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It's getting colder outside and I have a lot of jalapenos in my garden. I like eating them fresh (not cooked) on homemade tacos and omelets, etc.

If I freeze them and thaw them out later in the winter, will they still be as spicy and crunchy, or does the freezing and thawing take some flavor away from them?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

I have a whole freezer full of jalapenos - so yes, you definitely can.

They definitely retain their heat just fine.

They keep their texture better if you do 2 things:

  • Use a vacuum sealer and take out all the air - to reduce freezer burn. Because of this, I recommend you freeze them in batches.

  • Blanche them for 2-3 minutes in boiling water and then drop them in freezing water. From what I've read, this destroys a particular enzyme that helps not break the pepper down further. I've done this and not done this - and doing it definitely helps on the texture.

They should be good for a little over a year in a vacuum sealed bag - as far as the texture goes. They should never go bad otherwise.

Cos and Sobachatina - bring up another good point: freezing fast and effectively. You can try AB's method that Cos points out, but I do what Sobachatina does. Freeze on a single layer on a tray in the freezer. They freeze quicker and better than dumping them in a bag.

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I have never applied [Alton Brown's flash freezing] technique to peppers but think that it might improve the texture without blanching. What are your thoughts on this? could it help preserve the raw jalapeno? foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/frozen-strawberries-recipe/… –  Cos Callis Sep 27 '11 at 0:36
    
I'm not familiar with blanching. Does blanching them cook them? –  LarsTech Sep 27 '11 at 11:57
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Anything that I freeze I lay in a single layer on a pan and freeze in the chest freezer before bagging. They sustain far less damage this way and also don't freeze together into a solid mass. @CosCallis- This is essentially what AB is doing. Freezing faster is always better as ice crystals will stay smaller. –  Sobachatina Sep 27 '11 at 15:27
    
@Sobachatina that is what I was getting at, I just wasn't sure it would apply to peppers in the same way it does strawberries. Thanks for the input. –  Cos Callis Sep 28 '11 at 19:43
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A tip from a friend of mine works great if you only want to use your jalapenos for cooking!! Chop them up and push them into an ice cube tray. Top up with a tiny bit of cold water and then freeze. Once frozen take them out of the tray and put into plastic bag. To use just take as many cubes as you think you need and just throw them into whatever you are cooking

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I like the quick freeze tray technique. Thought I would re-mention that you also get a more uniform spice level by mixing lots of these together after dicing and before storage. –  zanlok Oct 24 '13 at 19:12
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If you don't have a vacuum sealer I use a drinking straw and suck out most of the air from a freezer baggie before sealing.

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