What is the way to store bell peppers?

Bell peppers come in a variety of colors like green, red, yellow, orange, and purple. They are crunchy, sweet, and delicious, making them a popular choice to include in meals. However, like many fresh produce items, proper storage is important to keep bell peppers fresh and flavorful. There are several effective methods for storing bell peppers depending on how long you need them to last.

Storing Whole Raw Bell Peppers Short-Term

If you only need your bell peppers to last for a few days, storing them in the refrigerator is a good option. To do this:

  • Leave bell peppers whole. Do not wash them yet.
  • Place the peppers in a perforated plastic bag. Make sure there is adequate air flow.
  • Store the bag in your refrigerator’s high-humidity drawer, which is usually the vegetable or fruit drawer. The ideal temperature is around 45°F.

Stored this way in the refrigerator, whole bell peppers will usually last 3-5 days before they start to deteriorate. Check them daily and use any that are showing signs of mold or softness.

Storing Cut Bell Peppers Short-Term

If you need to store bell pepper slices or chopped bell peppers for a few days, you can also do so in the refrigerator:

  • Wash and dry the peppers thoroughly after cutting them.
  • Place the chopped peppers in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.
  • Make sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing to prevent oxidation.
  • Store in the refrigerator, ideally in a high humidity drawer around 45°F.

Properly stored this way, chopped or sliced bell peppers will last around 3-5 days in the refrigerator before quality starts to decline. pieces and scoop out and discard the core, ribs, and seeds.

Freezing Raw Bell Peppers

For long term storage of several months, bell peppers can be frozen effectively. To freeze bell peppers:

  1. Wash bell peppers and dry thoroughly.
  2. Slice into pieces or chop as desired. Make sure pieces are evenly sized for best freezing.
  3. Spread pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in freezer. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.
  4. Transfer frozen pieces to an airtight freezer bag or container. Squeeze out excess air.
  5. Label with contents and date and return to freezer.

Bell peppers can be kept frozen for up to 10-12 months. They may start to develop freezer burn after that point. When ready to use, remove desired amount and allow to thaw either in refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a couple hours.

Canning Bell Peppers

For even longer term storage, bell peppers can be canned through a water bath canning method. To can bell peppers:

  1. Wear proper safety equipment like gloves and eye protection.
  2. Wash bell peppers. Slice into strips, cubes or leave whole if small.
  3. Pack prepared peppers into clean canning jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Optionally add 1/2 tsp salt to each pint.
  4. Remove air bubbles and wipe rims clean.
  5. Apply lids and rings finger tight.
  6. Process pint jars in a water bath canner for 35 minutes at altitudes of 0-1,000 feet.
  7. Cool cans completely and check that all sealed properly.

Properly canned bell peppers stored in a cool, dark place will last 12-18 months. Refrigerate after opening.

Pickling Bell Peppers

Bell peppers can also be pickled for long term preservation. Here is one pickling method:

  • Cut bell peppers into strips or slices. Mix with other vegetables like onions if desired.
  • Pack tightly into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  • In a non-reactive pot, bring 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup water, 3 tbsp sugar, and 1 tbsp salt to a boil.
  • Pour hot brine over vegetables until completely covered. Remove air bubbles and seal jars.
  • Refrigerate jars for 2-3 days before consuming to allow flavors to develop.

Properly pickled bell peppers will last 4-6 months refrigerated. Always use sterilized equipment and prepare pickles following canning safety guidelines.

Dehydrating Bell Peppers

Bell peppers can also be dried or dehydrated using a food dehydrator or oven. To dehydrate bell peppers:

  1. Wash peppers and pat dry. Slice into consistent 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick strips.
  2. Arrange in single layer on dehydrator trays or oven safe racks. Ideally do not overcrowd.
  3. Dehydrate at 125°F until completely dried, about 6-10 hours.
  4. To oven dry, set oven to lowest temperature (often 175°F), crack door open, and dry similarly for 6-12 hours.
  5. Check periodically until peppers are shriveled and leathery but not burnt.
  6. Store dried peppers in an airtight container in cool, dry place for up to 1 year.

Rehydrate dried peppers by simmering in water before using in recipes.

Storing Prepared Bell Peppers and Dishes

Besides storing raw bell peppers, you may also need to store prepared pepper dishes:

  • Cooked dishes: Store leftovers in airtight containers in refrigerator for 3-4 days. Can also be frozen for 2-3 months.
  • Raw salads/salsas: Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days. Discard if any signs of spoilage.
  • Canned pepper products: Properly canned foods like roasted peppers, sauces, etc. can be stored up to 1 year in cool, dark place.

Always label prepared foods with contents and date. Use olfactory and visual cues to check for spoilage before consuming.

What to Avoid When Storing Bell Peppers

To get the longest storage life out of bell peppers, avoid:

  • Moisture – Can lead to quicker spoilage from molds.
  • Extreme temperatures – Heat causes peppers to deteriorate faster.
  • Sunlight exposure – Causes loss of riboflavin and vitamin C over time.
  • Ethlene exposure – Given off by fruits like apples and bananas, it accelerates ripening.
  • Tight clustering – Impedes air flow and traps ethylene gases.

Optimal Storage Conditions

The ideal conditions for storing raw bell peppers are:

  • Temperature between 40°F and 45°F with high humidity around 90-95%.
  • Avoid direct contact with sources of ethylene like apples, bananas etc.
  • Good air circulation – Do not overcrowd.
  • Keep out of direct sunlight or heat sources.

Checking your peppers frequently and removing any that show signs of damage or spoilage will also improve the shelf life of the remaining peppers.

How to Tell if Bell Peppers are Bad

Signs that indicate spoilage and that bell peppers should be discarded include:

  • Wrinkling or very soft texture.
  • Spots, blemishes, or discoloration.
  • Moldy growths.
  • Unpleasant odors.
  • Slimy feel.
  • Wet or damp peppers.

Prepared dishes that are past their prime may also be slimy, soggy, moldy, or give off foul odors. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out to be safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do bell peppers last in the fridge?

Whole, raw bell peppers will generally last around 3-5 days when properly stored in the refrigerator. Cut bell peppers may only last around 2-3 days refrigerated.

Can you freeze bell peppers?

Yes, bell peppers freeze very well. Simply slice or chop them, spread in a single layer to freeze initially, then transfer to bags or containers. They will last about 10-12 months in the freezer before quality declines.

What’s the best way to store bell pepper slices?

The best way to store cut bell pepper slices short term is in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator. Try to remove as much air as possible and keep in the high humidity drawer around 45°F.

How long do pickled bell peppers last?

Properly pickled bell peppers stored in sterilized jars will last 4-6 months in the refrigerator. Discard if you see any mold, unpleasant odors, or softness.

Can you freeze roasted bell peppers?

Yes, roasted bell peppers freeze well for 2-3 months. Let them cool completely before freezing. Package leaving minimal air in freezer bags or containers.

Key Takeaways on Storing Bell Peppers

  • Refrigerate whole raw bell peppers up to 5 days.
  • Cut peppers last 2-3 days refrigerated.
  • Freeze for 10-12 months for longer term storage.
  • Pickle or can peppers to preserve for 4-12 months.
  • Dehydrate peppers at low temperatures in an oven or dehydrator.
  • Store cooked dishes containing peppers for 3-4 days refrigerated.
  • Keep bell peppers at 40-45°F with high humidity.
  • Discard peppers that appear moldy, slimy or give off odd odors.


Bell peppers are a tasty, nutritious vegetable to include in your diet, but properly storing them is important. Use refrigeration for short term raw storage. Longer term preservation can be achieved through freezing, pickling, canning or dehydrating. Stored properly using these methods, bell peppers can last for several months to over a year for use in recipes and meals. Just be sure to inspect them and discard any that show signs of spoilage. With the proper techniques, you can enjoy peppers conveniently even when they are out of season.

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