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Old 08-03-2011, 10:21   #1
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Repackaging Pickled Vegetables

I found a good deal on mild peppers. $7 for about a gallon of pickled peppers at GFS. The jar says refrigerate after opening. I don't have a fridge.

I am wondering if I can repack the jar into pint mason jars. I could use up a pint in about a week or two.

So I am wondering if the vinegar kills bacteria? Do you really have to refrigerate pickled vegetables after opening?

If I repack the peppers, do I have to cook them to be safe?
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:23   #2
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Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

Ask Peter Piper........ sorry couldn't resist!

I have had good luck with pickles stuff lasting a LONG time unrefrigerated.... months!
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:27   #3
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pirate Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

There's only one bad side to vinegar... it never turns into wine...
You should be ok...
just sterilize the mason jars to be safe..
the first bite will tell you if they're off...
remember... spit.. don't swallow..
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:01   #4
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Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

I recently ate a bad clam and spent a week doing things I would rather not discuss. You know food poisoning isn't as much fun as you'd think it would be

I think one of the keys with vinegar is make sure it completely covers the food.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:07   #5
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Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

I would guess that if it says refrigerate after opening that it doesn't have a high enough vinegar and salt concentration to prevent mold growth at room temperature. When sealed at the factory it is sterilized to kill all spores. When you break that seal even momentarily you will introduce bacteria, especially anarobic bacteria such as botulism. These can be fatal if ingested, even a taste can be a fatal dose. Buy the smaller jars, and use them quickly.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:09   #6
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Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

You need to be careful. Tasting tainted food is not a good way to tell, botulism is tasteless and while it might be a unlikely you contaminate your peppers it can kill you.

If you have a canner you may be able to pressure can and be safer. Sterilize everything, that doesn't mean wash it in hot soapy water. With pressure canning you only need to be sure things are clean, the canning will (with the right time and pressure) sterilize things for you.

Pickled items are not immune to botulism.
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Old 08-03-2011, 13:13   #7
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Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

My experience with peppers is that once opened they get bad easily. I would try to take them out one by one with perfectly clean fork each and every time you use them and then they last longer.

Look for smaller jars.

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Old 08-03-2011, 13:19   #8
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Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

Is it possible to sterilize food with light? Like what doctors do with their tools?

Just askin'.

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Old 08-03-2011, 13:32   #9
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Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

There was a restaurant outbreak of botulism a few years ago caused by pickled peppers that were left on tables. Repickling in sterilized jars would cost more than you save. Have you thought of having one big Pickled Pepper Party where you and your friends eat them all at once?
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Old 08-03-2011, 15:39   #10
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Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

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Originally Posted by JanetGroene View Post
There was a restaurant outbreak of botulism a few years ago caused by pickled peppers that were left on tables. Repickling in sterilized jars would cost more than you save. Have you thought of having one big Pickled Pepper Party where you and your friends eat them all at once?
Hahaha that sounds like fun

I guess I need to learn how to preserve and pickle vegetables. For the price, I don't think I could grow that many peppers in a garden.

I would love to hold a pickled pepper party and may just buy a bottle for a big Peter Piper type pickled pepper party. But I also want a steady supply for daily eating.

I don't think it would be all that expensive to preserve them again in smaller mason jars, if I used the vinegar from the gallon jar and heated them up in a pressure cooker.

They might get cooked too much.
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Old 08-03-2011, 19:10   #11
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Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

In the "old days", pickles (cucumbers, not peppers,tho') came in barrels. The barrel would get opened and sit on the store's floor until they were all sold, often without even a lid on it. Not all of us old farts died... but they may well have used stronger mixtures of vinegar and salt. YMMV.

So what the hell, eat 'em at your leisure, but feed a few to the cat before you try the leftovers!

Cheers,

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Old 08-03-2011, 19:56   #12
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Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

It's the bacteria (in the air, and everything else) that causes food to go bad. Open containers (or constantly openned/closed) on tables is a little different than a well seeled container sitting in a relatively cool dark place.

If you work quickly in a clean environment, and use hermetically sealed containers (maybe something that can expel the air, instead of mason jars) and fill the containers to the lid, so there is the least amount of air as possible, you should be fine for at least a few months. Of course test before eating just in case... Usually pickled items will discolor when bad, and will probably go rancid, although that's just a rumor because I've never seen a pickled anything go bad...

Ever seen those pickled pigs feet on the counter in southern convenience stores, the ones floating around in that murky pink solution? I know a guy that actually eats those. He can't go into a store without getting one I've seen those jars sit for well over a year at the local store (absolutely positive it's the same jar, I checked) and probably much longer than that. That's just a screw on lid with dirty old tongs occasionally dipped in, and we're talking about pigs feet, not peppers or veggies

I'd trust some sealed and stored peppers quite a bit more than that stuff...

You could try giving them a water bath in the mason jars per standard canning instructions. But you'd probably over cook them (like you said), and it would seem just as well do the whole process with fresh pepper/veggies to begin with.

I say try it out, worst case scenario you have to throw out a few jars of peppers and you're out $7.
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Old 14-03-2011, 07:24   #13
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Re: Repackaging pickled vegetables

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
In the "old days", pickles (cucumbers, not peppers,tho') came in barrels. The barrel would get opened and sit on the store's floor until they were all sold, often without even a lid on it. Not all of us old farts died... but they may well have used stronger mixtures of vinegar and salt. YMMV.

So what the hell, eat 'em at your leisure, but feed a few to the cat before you try the leftovers!

Cheers,

Jim
Finding some of those "old school" recipes might be good. Modern food preservation focuses more on high temperature sterilization, than salt. And less on long term storage, than just keep the food fresh until next shopping week. I doubt any of us can make a barrel of pickels fresh in a barrel in the bottom of the hull for a year.
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Old 14-03-2011, 11:04   #14
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Re: Repackaging Pickled Vegetables

Arrgh salt beef is a treat matey for when you can't choke down the salt cod n'more and it'll be pine tar for after to drive away the scurvey. A ration of salt cabbage each day will keep ye in the pink.

In the old days a sailors blood pressure must have been elevated from the quantity of salt in their diet. Capt Cook worked out a diet to keep away scurvey. One of the components was preserved cabbage - some form of sourkraut.
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Old 14-03-2011, 11:21   #15
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Re: Repackaging Pickled Vegetables

Cap'n Bill says:Finding some of those "old school" recipes might be good. Modern food preservation focuses more on high temperature sterilization, than salt. And less on long term storage, than just keep the food fresh until next shopping week. I doubt any of us can make a barrel of pickels fresh in a barrel in the bottom of the hull for a year.

Instructions for old-time preserving methods from candying to corning are in my book The Galley Book published some years back by David McKay. It's out of print, so this isn't shameless self-promotion. I no longer get royalties. Try Amazon. A general rule can be made: much depends on how fresh the food was when you started, how clean and complete was the preserving process and what conditions the food is stored in. In pickling processes the acidity is a key element. If vinegar was not acid enough to begin with (homemade vinegars are often guilty of this) or if it's too dilated by other ingredients, spoilage will be quicker. Here's a way to use leftover pickle juice. Pack a jar tightly with carrot or celery sticks. Bring leftover pickled juice to a boil and pour over vegetables. Refrigerate two or three days. Vegetables are not preserved but they do carry the wonderful flavor of the pickle juices and spices.
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