How Long Do Jalapenos Last? Can They Go Bad?
So you’ve decided to make your own chili sauce. You bought in a decent load of jalapenos and now there are loads to spare. Or maybe jalapenos are hard to come by in your country and you’ve decided to stock up. Either way, you must now be thinking how long will they last? And how should I store them? Well, there are plenty of different ways to do this. Some will involve a bit of preparation but will keep your jalapenos good for much longer. So, if this is the info you are looking for, you have come to the right place!
Do Jalapenos Go Bad?
Jalapenos can actually go bad pretty quickly if they are not looked after. This is especially true when the pepper is whole. However, there are ways to make even these last for a while. In the sections below, we will explore the best storage options for keeping them as long as possible. We will also look into the signs that they may have spoiled. All in all, we’re pretty sure we will have the ideal solution for you somewhere in this article! So, if you’ve found yourself with a surplus of jalapenos, this is definitely going to help you out some.
How Do I Store Jalapenos?
Jalapenos can be bought in a variety of different forms. Some of you might have grown your own. Some of you might have bought fresh by the pound. Others will have jars of jalapenos stored in a preservative liquid. Each of these will need to be stored differently, and each will have a different shelf-life. We will do our best to break it all down under separate headings so that there is no confusion. So, without further ado, here it goes!
Fresh, whole jalapenos
If you are relatively new to jalapenos, there may be some confusion on how to store them. Fresh jalapenos will only survive for a few days at room temperature. So, this isn’t the best way of storing them. They’re just that little bit too spicy to be used quickly. The best place for them is in the fridge. Whole jalapenos need to breathe a little, so if you bought them in a plastic bag it is best to transfer them into a paper one. Don’t worry about the jalapenos absorbing odors and flavors from the other things in your fridge. The flavor is pretty much powerful enough to defend against this from happening. Bear in mind that selecting only the best peppers will make them last for longer. Avoid jalapenos with blemishes and dents as these will go off quicker. Also, the brighter the color, the better the pepper.
Fresh, chopped jalapenos
Some people like to prepare their chilies straight away when they get them home. There is some wisdom to this as it can make them last for longer. The best place for them when they have been chopped or processed is in a freezer bag or in an airtight container. To make them last for even longer, dry them out first. Paper towels are excellent for this. Simply dab them dry before putting them away.
Pickled jalapeno peppers
So, maybe you’ve bought some pre-pickled peppers, or maybe you want to make your own. It makes sense. Pickled peppers will keep their quality for much longer than fresh ones. And it is really easy to do at home. Putting aside at least enough jalapenos for one jar of pickle is always a great idea. There are plenty of great recipes out there, each will make sure that your jalapenos stay good for at least a year. With store-bought pickled jalapenos, there is no need to refrigerate them when they are unopened. They just need to be kept away from sources of light and heat. A kitchen cabinet or the pantry is ideal for storing them. Once opened, the only place for them is in the fridge. They will only last a short amount of time at room temperature once opened.
Should You Refrigerate Jalapenos?
Jalapenos should pretty much always be refrigerated. The only time they are okay outside of the fridge is if they are sitting on the counter ready to be used, or if they are pickled and unopened. Even opened jars of pickled jalapenos should be stored in the fridge if you intend to keep them for a while. The whole pepper is by far more vulnerable to the elements though. At room temperature, the moisture inside the pepper will cause it to go bad within a few days.
Can You Freeze Jalapenos?
Some vegetables really don’t deal well with freezing. They will come out the other side all deformed and with a strange texture. This just isn’t true for jalapenos though. They can freeze just fine! So, if you have a bumper crop of jalapenos, this is an excellent option. Simply wash them, then dab them dry and put them in a freezer bag. When you want to use your jalapenos, just put them in the fridge the day before to thaw out slowly. Naturally, there is no reason to freeze pickled jalapenos. It won’t make them last longer and it will just occupy much-needed freezer space. The vinegar in every pickle recipe also preserves the jalapenos really well.
How Long Do Jalapenos Last?
How long jalapenos last really depends on how they are stored and what form they are in. There are huge differences here so we will break it down into sections for added clarity, starting from fresh.
Fresh jalapenos will not last too long if they are not refrigerated. This is especially true if they have been sliced up. Whole fresh jalapenos will only survive for about 3 days outside of the fridge. In the fridge, they will survive for around 10 days. Sliced jalapenos will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge if they have been dab dried. If they go into the fridge wet, they will only last for around 4 days.
The vinegar used for pickling is an excellent preservative, and it even works at room temperature. That’s why it can be a great idea to pickle any excess jalapenos you may have. They can last an absurd amount of time. The shop-bought ones can last for up to 6 months after the sell-by if they haven’t been opened. Homemade ones can vary. At the very least, they should stay good for at least a year if they haven’t been opened. In either case, once they have been opened they should be stored in the fridge. Once opened, pickled jalapenos should be used within a 6-week period. They might well be fine after this, but the flavor won’t be anywhere near as good.
Freezing jalapenos is a great solution for long-term storage. If they are stored correctly, the jalapenos will keep in the freezer indefinitely. Still, we would recommend using them within 6 months. After this, they begin to lose a lot of their punch. They will still be safe to use long after this.
How Do I Make My Jalapenos Last Longer?
Freezing or pickling are the best ways to keep your jalapenos for longer. Some people also recommend dehydrating them, but this changes their texture entirely. They just don’t have the same mouth feel afterward. So, for flavor, we recommend making a homemade jalapeno pickle. If you are short on time, the freezer is an okay option too.
Signs That Your Jalapenos May Have Gone Off
In most cases, a jalapeno will lose its quality long before it becomes dangerous to eat. The skins will become wrinkled, and there won’t be as much crunch or spice. For us, these aren’t really worth using as they won’t improve your dish or offer much flavor. There are some more dramatic signs of spoilage to look out for though. Brown, black, or gray spots on the pepper will mean that it has gone off and should be thrown out. The same is true if you notice that the smell has changed. Mold can occasionally develop on the surface of a pickle. If you notice any of these signs, don’t try to save the rest of the peppers. They will most likely all be reasonably bad. One last sign: if you buy your jalapenos in a can, don’t use them if the can is dented or leaky.
Well, that’s all we have for jalapenos. We hope you found this guide in some way useful. Thanks for reading!