Poblano peppers are big, meaty, mildly spiced chili peppers that are dark green in color. They taste kind of like earthy green bell peppers but with some additional heat. They are great for stuffed pepper dishes and when dried, they are called chile ancho and can be used to create delicious mole sauces.
If you grow your own Poblano peppers or buy them in bulk, you probably will ask the question, “How long are these peppers going to last? And am I storing them properly?” We hope that this post helps shed light on those questions.
How long do Poblano peppers last?
The shelf life of Poblano peppers will be determined by their storage method. When stored at room temperature or in a pantry, they will last around 3 to 5 days as long as they were fresh at purchase. A cooler storage environment, like a fridge, can extend the shelf life to a few weeks. If you store them in an even colder environment, like a freezer, you can extend Poblano peppers shelf life to months.
See below for a table on the shelf life of Poblano peppers, based on storage method:
|Pantry (room temperature)||Fridge||Freezer|
|Whole Poblano||3 – 5 days||1 – 2 weeks||4 – 6 months|
|Sliced Poblano||2 hours||3 – 4 days||4 – 6 months|
|Chopped Poblano||2 hours||3 – 4 days||4 – 6 months|
|Cooked Poblano||2 hours||3 – 4 days||4 – 6 months|
|Roasted Poblano||2 hours||3 – 4 days||4 – 6 months|
|Dried Poblano (chile ancho)||3 months||3 – 6 months||1 – 2 years|
What is the best way to store Poblano peppers in the fridge to lengthen their freshness and flavor?
To maximize the shelf life of Poblano peppers, while at the same time maintaining their freshness and flavor, we recommend the following:
- Dry your Poblano peppers before storing them. Sometimes peppers are wet from produce aisle misters when bought from a grocery store. If they are a little wet when you bring them home, dry them off with a paper towel before storing them away.
- Once the Poblano peppers are dried, open a plastic bag, and put them inside and seal or tie off the plastic bag. The sealed plastic bag will create a mild, humid environment which helps maintain the freshness of the Poblano peppers.
- Place the Poblano peppers in the fridge’s crisper drawer. We recommend placing the peppers near the front of the crisper drawer, because it is slightly warmer in temperature than the middle or rear of the drawer.
If you are like me and are trying to use alternatives to plastics I recommend these large glass freezer-safe containers which can be found on amazon.
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What is the best way to store Poblano peppers in the freezer to lengthen freshness and flavor?
- Wash your Poblano peppers thoroughly to remove any excess dirt and debris. Giving the peppers a good washing before storing them is also helpful because they can be used immediately after removing from the freezer, since they are already clean!
- After washing them, dry off your Poblano peppers until they are completely dry. We recommend wiping them down with paper towels and then letting them air dry for an hour to make sure they are completely dry.
- Once dry, open a large freezer safe Ziplock bag and fill it up with the Poblano peppers. Once packed, place in your freezer and leave them there until you are ready to use.
For maximum freshness, use your frozen Poblano peppers within six months after freezing. They are still safe to consume if stored for longer than six months, but they are at greater risk of developing freezer burn.
How to tell when Poblano peppers are going bad?
To determine if Poblano peppers are starting to spoil and go bad it is important to look for some key characteristics. Below are some common signs that your peppers could be going bad:
- Wrinkled and/or shriveled skin – Most peppers show signs of losing freshness when their skin becomes wrinkled or shriveled. The wrinkling occurs when the Poblano pepper loses moisture and dries out. Instead of a firm and crisp texture, the Poblano will have a softer and squishy texture.
- Soft surface spots – When feeling the Poblano, if you notice spots on its surface that feel soft or give in under a bit of pressure, throw out the pepper. These soft sections are an early sign of rot.
- Fuzzy mold – If you notice fuzzy or furry looking patches on the Poblano pepper, it is likely a common form of mold that often develops on produce. It is common for peppers to first start growing mold around the stem, so check there first.
- Dark spots – Dark speckled spots, that sometimes look like dirt but cannot be removed, is an indication that the Poblano pepper has acquired a disease and might start to spoil or develop an off-putting taste.
- Lack of spice or heat – If you take a bite of the raw Poblano and notice a lack of spice or heat, it means the pepper is starting to get old. Fresh Poblanos have a mild spice and taste a little less hot than a Jalapeño pepper. When all types of chili peppers age they all start to lose their heat.
What happens if you accidentally eat a Poblano pepper that has gone bad?
If you accidentally eat a Poblano pepper that has gone bad, you will probably be fine, but do not make a habit out of eating spoiled produce. Eating spoiled Poblanos probably will not make you sick, but they will taste gross or foul. If the Poblano you consumed had mold, the mold that commonly grows on spoiling produce is usually harmless to consume, so no need to panic. Some people have mold allergies and mold growing on Poblano peppers can cause an allergic reaction. So, it is best to dispose of the pepper in the trash if you notice any mold growing instead of cutting out the moldy parts.