If you plant peppers at home or even want to take advantage of a good offer on the market, knowing how to preserve peppers is a way to enjoy them all year round. You can choose to dehydrate them, preserve them, freeze them, or preserve them in oil. Each method results in a different texture, but the taste and sting will remain intact regardless of choice.
Method 1 of 4: Dehydrating Peppers
Step 1. Wash and dry the peppers
Rinse them under running water, taking care to eliminate any impurities. Discard those bruised or otherwise damaged. They won't last long. Dry the peppers with clean paper towels.
- It's a good idea to use rubber gloves to protect your hands from burns. The hottest peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical that causes skin burns when touched.
- Take special care not to touch your eyes or nose when handling stronger peppers.
Step 2. Arrange the units on a canvas or suspended grid for them to dry
The important thing is to encourage air circulation between them. Therefore, give preference to a hollow structure, which allows this circulation.
- Place the structure in an open, sunny location. The kitchen window is a good option.
- Leave to dry for three or more days. Then store in a closed container.
Step 3. Try tying and twisting the peppers
It's an easy and decorative way to dry them. When the peppers are dry, you can keep them hanging or store them for later use. See how to do it:
- Thread a needle with fishing line or other strong thread. Pierce the peppers just below their heads, pulling them together. Do this with all units.
- So, hang them in a well-ventilated, sunny place in your home.
- Within 3 days to 1 week, they will be dry and ready to use.
Step 4. Quickly dry them in the oven
This is a good technique if you are in a hurry and don't want to wait for the natural process. Instead of keeping them whole, slice them into smaller pieces for speed. Follow these steps:
- Slice the peppers in half, vertically.
- Arrange the halves in a shallow shape, with the seed side facing up.
- Bake at 50 degrees (or as low as possible in your oven) for several hours.
- You can also use a dehydrator for faster results.
Method 2 of 4: Pickled Peppers
Step 1. Wash and slice the peppers
Slicing is not essential. You can also cut them in fours or in half, vertically. If you prefer to preserve the peppers whole, use a knife to make a small incision on the side of each pepper, helping to preserve its shape. Depending on how potent you want your sauce to be, you can either remove or keep the seeds.
Step 2. Store the peppers in a sterilized glass jar
Choose a clean, canning jar. Fill with peppers up to 2.5cm from the edge. Make sure the pot has an airtight lid. Ideally, the lid is plastic, so that it doesn't rust in the refrigerator.
- If you want to add a little extra flair to the peppers, add 3 tablespoons of salt and 15 ground black peppercorns. This will give your sauce that taste of jalapeno peppers served in restaurants.
- Other spices such as bay leaves or fresh herbs can also be added.
Step 3. Heat white vinegar to a low boil
Use about 2 cups of vinegar, or enough to fill the canning jars. When the vinegar is hot, pour it over the peppers. Leave a space between the vinegar and the mouth of the pots of about 3.5 cm.
- If you want to make the sauce a little smoother, dissolve six teaspoons of sugar in the vinegar.
- Let the contents rest for a few minutes.
Step 4. Store in refrigerator
The longer the mixture is stored, the more potent the sauce will be. Enjoy its flavor as a seasoning or accompaniment to sandwiches. It also goes very well in salads.
Method 3 of 4: Freezing the Peppers
Step 1. Wash the peppers
Discard damaged units as they won't last long.
Step 2. Freeze the smaller peppers whole
If you want to freeze small peppers whole, just place them directly in the freezer, inside an airtight bag. Use a straw to suck in excess air. Then seal the package and attach a descriptive label.
- Suck as much of the air as possible so as to leave the peppers almost in a vacuum. Air speeds up the deterioration process.
- Freeze for several months. When you want to use the peppers, remove them and let them thaw. If you prefer, blanch them in boiling water for a few seconds.
Step 3. Freeze the larger peppers into strips
Larger units can be sliced into strips or pieces before being frozen, making them easier to use later. Slice vertically or into small pieces. Remove the seeds.
- Arrange the pieces in a mold and freeze for an hour. This first step is called "express frozen".
- Once that's done, take the peppers from the tin, put them in an airtight plastic bag and remove the air inside.
- Store in the freezer for several months.
Method 4 of 4: Preserving Peppers in Olive Oil
Step 1. Wash and slice the peppers
For preservation in oil, most people prefer to slice peppers into strips. However, smaller units can also be kept in one piece. The stronger you want your sauce, the more seeds you have to keep. Arrange the peppers (in pieces or whole) in a form, in a single layer.
Step 2. Roast the peppers
This process will help to improve the flavor of the pepper. You can bake them on the barbecue or in the oven with a broiler (superior heat source).
- Preheat the broiler or prepare the barbecue.
- Bake slices until singed. In the broiler, this process should take a few minutes. Turn them over once in the middle of the process so they bake evenly.
Step 3. Add the peppers and oil
In a clean jar, add peppers. You can use more decorative glass for this. Pour in the oil to cover the peppers completely. Store in a cool place out of the sun.
- Return the peppers immediately to the freezer after removing them. If unused peppers thaw, they may become soaked.
- If you don't have a rigid plastic container, use a bag.
- If using the oil method, make sure that all pieces of pepper are completely submerged in the oil.