Can You Freeze Peppers?
Can you freeze peppers? Freezing peppers is the solution if you find yourself harvesting loads of peppers in your garden during late summer and do not know what to do with them. All you have to do is just freeze the peppers properly so you can use them when you need to for recipes such as stews, chilies, stir-fry dishes, Mexican dishes or salsas.
However, if you are the type that loves your peppers fresh and crisp in texture the freezing method for preserving the vegetables to use later will not work for you. This is because peppers do change in texture during the freezing process, which makes them turn to mush during the defrosting and even cooking process.
Thankfully, freezing peppers does not change the flavor of them unless they are frozen for longer than a year.
All kinds of peppers can be frozen such as belle, jalapeño, banana, chili, rocoto, chocolate Congo, and the scotch bonnet big sun.
Just remember not to freeze them if you are a fan of the crunchy fresh texture they have because again, peppers mush due to the water content they hold during the freezing process. Otherwise, freeze all the peppers you can during harvest season and enjoy them throughout the year until the next harvest season arrives.
Below is our step by step guide on how can you freeze peppers:
First, it is important to know that all kinds of peppers can be preserved through the freezing method. All you need to do before freezing the peppers is remove the stems, seeds and white edging bitter pieces from the centers of them.
After, you can slice the peppers into halves, chopped them up or freeze peppers in slices. Then, you place your halves, chopped up or sliced peppers into freezer bags and place them into your freezer. It is wise to place a label with the date of each bag of peppers before freezing to keep track of when you placed them into the freezer.
Frozen peppers stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2-years. After that, they do become dissatisfying in flavor and develop a watery in texture when you cook them in dishes.
Image used under Creative Commons from Tony
There are a few ways you can defrost peppers properly and safely.
The first way is by taking a package out of the freezer and just tossing sliced or chopped up peppers into the dish you are cooking up. During the cooking process, the peppers will defrost, become tender and take on the flavors in the dish you are cooking up.
**Slow Thawing **
The second way is by taking a package out from the freezer and placing the peppers in the refrigerator to defrost for about 24-hours. Therefore, if you know you need peppers for tomorrow’s meal take them out today and allow them to defrost overnight. After, you can chopped or slice up halves of peppers or your pre-sliced or chopped up peppers and cook with them the way you would normally cook with fresh peppers.
If you need to use halves of frozen peppers within the same day, you can take a freezer bag of the peppers out of the freezer and place the bag of peppers in a bowl of cool water.
Defrosting the peppers, this way should only take about an hour. After, you can remove the peppers from the freezer bag and use them the way you desire too. However, it is not recommended you toss the peppers onto any kind of leafy green salad because they will be slightly mushy in texture and not have that same crisp texture as freshly picked garden peppers have.
Freezing is a terrific way to preserve your favorite ingredients, including fresh peppers! Now that you know how can you freeze peppers, there is no need to stress about extending the shelf life of your supply. Just stick the peppers in the freezer and they will keep fresh for months.