Canning w/o a Water-Bath

The following extracts are from canning forum responses to questions about how to avoid mushy peppers, etc. If you are interested in this simpler way know that when we did not strickly follow the USDA guideline it was ONLY with produce picked fresh from OUR garden and almost always canned the same day or within a couple of days. We believe it is significant that we know how it was grown, when it was gathered, and that it was washed in our pure, clean, deep-well water. Inclusion here is NOT a recommendation to try these folks’ methods.

hoodat Garden Addicted
Location: Palm Desert CA

I don’t water bath pickles with a strong vinegar content. I just pack the jars and pour the boiling solution over them, cinching the lids down immediately. Almost every jar will seal and the occasional one that doesn’t is just refrigerated and used first.

I use water and vinegar half and half. That strong vinegar content just about eliminates any harmful organisms. In years gone by pickles were held in crocks in the cellar and not normally canned.

TSP Pooper-Scooper
Dedicated Contributor
Re: Mushy canned peppers…help
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2010, 12:22:41 PM »

This is not a good idea and I am in no way endorsing it as such but when I put up peppers in vinegar I sterilize my jars, rinse my peppers, bring cider vinegar to a boil (it’s more acidic than white vinegar). Then fill the jars with peppers and pour the vinegar over the peppers to about 1/2″ below the rim. Put on lids and I’m done. I don’t process them at all as I’m not interested in cooked peppers. My parents did this as did my grandparents and my daughter also does it and obviously it didn’t harm any of us but I make no claims it’s safe, or even sensible.

Re: Mushy canned peppers…help
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2010, 05:00:57 PM »

I use the same method as OKgranny, only refrigerate if opened. Never had a problem, but add salt in the jar before pouring the hot cider vinegar.

dibob817 sep 8, 200806:04 pm
Just wash them – or any hot pepper – the process is the same – cut the stems down to nubs so they dont injure themselves in the jar – pack them as tight as u can in a glass jar – hopefully 1 with a rubber ring around the lid. (not a peanut butter jar). Use a jar that was previously used for pickles – or olives , etc. when the peppers r all packed , add (per quart) 1 tsp of salt and sugar both, fill the jar 1/2 way with 5% vinegar, top off with as much water as u can get in. Then screw the top on.

Use perfect peppers and they will keep for a yr OUTSIDE OF THE FRIDGE and stay crispy also. Turn the jars upside down a few times to dissolve the sugar and salt – – eat after 2 weeks. u wont believe how good they r – no processing ever needed with hot peppers – as long as its 50% vinegar – but dont add too much vinegar – 50 % is perfect”

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3033
Joined: Jul 19 ’10
Location: New Orleans
I never use a water bath when pickling okra, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, my hot veggie mix of carrots, onions, cauliflower and celery. I simply put the vegetables in the jars, add the hot brine, wipe off the tops of the jars and put on the lids. Every once in a while a jar will not form a seal. When this happens, I allow the jar to cool to room temperature and put it in the fridge for later use. I’ll use these first after a couple weeks of being in the brine.

At one time I would put them in a hot water bath but that does soften the vegetables too much for my liking. I’ve got some pickled okra that is over a year old and it is still crunchy when bitten into.

Posts: 5122
Joined: Jul 5 ’06
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A
The method that Gumbo cites is the same way my mother taught me, she, in turn, learned from her Aunt, so my family has been using this technique for decades. I believe that the key here is that the peppers are essentially pickled.
P.S. Oh, I forgot, remove the stems to allow the brine access to the interior of the pepper and make a vertical slice in the bottom for the same reason. And I do boil the lids briefly before closing the jars.

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