Jalapenos are lovely chili peppers which can be very fiery, depending on the variety you go for.
They are loved all over the world for their flavor, but you can’t always get them year-round, depending on where you live.
If you can, out of season jalapenos may mean you will find yourself paying much more than you can reasonably afford.
If you grow them yourself, you’ll know that growing seasons can be unpredictable, depending on where you live.
Some seasons you’ll get much more than you’ll be able to eat, and you could find yourself adding jalapenos to nearly every dish you make.
Sometimes, you will hardly get any, depending on the weather. In some places, mice can also be an issue. While they’re not immune to the fiery flavor of a jalapeno, they do seem to prefer the hotter ones!
But how long do jalapenos last normally? Is there a way to have them year-round without paying too much for them? Can you freeze them?
The Shelf Life of Jalapenos
Fresh jalapenos can last up to a fortnight if you keep them in a bag with holes in the fridge, as long as the fruits aren’t bruised or otherwise damaged to begin with.
This is provided that they were extremely fresh when you picked them up, whether that was in your garden, greenhouse, or your local store.
Some fresh jalapenos will last about a week, and this also depends on the variety you go for.
If you slice the jalapenos, this will reduce the shelf life to around 2 days.
Canned, jarred, and bottled jalapenos will last much longer, but fresh is best for flavor.
The good news is that you can freeze jalapenos (see also Can You Freeze Banana Peppers?) without any problems, allowing you to enjoy their unique flavor at any time of the year.
It also extends the shelf life to a maximum of 2 years. After a year, you will notice some changes in flavor, so best to use them within 6 months of freezing to be safe.
Another added benefit of freezing jalapenos is that they won’t lose any heat and hardly any goodness while in the freezer, so you can enjoy them as you would if they were fresh.
How Do You Freeze Jalapenos?
There are several ways to freeze jalapenos, depending on what form you have to begin with, whether you picked or bought them fresh, canned, or bottled.
How To Prepare Fresh Jalapenos For The Freezer
When fresh jalapenos are frozen, they lose a little of their crunch, so use them in cooked dishes or sides, rather than trying to eat them on their own or trying to pickle them.
There are two ways to freeze fresh jalapenos. Before we get to that, make sure you pick them as soon as you want to freeze them, not before.
This ensures that the fruits have as much flavor as possible to begin with, and they are at their freshest. Make sure to rinse them, and dry them thoroughly.
You can either freeze them as is, throwing them into a freezer bag and sealing them, or you can slice them first.
Most chili peppers will freeze well (see also Freezing Chili) because they are on the small side, which means that you can freeze them whole with no problems.
If you want to save yourself some time, slicing them before freezing is a good way to do it. Once you’ve sliced them (wash your hands thoroughly), put the slices flat into a freezer bag, seal, and freeze.
How To Freeze Canned Jalapenos
Canned jalapenos can be much cheaper than their fresh counterparts, but you might not use them all in one go.
Canned jalapenos will last for about 3 months in the freezer, as long as you freeze them straight away in airtight containers.
Don’t be tempted to decant a can into the fridge and then freeze the rest after a few days, as this could result in food poisoning, and no one wants that.
How To Freeze Store-Bought Jalapenos
Store-bought fresh jalapenos can be frozen the same way if you picked them from your garden. Just make sure to rinse them thoroughly, and dry them before you try freezing these delicious fruits.
How To Freeze Bottled Jalapenos
As with canned jalapenos, you’ll need to freeze bottled jalapenos as soon as you open the bottle, ideally.
Just transfer the jalapenos and the liquid into an airtight container, seal, label, and freeze.
They can last in the freezer for a maximum of 6 months.
How Do You Defrost Jalapenos?
Any type of jalapenos can be defrosted in the fridge. Put the bag straight into the fridge. If you’re defrosting frozen canned or bottled jalapenos, they’ll probably need overnight to thaw.
Fresh jalapenos take less time, around 2 hours. If you prefer, you can use fresh jalapenos straight from frozen into cooked dishes.
While it’s best to enjoy jalapenos when they are fresh to enjoy their crisp texture, sometimes this isn’t possible. Freezing jalapenos is a good way to ensure you’ll get to enjoy them at any time of the year.