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When To Pick Habaneros?

When To Pick Habaneros

The question is – when to pick habaneros? I suddenly feel like going into my Shakespeare impersonation.

To pick or not to pick. You’ll get a couple of different answers to this question.

One is that it’s okay to pick habanero peppers when they are green. Firm green peppers are fine to consume.

Another answer is that you should wait until they fully mature into red habanero peppers.

And yet again, people will tell you that you should only pick the habanero pepper when it turns orange.

To be honest, there’s truth in all these answers. In short, it depends on individual people and their preferences.

The more the habanero pepper ripens the more the aroma and taste improves. Green peppers are fine but for those after taste, then let them ripen to at least an orange color before picking them.

However, you should at least pick your habaneros before the cold weather sets in. While the pepper plants can withstand reasonably cold temperatures, as low as forty degrees Fahrenheit or four degrees Celsius, their growth pattern will be limited in cool to cold weather.

Fruit will probably turn an unsightly black color when temperatures get to cold and extreme.

Will Habaneros Still Ripen After They Are Picked?

habanerosThis is an good question and the answer will probably pertain to other chili varieties as well.

Knowing when to pick habaneros is important and as you know now, the more you leave them on the vine the better taste and aroma they will provide.

But what about after you pick them. Will habaneros still ripen. And the answer is yes, they can, but only in temperatures that are warm and to their liking.

Growing up on the farm and watching my parents pick their chillies when they were green baffled me initially but they knew what they were doing.

We live in a sunny and warm climate most of the year round and this may sound strange, but I was fascinated with how the chillies still changed color despite not being on the vine.

The things we are fascinated by right!

So picking habaneros when they are green is not a bad thing. It will just require you to show a little patience if you want to get the full taste and aroma experience.

After picking them and they are still a little green, left in temperatures of between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is preferred if you want them to continue ripening.

So the bottomline is, yes they will still ripen after they are picked but only if the temperature is warm.

And remember, if you pick them green and the ripening process hasn’t started, then it’s hit or miss whether they will still change.

Some peppers stayed green. It was explained to me that it was because the ripening process hadn’t started on the vine.

If they had started to mature and slightly begin changing color, then they would continue on turning a different color while off the vine. Hope that makes sense. 

How And When To Pick Habaneros

how to care for a pepper plantI’m not sure that you can ever pick the perfect habanero. One of the reasons why it’s difficult to answer a question like “when to pick habaneros” is because a one-size answer doesn’t fit all.

In other words, different people are going to prefer them at different stages of the ripening process.

One of my deep memories of selecting chillies off the vine was through smell. There was a certain aroma that they gave off that resonated with me.

This was something I learned myself.

Yet, others would want it to be slightly more mature or even less mature. Everyone’s aroma and taste preferences are slightly different.

This short guide is simple can get you started in picking the “perfect” ripe habanero for your tastes.

– The first way is that you can start by feeling the peppers. If they are firm and heavy, then they are ripe.

– The second way is to smell them. If they have a fruity aroma, then it means that they are ripe.

– Thirdly way is to look at their color. If they have deep red or orange color, then it means that they are ripe and ready to be picked.

Actually, that’s as simply as it was explained to me as a young child. Firm and heavy and they are ripe; a nice fruity aroma and they are ripe; and when they change to an orange and then red color they are ripe.

Don’t make this into rocket science. If you are an experienced chill person then you’ll know in your gut when to pick habaneros.

It will be your preference. It will be what you like and prefer in the pepper.

The Best Ways To Store Habanero Peppers

Habanero plantIf you grow habaneros then you are mostly using them straight away when you pick them.

Habaneros will handle being stored for up to a month in temperatures of 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

After this, you’ll want to use them.

My parents only ever picked peppers to consume within a week. They’re favorite way was to roast them on an open fire.

After they roasted them, they then prepared them in an olive oil based and stored them in jars to be enjoyed over the next few months,

That’s the short version. In another article, I’ll provide the long version as peppers prepared this way, hot or cold are absolutely delicious.

They also would string peppers together to dry by sewing string through the stems and them hanging them in a warm area free from damp.

Some will suggest you wear gloves when handling habaneros. That’s okay. They never did. Come to think of it, neither did I.

But if you are an inexperienced habanero consumer, then wear them just to be on the safe side.

Conclusion: When To Pick Habaneros

pepper plantIn conclusion, habaneros are a great choice for a hot pepper when you want something with a little more heat than a jalapeno.

They grow well in a variety of climates, so they’re a good option for gardeners in most parts of the country.

Plus, they have a unique flavor that can add depth to your dish. So next time you’re looking for something spicy, give habaneros a try!

Actually, one more thing. Habaneros are hot so if you’ve never handled or tasted them before, just learn your way around them. Just saying.

When To Pick Habaneros Peppers
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JD Dean

Growing up on a farm gave me and my family some huge advantages. One of them was learning to grow our own food. Apart from acres and acres of crops, we had a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden plus, we canned our own food. I’m hoping to pass on some of this expertise and experience to you.

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