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All kinds of peppers are in abundance right now but what can you do with them? Here are tips on how to preserve hot peppers so that you can enjoy them all winter long.
How to Preserve Hot Peppers
Thanks to Andrea for this guest post!
As a New Mexico native, I eat more than my fair share of chili peppers. During late summer and early fall, an abundance of Anaheim peppers is available all over the state. We refer to them simply as “green chiles,” and they are a staple in our diets. During prime chile season, you can find large rotating chili roasters in front of grocery stores, and shoppers can buy chiles by the box full and have them roasted. Let me tell you, the smell is amazing.
If you’re not in prime chile season or not a native New Mexican, you can still roast fresh chiles at home and put them up to enjoy all year long.
Choosing Hot Peppers to Preserve
There are a lot of different hot peppers that you can choose from, including bell, cherry, anaheim, jalapeno, serrano, and habanero. The size and type of peppers will determine how they must be roasted. Whatever pepper you choose, make sure to select peppers that are crisp, tender, and free from brown spots.
Don’t forget to wear rubber gloves when handling hot peppers!
How to Preserve Large Peppers
This method works best for large peppers, like anaheims and bells:
There are two easy ways to cook peppers. In the oven or on the grill. Both methods work great, but we generally prefer to do ours on the grill so we don’t heat up our house.
To roast the peppers in the oven, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash peppers and place them directly on racks in preheated oven. Roast for 5-10 minutes, flipping them over halfway through with tongs, until the skin of the peppers is starting to brown and pull away from the flesh. Remove using tongs and place in a large bowl.
To roast the peppers on the grill, preheat the grill to 450 degrees. Wash peppers and place them directly on the grill grates. Roasting time on the grill can take 10-15 minutes until the peppers’ skin starts to brown.
Place warm and roasted chilies into a large bowl, and cover with a clean towel. Allow them to “steam” in the bowl for 30 minutes to an hour. This will help the skins come off easily.
Remove skins, stems, and seeds from peppers.
You can leave the peppers whole or dice them. Place peppers into a freezer baggie, push out the air, and seal. With whole peppers, I generally store six peppers per quart bag. Write the current date on the outside of the baggie, and place it into the freezer.
How to Preserve Small Peppers
This method works best for smaller peppers, like jalapenos, serranos and habaneros:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash peppers, then remove stems, membranes, and seeds. Slice in half lengthwise and place onto a cookie sheet. Roast in preheated oven for 5-10 minutes until starting to brown and soften. Remove from oven, place into plastic freezer bags, and store in the freezer.
All Peppers will keep well in the freezer for 6-12 months. Past a year, they won’t spoil, but they may lose some flavor or become hotter the longer they are frozen.
More Recipes with Hot Peppers
- Must Make Jalapeno Recipes
- Jalapeno Pepper Jelly Recipe
- Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
- Canning Jalapeno Relish
Have you ever tried preserving hot peppers? Which kinds?
This post on How to Preserve Hot Peppers was originally posted on Little House Living in August 2013. It has been updated as of August 2023.