Sweet and hot peppers will last for a year or more when you store them properly. Whether you have an abundance of fresh peppers from your garden or the market, get the most out of them by storing the extras that you can’t use right away. Freeze them or dry them for easy use in the kitchen all year long, or pickle and can them to preserve them and store them for up to 2 years!
1Wash peppers to remove any dirt and let them air dry. Choose fresh, ripe peppers that have no soft spots or blemishes. Rinse them under cold water and set them on a clean towel or paper towel to air dry.
Ripe peppers should have a firm texture. If they are soft, then they are past their peak ripeness and no longer fresh enough for freezing.
2Cut bell peppers up to remove the seeds and membranes. Cut bell peppers or sweet peppers in half, pull out the seeds, and cut out the membranes. Cut the peppers into a size of your choosing.
Consider how you will use bell peppers and cut them into strips or chunks that you can easily use straight from the freezer to prepare recipes like fajitas or soups.
3Leave hot peppers intact to freeze them whole with the seeds. Freeze hot peppers whole with the seeds and membranes because those parts contain most of the heat. You will be able to cut them up when you take them out of the freezer if a recipe calls for it.
Jalapenos are a type of hot pepper that you can either freeze whole, or cut up before you freeze them
4Spread the peppers out on a baking sheet. Put the cut up bell peppers or whole hot peppers on a sheet with space between them. Make sure that none are touching so that they don’t freeze together.
You can use a cookie sheet, baking pan, or any other metal sheet that will fit in your freezer.
Put the sheet in the freezer for 15-30 minutes until the peppers are frozen solid. This is called flash-freezing and will keep the peppers from freezing together once you transfer them to a more compact storage container. Remove the sheet from the freezer when the peppers are hard to the touch.
Put the peppers in a sealable plastic bag or airtight container in the freezer. Transfer the peppers from the baking sheet into a plastic freezer bag or other freezer-safe container once they are frozen solid. Put the bag or container back into the freezer and store the peppers for up to 1 year.
If you are freezing the peppers in a bag, squeeze out as much air as you can before you seal the bag.
Label the bags or containers with the date that you froze the peppers to keep track of how long they have been frozen and use them within a year.