Can You Freeze Banana Peppers? The short answer is yes, although it comes down to how you plan to use them after freezing. This page will tell you how to freeze banana peppers properly and what to avoid while freezing them.
You can freeze banana peppers in two ways. One method is to blanch the peppers before freezing. However, this is a long process; if you wish to skip the blanching part, slice them into rings or strips and keep them in freezer-safe bags or containers.
Alternatively, Banana peppers can be frozen either raw or cooked, and you don’t have to worry about blanching them first. Banana peppers are usually cut in half during the freezing process since this prevents them from flopping around when you are placing them into the freezer bags.
Frozen banana peppers will keep for a long time and are particularly useful for making quick salsas and sauces when you need an ingredient that tastes like summer.
As a general rule for all peppers, you can successfully freeze peppers for a period of 8 months to 1 full year. However, they may stay fresh even beyond that if you freeze them properly.
What Are Banana Peppers?
Banana peppers are light yellow in color and have a sweet taste reminiscent of mild bell peppers. They are frequently used on sandwiches, pizza, or salads. In addition, banana peppers are served pickled and sliced on Italian beef sandwiches in certain parts of the United States.
They are also known as the yellow wax pepper or banana chili; they are a mild member of the chili pepper family that resembles a banana in shape and bright yellow color. While they do have a slight kick and heat that increases when eaten on their own or straight off the grill, they’re closer in heat to bell peppers than serrano chilis or jalapenos.
Banana peppers with a yellow to mild red color are the most common, but orange and red varieties that have been allowed to mature on the plant can also be found.
Additionally, They are long, slightly wrinkled, and yellow in their immature stage. It turns orange and then red as it ripens. The seeds of the pepper constitute about half of the pepper and can be bitter if eaten raw.
Types of Banana Peppers
Not all banana peppers are the same, and this is due not just to their color but also to their varying level of spiciness. The color of any type of banana pepper largely depends on when it has been picked.
There are two types of banana peppers: sweet and hot. Both are annual plants in the family Solanaceae, producing an edible yellow fruit when ripe.
Sweet Banana Peppers
Banana peppers are sweet and come in medium-sized pods that range from yellow to orange and red, although dark green is the commonest hue in raw banana peppers.
They are a fruit of the Capsicum annuum plant and closely related to chili peppers. Sweet banana peppers are often confused with Hungarian wax peppers, similar in size, shape, and heat level. The sweet banana pepper is also closely related to (and often confused with) the similarly named Chilean pepper.
Sweet banana peppers are one of the most widely consumed types of pepper. They give a light bite to salads, pizzas, and subs. Sweet banana peppers are about 6 inches long and have a curved shape, sort of like a banana. The perfect color for banana peppers is a bright yellow; however, they can also come in red and green.
Hot Banana Peppers
Hot banana peppers are long and narrow, about 6-7 inches long, and 1 1/4 inch wide. These peppers reach their full size when completely yellow. Hot banana peppers average between 0 and 200 Scovilles.
Raw hot banana peppers have a crunchy texture with a warm taste. They are primarily used in salads and can also be pickled and sold in jars and other pickled vegetables such as carrots or cauliflower.
Whole hot banana peppers are capable of withstanding heat well beyond that which humans can bear; it’s best to leave them whole, even when hot. When sliced open, hot banana peppers release the majority of their heat.
If you must slice a hot banana pepper open, do so carefully and away from your face. It is always best to use a pair of plastic gloves when cutting any kind of pepper, as it may cause your hands to burn.
How to Freeze Banana Peppers
Freezing banana peppers is a great way to preserve the peppers. Compared to using salt or vinegar, freezing is an easy way that also results in a better-tasting and healthier pepper.
Here are those helpful tips that can help you save time and money when freezing banana peppers.
Freezing whole banana peppers
You can freeze whole banana peppers to keep them fresh for a long period. To do this, place the peppers in a freezer bag or airtight container and place them directly into the freezer until you are ready to use them! You can also wrap the peppers in plastic wrap or aluminum foil first if they will be in your freezer for many months before being used.
However, Freezing your freshly-picked whole banana peppers can be done in several ways, with each method resulting in good flavor. Since these methods are all very similar, choosing one over another is a matter of preference.
Freezing sliced banana peppers
Freeze sliced banana peppers so that they are ready to use year-round. Banana peppers make the perfect topping for sandwiches and salads.
The key factor to freezing sliced banana peppers is to slice them into thin rings and place them into a salt solution. Without the salt brine solution, the texture of the banana pepper will change from crisp to soft after freeze-drying. Also, note that you can expect to see some discoloring of your peppers without a brine.
Here is an easy way to freeze sliced banana peppers
Step 1. Slice banana peppers and remove the seeds (use good scissors made for vegetables).
Step 2. Oil up a cookie sheet. I just used olive oil and a paper towel.
Step 3. Place slices on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer until frozen solid.
Step 4. Pour into Zip-Lock freezer bag, label and date, and return to freezer for as long as you need.
However, they last much longer if you freeze them whole instead of chopping or dicing them.
Freezing cooked banana peppers
Cooked banana peppers are very easy to freeze. First, you must lay the cooked banana peppers out on a single tray and place them inside the freezer for about 5 hours or until the banana peppers are fully frozen.
A second option is to place all of the prepped banana peppers into a zip-lock storage bag and place the storage bag inside a pot of cold water with more water at room temperature. Leave this mix sitting inside your freezer for 3 days before you can use it for cooking your banana peppers.
Blanching Banana Peppers Before Freezing
Blanching banana peppers before freezing is the process of putting them in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then putting them into ice water to shock the skins. Also, It will loosen the skins enough to be removed easily when the peppers are thawed out.
It is a critical step when it comes to freezing peppers. It completes two important processes: destroying active enzymes that may cause flavor and color loss and loosening the skins of the raw peppers so they don’t stick together after freezing.
To blanch the pepper, Wash and prepare peppers in the same way you would if they were being pickled. After blanching, peel the peppers and remove the stems, seeds, and membranes. These peppers can then be frozen whole or chopped.
Thus, blanching vegetables before freezing is the most important thing you can do to preserve flavor and color. If vegetables are not blanched, they will quickly turn mushy and will taste unpleasantly bland.
Can you Freeze Banana Peppers Whole?
Yes, you can freeze banana peppers whole. To do so, wash the peppers, cut off the stems and slice them lengthwise to remove the seeds and membranes.
Then cook them in a mixture of one tablespoon apple cider vinegar and five tablespoons water for 10 minutes per pound of peppers.
Finally, drain the peppers, pack them into freezer bags or airtight containers and freeze for 12 months.
Although, The best way to freeze banana peppers is to slice them first so that they may be cooked as needed. However, the texture will change while frozen, so we suggest cooking and eating banana peppers within 1-2 weeks of purchasing them and freezing the leftovers.
Can You Freeze Stuffed Banana Peppers?
Stuffed banana peppers can freeze well if you do so correctly.
First, place your stuffed banana peppers on a parchment-lined baking sheet (it’s okay if they touch each other).
Next, put the whole thing in the freezer for about an hour or until frozen. Then transfer it to a freezer-safe baggie and put them back in the freezer for later.
If you’re freezing more than one baking tray at a time, make sure to space out the frozen stuffed pepper pans in the freezer, so they don’t touch each other.
Although it will take in some moisture when thawed, surprisingly, they do not go soggy. You may find it less crispy after being cooked, but it is still safe to eat. Put it in a freezer bag for longer storage, then wrap it in foil to prevent freezer burn.
How to Freeze Banana Peppers Without Blanching
Blanching is the process of scalding food in boiling water or steam and then plunging it into ice water. It stops the reaction of enzymes that can cause loss of flavor, color, and texture.
The blanching process is responsible for cleansing the surface of dirt and organisms, brightening the color, and helping retard the loss of vitamins. Blanching also wilts or softens vegetables, making peeling some fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, peaches, and almonds easier.
Since the low temperatures can affect their crispy texture, blanching is normally used to preserve the vegetable’s crunchy bite. However, if you want to avoid this process, freezing raw banana peppers can be done quicker and easier than blanching.
To freeze these peppers without blanching:
- Wash them thoroughly.
- Slice away the tops and remove the seeds.
- Slice lengthwise into quarters or chop the peppers as desired for later use.
Now arrange them on a single layer of a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put it into the freezer for two hours or until frozen solid before transferring to a storage container.
Try to label your container with the freezing date to know how long it has been in your freezer.
Can You Freeze Banana Peppers Before Canning?
You can freeze banana peppers before canning. It will enhance the shelf life of your banana peppers and make them extra crisp. Banana peppers may be frozen both before and after canning. However, different methods must be used based on whether you have raw or canned peppers.
Banana pepper slices can be frozen either before or after being canned. Before canning, store sliced banana peppers in freezer bags. These can extend to 1 year in the freezer before use. After canning, you can freeze opened jars for 2-3 weeks for the best quality.
However, canning is a method of preserving food that does not require freezing or refrigeration—once canned. However, according to Ball Canning, peppers keep best when stored in a cool dark place with a temperature that must not exceed 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can You Freeze Fresh Banana Peppers?
The best way to freeze fresh banana peppers is to wash them, discard their stems, slice them into rings and place them in freezer-safe bags. Since they have a high water content, you’ll want to dehydrate them for about 30 minutes before placing them in bags and storing them in the freezer at temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can add some liquid, but probably not necessary unless you use them primarily to make a soup or chili.
How to Preserve Banana Peppers
The key to preserving the banana peppers is finding out what part of the pepper you like to eat. The thick, white fleshy part that holds the seeds is bitter and gets very hot as it ages. So that part will have to be removed from the sweet, thick-walled yellow/green pepper.
The best way to preserve your banana peppers is to place them in an ice-water bath for several minutes, then place them in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
Also, you can refrigerate fresh banana peppers or pickle them if you like. To freeze peeled banana peppers, remove the stems and seeds and cut each pepper into rings or strips. Arrange the strips in a single layer baking sheet freeze until solid; then, you can now move them into resealable plastic bags and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
How to Use Frozen Banana Peppers
Frozen banana peppers are excellent when used as a cooking ingredient. They can also be added to salads, pasta dishes, and vegetable platters.
It can be a delicious topping for meats, cheeses, and sandwiches.
You can use banana peppers on nachos and in casseroles.
Banana peppers are stuffed with cheese or meats and cooked, then frozen. These peppers can be thawed and served as a snack or part of a meal.
Semi-dried banana peppers are made by pickling the peppers then freezing them. They have a softer texture than fresh peppers but are still crisp.
Banana peppers are also tasty when eaten raw or grilled.
Banana peppers have a great flavor and can be a good option for adding a level of taste to meals. However, these peppers are not for everyone as some may find them too spicy.
But can you freeze banana peppers? You can use the guide above to preserve the flavor so you can cook in the future. However, there is no point in buying more of these peppers if they do not maintain their taste when they are frozen.