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If you had a large harvest of scotch bonnet peppers or you purchased them in bulk when they are in season, keeping scotch bonnet peppers for a long time enables you to have abundant spice stock all year round.
But what is the best way to preserve scotch bonnet peppers, so they don’t spoil? Can you freeze scotch bonnet peppers?
Yes, you can freeze scotch bonnet peppers. Freezing your scotch bonnet peppers can make them last for several months, but you need to learn how to thaw the peppers correctly after freezing so that they don’t become mushy.
At room temperature, your peppers may last for a couple of days to a few weeks before they begin to rot, which is why freezing is one of the best ways to preserve them.
Let’s quickly look at how to freeze scotch bonnet peppers!
How To Freeze Scotch Bonnet Peppers
1. Thoroughly wash your scotch bonnet peppers
Place your peppers in a colander and run lukewarm water over them and thoroughly clean them — clean each pepper and its curves individually.
2. Dry your peppers
Ensure your peppers are 100% dry before placing them in the freezer to prevent them from sticking together during the freezing process. Use paper towels to pat them dry and allow them to sit out until all signs of moisture are gone.
3. Decide how you intend to use your peppers
Decide how you intend to use your peppers in the future and prepare them accordingly. You can freeze your scotch bonnet peppers whole if you plan on using them for stuffed pepper dishes.
But if you want them chopped, it is best to do so before freezing. When your peppers are chopped before freezing, they will thaw much quicker.
4. Transfer the peppers into an air tight plastic freezer bag
Transfer the peppers into a sturdy bag that seals well. Avoid thin Ziploc freezer bags thinner as they can puncture easily, allowing air back into the pepper, and they do not have a strong sealing mechanism.
Place the peppers in the freezer bags, and expel as much air as possible before sealing the freezer bag tight.
5. Transfer the peppers to the freezer
You can preserve your scotch bonnet peppers for up to 9 months in the freezer. But use them as soon as possible for overall flavor.
Other Ways To Preserve Your Scotch Bonnet Peppers
This is the most popular method of preserving peppers. You can dry peppers in multiple ways, but the easiest way to dry peppers is by using a dehydrator. This is best especially for peppers that are quite fleshy, like a scotch bonnet.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can simply lay your peppers out in the sun to dry; giving the scotch bonnet peppers enough ventilation and warmth will enable them to achieve the proper consistency.
But avoid exposing them to too much heat as it can make the pepper too brittle and hard to work with; not enough ventilation can also make your peppers too moist, which can cause mold growth.
Prepare your scotch bonnet peppers by giving them a good rinse in saltwater to prevent mold growth and dry them using the method of your choice. Once the peppers are dried, store them in an airtight container, either whole or grounded.
Pickling is another way to preserve your scotch bonnet peppers. However, there is a right way to pickling your peppers.
First, you need to get the right ingredients. When peppers are correctly pickled, they are full of flavor. You can achieve different tastes by adding a touch of spice or different types of vinegar.
The most basic way of pickling pepper is to start by washing them in salty water. Once the peppers are clean, they should be set aside as you boil up some white wine mixed with cider vinegar and sugar.
You can adjust your pickling juice to taste by adding different ingredients that you desire. As the pickling juice boils, poke holes in the top of the peppers so the juice can penetrate the peppers so their taste will be even bolder.
Next, fill the jars with the solution and peppers, then allow them to cool before you seal the jars. This is very important as it ensures your peppers pickle properly.
Once cooled, seal the jars and store them in your refrigerator for at least two weeks before you can go ahead and enjoy them.
Conclusion | Can You Freeze Scotch Bonnet Peppers?
Can you freeze scotch bonnet peppers? Yes, you can. Freezing your scotch bonnet peppers will help to preserve them for up to a year. There are also other methods of preservation you can employ to keep your peppers in the best condition.
Whatever method you choose, you are sure to enjoy the flavorful and spice of scotch bonnet peppers for weeks and months.