Fermenting peppers is not a difficult process! It is quite easy, but patience is required! Fermenting peppers is an essential step in making hot sauce.
Can you make hot sauce with fresh peppers? Yes, technically, you can! Is the hot sauce sooo much better when you fement the peppers? Absolutely, it is! Check out my post for Fermented Hot Sauce.
How Can You Use Fermented Peppers?
The best use for Fermented Peppers is making your own hot sauce at home! You won’t have to buy the stuff at the grocery store!
Many of our favorite hot sauces, in the United States are still made with fermented peppers, including Sriracha and Tabasco. Fermenting the peppers gives the hot sauce a greater dimension of flavors!
History of Lacto-Fermenting
Fermenting peppers without a salt brine allows the peppers to ferment in their own juices. This intensifies the flavor of your finished product! This method has been employed, by humans for thousands of years!
Lacto fermentation was used to preserve vegetables that would otherwise spoil. These vegetables sustained families through barren months out the year.
Fermentation was traditionally done in large crocks, so that larger quantities of fresh produce could be preserved.
I include the above photo, so that you know, if the top has mold growing on on it, throw out that batch. It is not safe to eat! This one was contaminated because I over filled it with peppers and when I went to burp it the first week, they started to overflow, so, I had to scoop some of them out.
I did not sterilize the spoon first. Learn from my mistakes!
- Wash peppers. Remove stems. Place in food processor.
- Finely grind.
- Place in large bowl.
- Add salt. About 3 tablespoons per quart of peppers. Mix very well.
- Pack peppers and salt into quart jars. Pushing down to remove air pockets.
Let peppers ferment at least one month. I left mine for 4 months. Technically, the peppers can ferment for years, in large vats, as Tabasco does.
That is how easy it is to ferment your own peppers so that you can make your own hot sauce!
Due to my background in horticulture, I had several readers request a tutorial on Vegetable Gardening. So if you have interest in the subject, these posts are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss my How to Start a Garden Series! The first part is Planning Your Garden!
Second is Preparing the Garden Site.
The third is Choosing Plants and Planting Your Garden.
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Fermenting Hot Peppers
- hot peppers, any variety will work See post for more information
- 3 Tbsp salt, per quart of peppers.
- Remove stem from peppers.
- Grind in food processor.
- Mix 3 tablespoons salt per quart of peppers. Mix well. The salt will draw water out of the peppers and they will ferment in their own juices. Alternately, you can mix 1 quart of unchlorinated water with 3 tablespoons of sea salt, per quart.
- Sterilize jars. Pack in jars with peppers, pushing down contents to remove air. Leave 2 inches headspace.
- If using the brine method, cover peppers in jars with the water and salt mixture to cover. It is important the the peppers stay below the surface of the brine.
- Ferment in cool place for 1 to 4 months, up to years. For the first 2-3 weeks, burp jars daily, thereafter burp once per week.
- Use fermented peppers for making hot sauce.
- Trust your nose. If they smell rotten or sour, the batch is bad. Discard.
- If a pink or white fungus appears on top, the ferment has gone bad. Discard.