Poblano peppers are very popular and easy to grow. They almost reach the size of bell pepper, but they do have a touch of heat. They’re not as spicy as jalapenos and have some of the fruitiness that bell peppers have. If you’ve just discovered these peppers and are growing them, you might find that you have a lot ready to harvest. So, how do you store poblano peppers to use them later on?
You can store fresh poblano peppers in the crisper section of your refrigerator for a couple of weeks. They can also be frozen and will keep in the freezer for around 6 months or more. You can also dry your peppers to give them a longer shelf life. Even roasted poblano peppers can be stored in the fridge or freezer successfully.
Let’s look at each storage method in more detail.
1. Storing Poblano Peppers In The Refrigerator
You can usually plan to keep your poblano peppers in the crisper compartment of your refrigerator for around one to two weeks, depending on whether you’ve just harvested them or purchased them from the grocery store.
Obviously, freshly picked pepper will last longer than those purchased from the store.
To store your peppers in the refrigerator, follow these steps:
- Wash the peppers and then dry them thoroughly with a paper towel. This reduces the risk of bacteria and fungal diseases growing on your peppers.
- Once they’re completely dry, place your peppers in a plastic bag. A freezer bag or zip-lock bag is perfect. Make sure that you expel all the air before sealing the bag.
- Place your bagged peppers in the crisper compartment of your refrigerator towards the front.
- Make sure that you keep an eye on your peppers to ensure that they’re not deteriorating and always cut them open before using them to ensure that no mold has started to grow.
2. Storing Poblano Peppers In The Freezer
To extend the shelf life of your poblano peppers, even more, you can keep them in the freezer for up to one year. There’s a couple of different methods that you can use to freeze your peppers.
How to freeze whole peppers:
- Give the peppers a good wash and then dry them thoroughly with some paper towel. You should then let them sit for an hour to ensure that they’re completely dry.
- Once dry, pop your peppers into a freezer bag or zip-lock bag and seal.
- Place in the freezer. Whole poblano peppers keep best for around 6 months in the freezer and are not likely to suffer from freezer burn. You should use the frozen peppers in cooked dishes because they won’t have the same crunch as fresh ones do once they’ve been frozen.
How to freeze sliced peppers:
- Wash and dry your pepper as in the previous method. Make sure you use nice, healthy-looking peppers that don’t have any blemishes.
- Cut around the stem to remove it.
- Take all the seeds out from the peppers.
- Slice up your peppers. You can either slice them into long strips or into rounds depending on how you plan to use them in the future. Long strips are great for adding to stir-fries or you might want to use rings in Mexican dishes.
- Place the sliced-up peppers on a baking sheet or tray in a single layer.
- Put this in the freezer for around 1 hour. This stops the pieces from sticking together when packed in bags.
- Place the frozen pepper slices into freezer bags and make sure to remove all the air before sealing.
- Store these in the freezer for up to 1 year.
3. Hang Your Poblano Peppers Indoors To Dry Them
This is one of the easiest ways to dry your poblanos so that they will store for around 6 months.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Wash your peppers and then dry them thoroughly with a paper towel.
- Use a piece of fishing line or other strong thread and tie one end into a knot to secure the peppers.
- Thread the other end of the fishing line into a sewing needle.
- Grab the largest pepper and push the needle with the fishing line through the stem to thread the line through it. Push this along to the end of the line, right up to the knot on the end.
- Thread the remaining peppers onto the fishing line so that you have a string of peppers. Try to arrange the peppers from large to small.
- Take the end of the fishing line out of the needle and tie a knot to secure the peppers in place.
- Hang your string of peppers in a warm spot to dry. This could be a sunny window or in your pantry or food storage cupboard if you have space.
- The peppers will take a few weeks to dry completely. When they’re dry, they’ll be wrinkled and their color will have changed to red.
4. Dry Your Poblano Peppers By Stringing Them Up Outside
If you don’t have the space indoors to hang your peppers, you can string them up outdoors. If you hang them in the sun, they should only take a couple of weeks to dry. However, you have to ensure that they won’t get wet if it rains.
Here’s what to do:
- Wash and dry the poblano peppers thoroughly.
- Grab a long piece of garden twine.
- Loop the twine around the stem of one pepper and tie it securely.
- Continue tying the twine around each pepper stem so that you have a string of peppers. Make sure that you space them out a little so that you have around 2 to 3 inches between each one.
- Hang your string of peppers in a warm, sunny spot. Exposing them to direct sunlight will help to dry them faster.
- Keep an eye on the peppers because as they start to wrinkle and dry, they may fall out of the knot in the twine.
- If there’s a possibility of rain, move your peppers under cover so that they will not get wet.
- It should take around two weeks for your peppers to dry completely.
5. Use A Dehydrator To Dry Your Poblano Peppers
Using a dehydrator essentially removes all the moisture from the peppers so that you can store them for up to 1 year.
Here’s what to do:
- Set the temperature of your dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius).
- Wash your peppers and dry them thoroughly.
- Cut out the stems from your peppers and remove the seeds.
- Slice your peppers up into chunky pieces.
- Place your peppers, evenly spaced, onto the trays of your dehydrator.
- Put the trays into the dehydrator and dry for around 10 to 16 hours.
- In some dehydrators, you may need to move the trays around during the drying process so that all the pepper pieces dry evenly. You want the peppers to become leathery but still slightly pliable rather than rock-hard.
- Once your peppers are dried enough, you can store them in an airtight container in the pantry. It’s useful to add a food-safe desiccant pack into each container to help absorb any moisture still remaining.
If you don’t have a food dehydrator, you can also dry your peppers in the oven, but this may cook them slightly. To do this, preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible and spread the sliced peppers onto a baking tray. Place this into the oven and check often until the peppers are dry and have a leathery consistency.
Your dried peppers can also be stored in a zip-lock bag or vacuum-sealed if you have a vacuum sealer.
Alternatively, once your peppers are adequately dried, you can grind them up into flakes to make them easy to add to your cooking. Ideally, you want to store the flakes in a glass jar that has an airtight lid.
6. Pickle Your Poblano Peppers
If you have the time, you can also pickle your peppers. This will allow you to store them for around three to four months. This method is relatively easy and will keep your poblanos nice and juicy rather than having them dried out.
Here’s what you need to do to pickle your peppers:
- Wash and dry your pepper.
- Cut out the stems and remove the seeds inside the peppers.
- Slice your peppers into rings or thin strips.
- Place the sliced peppers into sterilized glass jars that have airtight lids. Ball jars are ideal for this.
- Make a brine by combining 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water. Add around 2 to 3% salt. You can add other ingredients to your brine as well such as dried herbs, some sugar, mustard seeds, or garlic.
- Place the brine in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Take from the heat once boiled.
- Pour the hot brine carefully over the peppers in the jars. Ensure that all the pepper pieces are fully covered with the brine.
- Place the lid on each jar and seal tightly.
- Allow the jars to cool for around an hour before placing them in the refrigerator.
- Sealed jars of pickled peppers will last around 3 to 4 months in the refrigerator. However, once you open a jar, you should consume the peppers within 2 weeks.
7. Roast Your Poblano Peppers And Freeze Them
If you love using roasted peppers in your cooking but don’t always have the time to roast them before preparing a meal, you can do this beforehand and store your roasted peppers in the freezer. Roasted peppers can be stored successfully in the freezer for around 8 months.
Here’s what to do:
- Wash and dry the peppers.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
- Cut out the stem and remove the seeds.
- Cut your peppers into chunks. If they’re small, you can just cut them in half or cut larger ones into quarters. Alternatively, you can leave the peppers whole if you prefer.
- Place these in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray, skin side up.
- Bake in the oven for around 20 to 30 minutes until the skins are blackened. You might need to turn them over to roast them evenly.
- Once they’re done, remove them from the oven and immediately put them into a bowl that you can cover. This allows the steam from the cooked peppers to loosen the skin.
- When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin from each piece and discard the skin. This is because the skin becomes quite papery and has no flavor once the peppers are roasted.
- Once cool, place the poblanos in an airtight container or freezer bag, and make sure you remove as much air as possible. Alternatively, you can first flash freeze them on a tray to stop the pieces from sticking together once frozen.
- Make sure you label the container with the date and keep it in the freezer for up to eight months.
8. Vacuum Seal Your Poblano Pepper To Store Them
One of the best ways to get the longest shelf life possible from your poblano peppers is to vacuum seal them and then keep them in the freezer. This is because a vacuum sealer will essentially remove all the air from the storage bag, which will stop your peppers from getting freezer burned or losing their freshness.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Wash and dry your peppers thoroughly.
- Cut the stems out and remove all the seeds.
- Slice up your peppers.
- Place the sliced-up peppers into one of the vacuum bags and seal the bag using the vacuum sealer machine.
- Label and date the bag and place it in the freezer. These will store for up to 2 years.