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How To Make Hot & Spicy Pickles – Amazing Flavor In Every Bite!

If you or someone you know loves hot and spicy food you are going to love this homemade pickles recipe! Fresh picked cucumbers that are sliced and soaked in a pepper infused brine that is not only hot, but full of flavor.

We will not only eat them as a condiment on sandwiches but also as a quick afternoon snack on busy days. And yes, we even put the pickles and pickle juice in our Bloody Mary drinks on Saturday morning to increase the heat level.

However, if you head to the grocery to pick up a spicy jar of pickles they may be difficult to find. In fact, at several stores you will only find dill pickles, sweet pickles or bread and butter pickles.

spicy and hot pickles in a mason jar
Hot and Spicy Pickles canned and ready to be enjoyed in just 2 weeks.

However because spicy foods are becoming more popular and common, some large supermarkets are beginning to carry a brand or two of the hotter pickles. But instead of relying on the grocery store, we decided to take matters into our own hands and make our own.

So when we started to harvest our cucumbers from the garden a few years ago, and made all of the dill pickles, bread and butter pickles and sweet relish that we could eat, we decided to give hot & spicy pickles a try.

And I have to tell you, they have become our new favorite pickles to make and eat! Although they provided a good amount of heat, it is the amazing flavor that makes them so delicious.

Tips For Making Hot & Spicy Pickles

1. Picking The Cucumbers

With any pickle recipe it is vital to start off with fresh, just picked cucumbers. The firmer the cucumbers, the crunchier your pickles will be.

And as always, pickling cucumbers are better to use than salad cucumbers. They not only have a smaller seed core, but they also have a tougher outer skin. Therefore, the chances of your pickles remaining crunchy after the canning process is much higher when you use pickling cucumbers.

2. Cutting The Cucumbers

Once you have your cucumbers it is vital that you cut the ends off the cucumbers and discard. The blossom end contains an enzyme that will leech out during the pickling process and cause the pickles to become limp.

Instead of trying to determine which end is the blossom end, it is much easier to simply slice both ends off. This way you can ensure that the pickles remain crisp.

crinkle cut cucumbers
Slice your cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices. We like to use our Crinkle Cutter to make them look fancy.

Now that you know which cucumbers are best to make hot & spicy pickles and you know to discard the ends it is time to get the cucumbers prepared. Start by slicing your cucumbers in 1/4 inch slices.

I like to use a crinkle cutter to make them look fancy. However, any knife or mandoline slicer will work.

3. The Brine

To make the pickle brine add the vinegar, water, salt, sugar and turmeric in a large stockpot. Next, wrap your dill and pickling spices in a tied cheesecloth bag and place it in the liquid.

The cheesecloth bag makes it extremely easy to remove the dill and pickling slices from the brine. However you can always strain the brine in a fine mesh colander if you don’t have a cheesecloth bag.

Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to allow the brine to simmer for 5 minutes.

4. The Canning Process

While the liquid is on the stove heating up, prepare your canning jars. First place the peppercorns, garlic and red chiles in each sterilized and cooled jars. Then pack them full of the sliced cucumbers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top of each jar.

Alternatively, you can fill the jars with the slices of cucumbers until just below half full. Then add the peppercorns, garlic, and red chiles and the remaining cucumbers until there is 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jar.

*If you like things on the hotter side, feel free to add red pepper flakes and a few more chiles to each jar.

When the brine is ready, remove the cheesecloth and pour the liquid into each jar. Again, remember to leave 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jar to allow for expansion.

Next, run a plastic utensil down the inside of each jar of the hot & spicy pickles to remove any air bubbles that may be caught in the liquid. Add more brine if necessary.

spice bag in brine
Place the dill and pickling spices into a tied cheesecloth bag and let it simmer with the brine.

Now wipe the rims of the jar clean and place a clean lid on top. Tighten the the band to finger tight only.

Place the jars in a hot water bath canner that is near boiling. Make sure that there is approximately 1-2 inches of water above the top of the jars.

Heat until the water begins to boil. Then start the processing time of 8 minutes, adjusting for altitude as necessary.

When the processing time for the hot & spicy pickles is up, turn off the heat source. Then carefully lift the lid away from you.

5. Remove the Jars and Check The Seal

Allow the jars to sit in the hot water for 5 minutes before removing them from the water bath canner using a jar lifter. Place the jars on a thick towel and let cool for 24 hours.

Then check to make sure each jar sealed. You will know if the jar sealed properly when you press down on the center of each lid. If it doesn’t move, the jar has sealed. Remove the band and store in a cool, dark place.

However, if the lid pops up and down place that jar in the refrigerator. It is not safe to store unsealed jars at room temperature.

6. Wait Time Required

Now here is the most difficult part. You must wait at least 2 weeks before opening the jar.

This allows time for the pickling process to occur and for the flavors to penetration into the pickle. It will seem like forever, but the wait is well worth it!

cucumbers and hot peppers
Be sure to leave one inch headspace at the top of each jar so that it has room to expand during the canning process.

Hot & Spicy Pickles Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.

YIELD: Approximately 8 pint jars

INGREDIENTS

  • 30 – 40 medium size pickling cucumbers
  • 4 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 6 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spices
  • 1 garlic bulb, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 32 red dried hot chili peppers, (4 per pint jar)
  • crushed red pepper flakes, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sterilize canning jars and let cool until able to be easily handled. Most brands of canning jar lids no longer require you to heat them, however, be sure to read the instructions on the package for safe canning practices.
  2. Prepare water bath canner per manufacture’s instructions. *Skip this step if you plan to store them in the refrigerator.
  3. Clean cucumbers and cut off the ends and discard. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.
  4. Place water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and turmeric in large pot. Then place the sprigs of dill and pickling spices into a cheesecloth. Tie the ends of the cheesecloth and place it in the pot.
  5. Bring the liquid mixture to a boil to make the brine solution. Reduce and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Place a few peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic, and 4 dried red chili peppers into each pint jar. *Add crushed red pepper flakes for an even hotter pickle.
  7. Place cucumber slices in jar and fill with brine solution, leaving 1/2 inch space at the top. Refrigerate immediately or prepare to can using the water bath method.
hot water bath pickles
Start the processing time when there is a steady an continuous boil of the water.

Water Bath Canning Instructions

  1. Using a plastic utensil, remove any air bubbles by sliding the utensil down the inside of the jar. Add more brine, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  2. Wipe rims of jars with clean cloth, place a new lid on and screw on bands to finger tight only.
  3. Using a jar lifter, place filled jars into your water bath canner that is near the boiling point, making sure to have about 1-2 inches of water above the top of the lids. Once the water bath begins to boil, process for 8 minutes.
  4. Remove the jars from the canner and let rest on a thick towel for 24 hours.
  5. After 24 hours be sure that each jar sealed by pressing on the center of the lid. *If the lid moves up and down, then place those jars in the refrigerator. If the lid does not move when pushed, remove the band and store in a cool dark place.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Yield: 8 pints

Hot & Spicy Pickle Recipe

hot & spicy pickles

How to make hot & spicy pickles from your garden fresh cucumbers. A great new way to enjoy a taste of pickles that will give you a little kick!

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes

Ingredients

  • 30 - 40 medium size pickling cucumbers
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 ⁄4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 6 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spices
  • 1 garlic bulb, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1 ⁄2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • red dried hot chili peppers, 4 per pint jar
  • crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Instructions

  1. Sterilize canning jars and let cool until able to be easily handled. Warm canning jar lids in a small skillet with water.
  2. Prepare water bath canner per manufacture's instructions. *Skip this step is making refrigerator pickles.
  3. Clean cucumbers and cut off the ends and discard. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.
  4. Place water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and turmeric in large pot. Then place the sprigs of dill and pickling spices into a cheesecloth. Tie the ends of the cheesecloth and place in the pot.
  5. Bring liquid mixture to a boil to make the brine solution. Reduce and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Place a few peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic, and 4 dried red chili peppers into each pint jar. *Add crushed red pepper flakes for an even hotter pickle.
  7. Place cucumber slices in jar and fill with brine solution, leaving 1/2 inch space at the top. Refrigerate immediately or prepare to can using the water bath method.

Water Bath Canning Instructions

  1. Using a plastic utensil, remove any air bubbles by sliding the utensil down the inside of the jar. Add more brine, leaving 1/2 inch headroom.
  2. Wipe rims of jars with clean cloth, place a clean lid on and screw on bands to finger tight only.
  3. Using a jar lifter, place filled jars into your water bath canner making sure to have about 1-2 inches of water above the top of the lids. Once the water bath begins to boil, process for 8 minutes.
  4. Remove the jars from the canner and let rest on a thick towel for 24 hours.
  5. After 24 hours be sure that each jar sealed by pressing on the center of the lid. *If the lid moves up and down place those jars in the refrigerator. If the lid does not move when pushed, remove the band and store in a cool dark place.

Notes

Allow the jars to sit for at least 2 weeks before opening.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 pint

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 90725mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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