Nobody likes finding a mushy pepper at the back of the fridge. Half peppers and pieces of pepper often end up getting lost there, particularly if you like to use them in salads as well as main meals.
NatureFresh explains some of the reasons that raw peppers (as well as cooked) are very good for us, including the fact that they contain lots of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Furthermore, they contain iron and fiber, which makes them an important part of a balanced diet.
Unfortunately, they are also a vegetable that tends to turn mushy, especially when cut open or bruised in some way. That makes storing bell peppers correctly very important if you don’t want to be throwing away soggy pieces.
We’re going to look at how to store peppers, how long they will last, and how to know when you shouldn’t eat your pepper.
Table of Contents
How To Store Peppers Properly
Peppers should be kept in the fridge, whether they are cooked or raw. Fresh peppers need to be kept in the crisper drawer at the bottom of the fridge, or in a container such as these Refrigerator Drawers, which will minimize knocks and bumps. Bruised peppers are much more likely to rot, so keep them protected.
No products found.
Some people recommend keeping peppers in plastic bags, which you can do, but you should keep an eye on moisture levels. As one of the wetter vegetables, peppers are prone to getting too wet and going mushy, and a bag could exacerbate this problem.
One issue that many of us run into is storing peppers that are partially used. Most of us know that once a vegetable has been cut, it won’t last as well, but there are many instances in which you won’t want to use a full pepper. You are then left with halves or quarters that go back into the fridge and get lost or forgotten.
Fortunately, the Hutzler Pepper Saver can help with that. It is designed to minimize the airflow around a cut pepper, keeping the pieces fresh and protecting them from being damaged by other things in the fridge.
- Keeps a cut pepper fresh longer
- Fun for serving cut peppers outdoors
- Easy to spot in the frige
It is also more likely that you’ll spot the container and remember you have raw pepper in the fridge, rather than forgetting a few slices near the back. This is therefore the perfect way to minimize pepper loss, especially if you eat a lot of raw pepper.
You might be wondering about how to store cooked pepper in the fridge. Any airtight container should be sufficient. If you haven’t got one, a Ziploc bag will work provided it doesn’t get squashed, or you can – in a pinch – use a bowl with a plate on top. However, a sealed and protective container is best.
How Long Can Peppers Be Stored For?
Raw peppers keep well when they haven’t been cut open, provided they don’t get bruised or end up damaged in some other way. Usually, you can keep a raw pepper crisp and edible for a couple of weeks in your fridge. Even once it has turned a little soft, it can still be used for cooking without an issue.
Peppers that have been cut may not last as long. They are more liable to dry up and shrivel or get mushy, so you should aim to use them more quickly. They can still last pretty well, but it will usually only be about three days before the quality starts to go down and you’re looking at a cooking ingredient only, not a salad component.
Cooked peppers may manage a little longer, and could last about five days. However, if they are not promptly returned to the fridge after cooking, they won’t last as well, so make sure you chill them again quickly.
How To Tell If Peppers Have Gone Bad
The texture is often the biggest clue when it comes to detecting bad peppers. A pepper with a mushy end can sometimes be salvaged; just cut away the damage as soon as you see it, or before you cook the vegetable, and the rest should be fine.
However, if the whole thing feels a little soft under your fingers, it’s going past its best. You can still safely cook and eat a pepper that has gone a little wrinkly, but be aware that it won’t last much longer.
Mold and a bad smell will soon follow mushiness, and these are signs that you need to discard the pepper. Thoroughly wash any other peppers that have been in contact with the bad one to stop them from going moldy too.
Don’t eat a pepper if it tastes funny or the texture seems wrong. When examining cut peppers, make sure you check the cut edge before any others; this is where mold will usually show first. Often, the mold on peppers is white, which can be hard to spot on the pale inner flesh, so check carefully if you’re worried your pepper may be going off.
Mistakes To Avoid When Storing Peppers
- Don’t store peppers at room temperature for any reason; they belong in the fridge and will last much better in there.
- Don’t store a bruised pepper alongside others. It may still be okay to eat once you have removed the bruised part, but you should take it away from the others in case the cut flesh attracts mold and bacteria, which could then spread.
- Don’t wash, cut, de-seed, or otherwise prepare peppers before you are ready to use them. Their outer skin protects them well from mold and bacteria, and as soon as it is pierced, the pepper will start going off quickly. Leave the protective coating for as long as possible, and only cut peppers open when you are ready to use them.
Peppers are a popular and versatile food and with proper storage, they can last very well! They have a great skin that traps moisture in and keeps bacteria out, but as soon as you break this skin (either intentionally or by accident), they will start to degrade. Minimize the airflow around cut peppers, and store them in a recognizable container so you don’t forget to use them up.