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Can You Freeze Chilli Peppers?
4 min

Can You Freeze Chilli Peppers?

4 min

Here we look into freezing as a method of storage for fresh chilli peppers. After you've secured your bumper harvest, look to your freezer as a means of keeping your chillies fresh for months to come!

Growing chili peppers is fairly easy and very rewarding. After a few months of tending to your chili plants, harvest time will come. All going well, it will be a bountiful affair. So what do you do with all those chilies?

Unless you’ve got some kind of spice addiction, it’s likely you’ll want to find a way to store your hot pepper trove. Here we look into freezing chilies, so you can use them for months to come.

Can you freeze chilies and peppers?

Can you freeze chilies and peppers?

It is very possible to freeze fresh chili peppers. Whether you freeze them whole, gutted, or sliced into slithers, freezing is a great way to retain the freshness of your berries.

There are all manner of solutions available to those looking to render their chilies into different forms, including:

Each of these options results in a unique experience, but none keep that crisp freshness of a chili straight from the plant. For those seeking an “authentic” chili experience, who want to keep their chilies fresh, freezing is the way to go!

What happens when you freeze chili peppers?

Worrying that freezing your chilies might affect their quality and hotness is a worthy concern. Thankfully, it’s unfounded. If fresh chilies are frozen correctly, they should remain spicy and fresh for a long time.

How long can you freeze chili peppers?

How long can you freeze chili peppers?

Frozen chilies should retain their full quality for a minimum of six months if they’re stored correctly. It may be that they last even longer than this. After six months, you’re not going to witness a sudden reduction in quality. Rather, they will gradually become less hot, and perhaps begin to suffer from freezer burn.

While after a very long time you may find them not up to old standards, they shouldn’t be hiding any nasty surprises—unless they look or smell bad.

How to freeze chili peppers

Freezing hot peppers may seem easy enough, but there are a couple of things to bear in mind in order to yield the best results, and make your life easier when it comes to unfreezing them.

First, it’s worth labelling your bags. At least, it is if you have more than one type of chili. It’s all well and good to think you’ll recognise them six months later, or that you’ll remember you put your jalapeños on the left and your habaneros on the right, but once they’re packed into a frosted freezer, you might find it’s more of a pot luck than you expected!

Similarly, consider portioning them up, rather than freezing them all in a single bag. This is especially important if you choose to slice them before you freeze them. Having to defrost a kilo of sliced chilies just to add a little heat to a meal can be frustrating.

A little good practice initially will make life much easier in the long run.

Freezing whole chilies

Freezing whole chilies

Step 1: Select your peppers

Selecting a healthy batch of peppers will ensure that when you're ready to use them, you’ve still got fresh peppers. Guarantee they’re totally free of rot or any kind of blight.

Step 2: Clean them

Wash your chilies thoroughly (make sure to wear gloves). After this, make sure you totally dry their surfaces.

Step 3: Peel and gut them (optional)

Some people choose to skin their chilies and scrape them out. However, this is not necessary. Moreover, the skin of thawed chili peppers comes off very easily.

Whether you remove the seeds and white membrane depends on how strong you want your final product to be. Most of the capsaicin, the compound that makes chilies hot, resides in these parts. So if you want to retain the most heat possible, leave their insides intact.

If you do choose to scrape them, don your goggles, slice them in half lengthways and empty them out with a spoon.

Step 4: Bag them up

Divide your peppers into suitable portions, place them in their bags, and label accordingly. Remove as much air as possible and place them in the freezer.

Freezing sliced chilies

Freezing sliced chilies

Freezing sliced chilies is a similar procedure. If slicing them, it’s even more important to watch the bag sizes and to label them, as they will just become a big lump of frozen chili slices.

As for the steps, repeat as above. When you get to step 3, you would also slice them into your desired sizes. Likewise, as with the above method, whether you scrape out the seeds and spicy placenta tissue comes down to your preference.

When it comes to freezing sliced chili peppers, try not to pack them too tight, as if they squash and freeze together, they will be little more than a spicy mass!

Defrosting and using hot chili peppers

Defrosting and using hot chili peppers

When it comes to using your frozen chili peppers, you’ll be grateful for portioning them up.

Simply take them out of the freezer and wait until they’ve thawed enough to use them as you please—whether that’s cutting them up or throwing them straight into a dish you’re cooking. If you plan on eating them raw, wait until they’re fully defrosted.

Can you refreeze chili peppers?

You can refreeze chili peppers, as long as they’re not completely thawed. If you don’t want to use all of the chilies you removed from the freezer, take the portion you do want as soon as you’re able to break them off, and then return the rest to the freezer.

Health guidelines state that if there are still ice crystals on your thawing chilies, then they’re good to be refrozen. However, partially thawing and refreezing your chilies will hasten their decline, and you may find that they lose heat and quality faster if you do this.

Don't let your chili peppers go to waste

Don't let your chili peppers go to waste

If you’ve gone to the effort of growing and caring for chili peppers, then finding a way to store them is essential. Putting all that love in, only to let them go to waste, is not an option for most people.

Related article

How To Store Chilies And Peppers (Short And Long Term)

As mentioned, there are many ways to store chili peppers, freezing being just one of them. Explore the options, and opt for one or a few different methods that appeal to you. Each is delicious in its own right and will help to diversify your hot pepper experience!

Max Sargent
Max Sargent
Max has been writing for over a decade, and has come into cannabis and psychedelic journalism in the last few years. Writing for companies such as Zamnesia, Royal Queen Seeds, Cannaconnection, Gorilla Seeds, MushMagic and more, he has experience in a broad spectrum of the industry.
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