How should I preserve my hot peppers?
June 11, 2013 3:00 PM   Subscribe

I just came home from the grocery store with two fat stacks of what I think are red and green chilies. How should I preserve them? Make a jam or jelly or relish of some sort? Pickle? Roast and can 'em in oil? Ristras? Give me your best recipes and methods for taking care of a crap-load of hot peppers!
posted by Grandysaur to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sure there are better things to do with them, but if all else fails, you should be able to dry them. make a slice into each pepper so the moisture can get out, string them together (a needle & thread is the nicest, but you could just knot a string around them), and leave them in a place with plenty of air circulation & as little humidity as possible. A very low oven might be best if you live in a particularly humid environment.
posted by mr vino at 3:04 PM on June 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm going to offer you my method, probably not what you're looking for. I shove them into the freezer so I have them ready to add to dishes whenever I want.

Something more like what you're probably looking for: tunisian harissa

Go ahead and use fresh red (and green) chillies. Preserve as you'd like- in jars or in ice cube trays. Yummmmmm.
posted by cacao at 3:04 PM on June 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

My answer, previously.
posted by beagle at 3:07 PM on June 11, 2013

Yeah, pepper jelly! I don't have a recipe, but I do love pepper jelly.
posted by The Michael The at 3:07 PM on June 11, 2013

Scroll down for the Habanero Gold recipe. I've made this with all sorts of pepper/fruit combinations.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:16 PM on June 11, 2013

I dry them -- slit them open and take off the stems, lay them out on plates or trays for a few days, sun optional. Occasionally I use a hot oven to speed this, even smoke them a tad (careful here, this can seem toxic to non-pepper-heads). Then I use an electric grinder to render them into powder. Store this in jars and use for heat & flavor. Different types of peppers can be stored separately or blended. For me this works better than making salsas.

I've done this for years. One year I had a quart jar full of homegrown habanero powder.
posted by lathrop at 3:23 PM on June 11, 2013

My earlier answer, including a recipe for hot pepper jelly.

And I have used the hot pepper jelly to great effect in making quick-and-dirty pad thai sauce - equal amounts peanut butter and hot pepper jelly, a little fish sauce, and maybe a couple tablespoons of boiling water to thin everything out. Voila.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:24 PM on June 11, 2013

Sherry peppers are easy and very good. I'll just quote the appropriate bit of my previous AskMe answer:

"Stab the peppers with a sharp knife, put them in a jar or bottle, pour sherry over the top, press the peppers down to force out the air, top up any extra space with sherry. The sherry will turn into a hot sauce, while preserving the peppers at the same time. It's great for adding to soups, Caribbean food and also Chinese (I guess you could even make an oriental version with slices of ginger and rice wine instead of the sherry)."

These keep well at room temperature, in my experience. Obviously you'll want to follow normal jar sterilisation techniques, but I've not found it necessary to subject the finished product to any canning process.
posted by howfar at 3:38 PM on June 11, 2013

Make (fermented) hot sauce. Chop them roughly, mush the up, add 2% salt by weight, put them in a jar and use a glass to keep them below the liquid (add water if needed). Ferment for two to four weeks, blend, and store in the fridge.
posted by ssg at 4:02 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Freezing works perfectly.
posted by miyabo at 5:53 PM on June 11, 2013

Hari Mirch Ka Achar
posted by falsedmitri at 8:46 PM on June 11, 2013

Re methods: wear rubber gloves.

Many years ago I used a friend's recipe for salsa to deal with a bumper crop of jalapenos and tomatoes. I had about 3 gallons in the 'fridge when I my fingers started burning a bit, so I called it a night. Unfortunately, the pain intensified over the next few hours and, of course, with the oil on my hands I had to be very careful regarding what I touched e.g., I couldn't take out my contacts. I didn't have any rubbing alcohol (the recommended treatment), so I soaked my fingers in a bowl of vodka until morning.

When I mentioned the ordeal to my friend, she asked what gloves I had used, noting that "the oil seems to practically eat through the thin ones".

posted by she's not there at 11:01 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Roast them. It sounds like you weren't able to get them roasted at the store, so this might be a bit tricky. You don't want to be too close to them downwind.

Once they've been roasted, refrigerate or process them immediately.

Take out contact lenses, put on gloves. I suppose oil would eat through thin latex gloves, but every time I've processed chiles nitrile gloves have been what was available, and those seem to work just fine. I can't imagine how you'd handle the things with any finesse through thick gloves.

Remove skins and stems and discard. Rubbing the chile between thumb and forefinger will easily loosen the skin of a roasted chile. If you plan to make rellenos, keep some of the chiles whole.


Use as needed.

Jam and jelly made from chile is an abomination sold as a tourist souvenir.
posted by yohko at 2:04 AM on June 12, 2013

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