Smoked pickled peppers

This pickle came about while working on a chilli cheeseburger for the next burger popup. It’s hot, sweet, smoky and sour and works brilliantly well with almost anything, especially burgers. If you don’t have a suitable BBQ you can charr the skins of the peppers under a grill then peel, but you’ll miss out on the smokey flavor.

  • 12 large bell type peppers of different colours
  • 250g cider vinegar
  • 120g water
  • 30g sugar
  • 6g salt
  • 5g coursly crushed black peppercorns
  • 5g sweet onion or spring onion powder
  • 5g sweet paprika
  • 5g smoked hot paprika
  • 1-5g jalapeño flakes to taste

I use a dehydrator to make the sweet paprika, spring onion powder and jalapeño flakes but you can also buy them as powders.


Light a Webber type chimney full of charcoal or briquettes and empty into the BBQ/smoker when ready (bottom of the BBQ for kettle type BBQs, offset Fire chamber for offset models). Lay the peppers directly on to the coals turning frequently until charred all over. When the peppers are nicely charred move them to one side (kettle bbq) or to the smoking chamber (offset models).

Add soaked wood chips or larger chunks of oak to the coals and smoke the peppers for around 2 hours, try to keep the temprature between 60-80 degrees around the peppers.

Meanwhile make the pickling liquid. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a pan and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the spice mixture. Set aside.

When the peppers are finished smoking, move them to a large bowl and wrap in cling film. Rest for ten minutes to loosen the skins, then peel as much skin off as you can, remove the stalks, seeds and and juices. Slice the peppers into 1cm wide strips and and transfer to a jar/Tupperware container big enough to hold them for a few weeks.

Pour the pickling liquid over the peppers and gently stir. The peppers are ready to eat after a couple of hours but improve after a week. Keeps for at least a month but I normally eat them faster!



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