Monday, October 25, 2010

Pepper Vinegar

Being a California girl, I wasn't really sure what pepper vinegar was when I first stumbled upon a recipe for it.
How did I stumble across a recipe for pepper vinegar? Well, in anticipation of planting a variety of hot pepper plants, I began searching for recipes to utilize them. Why grow 6 different hot peppers with no plans to USE any of them?
When I first found this recipe I was intrigued, to say the least. I looked up other versions of pepper vinegar. I remembered going to St. Louis for a couson's wedding and seeing a bottle of what must have been -pepper vinegar- in a Steak and Shake. these people were onto something that I wasn't.
These pepper recipes were part of why I started blogging when I did. I wanted to document recipes that I tried and made up. Some have been good, some have been not so good. But this pepper vinegar has been great.
Hubby and I have put it on stuffed bell peppers and on pasta. There are definite plans to put some on pizza next time we make that too. It's peppery- that's for sure, but not as hot as you might think it should be since it has cayenne peppers in it. It's also vinegar-y (sp?), go figure. Perfect replacement for the bottled hot sauce we had sitting in the fridge. As you can see in one of my pictures, we dumped the hot sauce in favor of some pepper vinegar. The other bottles are those small wine bottles you find in the store in packs of 4. I love using those when a recipe calls for about a cup of wine- no need to open up a whole bottle!
Any bottle you want should work, so long as you can wash it well and the neck is wide enough to shove peppers through. Take also into consideration how well it pours. We found those wine bottles don't pour as easily as we would like. It's all worth it though. :)
This pepper vinegar needs to sit in the cupboard or the fridge for 2 weeks, ideally before use. This gives the vinegar time to absorb that yummy flavor. And now that the weather is starting to cool off (at least around my parts), it's time to figure out what to do with all of those last peppers before the cold destroys them! This recipe is perfect!
Of course, you could just go to the grocery store and grab some peppers there. Bring the bottle you plan to use (empty!) so you can get an idea of how many peppers you'll need.
Onto the recipe...

Pepper Vinegar
(recipe from

Hot peppers (cayennes, serranos, jalapenos, etc.)
Distilled white vinegar (Try apple cider vinegar for a fun twist!)
bottles (clear is fun so you can see the peppers inside)

Wash, and sterilize in a hot water bath if you so desire, the bottles and lids (and a funnel).
Wash the peppers and let dry, or gently dry with a towel. Cut off the stem and slice in half (or in quarters if a half is too big to fit through the neck of the bottle).
Stuff the peppers into the bottle. You want them to all fit in nicely, but not too snug because otherwise, the vinegar won't be able to get around all of them. You can get creative here and put the peppers in different orders to make fun patterns. I found a chopstick was very handy in getting the peppers right where I wanted them. Make sure there is empty space in the neck above the peppers. This ensures they can all be covered completely with vinegar.
Warm up some vinegar. You have to estimate how much you'll need. If you are making several bottles, I recommend following the directions here on how he heated up the vinegar. Since I did one or 2 small bottles at a time, I put some vinegar in a glass liquid measuring cup and popped in in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds.
Pour the vinegar into the bottles with the help of a funnel. Once the tops of the peppers are covered, oh so gently shake the bottle to release any air pockets. Fill up some more, but make sure to leave some head space in the top.
These little beauties need to sit away from direct sunlight for at least 2 weeks. Put them in a cupboard or in your fridge. I'm making some for Christmas gifts. Yum!

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  1. This is definitely one of my favorite things to make with an abundant chile crop! I have a few bottles on the shelf and in the fridge right this minute in different varieties. Yours look and sound wonderful, thanks for sharing them with the hearth and soul hop this week.

  2. I should make a bottle for my SIL, he loves hot stuff. Thanks.

  3. I am intrigued! I just harvested lots of peppers yesterday. I might just give this a try.

  4. we planted a ton of pepper plants this year..with no idea what to do with them too! we are still waiting for the peppers to be ready. i am definitely going to try your vinegar. thank you for sharing the recipe with me and tuesday night supper club!

  5. Perfect timing! We're having a hard freeze tonight and I have a bucketful of peppers to use up! I was also playing around with the idea of canning some up - like the canned diced jalapenos you buy. What do you think?

  6. How neat! This is a great idea!

    Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites!

  7. I love this idea! A peppery vinegar sounds like something I would love. I have been wanting to make some flavored oils and vinegars - now I'm inspired!

  8. My hubby would love this. Thanks for the inspiration!