My banana peppers are doing great this year, and I am already to the
point where I will have to pick and pickle some. When I have pickled
them in the past, they tend to get soft. Any suggestions on what to add
to keep the peppers crunchy?
Adding epsom salt will help -- about 1/2 tsp per quart jar is probably a
good amount to start with. (no, that's not enough to change the taste
or give you The Runs) You could also try 1/4 tsp of alum.
I soak my cucumber slices in a fairly strong solution of epsom salt
before making pickles.
Also, try pouring hot brine over the peppers, seal, and then process the
jars in a hot water bath for 30 minutes at 180 to 185 degrees instead of
the usual 10 minutes at a rolling boil. (I think it's called the hot
water pasteurization method, and it's only good for pickles)
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