You probably had a bounty harvest of Serrano peppers, or you decided to purchase them in bulk when they are in season so you can enjoy them all year round, and you’re trying to find out the best way to store them.
Arguably, you can store serrano peppers in a few ways, but is freezing one of them? In order words, can you freeze serrano peppers?
Yes, you can freeze serrano peppers to preserve them for as long as one year, after which the quality of your peppers may begin to deteriorate.
Now that you know that you can freeze serrano peppers let’s quickly look at how to freeze serrano peppers for the best result.
How To Freeze Serrano Peppers
1. Wash Your Peppers
Place your peppers in a colander and run lukewarm water over them. Clean each pepper individually and ensure all its curves are cleaned.
2. Pat Dry Your Peppers
Once your pepper is thoroughly washed, pat them dry and leave them out on paper towels till you are sure the chilies are 100% dry before freezing them, this is to prevent them from sticking together when they are frozen.
3. Determine How Long You Intend to Store The Peppers And Their Purpose
What do you intend to make with your serrano peppers? Are you going to be using use these peppers whole as a side? Chopped or diced for a salad or hot dish? You need to consider how you intend to use them and prepare them in advance.
You can freeze the peppers whole, and this may be best if you’re planning on using them for stuffed pepper dishes. But if you intend to use them diced, you can cut them in any desired way.
How your peppers are cut determines how well they respond to freezing. If cut into smaller pieces, they will thaw much quicker. Slice the pepper in half and take out the seeds and chop the peppers even further if you so desire.
You can decide to stop there or go further until you achieve the size you’ll prefer in the future.
4. Transfer the Peppers into An Air Tight Plastic Freezer Bag
You will need a sturdy bag that seals well. Ziploc freezer bags work great but avoid thinner generic alternatives.
Thin Ziploc bags can puncture and allow air back into the peppers; they have a not-so-strong sealing mechanism. Transfer the peppers into the freezer bags, expel as much air as possible, then seal the freezer bag tight.
5. Place the Peppers In The Freezer
You can keep your serrano peppers frozen for nearly an entire season, up to 9 months. But the earlier you use them, the better they will taste.
How To Blanch Serrano Peppers
Although you can simply chop and freeze your peppers, especially if you want the pepper to retain its crispness when taken out of the freezer.
If you plan to cook with these peppers and are looking for optimal health benefits, you need to blanch your peppers prior to freezing. This is most important if you intend to keep them frozen for six or more months.
Peppers, like other fruits and vegetables, will lose color, vitamins, and minerals over time due to the breakdown of enzymes and bacteria.
These enzymes are killed through the fast heat treatment of blanching prior to freezing, so the peppers remain nearly as healthy for you as the day you stored them.
But keep in mind that blanching may remove some of the crispness of the pepper, which may not be appealing if you intend to use them fresh on salads or in salsas.
- Drop your serrano peppers in boiling water and allow them to simmer for three minutes maximum. If your peppers have been chopped or diced, simmer the pieces for two minutes instead.
- Remove the peppers from the water and place them in overrunning cold water or chill them for three minutes in a bowl full of ice water.
- Remove the peppers from the water and proceed to pat them dry, and allow them to sit until all signs of moisture are gone before placing them in freezer bags.
Conclusion | Can You Freeze Serrano Peppers?
Can you freeze serrano peppers? Yes, but remember to consider how you intend to use your peppers carefully when freezing them.
If you intend to use the peppers in only a month or two, the freezing method you may need to employ may differ.