars should be covered by no less than 1 in (2.5 cm) of water at all times. Lid the canner. Jars must boil for 10 minutes. When the time is up, turn off the heat. When the canner’s pressure gauge reaches zero, open the vent. After two minutes, you can remove the lid.
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 21.jpg
    • Keep an eye on your pressure gauge while boiling the jars. The ideal canning pressure indicated in your canner’s user manual should be maintained for a full 10 minutes.[23]
    • The elevation of the region in which you live will influence the time needed to boil jars in your canner. Adjust boiling time according to the following:
      • Between 0 and 1,000 ft (0 and 304 m): 10 minutes
      • Between 1,001 and 6,000 ft (305 and 1,828 m): 15 minutes
      • Over 6,000 ft (1,828 m): 20 minutes[24]
  10. Store pickled chiles in a pantry or refrigerator. Use tongs to remove the jars from the canner when they’ve finished boiling. Place these on a wooden cutting board or towel. Allow jars to sit untouched in a draft-free location overnight. Afterward, store pickled chiles in your refrigerator or pantry.
    Make Pickled Chiles Step 22.jpg
    • Verify that the lids have been properly sealed by pressing the center of each lid. If you feel the lid pop, it is not properly sealed.
    • Refrigerate poorly sealed jars immediately. Use these in the next few weeks or so to prevent them from spoiling.
    • Loosen the ring fastener of jars after they have finished resting overnight. Allow the jars to remain like this for several hours so that water caught in the ring threading can evaporate. This will prevent lids from rusting.[25]


  • Improper pickling could result in bacteria tainting your pickled chiles. Always follow proper pickling procedure carefully.
  • Always follow your pressure canner’s directions. Using a canner in other ways than intended could result in damage or bacteria tainting your food.
  • Handle jars filled with heated pickling solution with safety implements, like tongs, oven mitts, and potholders, to prevent getting burned.

EditThings You’ll Need

EditPickling Chiles

  • Airtight jar(s) (like mason jars)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Colander
  • Knife
  • Tongs

EditChiles Pickled in White Wine

  • Pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Airtight jar(s) (like mason jars)
  • Tongs

EditPressure Canner Pickling

  • Pressure canner
  • Tongs
  • Large pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ball jars
  • 6 to 8 qt (5.7 to 7.6 L) saucepan or pot
  • Ladle

EditSources and Citations

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