Freezing Chillies

Freezing Chillies

As we largely sell chilli plants, we tend to get the same questions year-after-year coming in from our customers.

At the end of the chilli season, it is very easy to get a "glut" of chillies and wonder what to do with them all.

The answers are drying, freezing or pickling your chillies. We shall deal with drying and pickling in future articles. Most of our spare chillies tend to go in the freezer.   This includes all sizes and types and colours.

We smoke fresh pods for "Chipotle sauces" but any surplus not used in any particular batch tend to go in the freezer.

Chillies tend to freeze very well and retain their flavour and heat.  We recommend picking the best, shiniest pods as cracked or damaged pods are not ideal for freezing and can deteriorate in the process.

It is very easy to freeze chillies. The only thing you need to do is de-stem the pods. Seeds can be removed or left inside the pods.

We tend to recommend freezing the chillies overnight in the top of the freezer. Simply lay them out onto a baking tray and freeze individually.  This stops the pods being frozen together during freezing and damaging the skins. Once they are frozen they can be bagged and tagged.  

If you are bagging frozen chillies, we recommend "double bagging". This stops any possible leakage of chilli flavours into other items in your freezer AND stops any freezer-burn.  Chillies frozen in this way will be good for a year or so.

Alternatively blend the chillies first and then freeze in tupperware containers.    A good idea if you haven't  much space.

One great tip is to blend the fresh chillies and then push into ice-cube trays before freezing. This means it is very easy to simply pop-out a chilli icecube when you are cooking and need something to pep up a dish.  We also make chilli ice-cubes of the smoked pods.  Brilliant with a casserole. Just make sure to keep the ice-cube trays separate from the other trays. Not sure if these will go with your 16 year old Pure Malt!

Defrost your chillies in hot water or use them frozen directly in your cooking.  They will lose their firmness once thawed out unless you have a way of "quick freezing" on your freezer.   However most freezers including ours, do not have this functionality.

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