I can easily classify bell peppers among one of my favorite veggies. I always suddenly get hungry when I smell the magical aroma of roasted or fried peppers. Something about that smell makes me feel nostalgic and homesick.
When the season of bell peppers comes, I can’t resist not stockpiling on it. The main reason is their versatile use and how easy they are to prepare. You can roast them, fry them, stuff them, cook them, you can use them in salads, snack them with some dip, and the options are endless. I mean, did you know some people even make some kind of sweet and spicy jam out of it? Yup, you read it well a jam, out of peppers. Interesting right?
Usually, people think bell peppers are green, but in fact, they come in four different varieties, and they all have some minor differences in how they taste. Also, they come in different sizes, but I will talk about that later.
If you got caught in the moment as I did and you bought a bit more bell peppers than you actually need, the next question would naturally arise, and that is – how long do bell peppers last?
How To Select The Perfect Bell Pepper?
When you are out on the farmers market or in the grocery store, you should take some time while picking out the bell peppers. This way, you will ensure that you are getting a good pepper that has a great taste and ability to stay fresh and usable for an extended time.
As I said, bell peppers come in four different colors – green, red, yellow, and orange. The green bell peppers are the only one that has a mildly bitter flavor. On the other hand, yellow, orange, and red bell peppers had more time to ripen, especially the red ones, so they developed a fruitier and sweet flavor.
They also come in different sizes, but you are most familiar with the large ones and those mini versions that are great for snacking and for salads.
But no matter what color or size, the perfect and healthy bell pepper should be firm to the touch, without any tender spots or wrinkling of the skin. Choose the ones that have a vibrant color. Also, it is crucial to check the stem area of the pepper to make sure that there is no discoloration or mold formation.
How To Store Bell Peppers And How Long They Can Last?
Bell peppers can be preserved in many different ways. You can store them in the fridge, in the freezer, or if you are experienced in the kitchen, you can preserve them in the long-term by placing them in cans.
In this section, I will talk you through the process of how to store peppers in the correct way no matter which method of storing you choose.
Storing In The Fridge
You can keep bell peppers or any other kind of peppers at room temperature for a short period of time, so if you do not plan on eating them during the day, it’s best to store them in the fridge.
Luckily for us, types like bell peppers, jalapenos, and banana peppers remain crisp and delicious in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I will show you how I save whole peppers and how I keep peppers fresh after cutting them.
Always store whole peppers without washing them since any moisture on the pepper will make it rot faster. But if you did end up washing them, make sure that they are completely dry before placing them in the fridge. You can pat dry them with a paper towel.
The best way to store them is in a plastic mesh bag, which will allow much-needed airflow to keep them fresh. If you use regular plastic bags, they will rot fast since they will lack air. Place them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator and spread them as much as possible. Do not store them in the same drawer where you placed the fruit. This way, they can last up to two weeks in the fridge.
If your peppers are sliced or chopped, you can expect them to last approximately three to five days in the fridge if stored correctly, of course. Before you place chopped peppers in the plastic container or bag, wrap those in the paper towel then place it in the plastic storage bag or a sealed container. The point is that the paper towel will soak up the excess moisture.
You should store them in the crisper drawer of your fridge or on the top shelf. This way, they can last up to three days but check them out from time to time since they can still go slimy and moldy after a day or two.
If you cooked or roasted the bell peppers, you can store them in the fridge by placing them into an airtight container. They have a slightly longer shelf life than raw ones, and they can last in the fridge for up to five days.
Storing In The Freezer
The best method to keep your peppers fresh is to freeze them. You can freeze them fresh or roasted, sliced, or whole. Today I am going to show you how I keep pepper fresh in the freezer for long-term storage.
To freeze them whole, you need to remove the stem and the seeds first after that wash them thoroughly and put it in the boiling water for no more than 2 minutes to soften them a bit.
Place each pepper on the tray and put it in the freezer until they are completely solid so you can be sure they will retain their shape so you can stuff them later. You can also cut them in half if you prefer to stuff them that way. After they went solid, place them in the airtight container and label the date.
You can also roast the whole peppers and store them in the freezer and use the same method as the one I just described above.
If you decided to freeze sliced bell peppers first, you got to wash them right. Remove the stem and stem seeds and slice them as you desire. Spread them in a single layer on a tray, but make sure they do not touch each other. Place the tray in the freezer for about an hour or until they are completely frozen.
After an hour, remove them from the fridge and pour the peppers into a freezer bag. Make sure to label the bag or container with the date. You can store your cooked or raw sliced peppers in the freezer for up to a year.
In case they get wrinkled or discolored in the freezer, make sure you discard them since they are probably not safe to use anymore.
Canning Bell Peppers
If you bought too much bell pepper, you should consider long-term preservation. It is very straightforward to cann the bell peppers. You can cook or roast your peppers. Cool them off completely and remove the skin with your fingers, and do not wash them under the water since this will remove the flavor.
In a large bowl, mix up some salt, vinegar and olive oil, and dredge each pepper through this mixture a few times. Repeat this process at least twice. After that, take the jar and add approximately enough vinegar to cover the bottom then place the peppers in it.
Make sure you leave at least 2 inches of free space at the top. Use a knife or spoon to press the peppers and remove all air bubbles before you pour in the previous vinegar and olive oil mixture. Put the lid on and place it in the fridge. This way, you can preserve them for up to a year.
In the end, I do think there is no need for me to tell you how you can recognize the rotten pepper since it is quite visible, and you cannot miss it.
Also, if you are going to cook your frozen bell peppers, there is no need to thaw them. In case you want to eat them raw or in the salad, you should place them in the refrigerator overnight, and they are good to go in the morning.
And that’s all folks. As you can see, storing bell peppers is not some science fiction, and if you do it the right way, you can be sure you will have fresh bell peppers available to use throughout the whole year.