Jalapeños are easy-to-grow warm-weather vegetables that add that mild heat to your sauces, salads, stuffing, and more! While growing jalapeños can be an excellent venture for home produce or to sell commercially, sometimes you may find yourself with excess jalapeños.
If you’ve never stored jalapeños before, you may wonder whether they can be preserved and how long they can last.
Our detailed guide looks at how to keep jalapeños properly and how long they last on average.
|Preservation Method||Length of Storage|
|Freezing||6 months-12 months|
How Long Do Jalapeños Last?
Jalapeños, like other vegetables, have a shelf life.
Fresh jalapeños can last for four to five days when left at room temperature.
Keeping them in the fridge gives you one to two weeks of shelf life. And whole or sliced jalapeños can last up to a year when kept in a freezer.
Jalapeños go bad in warm temperatures, which is why fresh jalapeños only last for a few days at room temperature.
Canned jalapeños have a best-by date on the can that determines their shelf life. An opened can has a short shelf life, but you can extend its shelf life by storing it in the fridge.
5 Ways to Store Jalapeños
Before rushing to store your jalapeños, you need to take time and pick the best peppers to ensure they remain tasty and fresh for a long time.
Choose jalapeños that are firm to the touch, have a smooth exterior, and ones that are fresh and perfectly ripe.
Here are some ways to store jalapeños properly for longer shelf life.
Freezing is one way to preserve your jalapeños after a big harvest. This method keeps the peppers spicy and fresh for your subsequent use.
But there’s more that goes into freezing jalapeños than just tossing them into a freezer.
Here are some steps you need to take.
Use the Right Storage Bags
You need to get the right type of storage bag to put your peppers in before freezing them.
Although Ziploc bags might work for short-term storage, they allow air particles through to the peppers over time.
A good alternative would be reusable silicone bags, as they are thick and have an airtight seal, perfect for long-term freezer storage.
Determine the Method of Freezing
You also need to prepare the jalapeños for freezing. They can either be stored pre-sliced or whole, depending on the amount of freezer storage space.
Freezing Sliced Peppers
Pre-slicing peppers reduces the need to slice them later and allows them to take up less freezer space.
- Wear a pair of gloves and clean the jalapeños with cold water. Dry them thoroughly.
- Cut off the stems and throw them away.
- Place the sliced jalapeños in your preferred storage bag or container and freeze them.
Alternatively, if you’re planning for long-term freezing, you can spread the sliced peppers on a cookie sheet and flash-freeze them for an hour. That will keep the slices from clumping together when you transfer them to storage bags or containers.
Freezing Whole Peppers
The second option is to store your jalapeños whole if you have ample space in your freezer. Preserving them when they are whole prevents possible chili oil burns and oxidization.
- Clean the jalapeños with cold water and dry them thoroughly.
- Remove their stems and place them in storage bags.
- Seal the bag after removing as much air as you can.
- Freeze your peppers until the next time you need them.
Frozen jalapeno can last up to one year and be used on your hot sauces, stews, soups, and stir-fries.
Pickling is another way to store jalapeños. It’s a great option if you’re planning to store jalapeños for the winter.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to go about it.
Get Your Jars and Sterilize Them
Clean and sterilize your jars. Get small jars that you can use for a meal or two rather than one big one where leftovers are likely to go to waste.
Clean the Jalapeños
Clean the peppers under cold water and dry them. Give them time to reach room temperature if they came out of the fridge.
Slice your jalapeños into tiny rings and place them in the jar. Ensure you leave half an inch of space at the top.
Prepare the Brine
In a large pot, add 5 cups of water, 5 cups of vinegar, and 1/2 cup of coarse pickling salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Once the brine has boiled, fill your jars to 1/4 inch from the top. Remove any bubbles by poking a knife around the perimeter.
With a paper towel, wipe the rims of the jars and replace the rings and lids and tighten them. Add the jars to a canner. Process them for ten minutes.
Store the Jars
Take out the jars from the canner and allow them to sit for 24 hours.
Check if you have any unsealed jars. Keep any unsealed jar in the fridge and consume it within a month.
Remember that pickled jalapeños are ready to eat after two months, like homemade pickles.
Refrigeration is a short-term storage method. Refrigerated jalapeños can last in the fridge for a week.
You can use an airtight container to store diced jalapeños in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
Do not wash your jalapeños before refrigeration, as this only introduces excess moisture that can encourage mold growth, leading to rotting.
Wash the peppers when ready to add them to your recipes.
Drying is another way to store fresh jalapeños. It’s one of the methods of getting a longer shelf life.
Here’s a way to go about it.
- Wash your jalapeños under cool running water and dry them with a paper towel.
- Tie the stems together so you can hang them to air dry.
- Place your jalapeños in a warm, dry area away from direct sunlight.
- Allow them to air dry for a month.
You can also dry jalapeños using a dehydrator. Unlike air drying, using a dehydrator allows you to control the humidity and temperature inside. Additionally, it speeds up the process of drying the peppers.
- Place your peppers in a dehydrator and leave them for 12 hours on soft heat.
- Remove them in the morning and put them in a mason jar.
- Preserve them in a dry place away from sunlight.
Oven-drying jalapeños is a quick way to dry them. The oven will dry the jalapeños evenly, albeit slowly.
Oven-drying is the best method for a small number of jalapeños. However, this method takes away the original flavor and color of the jalapeños as they cook slightly.
After drying your peppers, you can use a spice grinder to grind them. Place the powder in an airtight can and use it for up to a year.
Canning should be your go-to method if you want the jalapeños to stay fresh over an extended period.
Although pickling and canning may seem similar, the difference lies in the final product. Canned jalapeños have a firmer texture compared to pickled ones.
- Start by washing your jalapeños.
- Get a canning pot and put hot water in it to sterilize it.
- Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar for every 1-liter (4-cup) jar. Pour your jalapeños into it and leave an inch of space on top.
- Fill the jar with boiling water and place the lid on. Use a pressure canner to seal it tightly.
Properly storing your jalapeños reduces waste and ensures your peppers last and remain ready for when you need to use them.
You can choose to refrigerate, pickle, can, freeze, or dry your jalapeños. It all depends on the method that best works for you.
Additionally, you can make hot sauce, relish, or pepper jam if you have an ample jalapeño harvest.
Some methods retain the original spicy flavor, but others may remove the flavor and taste. Choose one based on your storage needs and how long you need to keep them.