MOFishin
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Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

I'm wondering about how best to preserve peppers, particularly a few at a time. I have quite a few different types of peppers. But if this year is anything like last year, and it seems to be, I won't be getting a whole lot of peppers all at once. Yet I can't use enough in fresh cooking. I'd like to make some hot sauce, but I certainly don't harvest enough peppers at once to make a batch.
I should note that I don't know how to can.
I've only frozen things in the past to preserve them, which is fine. But how should I go about it? Freeze a few peppers, then get the container out of the freezer and add more to it when more are ready?

gumbo2176
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

I grow a lot of hot peppers every summer and what I've done is dehydrate some to make my own pepper flakes, pickled some to use as sliced pickled peppers, I've chopped some up real fine and put them in a shaker bottle like an old soy sauce container and added vinegar and a bit of salt to make a pepper vinegar.

Mostly I like to use them to make my own hot sauces and pepper jellies. There are a ton of pepper jellies on the net and you can make some using only a couple hot peppers and the rest with bell peppers to give it some color. I use habanero, Trinidad Scorpion Butch T's, ghost peppers and an assortment of yellow, red, orange and green bell peppers. The amount of heat it produces is in direct proportion to how many hot peppers you use in the mix.

As for making my own hot sauce, I put the whole pepper in a blender with the exception of the stem end cutting away any green stem portions. To this I add onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, vinegar and blend it into a puree. Then I put it on the stove in a stainless steel pot and bring it to a boil for at least 15 minutes, then can it in mason jars. This then goes into a hot water bath for about 15 minutes and then removed to cool and seal on the countertop.

If you are not comfortable with canning, I suggest you check into it before attempting to do so. It is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I will caution you that it is OK to use a hot water bath for things with a heavy vinegar base, but if trying to can things like green beans in a bit of salted water or if you make a bunch of soup and want to put it up in jars, you need to pressure can them in a proper pressure cooker to kill any bacteria that may form.

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applestar
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

I am exceedingly lazy :>

So I will most-often dehydrate thin-walled peppers for grinding into spice.

If I'm not making a big batch of something, what I do with thicker-walled peppers is freeze them -- whole if not saving seeds, or de-seeded First if saving seeds because frozen fresh pepper seeds won't grow. They last longer in the freezer whole. Pepper walls are tender enough that you can cut away the wall through the cavity with sharp knife, leaving the central core and seeds. Turn and cut, turn and cut. As much as you need.

I sort into hot pepper freezer bags and sweet pepper freezer bags, often by colors of the fruits. I differentiate between thick skinned pepper's that are best kept whole and roasted or otherwise cooked and the plastic like skin removed ... vs. thin skinned peppers that can be chopped and cooked.

Frozen peppers can be later (fermented and) turned into sauces and can be used to flavor soups and stews. I have heard that they are also good smoked first to make smoked paprika. They are good in omelets, too -- BUT Frozen then thawed peppers are limp and have no texture so dishes in which you want them to have the crunchy texture will not work.
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jeff84
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

yeah I like to dehydrate them myself. they can be used later for making sauces later. even if you don't have a lot of peppers all at once you can make small batches of hot sauce. some people even just store them whole in a jar of vinegar and it turns into hot vinegar that can be used like hot sauce. that is not considered safe food storage, but nothing bad is going to grow in straight vinegar

gumbo2176
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

I've been a New Orleans resident for all of my years on Earth with the exception of 70-73 when I lived in Jackson, Mississippi and one thing was constant that I saw growing up. In every neighborhood restaurant I ever frequented you could count on finding a shaker bottle of small hot peppers in vinegar on the table to be used to spice up your po-boys or plate lunches.

That is a tradition I carry on today and you will find, not one, but 2 bottles of pepper vinegar on my countertop next to the stove---one with stupid hot peppers and the other a bit milder.

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applestar
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

Oooh! I need to do that! I meant to -- I think I bought the good white wine vinegar specifically for that purpose and forgot!!! :oops:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

jeff84
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

make sure you puncture or slice the pepper, so the vinegar can get inside. you don't have too, but it will speed up the process quite a bit.

pepperhead212
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

Every season I dehydrate much of the first harvest that ripens of the Thai and other similar peppers. When the second crop (almost all of these peppers produce in flushes, up to 3 in a year, in my area) starts ripening, I put the ripe ones in the freezer in jars. Later in the season, I start freezing the green ones, of those, and other types of peppers. This way, the ones in the freezer for the off season are there for the least time necessary. Habaneros I dry some, and freeze some in vac-seal bags. These, and fresnos, and jalapeños freeze well this way. I also can jalapeños en escabeche. And this time of year, once the Thai peppers begin ripening, I slice a bunch up and put them in a bottle, and fill it with fish sauce, to make a thai condiment nam pla prik. This keeps almost forever in the fridge, due to the salt in the fish sauce.
Dave

imafan26
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

We make chili pepper water. Chilies, water, garlic,vinegar, and salt.

Build Your Own Fire
Recipe courtesy of MNKO dining editor Becky Speere

8 oz. water
2 oz. white vinegar
1 tsp. Hawaiian rock salt, ‘alaea salt, or kosher salt
1 clove garlic, smashed
1–3 fresh red chili peppers, preferably Hawaiian (hot)
Boil water. Cool. In a clean glass jar or bottle, add water, vinegar, garlic, salt and chili pepper. Cover and let sit two days in a cool place before using. Store in refrigerator.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

SQWIB
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

At the end of the season I will use a lot of my Peppers in a garden Jambalaya

Hot peppers are used in sauces/relishes and some dried whole to crumble over pizza/burgers/chili/spaghettie, etc...
For hot sauces I ferment so I just keep adding peppers all season long.

Sometimes Ill smoke some red jalapenos for a chipotle sauce

I fire roast poblanos, peel and dehydrate into sheets and store in a mason jar to be used later in recipes

Bells and larger peppers are stuffed and frozen, some chopped and added to ground meat/sauces/chilis and frozen.

I have tried dicing and freezing bells but they get mushy so I would only use them where they would benefit, in other words if you want crispy peppers in a dish, freezing is not the way to go, YMMV . However they are OK stuffed.



Oh hell, let me just show you!


eggplant/green pepper burgers
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peppers in a fattie
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Lemon Lime hot sauce
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mango hot sauce
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Raspberry Jalapeno hot sauce
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Fire roasting peppers
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Hot Sauces
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Stuffed Bells
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Smoking Red Halapenos
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Chicken sausage stuffed anaheims
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Chipotles
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sweet and spicy chili
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Jalapeno/Cheddar/Bacon dogs
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ABT's
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Chii Peppers
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Supreme pizza fattie
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Jalapeno ABT Canoli's
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Armadillo Eggs
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gumbo2176
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

Ah, the old "Everything's better with bacon" people. I like your style and most of that looks awesome------artery clogging, but awesome none the less.

SQWIB
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

Lol
Most of those recipes are from my cooking website and are smoked or pit cooked.
Just started a HEALTHY page but it pales in comparison

gumbo2176
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

SQWIB wrote:Lol
Most of those recipes are from my cooking website and are smoked or pit cooked.
Just started a HEALTHY page but it pales in comparison
I like to grill some things wrapped in bacon. Yard long beans and asparagus are good like that and I've used just a bit of olive oil on corn, sprinkled it with some pepper and garlic powder, wrapped the ears in bacon and grilled it like that. The salt from the bacon is enough salt for my taste and the fat rendering helps keep the corn nice and moist.

MOFishin
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Location: Central Missouri 6A

Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

Wow! Thanks for all the awesome ideas! A few of the peppers I've recently picked will be going in to vinegar today, and I see that I have a lot of options for all of the ones I'll be harvesting soon.
I've heard of hanging cayenne peppers on a string to dry them. Are there certain kind of hot peppers that this will or won't work on? Someone mentioned thin-walled peppers. I'm not sure I know which ones are and aren't.
As far as the hot peppers go, I have jalapenos, cayenne, Thai, and Chinese 5 color peppers. I also have zavory habeneros, though that haven't produced any fruit yet.

MOFishin
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

Can I hang my chinese 5 color peppers with thread to dry them and make flakes or powder later?

imafan26
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

I usually don't puncture them. You can let them begin to dry out on the bush and I finish drying them on a screen. The fastest way to dry peppers is to put the ripe peppers on a couple of layers of paper towels in a metal tray. Put the tray on the dash of your car and park the car with everything closed in the sun for a day. The peppers are usually dry by the end of the day. They can be seeds for the pepper seeds and flakes and frozen, ground and frozen. Freezing is better than keeping them on a shelf. Peppers will go rancid on a shelf. Pickling and making pepper sauces are other good ways of using peppers but it takes a lot of peppers to do that.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

I have noted that sometimes, even thin-walled peppers will get moldy inside without properly drying. It seems to help if you make either a slit on one side or basically "butterfly?" by slicing the wall all the way from base of calyx all the way around the blossom end to the base of calyx on the other side...or quick way is to just cut to one side of the central seed cone, kind of like cutting a mango. If you want to save some seeds, you can extract them with the knifepoint when you are doing this.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

MOFishin
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Location: Central Missouri 6A

Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

Thanks!

jeff84
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

if you try fermenting them for hot sauce you don't need as many as you think, you can add things like pineapple, mango, apple, carrots, onions, sweet potato, sweet peppers, corn, garlic as fillers and for flavor. let your imagination guide you. also it can be cut with acidic things like tomato juice after its done.

if you want it to store you want a pH lower than 4.6 then a hot water bath will make it shelf stable. if its pH is higher than that it needs to be pressure canned and must be refrigerated after opening. you can always adjust pH lower with vinegar, lemon juice, or citric acid

imafan26
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Re: Preserving peppers... in small quantities?

Peppers do get mushy in the freezer unless you chop them and use them in a cooked dish or you can roast peppers and preserve them in oil or you sun dry them for use later. Roasted and dried peppers have a rich concentrated flavor.
https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/121 ... ved-in-oil
https://blogs.denverpost.com/preserved/2 ... ppers/802/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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