Enjoy deli-style sandwiches at home by adding a few of these easy pickled banana peppers. They are also a great way to add some crunch and flavor to an ordinary salad. The recipe below is for refrigerator banana peppers, but if you find yourself with a crazy producing banana pepper plant, I’ve included the instructions for canning them.
By popular demand, I’ve updated the recipe below so that it can be used for refrigerator banana peppers AND canned banana peppers. My original recipe was only good for refrigerator pickled banana peppers, but I had so many people asking about canning them that I decided to do some research and refresh this post.
Before I go on, I want to say how jealous I am of all of my readers with crazy producing banana pepper plants! I had intended to grow banana peppers last year, but the greenhouse where I get my seedlings didn’t have any baby banana peppers. They usually stock them so I thought it was just a fluke, but when I went to get my seedlings this year – gah! – no banana peppers. I won’t make that mistake next year. I am ordering some banana pepper seeds today!
For those of you without crazy producing pepper plants, you can buy banana peppers in your regular grocery store. They should be near the bell peppers, poblano peppers, and jalapeño peppers. They are usually light yellow in color, but can sometimes have a green or orange tint. Banana peppers are long and curved like bananas (hence their name) and are mild in spice.
Banana Peppers vs. Hungarian Wax Peppers
I often see sweet banana peppers and hot banana peppers being sold in the grocery store. Hot banana peppers are technically Hungarian Wax Peppers. Banana Peppers have a Scoville rating of 0-500 whereas Hungarian Wax Peppers have a Scoville rating of 1,000-15,000. To put that in perspective a bell pepper has a Scoville rating of 0 and a jalapeño has a Scoville rating of 2,500-10,000.
You can use the recipe below for Banana Peppers or Hungarian Wax Peppers, but I’m mentioning their Scoville rating so you know what you are buying if you see them marked this way in your grocery store. If your grocery store only has Hungarian Wax Peppers/Hot Banana Peppers and you don’t want spicy pickled peppers, you can remove the seeds and ribs before pickling them to lessen the heat. The recipe below would also work for pepperoncinis, sport peppers, or jalapeños.
Canning Banana Peppers
I make pickled banana peppers in small batches and add them to salads. This is because I’ve found that they lose their crispness when canned and I prefer a crunchy pepper. The seeds and ribs don’t bother me so I leave them in, but if you are canning banana peppers for long-term storage, you’ll want to remove them.
Ball sells a product called pickle crisp that has good reviews and is said to help maintain pickle crispness when you can pickles. I haven’t tried this, but if you are looking for a crisp pickled banana pepper, this might worth a try. If anyone tries it and it works, leave a comment and let me know!
Whatever you do, don’t go messing around with vinegar and water ratios if you are canning these for long-term storage. I learned that the hard way and had to throw away 7 quarts of peppers.
for Salads or Sandwiches
Banana Peppers will last in your refrigerator for up to 3 months. If canned and properly stored, they will last for up to a year.
- 1 lb. banana peppers (about 10)
- 3 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 garlic clove per jar, minced - 1 lb. of banana peppers filled roughly 2 quart sized mason jars
- Slice banana peppers into rings 1/4-inch thick. Remove seeds and ribs, if desired.
- Fill each mason jar to the top with banana peppers. Add 1 clove of minced garlic to each jar.
- In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar and stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. There is no need to bring your brine to a full boil, you just need to heat it enough to dissolve the sugar and salt. Cool the brine completely.
- When cooled, fill each jar with pickling brine, screw on the lid, and store in the refrigerator.
- Let the peppers pickle for at least 24 hours before eating. The longer they sit, the better they are!
- Prepare canner by bringing water to a boil. In a separate pot, heat lids and bands in simmering water until ready to use. You also need to heat your jars. You can do this by simmering them in the same pot as your lids and bands or run them through a cycle in your dishwasher.
- In a separate pot, bring vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and garlic to a boil. If you are canning your peppers, smash your garlic rather than mince it. Boil for 5 minutes. Stir to make sure the salt and sugar is completely dissolved. Discard garlic.
- To hot jars, add banana pepper rings leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Ladle brine into your jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles by running a knife around the edge of each jar.
- Wipe the rim of the jar. Screw on lids and place in a water bath canner. Make sure the jars are completely covered with water.
- Bring the water to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove jars, let cool, and wait for the home canner’s favorite sound, the “pop” of your jars sealing!
- After 24 hours, check the seals. The lids should not bounce up and down when you push on them with your fingertip. Store in a cool place until ready to use.