Kristie Leong M.D. is a family practitioner who believes in the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and fight illness.
How to Store Bell Peppers in the Freezer
Who doesn’t love fresh vegetables? You just picked up a dozen bell peppers from the farmer's market, and you can’t use them all right away. So, you want to preserve them until you need them.
It’s clear that keeping them in the refrigerator won’t solve the problem since refrigerated bell peppers only last a week or two. So, now you need to know how to store bell peppers in the freezer. How do you go about it?
There are several different ways to freeze bell peppers. Here’s the simplest method to freeze those colorful bell peppers, so you have them when you need them.
1. Wash the Bell Peppers Thoroughly
Before storing bell peppers, make sure they’re clean and pesticide-free. Preferably, buy organic to reduce pesticide exposure. To clean the peppers, fill your sink with cold water and submerge each pepper in the water.
Use your fingers (and a vegetable brush if necessary) to clean off dirt or debris from the outside of the pepper. Then remove each pepper from the water and let it air dry on a towel-lined plate or rack until it’s no longer damp.
When washing peppers, avoid the following:
- Do not soak them in soap; doing so may make them bitter tasting if you eat them raw later.
- Don’t scrub them hard; this can cause bruising which can affect their taste.
- No need to use a veggie wash, since there's no evidence it's more effective than rinsing thoroughly with water.
2. Cut off the Tops and Any Bad Spots
Use a large knife to cut the peppers in half, then use a small knife to slice off each pepper's top (you can discard or save the tops for cooking). Then, use a spoon or an ice cream scoop to remove the seeds and inner membranes.
3. Decide What Shapes You’ll Need
Cut the peppers into strips or other shapes you'll need for your recipes. You can slice them into strips (for stir-fries), chunks (for soups), slices (for sandwiches), cubes or rings (for casseroles and salads).
Place the shapes on a cookie sheet and put the sheet in the freezer for about an hour.It may seem counterintuitive but freezing the pepper pieces on a cookie sheet will make them easier to pack in the freezer. Don't leave them in too long, though—if they freeze together before you're ready to pack them up, you'll have to break them apart with your hands or a knife.
4. Store Your Frozen Peppers in Freezer Bags at 0 F (-18 C)
To safely store bell peppers in the freezer, use freezer bags or containers. It is important to keep each type of pepper separate since they each contain different amounts of liquid. Once you've prepared the bell peppers and placed them in heavy-duty freezer bags, seal them tightly with as little air as possible.
Now, label your bags with the date and contents so you know what's inside when you're pulling out veggies for a recipe later.
You can use dry ice to keep bell peppers frozen at 0 F (-18 C), but it can damage packaging material over time. However, if you use dry ice, ensure that any containers you use are metal or glass rather than plastic!
Once your frozen peppers are packed away and properly labeled (with ingredients and date), they'll keep for up to twelve months.
Other Tips for Freezing Bell Peppers
Freezing bell peppers is a great way to save money, time, and space in the kitchen, but you may wonder if you can use them right out of the freezer. The short answer is yes! There are some important things to keep in mind when using frozen bell peppers though:
If you want to use your frozen bell peppers raw on sandwiches or salads, thaw them first. This will allow them to soften so that they don't hurt your teeth when you bite into one.
How to store peppers in the freezer? Freezing peppers is a quick and easy process. The quality of the frozen peppers won't be as high as fresh ones, but they'll keep for a while if you store them properly. Always ensure they're completely dry before freezing them, so they won't clump and stick together in the freezer bag. Enjoy!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.