Have a bunch of peppers grown from your garden that you want to save, but still maintain their freshness and flavors? Watch our video to see three simple methods on how to preserve peppers! In those three methods, we show you how to easily freeze, pickle, and dehydrate them.
How to Freeze Peppers
First, clean your peppers. Cut peppers into desired size based on preference of use (strips for fajitas, cubes for pizza, etc.). Make sure to remove the peppers' membrane and seeds. Once membranes and stems have been discarded, dry the diced/sliced peppers with a paper towel and spread out across a transferable flat container (baking sheet or large cutting board). Put the peppers in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
After the peppers are frozen, you may transfer them into the desired container (Tupperware, freezer bags or vacuum seal bag). For increased longevity, we will focus on vacuum sealing. Fill the container with frozen peppers and run the vacuum sealer. Label the bag with pepper variety and the date the peppers were sealed and frozen.
Place peppers in freezer and enjoy throughout the year!
***Notes: Seeds can be saved and dried out for growing next year. Use membrane and stems and discard into your compost pile. Do not let peppers touch during the "Flash Freeze."
How to Pickle Peppers
First, clean and sterilize your jars by boiling them in a pan. Prep lids by putting them in VERY HOT but NOT boiling water right before canning. Combine ingredients in a pot:
- 3/4 cups vinegar
- 3/4 cups water
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- optional: 2 tbsp white sugar, 1 tsp oregano, and 1/2 tsp mustard seed
Boil combination for 1-2 minutes. Cut peppers into 1/4" slices. Put as many pepper slices that you can get into the jar and 1-2 cloves of garlic at the top. Pour hot brine (don’t forget to stir) directly into container until peppers are completely submerged. Use a flat tool (knife, chopstick, etc.) to remove any air pockets. You’ll want to leave about 0.5 inch from the top of the jar.
Seal and Heat: wipe threads clean in case of splash-back. Place hot lids on jars and screw on bands (firmly but not too tightly). Lay a towel at the bottom of the pan to avoid the jar cracking (the jars should lay a couple of inches below the water surface). Let the water boil for 10-15 minutes.
Remove the jars from the water and place on a dish towel. Leave them be for 24 hours as they cool back to room temperature. Check to see if the lids are sealed by pressing firmly in the middle of the lid. There should be no give. If there is, place the container in the fridge and use within 2 weeks. If done correctly, it should last one year unrefrigerated.
***Note: We pickled Jalapeños and Thai chilis for this video. While cutting the peppers, there is no need to remove membrane or seeds unless you really want to. As you do the vacuum seal, you may hear the lids pop or ping as the vacuum seal develops.
How to Dehydrate Peppers
First, depending on the size, either halve (typically superhots & hots) or quarter (typically mild & mediums). Make sure to remove the peppers' membrane and seeds.
How long do I dehydrate my peppers? That depends on your preferred texture. If you’re looking to rehydrate your peppers later, leave them in there until your peppers have a leathery texture (pepper should bend without breaking). If turning into powders or flakes, then the peppers need to be completely brittle and shatter into pieces.
Place peppers skin side down. Place tray in dehydrator and cook at 125° F (you can go hotter if you have a large amount to do, but lower temps will preserve color and flavor). 4-5 hours if you want peppers to hold viability and rehydrate later, 12-13 hours to grind into powders and flakes.
4-5 hours of dried peppers can be placed in a jar, 12-13 hours for powder. You can use a standard coffee grinder or a mortal pestle, we're using a coffee grinder here. (warning, warn your husband or wife before they grind their next batch of coffee).
To preserve pepper powder, keep in a sealed container in a cool and dark place.
***Notes: Seeds can be saved and dried out for growing next year. Use membrane and stems and discard into your compost pile. While cooking the peppers - there will be fumes and it is recommended to do this outdoors. If you are making a pepper powder, you may also use a mortal and pestle.