If pickling is where your heart lies, we are sure that your grocery lists have a constant ingredient. Yes, we are indeed talking about those rich, earthy, and smokey jalapenos.
However, sometimes you might not be in the mood for jalapenos. Such circumstances can prompt you to second-guess your decision to hoard them. Since jalapenos can go bad, it is crucial to determine a deteriorated batch of jalapenos from the fresh ones.
But do not worry. We have got you covered with the following article that shall shine a light on preserving jalapenos and how to know when their quality has worsened.
Do jalapenos really go bad?
Yes, jalapenos do go bad, just like any other vegetable would. But when it goes bad largely depends upon how you store them and how long you want to preserve them.
You obviously can’t have them for years, but storing them in a favorable condition will surely increase their shelf life. Also, jalapenos tend to show clear signs of spoilage quickly when not stored accurately, so you will know exactly when they go bad.
But you can avoid this situation for a bit longer when you know to pick the spiciest ones. So, yes, we know you don’t get many options for jarred jalapenos, but you can get lucky with loose ones.
Tricks to Pick Jalapenos that Won’t go Bad Quickly:
Your mother and grandmother picked the best jalapenos with their expertise in grocery shopping. But since we lack it right now, some research and attentiveness can help you choose hot and spicy jalapenos.
So here’s how to get them right.
Some jalapenos have lighter lines, while some have more visible ones. Jalapenos are at the peak of their hot and spicy flavors when they are hard and have some amount of visible lines.
If you want to store them for a longer duration, avoid picking jalapenos with more visible lines. Yes, they would likely be less spicy than ones with lines but will last more without going bad. They will definitely taste better with age.
If you want spicy jalapenos, choose them with fine lines and perhaps slacker skin for more kick. They will likely have around 2500-8000 SHU (Scoville heat units).
That does not mean they will last forever. However, jalapenos do have a shelf life, and storing them right will help you make the most out of them.
So let’s first know a few more things about jalapenos’ shelf life before we learn more about their storage.
Jalapenos and its Shelf Life
No matter what corner of America you belong to, jalapenos are available fresh and spicy.
If you have canned jalapenos, they will have the best before the date mentioned on them. Since it has some amount of preservatives added, it could last for the next few weeks or sometimes even a month when you store it right. Also, you need to be extra careful while dipping a spoon to scoop it out.
So depending on the brand you choose, canned or jarred jalapenos would likely last 6 to 8 months when stored in a refrigerator. When stored in a freezer, jalapenos would last for a year. But if you want to extend their shelf life, we suggest freezing them. When stored in a freezer, jalapenos would last for a year.
But if you have fresh jalapenos straight from the market with least or no lines, they would last for 6 to 8 days. So remember that storing your fresh jalapenos right is the only way to preserve them longer.
If you have half-cut jalapeno and you aren’t sure if you can use it, give it a taste. Chopped jalapenos won’t last more than a day or two when kept out. Temperature is an essential factor to consider when it comes to storing jalapenos.
So let us know how to store jalapenos for better shelf life.
How to Store Jalapenos for better shelf life?
When it comes to storing these peppers, it’s essential to consider the type of jalapenos you own. Whether you have fresh jalapenos or canned ones, they need to be stored appropriately for extended shelf life.
Canned or Jarred Jalapenos
Storing your canned or jarred jalapenos is quite simple as compared to fresh and chopped jalapenos. They contain an ample amount of preservatives and hence don’t go bad that quickly.
If you have an unopened bottle of jalapenos, they can be stored in a pantry or kitchen cabinet. You just need to ensure it is kept away from direct sunlight and place it in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Once you open the can of jalapenos, they come in contact with atmospheric moisture and hence should be stored in a refrigerator. Of course, you always need to make sure it is tightly sealed so the smell of ready-to-eat foods doesn’t enter it, or it may spoil your jalapenos real quick.
Fluctuating temperature can accelerate its spoilage and so make sure it is stored away from the door. This will keep your jalapenos fresh for a longer duration past its best-by date.
When it comes to storing your fresh jalapenos, you need to consider how long you want them to last or when you are planning to use them. Since fresh jalapenos have a comparatively shorter shelf life, you need to be extra careful so you don’t waste them.
If you are planning to use them in a day or two, you can keep them in a pantry unless it’s not summer. Warm temperature makes your jalapenos go bad real quick, so avoid storing them out unless you plan to use them in a day.
So the best place to store fresh jalapenos is a refrigerator. You don’t even need to cover them in a plastic bag. Instead, simply keep them in a vegetable drawer, and they will easily last you for eight to ten days.
However, if you are not planning to use them for next week or more, freezing them would be better instead of letting them go dry or develop lines.
Storing chopped or diced jalapenos should be used for 2 to 3 hours and thus can be left out at room temperature. But if you are not planning to use them for your next meal, keep them in a refrigerator.
Make sure you don’t leave them open. Instead, transfer them to an air-tight container so it does not accumulate the smell of the rest of the edibles in the refrigerator. When not used within two to three days, they will turn watery and eventually spoil.
So avoid leaving them at room temperature if you are not planning to use them for your next meal. Talking about spoilage, when jalapenos go bad, we can tell it easily. So to help you with that, here are a few ways to tell when jalapenos have gone bad.
5 Ways to Tell When Jalapenos Go Bad
Just like other vegetables, it is easy to tell if jalapenos have gone bad. Your senses are enough to tell if they are still fresh or fine and if it’s time to discard them. So these are the 5 easiest ways to tell if jalapenos have gone bad or not.
Wrinkles are a sign of aging for Jalapenos too.
If you see a lot of lines or, say, wrinkles, you definitely should know that they have started to age and have likely gone bad, depending on the number of lines. You can definitely taste them; they might not taste off but won’t either be fresh. Use them only if it tastes fine.
No spice means No fun.
We love jalapenos for their hot and spicy flavor. If your jalapenos do not give that kick to your meal despite adding a lot, it simply means that they have gone bad. Adding a lot of jalapenos that have lost their flavors would do no good to your dish but can still make you sick. So make sure you always use fresh jalapenos.
Spots are not fine
Another easy notice sign of spoilage is the dark spots on jalapenos. This is specifically fresh jalapeno peppers, and you should know they have gone bad if you see any dark brown spots.
This not just will make your jalapenos mushy and pale but will also decrease their spiciness.
Spots turn into Molds.
Jalapenos are easy to store and use vegetables. But sometimes, as they age or due to bad storage conditions can start to develop molds. Brown and grey spots can sometimes turn to molds and can spoil your jalapenos.
You can either cut the mold and consume it or throw them away. If you choose to consume them, make sure they taste fine.
Sometimes when you have had jalapenos for quite a while, they start to smell awful. This weird smell of jalapenos definitely means they have gone bad and are not safe to consume.
Sometimes it might just be one jalapeno that goes bad, but if you fail to discard it, one jalapeno can likely spoil the rest of the jalapenos stored.
So make sure you discard jalapenos that have gone immediately before they spoil the rest of the jalapenos and other vegetables around it. You might face serious issues if you consume spoiled jalapenos, and here’s what you should know.
Risks of Consuming Spoiled Jalapenos
Eating anything that is spoiled has gone bad, needs courage, and we definitely do not support the idea of showing your courage. It’s not just bad for your tastebuds but can make you very sick. We understand that you do not want to waste food. But it shouldn’t be at the cost of your health.
And with spoiled jalapenos, things are no different. Consuming spoiled jalapenos can make you sick. It can lead to diarrhea, acidity, heart problems, and even food poisoning.
Spoiled jalapenos do not just have a higher amount of harmful acids that can make lead to frequent digestion issues. So do not consume jalapenos once they start showing severe signs of spoilage.
Can you Freeze Jalapenos?
If you are planning to go out of town and you want to preserve your jalapenos, you can try freezing them.
Start by washing the jalapenos with cold water. Once they are dry, cut off the stems and seeds. Once the slicing is done, you can transfer the jalapenos to a baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 2 hours. Once done, you can transfer them to sealable bags and place them in the freezer.
Even though such frozen jalapenos will retain the crispiness, you can use them in your recipes as they will also have the same amount of heat and spice.
Alternatives for Jalapenos if they Go Bad
If the Jalapenos in your kitchen pantry have gone bad, you can try using the following alternatives:
- Serrano Peppers
- Habanero Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper Powder
- Fresno Peppers
- Hot Sauce
FAQs About Jalapenos
Are brown seeds in jalapenos a sign of spoilage?
Jalapenos have off-white seeds generally that can often turn brownish as the jalapenos age. If you have stored jalapenos for quite a while, you will likely notice this, which does not make jalapenos bad unless the peppers taste spicy and fine.
So give it a taste before you decide to discard it or add it to your recipe.
Can storing jalapenos out in a pantry decrease their shelf life?
Jalapenos can be stored anywhere and will likely last for 4 to 5 days. But storing your jalapenos on a kitchen shelf or pantry in a warm atmosphere can likely spoil them sooner.
Winters don’t really worsen, but jalapenos can go bad quickly when not refrigerated during summers.
Which jalapenos are hot, green, or red?
The spiciness or hotness of jalapenos largely depends on the age of jalapenos. So since the green jalapenos are picked earlier than the red jalapenos, it obviously makes red jalapenos hotter than the green jalapenos of the same variety.
Jalapenos are one of the most versatile parts of all kinds of cousins, so having them in your kitchen is a must. And now that you know a lot many ways to store them, we are definitely sure you won’t end up spoiling them any sooner.
Although fresh jalapenos have a comparatively shorter life span, refrigerating them will likely help you make the most out of them. If you got them a little extra than you need them, you could even freeze them for extended shelf life.
You can either get jarred jalapenos if you are not that frequent user, but make sure you are aware of its best-by date.
Always make sure you store your jalapenos rightly to make the most out of them!!!
Gina P. Shudnow is the brain behind all our scientific research. She is a Registered Dietitian who has been in the field for over ten years. Her nutrition tips have helped several people overcome health issues in the past. She strives to make everybody healthier without compromising on their food diet.