Jalapeño peppers are such a great addition to food. They are so versatile and help to provide a meal, or nachos, with that much-needed kick of heat. Not only that, but they are full of flavor too. These peppers are so useful to always have at home, especially if you enjoy hot food.
However, we have all been there when you have bought too many peppers in the hopes of using them but quickly realize you won’t. Or you have a few left over and know it is a waste to throw them in the trash.
Perhaps you have considered freezing jalapeño peppers in the past, but haven’t been sure whether this was possible. Well, you will be happy to know that it is entirely possible to freeze jalapeño peppers.
You don’t have to worry about having to throw them the leftovers anymore! This article is the ultimate guide to freezing jalapeño peppers. It contains everything you need to know, from freezing them correctly, to defrosting them the right way.
What You Need To Freeze Jalapeño Peppers
When you are freezing jalapeños, it is so important to freeze them correctly. If you do not freeze them correctly, when it comes to thawing them out, you will likely run into some problems. Not freezing them correctly can lead to things such as freezer burn, which does affect the taste of the jalapeños. By freezing the jalapeños using two correct methods below, this can be prevented.
When it comes to freezing jalapeño peppers, we would recommend using freezer bags. These are the best method to use because they will help to prevent freezer burn. While you can choose to use an airtight container, freezer bags allow the freezing to be better overall.
You can choose to use regular freezer bags, but the only problem with these are that they can let air reach the jalapeños. When this happens, the peppers will start to become subject to freezer burn more quickly. Given this, we would recommend purchasing thick Ziploc freezer bags, or freezer bags that are made with silicone. These are the most secure and effective options.
Prepping The Jalapeño Peppers
After you have purchased the correct freezer bags, it is time to correctly prep the jalapeño peppers. There are two different ways you can freeze jalapeño peppers. One is not necessarily better than the other, it is just down to personal preference, and what you are planning on using the peppers for.
Method 1 - Cutting the jalapeño peppers
The first method that you can use is cutting the jalapeño peppers before you freeze them. This is a great option if you want to cut down the prep time after the peppers have been defrosted. In addition to saving time, this method will also save you space in your refrigerator as the peppers are cut into smaller pieces.
Preparing the peppers for freezing is simple. First you will want to clean the peppers in cold water, and then dry them with a paper towel.
Next you will want to cut off the stems of the peppers. After this, you will need to cut the jalapeño peppers. There is no correct way to do this, you will just want to ensure that you are cutting them in the shape you will want to use them when thawed.
This can be vertically or horizontally. Next, place the chopped peppers into your freezer bag, and squeeze all the air out of the bag. This step is important in helping to prevent freezer burn.
Then you will want to seal the freezer bag. Before placing it into the freezer, we would recommend writing the freeze date on the bag so that you know when the peppers will need to be consumed by.
Method 2 - Freeze the jalapeño peppers whole
Freezing the jalapeño peppers whole requires less prep before freezing. This is useful if you need to quickly freeze the peppers. However, once thawed, you will then need to cut them, which increases the preparation time.
To freeze the jalapeño peppers whole, you will need to wash them thoroughly in cold water, and then dry them with a paper towel. Next we would recommend removing the stems, however, you do not have to do this. Put the peppers into the freezer bag and squeeze all the air out of the bag. Next, seal the bag securely. Before freezing, place the date the peppers were frozen on the bag.
Out of the two methods covered in this article, this is our preferred choice. This is because the jalapeños tend to preserve slightly better when whole. It is useful if you need to use whole peppers, and it does help to prevent possible freezer burn.
In addition to this, it can also help to prevent the jalapeño oil from burning your hand when thawed out too. However, to prevent this, we would recommend using gloves as a precaution when handling any type of hot peppers.
Overall, both methods are useful, and easy to achieve. The method you choose will be down to personal preference, just remember to remove as much air as possible before freezing!
How Long Can Jalapeño Peppers Be Frozen For?
What is great about freezing jalapeño peppers is that it significantly prolongs their life. When frozen, they can last for up to six months before they will need to be discarded.
While you can freeze them for up to a year, after six months, the quality will begin to decrease. When you compare this to the one week shelf life when placed in the refrigerator, the difference is significant. How To Defrost Jalapeño Peppers Correctly
Just like how you will want to freeze the jalapeño peppers correctly, you will want to defrost them correctly too.
To defrost the peppers, we would recommend taking the desired amount out of the freezer bag and placing it on a paper towel. This will help to remove the moisture created when defrosted.
Then you will want to place the peppers on to a plate, and put this into the refrigerator overnight, or the morning before you want to use the peppers. While you can defrost them on the counter, the refrigerator helps to keep them cool and safe to eat.
Once the peppers have been defrosted completely, you can then use them as desired, it’s that easy!
How To Use Jalapeño Peppers
How you choose to use the thawed peppers really is up to you. You can choose to stuff them, or add them to a salsa. In addition to this, they are great when added to recipes too. You can choose to add them to a stir-fry, this is our favorite way to use them!
It is worth noting that the texture of the jalapeños will change slightly once thawed. They typically are a little softer due to the freezing process. Given this, they may not have the same crunch as before they were frozen.
However, if you freeze them correctly, and they are not subjected to freezer burn, they will still taste as good as they did when fresh. Summary
We hope that you have found this article useful. As you can see, freezing jalapeño peppers couldn’t be easier. It doesn’t take long to prepare, and they still taste fantastic when they have been defrosted too.
The most important thing to remember is to purchase the correct freezer bags, and to let out as much air as possible. In addition to this the peppers are best consumed within the first six months of freezing. When defrosting, place the jalapeño peppers in the refrigerator to keep them as fresh as possible.
By following our ultimate guide above, you won’t have to worry about throwing excess jalapeño peppers away anymore! Do jalapeño peppers have the same heat levels when defrosted?
You will be happy to learn that yes, jalapeño peppers do have the same heat levels before and after freezing. Given this, you do not have to worry about the heat levels of your meals being affected.
It is useful to know that if the peppers have been frozen for over six months, the taste does alter slightly, and they don’t tend to be as good as when they were fresh. Given this, if you want them to have the best flavor possible, we would recommend thawing them out before six months. Can I freeze other peppers in the same way?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze other types of pepper in the same way as you would freeze jalapeño peppers. This is such a useful technique and will save you a fortune in the long run when it comes to not having to waste excess food.
If you have larger peppers, we would recommend slicing or dicing these before freezing as they do tend to take up a lot of space in the freezer. However, if you have the space you don’t need to do this, and you can freeze them whole.