Olive Brine Hot Pepper Sauce

Pepper sauce made with Pimenta Reaper Peppers and olive brine #hot #Sauce @mjskitchen

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Last fall my friends from Fords Fiery Foods and Plants sent me some antep aci dolma peppers and Pimenta Reaper Peppers.  If you remember, I made red chile cheese tamales with the antep aci dolmas, but kept you hanging on the reapers. The reapers were smokin’ HOT making them ideal for either a hot sauce or a pepper sauce.  I tried both.  With half of them, I attempted to make a fermented hot sauce like Tabasco.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work.  However, with the other half of the peppers, I made an olive brine hot pepper sauce which, was not only remarkably easy to make, but uniquely delicious! This hot pepper sauce has the heat and the flavor from the pimenta reapers complemented by the salty flavor of green olive brine.  However, as with most hot pepper sauces, any smokin’ hot chile pepper that you like would work.

To make this sauce all you need are some really HOT, tasty chile peppers, olive brine from a jar of green olives, and white vinegar.  Heat up the brine and the vinegar, pour over the peppers, let set for a couple of weeks, and you have a hot pepper sauce with a hint of olives.  Add a dash or two to salads, sandwiches, tacos, greens, soups, rice, or whatever would be complemented with a bit of chile and olive flavor.

I really liked the pimenta reaper peppers for several reasons – they have a great flavor, they are small enough to fit nicely into just about any size jar, they maintain their beautiful red color even after several months and a couple of replenishings, and they are HOT.  Their level of heat is reduced in the liquid but still yields a hot result, that’s why I recommend only a dash or two of this sauce.  You can learn more about these peppers and Fords Fiery Foods at the end of this post. You’ll also be provided with a link if you want to purchase some seeds or plants to plant in your garden this summer.

Olive Brine Hot Pepper Sauce

Pepper sauce made with Pimenta Reaper Peppers and olive brine #hot #Sauce @mjskitchen

Olive Brine Hot Pepper Sauce Recipe
15 mins
5 mins
Total Time
20 mins
A simple, hot pepper sauce that needs only a little olive brine and vinegar, and some really HOT chile peppers.  For the bottle you see in the pictures, I used about 15 - 17 Pimenta Reaper peppers. I wish I had had a larger bottle, but then larger bottles are harder to pack.  (Be sure to read about the Pimenta Reapers at the end of this post.)

Allow about 20 minutes to pack the bottle and 1 minute to add the olive brine.

Course: Condiments, Hot sauce
Cuisine: American
Yields: 1 small bottle
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • A glass jar with a mouth wide enough for the peppers to fit through and big enough to hold about 15 peppers or more.
  • A paring knife
  • A thin, long stick (like a chopstick or thinner), to help place the peppers in the jar.
  • 15 or more (depending on the size of the jar and size of the chile peppers), HOT, long, thin chile peppers (e.g., reapers, chile pequin, chile de arbol, Thai chile) small
  • Brine from a jar of green olives*
  • Distilled White Vinegar*
*You need a ratio of 1:1 (brine:vinegar) and enough liquid to fill the jar once the peppers have been stuffed into the jar. For this jar that held about 15 peppers. I used a little more than 1/2 cup of each - brine and vinegar.
  1. Clean and rinse the jar. Sterilize in a water bath for 5 minutes or rinse (don't dry) and place in microwave for 3 minutes.

  2. While the jar is cooling off, take a paring knife and stab each pepper to make a ¼" vertical cut. This allows the air to seep out of the pepper and the brine to leak in.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, remove the jar from the microwave and carefully stuff it with the peppers. Use the chopstick to hold and position the peppers.  The neater you pack them, the more you can get in the jar.

  4. Heat the brine/vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil and then let cool for 1 minute.
  5. Carefully pour into jar to about 3/4 full. Lightly tap the bottom of the jar to release air bubbles.
  6. Continue to fill and tap the jar to get as much of the brine mixture in and as much of the air out as possible.
  7. Let set on the counter for a few hours, tapping periodically. As the liquid level drops, add more of the brine/vinegar mixture.
  8. Place in the refrigerator, let sit for 2 weeks and enjoy!
  9. Once the jar is almost empty, you can heat up more brine and vinegar and refill.  I usually refill mine several times before tossing the chile peppers.

Add a dash or two of this hot sauce on a bowl of beans, soups or stews, eggs, salads, sauteed vegetables,  anything that would benefit from a little salty and spicy.


Pimenta Reaper Peppers and Antep Aci Dolma Peppers from Fords Fiery Foods and Plants | mjskitchen.com

About Fords Fiery Foods and Plants  Pimenta Reaper Peppers

Pimenta Reaper Peppers (smaller peppers in the front of the bowl) – These peppers are “a cross between the Carolina reaper and the Pimenta puma.” Well, let me say that I’ve never had either the reaper nor the puma, but the Pimenta Reaper surpassed my heat tolerance by a long shot.  Here’s how Fords describes them: “Is a 2nd generation hybrid we created between the Pimenta Puma and the Carolina reaper. It ripens from black to light purple, to green and then orangish to cherry red. These plants produced almost 200 pods per plant during the 2015 season. A very delicious and sweet flavor with an intense sharp burn that fades fast leaving a cherry like flavor in your mouth for 30 minutes.”

The last sentence is spot on!  When you take a bite of this pepper (if you are brave enough to do so), you do get an intense sharp burn.  For me, it took a glass of milk for the burn to fade, but once it did, I did have a wonderful flavor in my mouth.  The flavor was fruity and buttery which is why I thought these would make a wonderful fermented hot sauce.  In the pepper sauce, the flavor of the peppers complements the olive flavor and counters the acid of the vinegar.  It’s a very nice flavor that will have you sprinkling it on just about everything.

If you like it smokin’ hot and want to give this new hybrid a try, seeds for these peppers are now available for purchase.  Come April, you’ll be able to purchase starter plants.

Disclaimer:  I did not receive any compensation for this post, just the chile peppers you see in the picture.  The olive brine hot pepper sauce recipe and the opinion of the chiles are my own.  I do want to thank Fords Fiery Foods and Plants for continuing to educate me on the various chiles found around the world!

Other chile pepper products similar to this that you might enjoy:

Pepper Sauce with Chile Pequin

Quick & Easy Pickled Peppers

Red Chile Infused Oil

Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce


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30 Responses to “Olive Brine Hot Pepper Sauce”

  1. GiGi March 29, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    LOVEEEEEE this idea! I am not a huge hot pepper person, but I could put bell peppers in it!

    • mj March 29, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

      Bell peppers would work, maybe with a jalapeno or two for “a little” spice. 🙂 Thanks Gigi!

  2. Evelyne CulturEatz March 29, 2016 at 8:10 am #

    Uh, any pepper with the words reaper in them must be killer hot lol. And wow, never would have I combined olive brine with hot peppers, such a great recipe MJ.

    • mj March 29, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne! YES, these reapers are killer HOT!

  3. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles March 26, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

    You’ve managed to combine two of my favorite things here MJ — heat and salt, I’m in! So if I’m understanding, you are not actually eating the pickled peppers – the sauce becomes the liquid that the peppers are sitting in (the brine + heat that escapes from the peppers)… have I got that right? The color is really extraordinary on the pimenta reaper and it sounds like it holds up well. I’m not certain I’ve come across that variety before but I’ll be sure to look out for it now. This sounds delicious.

    • mj March 27, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

      That is correct…you don’t eat the peppers, but I’m sure you could if you want don’t mind calling the fire department to put out the fire afterwards. 🙂 These peppers are REALLY, REALLY HOT! That’s why they make such a great pepper sauce. The heat AND the flavor of the pepper escape into the brine yielding a interesting and tasty result. I believe the only place you can find these particular peppers right now is at Fords Fiery Foods and Plants. It’s a recently hybrid of his so I doubt if he has enough seeds to distribute commercially; however, he does sell them to his own customers along with starter plants. So you should check him out. Hope you and your family are having a wonderful Easter.

  4. Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons March 25, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

    MJ…this looks like a fantastic recipe to make as a gift for someone who really loves hot sauce. My sons would really love this. And those peppers are really pretty!

    • mj March 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

      Thanks so much Anne! It would make a delightful gift!

  5. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen March 25, 2016 at 2:02 am #

    I think my husband will love this brined peppers!

    • mj March 27, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

      What husband wouldn’t? 🙂

  6. Sandhya March 23, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    What a lovely idea to preserve the Chile Peppers…

    • mj March 27, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

      Thanks Sandhya!

  7. Nancy @SpicieFoodie March 23, 2016 at 12:03 am #

    John has an amazing collection of peppers for sale. MJ, I never knew you could use the olive brine like this. Thanks so much for sharing, I’ll have to give this a try but perhaps with habaneros since they’re the hottest I can get here.

    • mj March 27, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

      Thank you Nancy! This should work great with habaneros!

  8. Raymund March 22, 2016 at 1:57 am #

    Now this is a good idea on how to preserve the chillies my colleagues, friends and neighbours give.

    • mj March 22, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

      Thanks so much Raymund!

  9. Tamara March 21, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

    This is lovely MJ! Our family loves peppers, hot sauce, olives, etc. I’ve got to make sure they see this recipe, so I’ll share it on Facebook and tag them… We’ll be making it if we can get some lovely red peppers. I’ve been looking for hot red chiles and not found them yet…

    • mj March 22, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

      Thanks so much Tamara! It’s early here too for red peppers. I actually made these in the fall, but will be ordering the plants so I can grow some this summer. I’m in the garden planning mode. 🙂

  10. Abbe @ This is How I Cook March 17, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    That’s it? Wow! I may not do these peppers, but you can bet I’ll try something! My mouth is watering!

    • mj March 19, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

      Thanks Abbe! My mouth is burning. 🙂

  11. Katerina March 17, 2016 at 2:26 am #

    We eat a lot of brined peppers here especially now that it is lent period. Usually ours are sweet and come from a place up north. They look so delicious! Pinned!

    • mj March 19, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

      Sweet brined sounds awesome! I’ll have to try that. Thanks for sharing Katerina!

  12. Sissi March 16, 2016 at 2:21 am #

    These are really cute! I have never seen such a variety here (and I taste everything I see in supermarkets, on the markets and in Asian shops). I love your idea of using the olive brine! I usually buy olives in salted brine, not oil, but I’ll remember your tip when I buy a new jar.
    You have reminded me I have several habaneros frozen… They are also so aromatic, but so hot! Last year I started to mix a bit of them into hot sauces made with milder chiles with don’t have much aroma and it worked great.
    I’m sorry to hear your tabasco didn’t work. Talking about fermented sauce, I made home sriracha last autumn. Forgot to post it…. maybe this summer. It actually is good, but doesn’t taste like sriracha really.

    • mj March 19, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

      I’ve also used extra hot chiles with those mild, flavorless ones. Agree – it does work great! I’m going to try fermentation again this year so I’ll let you know how that goes. The homemade Sriracha sounds awesome! We watched a little documentary on the origin of Huy Fong Foods Sriracha just the other day. It was interesting how a Vietnamese man who came to America on a boat at the end of the Viet Nam war has been able to build a highly lucrative business that employs hundreds of people. I love stories like that! Thanks for your wonderful comments my dear!

  13. Angie@Angie's Recipes March 15, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

    Beautiful clicks, MJ. I like to use brined peppers to make sauces, but usually with supermarket one…bet yours tastes 100 times better!

    • mj March 19, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

      Thanks so much Angie! As you well know, homemade is always better than storebought. 🙂

  14. John/Kitchen Riffs March 15, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

    That looks totally gorgeous! I’ve never brined peppers for some reason. It look like loads of fun, and of course you get that wonderful tasting hot sauce! Fun stuff — thanks.

    • mj March 19, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

      Thanks so much John!

  15. Chgojohn March 15, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your recipe, MJ, and for stating the types of chile to be used. Being a hot pepper/chile novice, recipes that call for “3 red peppers” or, worse yet, “4 chilies”, aren’t really all that helpful. My dishes, as a result, either have me reaching for the hot sauce or gulping down the milk. 🙂

    • mj March 19, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

      You are most welcome John. I personally find using the hottest chiles for pepper sauce works best. Milk is a real mouth saving isn’t it. 🙂

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