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Jalapeños are a great and spicy addition to any food. Having nachos and cheese? Add some jalapeños for extra flavor. Having tacos for taco Tuesday? Spice them up with some jalapeños.
Jalapeños may only grow in the summer, but they are a pepper that deserves to be enjoyed all year round. Are you able to freeze whole jalapeños so you can enjoy them at a later date?
You can freeze whole jalapeños and preserve them for almost a year. For best results you need to properly prep them however and not freeze them before removing the stem and seeds.
Follow these steps to ensure maximum freezer life for your whole jalapeños.
- Wash the peppers: Discard any peppers that appear to be limp or blemished. Wash and dry the peppers thoroughly.
- Remove Stems: Cut the stems off your peppers. Slice open the jalapeno on one side and remove the seeds as well.
- Flash Freeze: Place the whole jalapeños on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer for a few hours. Once frozen, you can transfer the whole jalapeños to a freezer bag.
If you plan on using your jalapeños as an additive to a dish, there is no need to thaw them before use. You can also slice and dice the jalapeños for freezing as well.
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Is It Better To Freeze Jalapeños Cut Or Whole?
Jalapeños bring a nice kick of heat to some already great recipes. You can even create dishes using whole jalapeños such as jalapeno poppers.
Whichever way you choose to cook with the peppers will determine whether it is better to freeze the jalapeños as cut or whole.
If you plan on adding the jalapeños to dishes such as fajitas, tacos, soups, and stews, it will be best to freeze the jalapeños cut.
You can either slice or dice the jalapeños and freeze them so they will be ready to add to the dish. There is no need to thaw your cut or sliced peppers when adding them to dinner.
If you plan on using the jalapeños for stand-alone dishes, such as jalapeno poppers, then it is best to freeze them whole.
You can also pre cut and remove the seeds before freezing too. Freezing jalapeños when you have time is a great time saver for future dinners.
Will Jalapeños Remain Firm In The Freezer?
Jalapeños are ripe and ready to eat as soon as they are deep green and firm. If you have chosen to freeze the jalapeños, will they keep their flavor and remain firm?
Jalapeños can keep their flavor and firmness in the freezer for up to six months. After six months the jalapeno will remain firm, but it will start to lose some flavor.
If frozen properly, your jalapeños will remain fresh, flavorful, and firm for six months.
What Can You Do If You Have Too Many Peppers?
There are only so many different ways to cook up peppers before you start to get sick of them. If your garden is full of peppers, one of the best options is to share your bounty.
If you still have an overabundance of peppers, here are a few ideas to help with pepper storage.
Make Hot Sauce
You can create your very own hot sauce with fermented peppers. You can take any kind of pepper and create your hot sauce but a lot of people prefer jalapeños.
If you prefer a mild sauce, use bell peppers. If you want it spicy, use jalapeño or chili peppers. Make a saltwater brine and pour over the chili mixture of peppers, garlic cloves, and onions.
You can use fermentation weight to keep everything completely covered with the brine.
Place a lid on the jar. You want the lid on loose enough to let out gases but tight enough to keep out bugs.
Leave in a dark cool place for three to seven days. Once bubbles have formed and the mixture is cloudy, you have successfully fermented the ingredients for your hot sauce.
Blend the chili mixture into your desired texture. It is best to store the hot sauce in a squeeze bottle or some container that allows air to escape.
The hot sauce will keep fermenting and end up exploding if stored in an airtight container.
Dehydrate The Peppers
Dehydrating peppers is a great way to store them for months. In addition to jalapeños, chili peppers and chile de Arbol peppers are great peppers to use by dehydration as well.
Dehydrated peppers can be ground into a powder used for soups and sauces.
If you live in a warm climate you can dehydrate your peppers outside in the sun. The temperature needs to stay above 85º F for three to four weeks while the peppers fully dry.
You can also use a food dehydrator if you are looking for a quick way to dehydrate your peppers. If you do not have a food dehydrator and the temperature does not stay above 85º, another option is baking them.
Spread the peppers onto baking sheets and place them in the oven at 150º. Leave the oven door cracked open a little bit to allow moisture out.
Check on your peppers every half hour until they are dry. The baking process takes around two hours.
Pickle The Peppers
You don’t have to be Peter Piper to pickle peppers! One of the best ways to preserve your jalapeños is by pickling them.
If you prefer your peppers on the hot side, you need to pickle whole peppers. If you want to take the heat down a bit, you can slice the jalapeños and remove the seeds.
Can The Peppers
Canning peppers is one of the most well-known methods of preserving peppers. The peppers need to be fully ripe before canning them.
Char the peppers over a flame. Once charred, remove the scorched skin and seeds. Add the peppers to a jar with vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil marinade to preserve your peppers.
Freeze The Peppers
You can either freeze the peppers when they are whole or diced. Smaller peppers are better off being frozen as whole peppers as they will hold firmer longer.
You can also cut the peppers the same way you would for dinner and freeze them for an easy dinner in the future.
Always be sure to handle peppers carefully. Many peppers have capsaicin in them, which gives them their kick. If your hands start to feel irritated, wear gloves while cutting the peppers.
Never rub your eyes after dealing with peppers either (believe me!).. Wash your hands thoroughly before touching anywhere near your face after cooking with peppers (especially hot peppers like jalapeños).