Growing your own chili peppers or finding them at the farmers’ market may necessitate preserving them so they do not lose their flavor, heat, or nutrition.
How do you preserve green chilies? In an airtight container with paper towels inside, fresh green chilies can be kept in the fridge. Their shelf life is three weeks if properly stored. Rather than frying, freezing, pickling, or canning green chili, you can dry, freeze, freeze, or pickle them.
There will be slight differences in the results of each of these preservation methods, since each requires different equipment and skills. It will depend on both your storage capabilities and how you intend to use the chilies in the future and how you decide how to preserve them.
In this article, we’ll explain how to preserve green chilies, including the best method and alternatives.
What Are Green Chilies?
Green chili peppers are generally considered young and immature when they are green. In their young state, green chilies look like red, yellow, or even purple peppers as they mature.
Spicy pepper’s heat intensity increases with ripeness, and they can only reach their full potential at the end of the process. The resulting mild heat and flavor of green chilies is due to this reason.
Despite their youth, chilies are spiciest when the seeds are still green. Seeded green chilies will have a milder heat if you consume them or preserve them before eating.
Almost any food can be flavored with green chilies, and they are easily preserved. Fresh and raw foods can be stored in a variety of ways: frozen, pickled, dried, and canned.
Depending on how you plan to use them in the future, you may want to preserve them differently. Let’s look at some of the options.
Storing Green Chili Peppers
It is possible to preserve green chili peppers over a longer period of time if you have a surplus.
Here are a few tips for storing green chilies:
|Storage Method||How Long||How to Use|
|Fridge||Up to 3 weeks||Fresh and raw or cooked|
|Dried||Up to 1 year||Best used as a spice|
|Freezer||Up to 1 year||Best used in cooking|
|Pickled||Indefinitely||Salads and sides|
|Preserved in Oil||1–3 months||Potato salad, coleslaw, etc|
|Canned||Indefinitely||Any way you like them|
Keep reading for more green chili storage tips, as we’ll go into detail about each of these methods.
You will always want to wear cooking gloves when you’re handling chilies, regardless of the method you choose. The oils in peppers, even mild ones, can irritate your eyes and skin if you get them in your eyes.
How to Store Green Chilies – The Best Way
You should store fresh green chilies in your refrigerator if you plan to eat them raw or cook with them while they are young and mild. To do so:
- In the bottom of an airtight container, lay a sheet of paper towel and arrange the green chilies in a single layer.
- Adding another layer of chilies on top of the first layer of paper towel will make it easier to spread out. As you layer the paper towel and chilies, make sure you stack them neatly inside.
- The container should be sealed and kept in the refrigerator.
Although they can also be stored in a resealable bag, they are more likely to be crushed if they aren’t protected by solid walls.
To keep them dry, add a paper towel inside the bag to collect any moisture that may accumulate, and layer them as opposed to squashing them.
How Long Do Green Chilis Last In The Fridge?
Green chilies can be stored in your refrigerator for up to 3 weeks if properly stored. They may not last that long, however. Sometimes batches go bad quickly, and refrigerators are all different.
Regularly checking on them is a must. When chilies are beginning to get soft, use them as soon as possible.
After slicing, dicing, or otherwise chopping your chilies, they will only last about 2–3 days before getting slimy and losing their crunch.
How To Tell If Green Chilies Are Bad Or Spoiled
A bad green chili is usually very obvious when it starts to deteriorate.
There will be wrinkles on the skin, and this will lead to soft spots. They will turn to mush if they’re left for even longer. By then, they should be discarded.
A rotting smell can also be detected or mold may be visible. These signs indicate you should throw your chilies out right away.
Storing Green Chilies Without The Fridge
Green chilies do not have to be stored in your refrigerator if you do not plan on eating them right away after picking or purchasing them.
The instructions below will help you prepare green chilies for drying, freezing, pickling, or canning according to your preferences.
1. Dry Green Chilies
To preserve green chilies for a long time, you can dry them if you plan to use them as spices.
Sun-drying chilies is traditional. This is something you can do if you live in a hot, dry climate! Despite this, most home drying is done using either an oven or a dehydrator, both of which can handle humid or cool environments.
What to Know
Wash your chilies gently in a saltwater solution before you begin to dry them so that any bacteria will be removed. Dry your chilies thoroughly once they have been washed.
Each green chili should also be carefully examined. You won’t be able to dry them well if any look bad. Those that look bad are:
- Have mushy spots or are soft
- Have begun discoloring or looking slightly grey instead of bright green
- Having an unpleasant smell, sour or tangy
The best time to dry chilies is in the summer when fans are running, preferably blowing air out the windows. Heat will release spicy fumes from peppers, even mild ones. As a result, if you use your oven to dry them, you may experience eye irritation or burns.
How to Dry Green Chilies
To use a food dehydrator correctly, consult the manufacturer’s instructions. The design of each machine will be slightly different and most manufacturers will offer recommendations regarding the best way to handle a variety of food products.
However, if you plan to use your oven, here are some easy instructions for drying green chilies:
- Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees.
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Remove the stem and seeds from each chili by slicing it in half and wearing gloves.
- Put your chilies in the oven with the sliced side facing upward.
- The chilies should be flipped every hour (wear goggles if you don’t mind).
- To completely dry your chilies, you may need up to 6 hours, but the final time will depend on the size of your chilies. Make sure they are completely dry by checking them yourself.
You can store dried green chilies in an airtight container in your pantry, away from heat or direct sunlight, as well as protecting them from moisture.
The best flavor should last up to a year.
2. Freeze Green Chilies
You might find that freezing green chilis is a better choice than drying them if you prefer to use them as fresh as possible.
Despite being soft when thawed, chillies freeze well. You should cook them rather than eat them on your burgers or tacos. The flavor will remain as well as the heat.
How to Freeze Green Chilies
Green chilies can be frozen either whole or sliced, however you intend to use them in the future.
Follow these easy freezing guidelines after preparing your chilies however you wish:
- A cookie tray should be lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Cover the sheet with a single layer of green chilies.
- Make sure you don’t cover the peppers when placing them in the freezer.
- For 1–2 hours, let them stand undisturbed.
- Make sure the bag or container you use is freezer-safe and well sealed before transferring the frozen green chilies.
Fresh or frozen chili peppers can be stored in the freezer for up to one year without losing quality. After that time, they’ll still be safe to eat, but their quality will degrade because they’ll lose heat, flavor, and texture.
3. Preserve Green Chilies in Vinegar
Using vinegar to pickle green chilies extends the life of your peppers for nearly indefinitely while also adding the tangy flavor of pickled vegetables.
Food can be preserved by pickling with an acidic base to avoid bacteria growth. Pickling is one of the earliest methods of food preservation.
Despite being relatively simple to make and only requiring a few ingredients, it can also be extremely versatile with your choice of spices and additions.
Vinegar can be used to preserve green chilies.
- Canning jars
- Fresh, healthy green chilies
- Pickling salt
In addition to garlic, bay leaves, dill, or any other herbs and spices that interest your taste buds, you may also want to include additional ingredients for flavor.
How to “Quick Pickle” Green Chilies
Green chilies can be “quick pickled,” but must be stored in your fridge and eaten immediately.
Please refer to the section ‘How to Can Green Chilies’ below if you want to store pickled green chilies in your pantry or basement.
Here’s how to “quick pickle” your green chilies:
- The pickling salt is dissolved in a solution of vinegar and water, which is heated on the stove over medium-low heat.
- Put your chilies in a jar along with your spices and herbs, and then slice them, if you wish.
- Pour your brine over the green chilies, filling the jar completely with brine. Allow it to cool and then pour it over the chili slices.
- The jar should be airtight and you should allow the chilies to “pickle” for at least 3 days in the fridge. They can be tasted after three days to determine if they’re to your liking. At that point, they can be eaten at any time.
As long as the lid is tightly closed, pickled green chilies can last nearly indefinitely in the fridge.
4. Can Green Chilies
The acid content of green chilies and peppers makes them low acid food, so they should never be canned in a water bath canner. It is the only way to protect your chilies from bacteria.
Because of this, you should only pressure can chilies if you’re familiar with pressure canning safety procedures.
Below are only a few basic guidelines. First-time canners probably won’t find these steps sufficient, but if you’ve already canned before, they’re likely to work.
To can green chilies, you will need the following equipment:
- A pressure canner
- Enough half-pint canning jars, lids, and bands to preserve all your chilies
- Canning tools, such as a jar lifter, canning ladle, funnel, etc
- Gloves made from rubber
- Cutting board and knife to prepare your chilies
- Large and small pot
- Large bowl
How to Can Green Chilies (Basic Guidelines)
- Make sure you wash and sterilize your canning jars and bands before starting. As you prepare your chili, try to keep everything warm.
- They can be cut in any shape you like, or left whole. Cans of peppers are typically roasted first, then diced, so the skins are easier to remove. However, this is a personal preference.
- Fill the jars with chilies once the green chilies have been prepared, but don’t pack them too tightly. Water should be added until there is approximately 1 inch of space left at the top of the peppers.
- Tap the jar to remove any air bubbles. Once the jars are filled, add the lids and rings and transfer them to your pressure cooker.
- Process the chilies according to the instructions on your pressure cooker. After they’re done cooking, allow the jars to cool enough for them to be removed safely from the pressure canner.
- A kitchen towel and some cooling sheets should be spread out on your counter. The jars can then be placed in a safe place to cool completely.
- You can store your fresh canned green chilies in a cool, dry pantry for up to one year if you label them with the date.
Follow the same steps as you would if you were canning pickled green chilies, but you would use the brine instead of just hot water.
5. Preserve Green Chilies in Oil
For up to a month, you can also preserve green chilies in oil. Follow these steps:
- Make sure you rinse and dry your green chilies thoroughly after washing them with vinegar water.
- Slice the chilies lengthwise into thin strips after removing the stems and seeds.
- Your chilies should be submerged in vinegar and salt for at least 24 hours.
- Remove the chilies from the water and pat them dry.
- Fill a sterilized jar with enough olive oil to cover the chilies completely and stack them into the jar.
- A tight seal should be applied to the jar. If you plan to keep it in the pantry for up to a month, keep it in a cool, dry place.
The oil will solidify in the fridge and the texture will become less appealing. You can also store olive preserved chilies in the freezer. Keeping green chilies in oil in the refrigerator will keep them fresh for up to three months. You should eat them within a few weeks.
Cold, creamy salads like potato salad and coleslaw are great with green chilies that have been preserved in oil.
How to Preserve Green Chili Paste
Typically, green chili paste comes in prepackaged packaging, such as a resealable tube or glass jar, as does this green chili paste from Rani.
As a result, you should reseal the container and store it in the fridge according to the package instructions.
Storing Homemade Green Chili Paste
The best way to store your homemade green chili paste if you want it to last as long as possible is to freeze it.
Pre-portioning your green chili paste is as simple as freezing it in freezer trays (or ice cube trays).
The tray you use for ice should be one that you won’t be using again in the future. Plastic can leech oils from chilies. Using that ice tray later on may have a surprising flavor.
Here’s how to freeze homemade green chili paste:
- Spray a cooking oil spray on your ice cube tray first. By doing this, the paste won’t stick to it.
- Put 1 teaspoon of the paste into each cube indentation.
- Uncovered, put it in your freezer for one to two hours.
- You can crack out the frozen paste from each cube and place it into a freezer-safe container or bag after it has been thoroughly frozen. This will keep the portions neatly separated.