how-to-preserve-hot-peppers

How To Preserve Hot Peppers

Hot peppers can be eaten at almost every meal, but it is difficult to consume them in large quantities. Preserve your hot peppers and have them available all year long. Never buy peppers from the store again by using these three methods of storing. Remember to always wear gloves when working with hot peppers, and avoid touching your eyes and face with peppery hands.

Canning

To can hot peppers traditionally in water, you’ll need a pressure cooker. There isn’t enough acidity or sugars in a hot pepper to prevent the growth of botulism. For this reason, a simple water-bath would be unsafe.

Wash and prepare the peppers. you can slice them or leave them whole. Blister the peppers to remove the skins if you prefer. Heat them slightly on the stove top or in a microwave until the skins blister and slide off.

Sanitize all the equipment that the food touches:

  • Jars
  • Jar Tongs
  • Jar Lids

Fill your jars with peppers and pour boiling water over them. Place the lids on the jars and pressure cook them at 11 pounds of pressure for 35 minutes. Canned peppers will store up to 12 months.

If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can still safely pickle your hot peppers. Use a vinegar-based brine to fill your jars. Because of the added acidity, a water-bath method of sealing is safe.

Freezing

Freeze hot peppers whole, sliced, diced, or even mixed with other vegetables. Blanching is not necessary with peppers since they seem to retain much of the original texture and flavor. However, it will help even further to prevent deterioration.

Blanch a food by dropping it into boiling water for 2-3 minutes and then immediately immersing it in ice water. The heat stops enzymes present from breaking down the fruit or vegetable, and the ice water prevents it from cooking.

Blanched or not, freeze peppers on a cookie sheet. Spread them evenly in a single layer and allow them to freeze. Once frozen they can be bagged. The trey will prevent them from sticking together in freezer bags. They will store for 8 months.

Drying

Dry hot peppers and make your own chili flakes, chili powder, or cayenne pepper. There are three ways to do this:

  • In a food dehydrator
  • In a conventional oven
  • In the open air

Use the lowest setting on a regular oven and spread the peppers out on a cookie sheet. They should dry between 12 hours and two days. Peppers spread on a tarp or sheet in the open air could take up to a week to fully dry. A food dehydrator is the fastest way and it takes about 8 hours.

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