can you freeze birds eye chillies

Bird’s eye chillies are exceptionally potent, skinny chillies native to Thailand. To make sure that you get the most out of them, it’s worth buying them in bulk and keeping them fresh. But, how is that possible?

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Yes, they can be, but to keep them from bursting, you’ll want to pierce each one once or twice with a sharp knife. After that, place them in a small freezer-safe storage bag, press out as much air as you can, and close the bag. They don’t taste “burnt,” so they store fairly well for about six months, but when they defrost, they get a little mushy.

Until you asked, I always assumed that the mushiness factor was related to the duration of the freezing process, so I looked into it. It seems that the speed at which they initially freeze is what causes chiles to become mushy:

Happy Living (from which I pulled the above quotation) has an article about how to safely use dry ice to freeze chilies quickly. (Ill probably keep going the way I always have and accept the mushiness, but if you want to freeze a lot of chilies for a variety of applications, the dry-ice method looks promising.)

I freeze whole chillis without any trouble at all. After that, they seem to function pretty much the same, but I wouldn’t want to use frozen ones for anything where they look very raw because the textures are severely damaged. However, the flavor and heat seem to be mostly intact.

I grow ghost chilies (naga jlokia, but jolokia), and I’ve tried freezing them. The texture will always be mushy, even though the heat and flavor seem to be mostly unchanged. However, if I am making a curry sauce or soup, I use the frozen ones because they get chopped up and heated anyway, so you don’t really get the mushiness. I have found that drying them is a much better way to preserve them if you need to add them directly to your food. As long as air can flow around them, drying them is as easy as hanging them up in the kitchen or spreading them out on a wire rack or something similar.

Since I don’t always make salsa, I dislike throwing away chilis that are given to me. I freeze them in little freezer bags after putting them through a “Ninja.” When I’m ready to make salsa, I pull out a bag, cut a slice off with a sharp knife, and add it to my other ingredients to create a delicious salsa any time of year. They never loose their flavor or heat.

Ive never tried it, but the Encyclopedia of Country Living notes the following:

And then under the section on sweet peppers:

(I eliminated the parts that discussed serving ideas or mentioned pimentos in particular because they weren’t relevant.)

In the summer, peppers can also be dried by putting them on a cookie sheet and keeping the car closed for roughly three days. It gets about 120-140 degrees in a closed car. Ive dried peppers repeatedly this way. No ovens, no labor at all. Simply cut off the stems, slice them in half, put them on a cookie sheet, put the car in it, and leave it for a few days. JMP.

We frozen a variety of whole chillies more than two years ago. I’ve read that the best time to freeze them is six months, but even then, their color and flavor are intact. While they’re still frozen, we use scissors to cut them into tiny pieces, which we then add to several of our dishes. We have jalapeño and scotch bonnet chillies, along with a few other varieties in every hue. They will (go off) eventually, I’m sure, but while they’re still flavorful, we might as well preserve them.

Though not unique to that variety, I freeze entire chilies that I grow “as is.”

Then, you can chop them up and add them directly from the freezer to any dish you’re making, like salsa, chilli con carne, or curry.

I occasionally wonder if freezing the chillies makes them a little softer, but I don’t think there’s a noticeable difference in heat.

To help them defrost without becoming mushy, if I’m not cooking with the chili, I usually toss them in soy sauce as a garnish. (While I do believe that you should “never defrost the chillies,” it is strange to have cold lumps on your food.)

Freeze chillies for cooking. However, if you want whole chilies to serve with a meal, keep them in a glass jar with a tablespoon of salt and white vinegar. Although there is a hint of vinegar flavor, the heat and flavor are just right. In both cases remove the stalks first.

If anything, we’ve discovered that something odd happens when whole “calcutta” chillies are frozen in freezer bags. As we finish the last bag we frozen, they seem to be getting hotter. Using one finely chopped chili in a pasta sauce for two has become sufficient for a heat level between mild and medium, whereas in the past, we would use two or three of the same type chili.

Naturally, you can also air-dry all of your chilies at home (just on a string) and then proceed as you would with any other dried chili. I can now call on an incredible assortment of dried chillies. I always feel bad going to my neighborhood Indian grocery and buying just the one or two I need, so I always have extra! I will definitely be freezing some now!

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3 Tips for Freezing Bird’s Eye Chillies

Now that you know how to freeze them, here are our top three suggestions, which you should definitely heed in order to get the best results when freezing bird’s eye chilies:

Add Additional Flavors: To enhance the flavor of your birds-eye chili paste, we recommend chopping up some finely minced garlic or ginger during the mincing process.

Pour Liquid Over Ice Cubes: If the ice cube trays aren’t working for you, try putting less chili powder in each slot and filling the tray up with water or oil. This will cause the chili to freeze in your freezer and make it easier for it to remove from the tray.

Make Heat Blends: To make a blend with varying degrees of spice, you might think about combining the birds’ eye chilies with other kinds of chilies. To counterbalance the intense heat of the birds-eye chillies with some toasty, smoky notes, we would recommend serving some roasted ancho chillies.

can you freeze birds eye chillies


Can you freeze Birds Eye chili?

Dried bird’s eye chili peppers can last up to five years. You can dry chili peppers in the oven or leave them on a plate in a dry room. In the oven, you’ll want to bake them at about 125 degrees. Once they’re dried, place them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and store them in the freezer.

Can you freeze chillies straight from the plant?

It usually takes several hours or days to dry; fresh chillies can be prepared for the freezer in just a few minutes. Many chili growers know this, first the chillies don’t want to turn red, then they ripen abruptly. To save your harvest for later, you should freeze at least part of it.

How long do birds eye chillies last in the fridge?

Storage. Fresh peppers should be stored in the crisper of your refrigerator until use and will keep for up to two weeks. Avoid rinsing them until just before using to avoid introducing moisture and encouraging decay. To preserve, bird’s eye chiles can be pickled or dried.