• When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown peppers for the best quality and nutritional value.
  • Know when fresh peppers are available in your state with this seasonal food guide.

  • If this is your first time freezing or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read General Freezing Information before beginning.  

1. Selection

  • Select firm, crisp, thick-walled peppers. Do not use vegetables that show signs of decay or mold.
  • When possible, harvest in the cool part of the morning and freeze within two hours.
  • Use 1 1/3 lb peppers per quart jar.

2. Freezing Equipment

  • Use clean packing containers that are moisture and vapor-proof.
    • Glass jars, metal, and rigid plastic containers meet these criteria.
    • Using containers with straight sides makes using thawed products easier.

3. Equipment Preparation

  • Before use, wash containers in hot soapy water and rinse well.

4. Vegetable Preparation

  1. Chilis
  • Thoroughly wash chili peppers.
  • Heat in 400-450°F oven for 6-8 minutes or until skins blister.
    • For crisp peppers, immedietaly cool in ice water.
    • For a more thoroughly cooked product, wrap in a hot damp towel and allow to steam for 15 minutes.
  • Peel off skin and remove stem, seeds and membranes. Or, freeze without peeling.
  1. Pimientos
  • Thoroughly wash pimentos.
  • Heat in 400°F oven for 3-4 minutes.
  • Rinse in cold water to remove charred skins.

5. Packing for Freezing

  1. Chilis
  • Flatten to remove air and dry pack with waxed paper between single layers, leaving ½ inch headspace.
  • Or tray-pack peppers:
    • Place chilled, well-drained peppers in a single-layer on a shallow tray or pan. Place in freezer until firm, then remove and quickly fill labeled bags or containers. Close and freeze immediately.
  • Before sealing, make sure sealing edges are free of moisture or food.
  1. Pimientos
  • Dry-pack pimentos with ½ inch headspace or tray-pack, following directions above.
  • Before sealing, make sure sealing edges are free of moisture or food.

6. Storage

  • Label with the name of food, date, and type of pack.
  • Freeze packaged vegetables as quickly as possible to 0°F or below.
    • For quickest freezing, place containers in single layers in freezer.
  • Most vegetables will maintain high quality for 12-18 months at 0°F or below.
    • Longer storage will not make the food unfit for use, but may impair its quality.