How To Store Bell Peppers So They Last, According to a Farmer

How to prevent them from getting wrinkled and slimy.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images </p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

I've always thought peppers look so perfect that they almost seem artificial... until they get wrinkly and start to lose their sheen. Though sometimes it seems like they could last forever in the fridge, when peppers go bad, they turn quickly, getting mushy and soft.

What's the best way to store bell peppers? I checked in with two experts to find out.

Susan McLaughlin, marketing coordinator for California-based Baloian Farms, which grows fruits and vegetables, including bell peppers, says, “Too much moisture can cause bell peppers to lose their crunch. We recommend placing the bell peppers in a resealable bag and keeping them in the crisper drawer to control humidity levels. When stored properly, bell peppers will retain their glossy, smooth skin, and crisp texture.”

Registered dietitian nutritionist Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, agrees. “Keep them in a reusable plastic bag with holes or slightly open or a ventilated produce bag in the crisper drawer with low humidity.” She also suggests storing the bell peppers with a paper towel to absorb moisture.

The Best Place To Store Bell Peppers

Experts recommend keeping bell peppers in the refrigerator for the best quality and longevity. “If, for some reason, you can't refrigerate the bell peppers, the best alternative is to store them in a cool dry place like the pantry,” says McLaughlin.

She adds that bell peppers stored on the counter last only about five days. If they’re stored in the refrigerator, however, they can stay fresh for up to two weeks.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images </p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

Do Not Wash Bell Peppers Until You're Ready To Eat Them

Because moisture can cause peppers to spoil, don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them.

“If you do choose to wash bell peppers before storing them, make sure they’re completely dry before storing as moisture can cause them to spoil more quickly, similar to other vegetables,” says Dandrea-Russert.

When Bell Peppers Go Bad

“You can tell that bell peppers have started to pass their prime when they have soft or wrinkly brown spots,” says McLaughlin. “This is an indication that the peppers have lost some of their moisture and crunchy texture.”

That doesn’t mean you have to discard them quite yet. She says at this point, bell peppers can still be used in recipes where they are cooked. Be sure to remove all the brown spots first.

You can also freeze them, says Dandrea-Russert, where they can last for as long as six months. “Wash, dry, core, and cut the peppers then evenly lay them on a baking sheet to freeze,” she says. Put them in a freezer-safe bag and make sure to release all the air before freezing.

Once bell peppers are slimy, smell off, or have black spots (this is mold), then it’s time to toss them in the compost bin.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.