Saving ripe jalapenos

fritz_monroe(7a)August 14, 2008

I've planned on making some chipotles from my ripe jalapenos. However, I also planned on a bunch of them ripening at the same time. But I have a total of 3 red jalapenos and the rest are green as can be.

I guess I could dry them, and smoke them later when I have more ripe peppers, but I wouldn't think that would really give an authentic taste. I don't think the smoke would completely permeate the peppers.

So, anyone have a good way to save these ripe peppers until I have a bunch that I can smoke?

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I've heard of people putting them in the freezer. I have never tried it myself but supposedly it works very well.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 9:27PM
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I freeze jalapeños and have found they are still good after 2 or more years.

I love HOT peppers, but have not tried making chipotles.. I do put my jalapenos on the grill while grilling steaks and have found that it seems to make them even hotter when cooked.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:36AM
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Depends how long you need to store them

For 2wks or maybe a bit more... wash them, dry them off well and put them in a ziplock bag with a paper towel. Check on them every few days and if needed take them out and re-dry them (they may not need for quite a while). I've kept fresh picked Anaheims this way for ~5wks before with no notable deterioration (but they have a tougher skin)


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 3:47PM
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oops, one key thing missing from my above description is to keep the bag of them in the refrigerator.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 3:49PM
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I'll give the baggie thing a try. From the looks of the other peppers, I should probably have enough to smoke them within 2 weeks. There's a bunch that have gotten real dark and a couple I can see the slightest bit of red.

Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 4:23PM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

Hi noisebeam,

Silly question - do you "zip" the bag closed or leave it open to breathe?


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 5:30PM
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I keep the bag closed.

I can't ensure this will work (although it has for me several times with ripe and unripe peppers) but as long as you check on them regularly you will be able to catch any degradation before it is a problem.

I've kept other veggies this way as well. The pre-drying and the paper towel are important to to help regulate moisture.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 5:39PM
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I like this idea. However, I can suggest something. You want to kill any and all mold spores on the surface of the pepper so they do not grow. You can do this by dipping the peppers into hydrogen peroxide. the HP will kill off the spores. then dry good and store them.

You can and probably should dilute the HP with water. You might try from a squirt to an ounce in a quart of water should do the trick. the stronger the HP the faster it will act. a teaspoon to a tablespoon is probably about right.

You should wash the peppers in plain water before adding to the HP solution since any impurities on the pepper will use up the HP quickly. If you put an impurity into a strong HP you will see it bubble up as it reacts with the impurity. This obviously uses up the HP ions in the solution until everything is simply water once again.

this type technique is use by commercial operations for example with bagged chopped lettuce. they usually use different sterlizers that on an industrial level they are not going to buy bottles of HP. But on the small scale the HP is the most cost effective.

you can also spray the HP solution on your garden to kill off mold spores on the plants. but if you are into spraying a lot then you should move up to a product called ZERO TOLERANCE which is basically a stronger HP. it is Hydrogen Dioxide.

H2O water
H2O2 hydrogen peroxide
HO2 hydrogen dioxide or Zero Tolerance

Garden supply houses sell Zero Tolerance for killing mold.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 1:23PM
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chillilover(Zone 6b)

I have a lot of ripe peppers on my plant right now. Is it okay to keep them on the plant?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 3:34PM
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It is generally OK to leave them on, but watch them as they will be more susceptible to getting soft, wrinkle skin, sunburn, mold than when unripe.

However if left on the plant they will last longer than if picked and just left on the kitchen counter - with none of the stuff done as discussed earlier above.

So if I have time to deal with them appropriately I pick, but if I don't and will end up leaving them sitting around I leave them on till I am ready.

Some will also say that leaving them on will inhibit more fruit from developing. That may depend on the pepper variety and how many are being left on - with huge numbers definitely inhibiting, but only a few not having an noticeable effect.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 3:44PM
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bob_in_pc(z8 FL)

Go ahead and use the 3 you have now. You'll probably wind up with a load of nice peppers that ripen within a few days of each other and then you can smoke them.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 9:00PM
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