How to Freeze Peppers
Keep your bell peppers, jalapenos and poblanos for longer with these freezer tips.
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By Susan Choung for Food Network Kitchen
Did you pick a peck of peppers at the market and now you can't eat them all? It's okay. We have good news: Peppers of all kinds — from big bell peppers to tiny chiles — freeze really well, retaining much of their flavor. Even better news: You can freeze them raw. Here are the essential steps to get your peppers primed for the ice box.
When to Freeze Peppers
It's best to freeze your peppers while they're still fresh. The peppers should be be firm and as smooth and glossy as a new manicure.
Wash and Dry Them
Wash the peppers and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Make sure they're completely dry so pesky ice crystals don't form around the peppers in the freezer.
To Chop or Not to Chop?
Chop large peppers, such as bell peppers, poblanos and cubanelles: Stem, seed and devein them first, then dice or slice them — depending on how you'll cook them afterward.
Keep small peppers whole, such as jalapenos, serranos and Thai bird chiles.
Flash freezing prevents the peppers from glomming into a giant clump when packed together in a bag. Arrange the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet, spacing them apart so they don't touch. Freeze them on the sheet until they're hard. This will take 1 to 2 hours.
Pack the Peppers
Label and date freezer-safe resealable bags then fill them with the flash-frozen peppers. Press the air out of the bags and seal them. Now you can stow the peppers in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Thaw or Nah?
Nah if cooking the peppers, but yeah if using them raw. You don't have to defrost the peppers for dishes where they'll cook down. We're talking soups, stews, fajitas, chilis, curries, stir-fries — anything where the peppers will lose their crunch.
Thaw the peppers, especially chiles, if you're keeping them raw in a dish, for example, in a salsa or as a garnish for nachos. The peppers will still have their distinctive punchy flavor but will have lost their crispness so stick to fresh ones for salads or a crudite platter. Thaw them in the fridge overnight.
Recipes to Make with Frozen Peppers