How to freeze chillies
How to Freeze Chillies
Everyone knows that when the chillies finally ripen in late summer, they are often all ripe in one go. Freezing peppers is a great way to preserve your chili pepper harvest.
One thing first: you must be aware that the chillies are no longer crunchy after thawing. The cell walls are damaged by ice crystals. The more water there is in the vegetable, the softer the consistency will be later. But that doesn`t matter at all if you want to use them for cooking, for sauces and salsas or even as a spread.
Drying them later to make chilli powder is not advisable. Even if some people swear by it. But they usually use thin-walled chillies and a dehydrator.
What is the best way to freeze chillies?
- To prepare chillies, wash and pat dry. Then simply cut off the stalks. You can also remove the seeds including the membranes, if you are working with larger chillies.
- If you are short of time, simply put the whole chillies in a plastic container or pop them into small bags. It is helpful to label them with the variety and freezing date.
- If you have enough space in the freezer, place the chillies onto a tray and dry them in the freezer. After a few hours, bag up small quantities into individual polythene bags or small tubs. So they won`t stick together and can be taken out individually.
- If you have the time, you can cut the chillies into rings, strips or cubes. It is best to freeze them in small portions, which you can then prepare in the appropriate size for the dish.
One more special idea: you can put small chillies into an ice cube tray, then fill with water and leave it to freeze. Simply take one or two chilli cubes and either thaw them or add them directly to your cooking or as an eye-catcher into a cocktail (but note, like all frozen chillies, they also become mushy after thawing).
How to use the frozen chillies
Frozen chili peppers will keep for nearly a full season, from 6 up to 9 months. But the sooner you can use them the better you are off for overall flavor.
And after one year at the latest, you should have used up all the chillies, because that is when the next harvest is due.
The easiest way to use the chillies is to use them directly when they are frozen. You don`t have to thaw them first and can put them directly into the cooking pot. You can also cut the chillies while they are still frozen or only slightly thawed. Even slicing is still possible.
A tasty alternative is to use the frozen chilli pieces as a topping on sandwiches. To do this, take about a teaspoon of the chopped chillies from the freezer bag and spread them - slightly thawed - on the bread.
Jalapenos are easy to freeze in slices and can then be added to dishes. They can even be pickled when frozen and added directly to the hot broth.
A tip: If you plan to chop chillies, make sure you are using latex gloves if they are super hots to save your fingers from burning. Be careful not to ouch your face.