If you’re wondering if you can freeze fresh chillies, then you’ll be pleased to discover that they’re one of the easiest fresh foods to freeze and to use.
You don’t have to do anything, just open up the freezer door and throw the whole packet straight into the freezer! It’s that simple.
You can wash them first if you wish – and you can chop or prepare them first. But I find it’s easiest just to chuck the whole pack into the freezer as soon as I get in from the shops.
To use frozen chillies, simply give them a wipe down to clean them – and then the easiest way is to simply grate the still frozen chilli direct into your dish. You can defrost them first if you wish, using a microwave on defrost for a minute or so, or dropping them into a bowl of hot or boiling water, but it’s not necessary.
You can grate frozen chillies directly onto the top of a pizza you’re making, or into your slow cooker pot. As they’re in small pieces they’ll defrost almost immediately. Once frozen, they will keep for weeks, or months, in your freezer – depending on the freezer you’ve got – some people just have a small freezer box in a refrigerator and the guidance there tends to be food should be used within 1-3 months; others have a big freezer with a 12 month storage lifespan. So you’ll need to consult your book.
Frozen chillies don’t hold any food safety issues, it’s just a question of taste deterioration over time. So if you find a chilli at the back of your freezer that you KNOW has been lurking there for 3 years, it’s still safe to use, cook and eat, it’ll probably just not be very strong tasting.
The photo of chillies above are the chillies I bought last week and froze. I clean them when I take them out of the packet by giving them a quick rub down with a piece of kitchen towel. These are going into my slow cooker this afternoon!