Cappers Farmer Blogs > Homespun Life in the City

Preserve Your Pepper Harvest

Erin SheehanOur garden grows peppers like nobody’s business. Jim and I would have to eat about a pepper a day each all year long to keep up with our production. Last year we harvested bushels of bell peppers and froze 26 quart packages. Come July this year we still had 8 packages in the freezer as we started harvesting a new crop!

Although we have given away dozens, we still have too many to store in the chest freezer this year. Although I’m sure Grandma canned peppers, I haven’t ventured into that territory yet. There is a great alternative – roasting. Roasted peppers are tender and delicious. They cannot be beat on homemade pizza or in any Mexican or Italian dish. Roasted peppers are easily frozen and they take up far less room in your freezer than non-roasted peppers due to their loss of liquid and rigidity.

You can roast any kind of pepper. We plant anchos and bell peppers and roast both. I only roast those that have turned red, but I imagine you could roast green ones if you like.

Garden peppers ready to be roasted

The process of roasting them is not difficult, although after you have done it you may appreciate more why they are so expensive in the jars you find in the supermarket! Ready to get started?

1. Carefully clean your peppers. It is best to leave the stem on so they are easier to turn.

2. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. (you will regret it if you skip this step)

3. Place the whole peppers on your pan and bake at 450 F for about 25 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and turn each pepper over – this is easily done if you have left the stem on, otherwise you may have to use tongs.

5. Return the pan to the oven for about 20 more minutes. It’s OK if they turn black here and there.

6. Remove from oven and immediately put them in several piles on the counter. Cover each pile with a bowl. The steam from the peppers loosens the skin.

7. After about 20 minutes check to see if the peppers are cool enough to handle. If so, slip off the skins (they will stick in places, don’t worry about that) and pull out the seeds and membranes. I use running water to get all the seeds, but I know some people don’t recommend that. The only reason I do is sheer quantity – I roast about 30 peppers at once and find that running water provides a bit of a short-cut.

You can freeze them as is or use immediately. Enjoy!

8/5/2014 11:54:39 AM

Hi Gardening Lady - we plant New Ace pepper seeds only - from Pinetree Seed Company. We have found that they really, really produce for us. I also fertilize heavily during the first two months after planting. They have to have FULL sun and they like warm weather. We plant anywhere from 6-12 plants based on how much room we feel we have and how many packages of peppers we still have in our freezer from the year before. Good luck!

8/2/2014 10:12:44 AM

What is your secret for growing so many peppers? Or do you just plant a lot? I've always grown them, but never seem to get enough no matter how many I plant! Any advice would be very welcome!!! And what varieties of bell peppers do you plant? I'm definitely going to roast some, as soon as I harvest.

10/25/2013 7:41:46 AM

Thanks, Dave! I'm sorry you aren't closer, I'd share some peppers with you. We have a large bag full on our porch waiting for us to process them, I'm afraid. We finally got a frost and had to rescue what was left. We have no eggplant - a trade would be nice!

10/24/2013 8:51:04 AM

Erin, thanks for the pepper roasting tips. Ha, I missed calculated on my plants this year and mistakenly planted only four pepper plants. I thought some plants that I planted were peppers and they were eggplants. I was swimming in egg plant but not so much in peppers. I had enough to eat and few to give away but nothing to store away for a snowy day. :0( ***** Have a great roasted pepper day.