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Don’t Freeze Fresh Chiles

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2010

In the test kitchen, we know that fresh chile peppers will last about a week when properly stored in a humid crisper drawer. The next obvious question: Could freezing them prolong their life even further?

To find out, we froze whole jalapeños and poblano chiles. Two weeks later, we compared batches of frozen and fresh chiles—the jalapeños in salsa, and the poblanos straight up.

Texturewise, the thawed frozen peppers were markedly inferior, their once-crisp flesh turned mushy and waterlogged. The flavor of the poblanos had weakened, and the jalapeños’ “fresh, grassy” flavor and “building heat” were all but gone.

The bottom line: If you have chiles that are on the verge of spoiling, use them up and don’t bother freezing.