How To Store Your Bell Peppers


Its disappointing opening the refrigerator only to find the bell peppers you wanted to use went bad. The proper storage methods can add more time to their longevity. Therefore, what’s the best way to store bell peppers?

The best way to store fresh bell peppers is in the refrigerator. Place unwashed bell peppers into a ventilated produce bag or container and store them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. They can remain fresh refrigerated up to 8-10 days.

Bell peppers can also be stored after being cut up or cooked. In addition, they can be frozen for longer term storage. This article will examine each storage method, including dehydration, and list them for you in easy step-by-step directions.

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How To Store Bell Peppers

Storing bell peppers depends on when you’re using them or if they’re raw or cooked. How to store bell peppers? The following are 6 methods to store bell peppers:

  1. Refrigerate whole fresh bell peppers.
  2. Refrigerate cut or chopped bell peppers.
  3. Refrigerate cooked bell peppers.
  4. Freeze fresh bell peppers.
  5. Freeze cooked bell peppers.
  6. Store bell peppers dried.

Each of the six storage methods for bell peppers is described in detail below.

1. Refrigerate Whole Fresh Bell Peppers

When you come home with fresh bell peppers, it’s better to refrigerate them than leaving them out on the counter. They’ll last much longer this way but using the proper method is crucial. Therefore, how do you refrigerate whole fresh bell peppers?

The best way to refrigerate whole bell peppers:

  1. Place unwashed bell peppers into ventilated produce bags or containers.
  2. Place them into the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
  3. Store in the refrigerator up to 8-10 days.

Washing

Make sure you leave the peppers unwashed when storing them in the refrigerator. Washing the peppers prematurely could cause some of the skin to flake off, along with some of the sweet flavor.

Therefore, wait until you’re about to make your special salad or meal to wash those peppers off.

Crisper Draw

Most refrigerators have a drawer at the bottom known as the crisper drawer. This drawer does exactly what the name suggests, as it keeps your veggies crisp and fresh for longer. 

A crisper drawer, when used correctly, creates a humid but chilled environment for your produce. There should be a switch inside the drawer allowing you to adjust the drawer between “high” and “low.”

Opening and closing a vent in the drawer allows the allotted amount of air in. Many forms of produce can be stored in this drawer, especially bell peppers. The bell peppers should be fresh and uncut when put in this drawer.

Storing Bell Peppers With Other Vegetables or Fruit?

Bell peppers produce ethylene gas and are sensitive to it 1. This means bell peppers shouldn’t be stored in the same crisper draw as other ethylene producing fruits or vegetables. Ethylene gas causes produce to ripen faster. Other ethylene producers include:

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

Therefore do not keep bell peppers with any of the above produce to help keep them fresher for longer 2.

Bell peppers are an above ground vegetable making them good for a low-carb diet like Keto.

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2. Refrigerate Cut or Chopped Bell Peppers

If you cut up a pepper and part of it is still remaining, there’s no need to throw it away or have to use the whole thing. The cut bell peppers can be stored. Therefore, how do you refrigerate cut or chopped bell peppers?

How to refrigerate cut or chopped bell peppers:

  1. Wrap the cut bell pepper up in a paper towel.
  2. Place it into an airtight container or a sealable plastic bag.
  3. Remove the excess air.
  4. Store the airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days.

Green bell peppers typically last longer than the other colors. Therefore, consider storing the green peppers separately from the other colors. Green peppers may last 3-5 days.

Green peppers are more unripe than the other colors and were picked earlier. For this reason they will typically last longer when stored. Green bell peppers have a thinner skin and may bruise easier.

3. Refrigerate Cooked Bell Peppers

If you have cooked bell peppers left over from a meal, they can be stored and reheated another day 3.

The best way to refrigerate cooked bell peppers:

  1. Place the cooked bell peppers into an airtight sealable container.
  2. Seal the container.
  3. Store the container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

a red bell pepper cut in half

4. Freeze Fresh Bell Peppers

If you want to store the bell peppers longer than one or two weeks, long-term they can be frozen 4. Blanching peppers is unnecessary as with other vegetables.

Freezing them without blanching helps the bell peppers retain some of its crispness 5. Therefore, how do you freeze bell peppers?

The best way to freeze fresh bell peppers:

  1. Wash the bell peppers under cold running water.
  2. Completely dry them.
  3. Cut out the stems.
  4. Remove the seeds and membrane.
  5. Cut the peppers into the desired size depending on how they will be used.
  6. Place the cut peppers onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Ensure they’re not touching each other.
  7. Place the baking sheet into the freezer until the peppers are fully frozen.
  8. Remove the baking sheet and transfer the frozen bell peppers into plastic freezer bags.
  9. Remove as much excess air as possible and seal the freezer bag.
  10. Date the bag and store in the freezer up to eight months.

Sealing

Removing as much air as possible from the freezer bag is important and helps prevent freezer burn 6. The best way to remove excess air from the plastic freezer bag is to use a vacuum sealer.

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Without a sealer, close the top of the bag leaving a small opening to fit a straw through. Suck the excess air out of the plastic bag and quickly close the top after removing the straw.

Individual Serving Sizes

Some people like to store individual servings into separate bags. Place a serving number of bell peppers in a bag and remove as much air as possible to preserve them better and prevent freezer burn 7.

If possible, use a smaller package for freezing. This improves the quality and longevity of storage. Keep the plastic bags as level as possible while they’re freezing. After they’re frozen, they can be moved around and reoriented to fit conveniently in the freezer.

This method allows you to take however many bell peppers you need without worrying about letting air into the bag 8.

5. Freeze Cooked Bell Peppers

There are times too many bell peppers were cooked and you don’t want to throw them away or eat them in the next few days. In this situation you’ll ask, can you freeze cooked bell peppers?

Cooked bell peppers can be frozen. Cooked bell peppers can be stored in plastic freezer bags or airtight containers and frozen up to eight months.

The best way to freeze cooked bell peppers:

  1. Allow the bell peppers to completely cool.
  2. Place the cooled peppers into plastic freezer bags or an airtight container.
  3. Remove as much excess air as possible.
  4. Date the bag and place it into the freezer up to 8 months.

Ensure the bell peppers are completely cool. Placing them into the bag while warm or hot can cause steam to escape into the bag. This will expose them to a freezer burn or spoilage quicker.

If there are sauces or other items involved, you may want to store them separately. If the ingredients can’t be separated, research the storage recommendations for the other items.

6. Store Bell Peppers Dried

Bell peppers can be dried by the sun, in an oven or a home dehydrator 9. The dried peppers can be crumbled or powdered in a high-speed blender.

Dried peppers can be rehydrated by soaking them in water. I typically use a home dehydrator. If you want, check out some affordable ones on Amazon here, Food Dehydrators.

How to dry bell peppers with a dehydrator:

  1. Wash the whole bell pepper under cold water.
  2. Remove the stem.
  3. Cut the bell pepper in half and remove the seeds and membranes.
  4. Slice or cube the pepper into small pieces (the smaller the pieces the faster they dry).
  5. Place the pepper pieces onto a parchment lined dehydrator tray.
  6. Dry the peppers at 125°F for 6-10 hours until dry.
  7. Peppers should snap apart when fully dried.
  8. Place the dried peppers into a jar about 2/3 full.
  9. Shake the jar once a day for 7 days checking for moisture.
  10. If moisture is present, dry the bell peppers more.
  11. Once the peppers are determined to be dry, store them in an airtight container.
  12. Keep the container in a cool, dry place out of the sun.

How to dry bell peppers in the oven:

  1. Wash the whole bell pepper under cold water.
  2. Remove the stem.
  3. Cut the bell pepper in half and remove the seeds and membranes.
  4. Slice or cube the pepper into small pieces (the smaller the pieces the faster they dry).
  5. Place the pepper pieces onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Place the sheet in the oven and dry the peppers at 125°F for 6-10 hours until dry.
  7. If your oven doesn’t warm at 125 degrees, use the lowest setting.
  8. The bell peppers should snap apart when fully dried.
  9. Place the dried peppers into a jar about 2/3 full.
  10. Shake the jar once a day for 7 days checking for moisture.
  11. If moisture is present, dry the bell peppers more.
  12. Once the peppers are determined to be dry, store them in an airtight container.
  13. Keep the container in a cool, dry place out of the sun.

To Rehydrate Dried Bell Peppers

  • Soak the dried bell peppers in a bowl of water for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Soak the dried bell peppers in a bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight.

How To Defrost Frozen Bell Peppers?

The best way to defrost frozen bell peppers is to transfer them from the freezer to the refrigerator until they are defrosted. The amount of time will vary depending on how large the frozen pieces were cut, separated or bunched together. 

Although they shouldn’t take too long, if you don’t have enough time, they can be placed onto the counter to defrost. Can you cook frozen bell peppers?

Frozen bell peppers can be cooked if they were frozen in separate pieces. The frozen bell pepper pieces can be added directly to the dish being cooked.

This method works particularly well when adding the frozen bell peppers to soups, stews or a stir-fry.

How To Tell If Bell Peppers Are Bad

Ways to tell if fresh bell peppers are bad:

  • The bell peppers are soft or wrinkled looking.
  • The bell peppers are slimy or feel moist.
  • Mold is present on the skin.
  • The bell peppers have turned color.
  • The bell peppers have an unusual odor.

It’s a good practice to learn what each of the foods you typically eat smells like. This way when they turn bad and have a different odor, it’s easier to identify.

FAQs

Do bell peppers have to be kept in the fridge? Bell peppers do not have to be kept in the refrigerator although their shelf life is shorter. Bell peppers will last 3-5 days unrefrigerated compared to 8-10 days in the refrigerator.

Can you store cut bell peppers in water? A large piece of bell pepper can be wrapped in paper towel and placed into a sealed container with 1/4″ of water at the bottom. Store the container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Read Next – More Food Storage Articles!

This Is How To Store Your Collard Greens

The Proper Way To Freeze Bok Choy

Your Guide To Freezing Brussels Sprouts

A Guide To Preserve Fresh Cherries – The 5 Best Ways

 

Article Resources: Foods For Anti-Aging follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
  1. University Of California: Bell Pepper[]
  2. UCSD: Ethylene in Fruits and Vegetables[]
  3. Michigan State University: Using, Storing and Preserving Peppers[]
  4. National Center for Home Food Preservation: Freezing Bell or Sweet Peppers[]
  5. PennState Extension: Let’s Preserve: Peppers[]
  6. FDA: Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide[]
  7. Glad: Sweet Peppers[]
  8. University of Nebraska-Lincoln: How to Freeze Sweet, Bell and Hot Peppers[]
  9. University of California: Peppers Safe Methods to Store, Preserve, and Enjoy[]

Kevin Garce

Kevin Garce is a Certified Health Coach who encourages people by informing them on nutrition and food topics important to them. His years of research and knowledge inspire people to achieve their goals. Read more here About Me

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