Also known as Hungarian cherry peppers, cherry peppers are small, round, bright red or orange peppers measuring 1 to 2 inches in diameter. These colorful little peppers range in flavor from sweet and mildly spicy to moderately hot, depending on the variety and the stage of ripeness at harvest. As a general rule, mature, deep red chili peppers are hotter than immature, green peppers. Like all hot peppers, cherry peppers freeze well, requiring minimal preparation and no blanching. Because the peppers are slightly soft when thawed, they are best used in cooked dishes.
Things You'll Need
- Airtight plastic freezer containers
- Soft vegetable brush
- Indelible marker
Rinse the cherry peppers thoroughly. If necessary, remove sand and grit with a soft vegetable brush. Discard soft or bruised peppers, because freezing will not improve the quality of the peppers.
Pull or twist the stems carefully from the cherry peppers. It isn't necessary to slice or chop the peppers or to remove the seeds.
Pack the cherry peppers in airtight plastic freezer containers. Leave only about 1/2 inch of space at the top of the containers.
Label the containers with an indelible marker. Note the date and the contents of the containers.
Place the freezer containers in a single layer in the freezer because food freezes faster when it isn't crowded. When the peppers are completely frozen, stack the containers to save freezer space.
Tips & Warnings
- Cherry peppers keep indefinitely in a freezer set at zero degrees Fahrenheit or below. However, the texture and flavor are best when the peppers are used within eight months.
- Protect your hands by wearing rubber or plastic gloves when handling cherry peppers. Never touch your face or eyes. If you choose not to wear gloves, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling the peppers.
- The Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
- Oregon State University Extension Service: Grow Your Own Peppers
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: Freezing Sweet or Bell and Hot Peppers
- Texas Agricultural Extension Service: Preserving Peppers
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images