It’s great to be able to grow fresh peppers that you can utilize in dishes, but even buying them from the store will be just fine. Peppers are used to make dishes a bit spicier, but they can also add a distinct flavor.
Some people have issues when it comes to keeping peppers fresh, though. You might cut into your peppers to use some, but you won’t quite be able to use all of the peppers.
Once peppers have been cut, they’re going to go bad a lot faster than they would when they were whole. What can you do to keep peppers fresh after cutting them so that you won’t waste the peppers?
Read on to learn how to keep peppers fresh after cutting them. If you follow the advice below, then keeping your peppers fresh won’t seem to be such a daunting task.
Try to Choose Fresh Peppers at the Store
It’s going to be best for you to choose fresh peppers at the store so that they will stay fresh for as long as possible. If you buy peppers that are going to go bad soon, then you’re not going to be able to make them last all that long once you cut into them.
There are many different peppers out there that you can buy at the grocery store. You might be interested in bell peppers, red peppers, green peppers, or even some other type of pepper.
Regardless of which pepper type you choose, there are going to be certain rules to remember when choosing peppers at the store. These guidelines are universal for peppers, and they’ll help you to get fresh peppers each time you go out to the grocery store.
Fresh peppers will have very firm skin, and you should avoid buying any peppers that appear to have wrinkles. Also, the peppers should feel a bit heavy for their size if they’re fresh.
It can be good to take the time to hold the peppers and see how they feel to determine the freshness level. Look at the stem on the peppers as well to see how it’s doing.
If the pepper is fresh, then its stem should be green and it’ll look as though it’s in fine condition. When all of the conditions are right, it’ll be easy to buy peppers with confidence knowing that they’re fresh.
Don’t Cut Peppers Until You’re Going to Eat Them
One of the best pieces of advice to keep in mind is that you should delay cutting peppers until you’re going to eat them. It would be unwise to cut a pepper just to use a little bit of it unless you know that you’ll be eating the entire pepper pretty soon.
As mentioned above, the life of the pepper is going to be reduced once you have cut into it. You can still store peppers that have been cut for a while, but they aren’t going to last as long.
This is why you should try to avoid cutting into the peppers that you have until you truly want to use them. Don’t cut more peppers than you know you need to use because you don’t want to accidentally wind up wasting peppers.
So long as you keep this in mind, it’ll be easy to make good decisions. You can use your peppers when you’re ready, and it’ll be fairly easy to use them before they go bad.
You don’t have to shy away from using your peppers out of fear of not being able to use everything. It’s simply good to be smart about what you’re doing so that you can avoid being wasteful.
Handle the Peppers Properly
You can make the peppers last longer by handling them properly when you’re cutting them. Start out by washing your hands to ensure that you don’t have any dirt on them.
Getting rid of dirt and bacteria that might be present on your hands will make it more likely that the peppers will stay fine once being cut. When dirt and bacteria get transferred from your hands to the cut peppers, it has the potential to cause them to spoil faster than they normally would.
Washing the pepper itself before cutting it is going to be wise, too. You should wash the pepper using cool water so that you can remove any residue, microorganisms, or dirt that might be present on the pepper.
Once the peppers have been washed, you’ll want to place them on a clean towel or a paper towel. Dry them off so that you can remove any bacteria that might be left on them.
Now it’ll be time to cut the peppers, and you’re going to want to place them on a clean cutting board. If you’ve used your cutting board recently, then you’ll want to clean and sanitize it before moving forward.
Next, you should grab a clean knife that will be able to cut the pepper into slices properly. With this done, you’ve at least ensured that you’ve handled the pepper properly while cutting it.
How to Store Cut Peppers
Storing cut peppers is actually pretty straightforward. You’re just going to be grabbing an airtight container or some type of sealed plastic bag that you can put the peppers in.
Some people say that you should place a piece of paper towel in with the peppers and that will help with eliminating moisture. This might not be entirely necessary, but it can’t hurt to throw some paper towel into the container or bag if you’d like to try it.
The most important thing is to try to store the peppers in something that is clean and airtight. If you don’t have a plastic bag that can be sealed or an airtight food storage container, then there might be other options.
You could simply place the cut peppers in a bowl and then wrap them tightly using plastic wrap. This works pretty much as well as using an airtight container or a plastic bag that can be sealed.
Once you’ve put the peppers in a container that will keep them safe, you’re supposed to put them in the refrigerator. The best spot to put them in the fridge will be your crisper or your produce drawer.
You’re going to want to keep the peppers away from things such as raw meat or food that has been cooked. It’s also going to be prudent to ensure that your refrigerator is set to an ideal temperature.
It’s recommended that your refrigerator should be set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower. This will ensure that the peppers will last for a few days so that you can eat them.
Even when you do everything right, the peppers aren’t going to be able to be stored for more than a few days in the fridge. You’re going to want to ensure that you use the peppers within the next few days so that they don’t go to waste.
You Could Freeze Peppers as Well
It’s also possible to freeze peppers so that you can use them at a later date. If you don’t think that you’ll be able to eat your cut peppers within three days, then it might be worth it to freeze them.
To do this successfully, you should place your cut peppers on a cookie sheet and then put them in your freezer. Leave them there for about an hour so that they will freeze properly.
Take the cookie sheet out of the freezer so that you can put the peppers in a plastic bag that can be sealed. Seal the peppers up properly in the bag and then place them back in the freezer.
You can store peppers in the freezer this way for up to a year. Writing the date that you froze the peppers on the bag will make it easier for you to remember how long it has been.
Remember that you should throw the peppers out if they start to look discolored or wrinkly. If you use them within a few months of freezing them, then you’ll almost surely be fine.
It’s not always going to be easy to eat cut peppers within three days. Cut peppers don’t last that long in the refrigerator, but you could choose to freeze them for up to a year if you want to.
Truthfully, it’s best to try to avoid using peppers until you know you’ll be eating the entire thing. Just make an effort to use the peppers so that they won’t be wasted.
Sometimes it’s better to look for dishes that you can make with peppers so that you can use them up. If you hate wasting food, then you should try to figure out something to do with your cut peppers.
If you don’t think that you can use the peppers in time, then you can always throw the cut peppers out. It’s better to err on the side of caution than it is to eat peppers that may or may not be good.
You know what you’re doing now and you understand what to look out for. It should be possible to avoid problems with your peppers so long as you pay attention to the dates.