So, when to harvest spaghetti squash? The best time is early to mid-fall. In the northern…
Knowing how to store peppers long term is a skill I learned at a very young age.
Growing up on a farm and watching my Italian immigrant parents ply their gardening skills have only been appreciated many years later as an adult.
I took it for granted back then that gardening skills and food storing knowledge was something everybody had.
Well, that’s certainly not true and it was an education I got that had been very much undervalued by me.
One of the things I loved watching my parents do was work their assortment of peppers. Knowing when to harvest them, how to prepare and cook them and store them.
Eating peppers is about so much more than just flavor. Peppers are loaded with nutrients and can help maintain a healthy diet.
The shelf life of a pepper, however, is only about one week.
That’s because once the pepper has been harvested, it starts to lose nutrients which negatively affect its taste.
In this article, I will briefly explore how to store peppers long term to keep them fresh and maximize nutritional value.
How To Make Sure Peppers Stay Fresh?
Whether you’re picking your peppers from your garden or buying them from the store, you need to keep them fresh.
How do you do this? In warm to hot weather, they will deteriorate quickly if left on the shelf.
The answer is to put them in a bag and store them in the refrigerator. But while that seems pointing out the obvious there are a couple of things to consider before you do this.
Do not wash the peppers before storing them. That goes for peppers picked from the garden as well.
Peppers, especially bell peppers don’t appreciate wetness and cold weather combined. If you wash them and then close them up in a bag and put them in the fridge, they’ll start to rot much quicker than normal.
In fact, if you ever wanted to speed up the “rotting” process, this is what you would do.
So make sure they are dry before storing them in the fridge.
Use plastic bags or resealable bags to store them in. I generally store them two bell peppers at a time given their size. Make sure the peppers are dry and there’s no moistness inside the bag.
Simply tie the end of the bag and then put them in a warmer part of your fridge such as the crisper draw.
I like to store them towards the front with the ideal temperature being being 40-50 degrees Farenheit. That’s about 5-10 degrees Celsius.
Did I learn this from my parents as a child? Well, yes of course. And the first thing I was told is don’t wet the peppers before you put them away.
The storage life done this way should be ten to fourteen days although this could be stretched to three weeks.
Are There Different Ways To Store Peppers?
Yes, there are other ways that you can store peppers other than what I showed you above. All of them have their pros and cons.
I’ve just run you through the simplest method which I’ll repeat again below. But there are other ways to store them. One method is to freeze your peppers, which will keep them good for up to a year.
However, this is obviously not a good option if you want to use the pepper within a couple of days. It takes some time for the pepper to thaw out before it can be used in cooking.
The final option is storing the peppers in jars with vinegar. This is the most efficient way of storing peppers, as it will keep them good for a year and does not require any special equipment. The downside to this method is that the peppers might lose some flavor.
So let’s summarize the pros and cons of the methods we’ve just listed.
Freezing: Pro – Stays fresh for a long time. Can be used immediately after thawing. Does not require special equipment. – Con- Requires more storage space.
Air Drying: Pro – Keeps the pepper long-term quality high, but takes a little longer than freezing to dry the pepper. Does not require special equipment. – Con- Drying time is not as fast as freezing.
Storing In Jars: Pro – This is efficient. Peppers can be available “on tap” when you want them. Con – Learning the skill to prepare them for storing in jars is required.
Conclusion: How To Store Peppers Long Term
Today’s economic climate dictates that when you can, stock up on as much food as you can.
Prices are through the roof on produce and I’ve noticed people have their preferences, and buy more of them when they shop.
Peppers are high on the shopping list of many people. When you buy more than you need in the moment, storing them to maintain their freshness is critical.
Of the methods listed in this article, the bag method and freezing method are the most doable for the majority of people.
Air drying can be expensive while storing peppers in jars requires not just learning the skill, but creating extra space. If you live in an apartment, this may not be an option.
My mom was expert at storing food long term in jars. Peppers were always a delight to eat when they’re prepared this way.
But for those of you wanting a simple and quick way of how to store peppers long term, the bag method in the fridge is the best and most sensible for your needs.
Just remember, don’t wash the peppers before you store them. Keep them dry, put them in a bag you can tie or resealable bag and then place them in an area of the fridge like a crisper drawer that’s not too cold. Between 4050 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.