How to Preserve Capers: 3 Different Methods

We have all used capers at some time. They work perfectly in sauces, as a garnish, seasoning; you know that for sure, but do you know how to preserve capers all year round?

The best way to preserve capers is based on vinegar or pickles, or in other words, we must store them in solutions of salt or vinegar. This type of conservation gives an average shelf life of 10 to 12 months.

Continue reading, and you will find that these methods are easy, and you can do it at home.

How to preserve capers

Table of Contents

Preserve capers in salt

This is one of the methods most used by Europeans, where the salt is used as a “natural” preservative of capers so that they can improve the shelf life.

To keep capers in salt, you just have to follow these steps:

  • Step 1. Choose capers

Try to choose the capers that look larger, as they are usually the ones that taste better. 

  • Step 2. Wash the capers

Wash with plenty of cold water to remove as much dirt as possible.

  • Step 3. Cut the stems

It is necessary for the recipe that you cut the stems of capers with a sharp knife.

  • Step 4. Drain the capers

As we will mix the capers with salt, you must let them drain for a while on a strainer to remove the excess water. Using absorbent paper as a complement may be a good idea.

  • Step 5. Mix capers with salt

Then, use the same strainer and place it above a large bowl to add enough without messing. Regarding salt, we recommend adding coarse or sea salt.

Ensure that the mixture is uniform so that the salt covers all the capers. As the hours go by, you will notice that the capers release water, which is advisable to remove and add more salt. You should maintain this dynamic for two days.

  • Step 6. Place the capers with salt in the sun

Then, leave the capers with salt in the sun on an aluminum tray. This way, they will dehydrate in a better way, so they will no longer release much water.

After two days, you notice that the capers have withered and wrinkled.

  • Step 7. Sterilizes a glass container

You will make the preserves in glass containers that you must sterilize, and to do that, introduce the jar and its lids to boil for 10 minutes. Then, remove them and dry them as best as possible so that they do not retain moisture.

  • Step 8. Pack capers with salt

By this time, we will have the capers as dry as possible, and therefore, it is the perfect time to keep them.

To perform the canning process, you need to put a layer of salt on the bottom of the glass container. Then you need to put a layer of capers, alternating the process until you fill the container. When you finish, make sure the container is tightly closed.

  • Step 9. Store in your pantry

You can store the container with your capers in salt in your pantry. It should be a cool place without sunlight coming in. Leave it there for a month. Then, you can taste them in your preparations.

This conservation process will allow you to have capers for more than 12 months.

How to eat capers in salt

When you want to try your capers in salt, you just have to take out the portion and soak them in cold water for a few minutes until you remove the salty flavor. After doing that, you are ready to combine them into your recipes.

Preserve capers in vinegar

One of the best-known preservation processes of capers is vinegar, which gives a different flavor since the first steps are the same as with salt (the previous one).

Be ready to discover the recipe for keeping your capers for many years using a few ingredients and following the steps we give you.

  • Step 1. Choose capers

As in the previous method, you must select large and beautiful capers.

  • Step 2. Wash and cut capers

Wash the capers with cold water and cut the stems.

  • Step 3. Let them dry

Take them to dry in the sun for about 4 hours in a strainer. This will remove any moisture they have accumulated.

  • Step 4. Mix capers with salt

In a container, mix the capers with coarse salt.

  • Step 5. Store capers with salt

Store this mixture in a dry place and not be hit by sunlight. Leave the mix for seven days, but not at total rest, as we will see in the next step.

  • Step 6. Change the salt of capers

Every 12 hours, remove the water from the capers and add more salt without washing the capers. When you do this procedure, the capers lose their characteristic bitter taste.

  • Step 7. Prepare the canned vinegar

You will add a glass of vinegar and one and a half cups of water in a bowl with a large tablespoon of sea salt. You can also add some spice to modify the flavor a little.

  • Step 8. Remove salt from capers

In a bowl with cold water, introduce the capers and leave them for a few hours to remove the salt content.

  • Step 9. Pack the capers with the vinegar mixture

When the capers do not have much salt, you should drain them and add them to a previously sterilized glass container. When you finish, add the vinegar preparation and close the container very well.

  • Step 10. Store capers

Before consuming them, you should leave them stored in your pantry for more than 15 days. You will be surprised to know that you will be able to keep pickled capers for more than 12 months in your pantry. After opening it, you must keep it in your fridge so it will last you another year. [1]

How to prepare pickled capers

A delicious way that you can use at any time is to prepare pickled capers, which are ideal to accompany your proteins or as an appetizer. Unlike the previous methods, they should not be left in salt, resulting in an alternative for those who don’t enjoy the excess salt.

We have prepared some easy and quick steps for you to store your capers for several months, get to know them below.

  • Step 1. Select capers

Look for capers to be green and large.

  • Step 2. Wash the capers

Wash the capers with cold water to remove dirt or dirt.

  • Step 3. Soak the capers

We will soak for three days in a bowl with cold water that fully covers the capers. After that, you must change the water daily to remove the bitterness.

  • Step 4. Drain the capers

After soaking them, you should drain and wash the capers.

  • Step 5. Prepare the pickle

In a pot, bring about 2 cups of water, half a cup of vinegar, and a half of white wine, add salt, and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

You can add aromatic species such as a bay leaf, rosemary, lemon juice, and capers when it boils. Let them cook for 4 minutes.

To remove the acidity from the preparation, add one tablespoon of sugar.

  • Step 6. Remove from heat and pack

When this preparation is still hot, pour it into a glass container, and close very well. An additional tip is to place the container upside down for a few minutes to achieve a better seal.

  • Step 7. Store in the pantry

It would be best to let it rest for about two months before using pickled capers in a dark and cool place.

The capers can last ten months without being opened with this conservation method.

Then, if you open it, you can store it in your fridge to remain intact for another month.

How do you know when capers are bad?

Capers have a green color throughout their skin, they are smooth and have a thin stem, so it is pretty easy to recognize when they are spoiled or in poor conditions. 

First, you should observe that its skin does not have spots or dots of another color, such as white, black, or brown. It may indicate spoilage or mold attached to their skin.

Another thing is that they may be deformed somewhere on their skin due to some blow or bad formation in their growth. 

And finally, you should see its stem without any strange coloration.

How long do capers last?

The duration of the capers depends on the quality and storage process you select. One of the peculiarities of this food is that it can extend its shelf life for many more years after you have opened it.

Conservation methodDuration time
Capers in salt12 months.
Capers in vinegar (unopened)12 months.
Capers in vinegar (opened) in the fridge12 months.
Pickled capers10 months.

What is the best way to preserve capers?

You can store capers in different ways, and to be fair, there is no better method between them cause they are all similar, just changing the flavor a little bit.

However, no matter what storage you choose, you must keep them in your fridge when you open your jars. Keep in mind, leave it in the same liquid or salt.

As always, after reading this post about how to preserve capers, you are invited to read any of the following articles.


Leave a Comment