Peppers come in an array of varieties. And they give an instant kick of flavor to almost any dish. That’s why you always want to have a stash of peppers in your garden or pantry. It can instantly zing up a bland dish.
But peppers can be expensive when they are not in season. Also, if you are planting peppers in your garden, you have to harvest them all before winter. And there’s no better way to preserve peppers than by freezing them. How to freeze peppers? In this article, we are going to tackle what’s the best ways to freeze all sorts of peppers.
And does freezing affect the quality of peppers? Scroll down to find out!
Does Freezing Affect the Quality of Peppers
Peppers are versatile veggies used for an array of sauces, stews, salad, and a lot more. Some peppers can be sweet like red bell peppers. And some peppers can be hot and spicy like jalapeno and hot peppers.
That’s why freezing peppers can make you save money. You don’t have to throw away excess peppers that you were not able to use up.
And peppers are quite expensive when they are not in season. Thus, you can still enjoy stuffed bell peppers any time of the year. You can store them and use them for future dishes and recipes.
But what happens to peppers when you freeze them? Does it not affect the overall quality of the pepper?
Freezing peppers will not affect the taste. However, it can result in a less than crunchy texture of the pepper. So the crispness can be compromised. That’s why defrosted peppers are best suited cooked in recipes. Though if you don’t mind the loss in crunchiness, you can also use defrosted peppers in salads.
How to Freeze Bell Peppers
So before we harvest the peppers in your backyard, ensure that you wear gloves. And always keep the oil of the peppers away from your face, especially your eyes. It can sting a lot if it comes into contact with these flavorful and spicy babies.
Gather the peppers that you want to freeze. Sort through them and remove any pieces that have molds. So we are going to take out the bad peppers from the bunch.
- Wash the peppers and dry thoroughly.
- Slice the peppers in half and remove all the seeds.
- Slice the papers into whatever shape you need them for your recipe.
- Rinse the peppers thoroughly. Drain them too. Then place them over a kitchen towel so that the paper towel will absorb the excess water.
- Dry the peppers as much as you can. Doing so will prevent freezer burn.
- Get a baking sheet or a cookie sheet. And spread the pepper slices on a single layer. Freeze them for 12 hours.
- Then get heavy-duty freezer bags. Transfer the peppers from the baking sheet to the freezer bags.
- And to prevent freezer burn, remove as much air as possible.
Can You Freeze Whole Peppers
Yes, you can. And this method is perfect for making stuffed peppers.
- Cut the top of the peppers and scoop as many seeds as you can.
- You can also use a melon baller to conveniently remove as many seeds as you can. Don’t forget to remove the membrane as well.
- Put the top part of the pepper back on.
- This is suitable for making stuffed peppers. And pro-tip, it will be easier to put the stuffing in while the bell pepper is still frozen.
- Put the whole red bell pepper on a cookie sheet and freeze for 12 hours.
- Then transfer them to a heavy-duty freezer bag. And remove as much air as you can before sealing it.
- You can also do the same procedure for sliced or diced peppers.
- And take note that whole peppers may take up more freezer space than chopped and diced ones.
How Long Can You Freeze Peppers
When kept in the freezer, these can last indefinitely. But it’s best to consume the frozen veggies in six months. Otherwise, they will have freezer burns all over them.
What Is the Best Way to Freeze Hot Peppers
Freezing hot chilies does not require slicing them into pieces. And may we reiterate that before handing hot chilies, always wear gloves. And avoid touching your face, especially your eyes. After which, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Wash the hot papers and rub them vigorously under running water.
- Stem the veggies and dry them thoroughly.
- Get heavy-duty freezer bags and toss the whole hot peppers inside.
- Make sure to leave headspace on the freezer bag.
What’s the Best Packaging to Use for Freezing Peppers
If you’re not sure what type of containers and packagings to use for freezing peppers, these are the following:
- Freezer aluminum foil
- Heavy-duty freezer bags
- Plastic containers bearing the snowflake symbol ( this means the container can withstand very cold temperature)
- Plastic freezer bags
While it may be practical to reuse and recycle some food packaging, it’s not advisable. Unless you line them with a freezer bag or wrap, then you can use them for storing peppers.
- Plastic bread packaging or other bread products
- Cream cheese packaging
- Whipped cream container
- Butter and margarine containers
Need a Tip on How to Freeze Peppers
These are things that are good to know. Read briefly before you freeze your sliced, whole, or diced peppers.
- Ensure that you’re using the suitable material for freezing pepper.
- Make sure that the temperature of your freezer is optimum. It should be at 0 degrees or lower.
- Any frozen veggies are best consumed 6-8 months.
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What Types of Peppers Can I Freeze
Technically, you can freeze any type of peppers. From green sweet peppers, red bell peppers, hot peppers, Italian frying peppers, poblano peppers, and a lot more.
And how to freeze these types of peppers? It’s basically for all. The only difference is when you’re freezing slices or whole ones.
How to Thaw Frozen Peppers
Frozen peppers might lack that crunchy and crispy texture. But they can surely give an instant kick of flavor to your recipes. And here’s how to thaw frozen peppers properly.
- Transfer them from the freeze rot fridge. Place a drip tray below the vegetables so it will not make a mess inside your ref.
- Drain all the pepper pieces well. You may also place them over a paper towel. This will absorb all the excess water from the thawed peppers. And thawed vegetables do have a lot of water. And not drying them well will result in soggy peppers.
Will they lose heat when they are frozen?
Not really. If they were properly stored, there is very minimal heat loss. So the frozen peppers will still retain their spiciness and kick.
Do I need to blanch the peppers before freezing them?
That depends on how long you’ll be keeping them in the freezer. These are one of the few veggies that can be stored directly in the freezer without blanching. However, if you intend to use the frozen peppers much later, like in six months, it’s best to blanch them so that they will retain their nutritional value better.
How do I blanch chilies?
- Bring water to a boil. And gently drop the whole pepper in and boil for three minutes
- If you intend to blanch coarsely chopped chilies, boil them at a shorter time for two minutes.
- Remove from boiling water. Get a blow and fill with ice. Then fast chill the blanched chilies for three minutes.
- Remove the vegetables from the frozen water and pat dry. Lay them on a paper towel to drain the excess water.
- When thoroughly dried, store in an airtight container or freezer bag. And also remove as much air as you can to prevent freezer burn.
Where can you use frozen peppers
You can use frozen peppers in an array of exciting recipes. Here are some of our suggestions.
1. Toppings for pizza
Pizza with the works isn’t complete without red or green bell peppers. So layer a handful of thawed sweet peppers on top of your pizza. Then sprinkle with generous amounts of mozzarella cheese.
2. Egg dishes
Whether you use frozen or fresh peppers, it really doesn’t matter. You won’t be able to tell the difference since sweet peppers go well with eggs.
Pureed sweet bell peppers can give a summer flavor to your soups.
4. Stir fry
Aside from the sweet and tangy flavors of red and green bell peppers, they also add a lot of color to your stir-fried vegetables. So go ahead and put a handful or two of these sweet peppers into your vegetable stir fry.
Freezing peppers can make you save a lot of money. Moreover, you can still enjoy that instant zing of flavor even if the harvest season is over.
Eva M. Smith is the owner of this website. She is a 4 year old mother of two and a professional chef. Eva loves to cook for her family, but being a working mom has a lot of challenges. From squeezing in time to do the groceries to make three meals for the day. Eva knows how challenging cooking can be without a kitchen gameplan.
That’s why she perfected techniques of preserving staple ingredients and several foods so that you have something pre-cooked or pre-baked to use for an array of meals. And they do not come short in flavor! And she does not want to sacrifice flavor with convenience. That’s why she is the best person to ask.