How to Preserve Hot Peppers

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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.

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.

Jalapeno Peppers in a metal bowl with a wooden background.

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.

Grilled peppers

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.

Cover and Steam Hot Peppers

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.

peeled hot 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.

Habanero chili peppers in a white dish on a wooden cutting board.

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

Have you ever tried preserving hot peppers? Which kinds?

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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.

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7 Comments

  1. With all of the rain we are getting, it has not been a stellar year for peppers. They are just now starting to really “pop”. I am hoping that there is enough time to get some good harvests and try your recommendations above.

  2. πŸ™ thought u were going to teach me to can them? do u kno if thats possible? and if so….canner or water bath? i luv green chili also n would hate not to be able to use it in an end of the world situation πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Pammy Preper, I haven’t canned green chili before, since they freeze so well, but there is a great article published by New Mexico State University about safe canning practices for green chili. Chiles have a low acidity level, so they do need to be canned using a pressure canner.

      For more information: http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_e/E-308.pdf

  3. Yum! Delicious peppers year-round – it doesn’t get much better than that! I’d throw these in my chili or make a quick salsa – the options are really endless.

    Thanks for the tips Andrea!

  4. I just saw this..will definitely try this method. Here in SE SD I have quite a few Anaheim peppers (even though we have had a dry year) I roasted per broiler yesterday, put them in a covered bowl to steam. They did not peel easily at all & how do you dice them after they are soft from roasting? Would appreciate β€œtips”!! For now will freeze them & chop when frozen?? Thank you!!

    1. Freezing and chopping is a good method. Yes, I’ve blistered and canned peppers before but it is quite the process and a little but of a pain!