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Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

Posted by esox07 4, S. Cent Wisc (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 10, 11 at 21:45

I still haven't gotten a ripe pepper but I am sure I am days away from an onslaught of fresh red pods. I dont want to deal with canning so my options are probably drying them or freezing them. If I dry them, should they be stored in an airtight container? Or do they need some air to keep from going rancid. If I freeze them, do I freeze them whole or do I gut them first? How long will they last if they are frozen/dried? I would like to hear some opinions before I commit any of my peppers to one or the other method of preserving them. Give me your thoughts.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

I froze alot of peppers from last years harvest. Hungarian Waxes, Serranos, Jalapenos, Cayenne, Habanero. I rinsed em off with water then dried em off and froze em. I used them for cooking in chili's, sauces and also chopped em up for salsa's. They tasted great and also had good texture to em. I used most of the frozen peppers up within a few months of being frozen. The Habanero's were the last of the pods to be consumed since i had alot of em and used them more sparingly. The last of the Hab's were used up after about 6 months of being frozen and tasted good to me.

This year im planning on doing some drying also, and it will be my first time doing this. I got a dehydrator im gonna use. I plan on drying them out and crushing them into flakes and storing them in recycled spice containers.

I think i will freeze some, and dry some. Maybe a 50/50 ratio. Frozen ones are good chopped up to add texture to a dish and i will use the flakes for zesting things up.

As im growing many more varieties this year. I think i will freeze or jar most of the larger medium hot type peppers. And most likely dry most of the smaller hot and super hot peppers for use in dried hot pepper flake applications.

Also dont forget that ya can make Hot Sauces with yer pods too ;)

Jim


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

Essox, both freezing or drying are both excellent ways of preserving fresh chiles, as long as your bags are airtight, you can keep the frozen for ages, literally. I used to buy cases of hot peppers from my restaurant and bring them home and freeze dry and smoke whatever I didn't think I could eat within 4 or 5 days. which obviously is quite a bit. However, I use a foodsaver vaccuum sealer to freeze whole peppers in fact I just pulled out a bag of carribean red habs, from last may to make a huge batch of smoked habanero bbq sauce for baby backs on the fourth, there is nothing like, homemade bbq sauce, w/ fresh smoked peppers, and tomatoes right out of the garden, and this year I will can a bunch cuz I will have my own fresh grown pepers too. sorry got off track. with freezing, must be airtight, no processing required. With drying, also no processing necessary, but the must be totally dry, or they will rot! also the less air the better, nd the more solid the better. dried peppers kept airtight will last for years, as will frozen, the issue w/ both is deterioration, the longer a pepper is frozen, the higher the risk of freezer burn, and the more the flesh will breakdown upon thawing. with drying, u will suffer a loss of potency, the longer a dry pepper sits around, however, consider also w/ dried peppers, u can throw them in a coffee or spice grinder and make ur own chile powders, red hab powder is awesome on eggs, e.g. chile piquin powder is delicious on pizza, thai chile powder is great as well, I definately will be making ghost pepper and chocolate hab powder this year:) hope all this has helped you out some, good luck!
Chef Paul


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edit

Forgot to say that i froze my pods whole, but im sure you can gut them if ya like and freeze them like that too.

And i dont think the dried pods would go rancid anytime soon if ya dry them thoroughly and get all the moisture out of em.


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another thought

p.s. I forgot to mention, roasted, peeled,and chopped chiles, freeze very well and are ultra convient to have around, just a thought ;)


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

I do both, depending on the pepper and what I plan to use it for later. I Roast / peel and freeze Big Jim's and a few poblanos, and dry most everything else (including poblano/anchos). The thicker walled peppers I usually cut for easier drying, the thin walled ones like Cayenne I just dry whole. They can be used for flakes/powder/hot sauce. Try to keep as much air out as possible, regardless the method. and either way should last a year or longer. A deep freeze works best for freezing - I find I get a lot less freezer burn that way.


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

  • Posted by esox07 4, S. Cent Wisc (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 10, 11 at 23:47

You guys never disappoint. And I love the enthusiasm in the responses. I enjoy a lot of other hobbies besides growing peppers and it is hard to find any more involved people.
I think I will probably dry and grind most of my peppers. Especially the super hots and then maybe freeze most of my Banana Peppers. They are pretty big and should freeze nice. Smoking them sounds like a great idea but I dont have the equipment for that. I do have a couple dehydrators and I can dehydrate dozens if not hundreds of peppers at a time. Then I will grind most up into powder or flakes for seasoning throughout the year. I can't wait to send a small bottle of Bhut Jolokia powder to my friends for the "opinion".
That brings up another concern of mine. Is it OK to use plastic containers? I am worried the Capsaicin might react with the plastic in some way. I can come up with some small plastic bottles but don't have any glass ones around.


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

Never really thought about it. I use freezer bags for storage (dry or frozen) and whatever left over spice bottles (both plastic and glass) for flaked/powdered. I only grind them in small batches rather than all at once. No real reason - just the way I operate.


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plastic

never really had any problems w/ standard plastic spice jars, think u should be ok. ps all u need to smoke some peppers is a standard grill, a metal bowl or pie tin, some wood chips and some charcoal ( or if u use gas that is fine too, though charcoal works better. and if u dont have a grill what the hell are u thinking? ;) anyway, soak some wood chips for a couple of hours set them in a metal bowl or pie tin, set that on the hot coals and close the lid, put the peppers above the bowl or tin so they get as little heat as possible, but they will get smokey enough I promise, I did this for several yrs til I moved to the country where I have a seperate garage just for grills, smokers and gardening equipment, not to mention the grow room ;)


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

Other smoking options - loosely wrapped tin foil packet with holes poked in it or they make those little smoker boxes you can put down in the grill (gas or charcoal) or just throw the soaked chips directly on the charcoal (you need to choke down the air quite a bit for that, though).

I want a separate garage for all that gear!! You are one lucky dude, chile_freak!!


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

its funny, we have a 1 car garage and a two car garage, and we dont park in either one the big one which is 300 ft or so from the house has the riding mower, and its trailer, the push mower the work bench and all the tools, rakes shovels etc and the chemical type stuff, oil, gas, pvc cement etc, and a deep freezer and the other one has my grow ststion a bar(of course, the smokers, the grills, a stand alone gas burner w/ giant stock pot for low country boils, etc, a giant cast iron cauldron for brunwick stew etc, and a my pepper gardening paraphenalia, a side by side fridge freezer, (which I did have to take my seeds out of and plug in Jamie as we became inundated with fresh veggies), and a solo stand up freezer, my girlfriend says I spend too much time here, but w/ my germination station, my seedlings, a fridge w/ cold beer and a bar (who can blame me?


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

  • Posted by esox07 4, S. Cent Wisc (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 11, 11 at 18:23

Yah, Chile Freak has it going on it seems. I would love a large smoke house to smoke some of them dang Carp too. I just had a new deck built for the wife. Is a 20x20 shed too much to ask??
I might try the wood chips on my gas grill. I dont have a charcoal one. After you soak the wood chips in the pie tin, do you drain the water and then just leave the wood chips in the pie tin over the coals?
How about some Banana Peppers for smoking? Also, do you just smoke them as they are picked or do you prepare them some way first?


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

  • Posted by esox07 4, S. Cent Wisc (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 11, 11 at 20:02

Chile Freak, Glad to see you are keeping up with your hobbies despite the lobbying from the GF. If she sticks around, you know you have a winner. But at that point, you should probably clear a few square feet for her in one of the garages to store her new boat and motor that you will buy her for a wedding present.

Oh, run that Cable/Satellite TV out there and you will have a true man cave.


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

LOL That's what I was going to say!! Get some Cable / Sattelite out there and there would rarely be a reason to leave!!!


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

essox, smoked banana peppers are quite tasty, yes u do wanna drain the water, the chips just need to soak up water the wetter the chips the more smoke, but if u leave standing water it will just boil the wood chips till the water runs out. also you dont need to do anything at all to the peppers( assuming you have already washed and dried them ;) b4 smoking them, good luck!


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

  • Posted by esox07 4, S. Cent Wisc (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 12, 11 at 19:02

Chile Freak, I am gonna try it out on my Weber Propane grill. Wish I had some hickory. Probably buy a bag from Walmart of the Mequite though.


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

I also read a post from someone else on this forum that suggested dicing the peppers then freezing them with water in ice trays.

My neighbor used to do something similar with Rockfish filets. He would put them in half gallon milk containers with water and freeze them. They would last as long as he wanted.


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

  • Posted by esox07 4, S. Cent Wisc (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 14, 11 at 18:41

Yes, When I was a kid and came home with a bunch of fish, I would put them in plastic freezer bags filled with cold water. Then I would freeze the whole thing. That aleviated any chance for freezer burn by keeping the air away from the fillets. So, I would guess it would work with peppers too.


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

I overpicked some cayenne peppers from my garden and they are limp...heading down hill fast.
Can I freeze them? Is it too late?


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

I freeze most of mine. For seed I let the pods ripen and dry while hanging on the plant... nature knows how to do that much right. My dry pods will just sit on a shelf until planting time next year... I don't even put them away.

I rinse mine and dry them on my bread cooling rack. Then they get tossed in a ziplock freezer baggie. I use a ziplock because it is easy to add peppers as they ripen and pick them back out when needed... I get the fancy ones with the zipper device.

I cook with them so no issues with texture. Frozen peppers can sliced up while frozen... I use lots of cayenne which I snip into the beans with my kitchen sissors.

I tried mixing them with tomatos for chili.. then forgot which was which so the spagetti turned out rather warm.


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

  • Posted by esox07 4, S. Cent Wisc (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 22, 11 at 15:27

Hmmmm, never thought about letting my seed pods hang and dry on the plant? The theory sounds good. I am going to freeze some peppers this year but most will be dehydrated (dried) and ground to powder. Makes it easy to add to foods and store the pepper. The downside is you don't get the "meat" of the pepper. The other reason I like dried and ground pepper is that is makes it easy to distribute the heat throughout the food. Too many times I have been eating a dish and hit that "hot spot" when I bit into a "chunk" of pepper. But I am going to definitely freeze some hot banana peppers to slice for sandwiches.


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

Hey Esox

Not sure if it was mentioned or not, but another good idea for them Hot Banana Peppers may be to slice em into rings and put em in a jar and fill with vinegar and put em in the fridge. They should last quite a long time like that also. Ya could even go with a 50/50 vinegar and water mix and add salt and other seasonings into the solution as yer taste desires.

Jim


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

  • Posted by esox07 4, S. Cent Wisc (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 22, 11 at 22:15

Yah, I saw something like that mentioned earlier. I'm gonna give it a shot.
Thanks.
Bruce


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RE: Dried Peppers/frozen peppers

also essox, u can just puree the peppers w/ garlic, salt and either oil or vinegar, w/ or with out seeds and membrane depending on how hot u like it, the paste that results stirs perfectly into ur dishes, and u dont lose some of the taste(which happens when u dry them)
Paul


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