Which freezer bags you choose to pack your chiles in is important! I learned this the hard way – I literally lost bushels of chiles by packing them in convenient, but flimsy freezer bags.
Note: If you buy frozen chiles at The Chili Guys, they are vacuum packed in sturdier bags than any listed below and will last much longer than chiles stored in any of the bags below. You can order them here, either for pick up or delivery.
- Heavy Duty freezer bags.
These are much thicker and sturdier than the Ziploc freezer bags below – about twice the thickness. If you are careful to squeeze out all air before sealing, your chiles can easily maintain their quality for up to 2 years. They are slightly smaller than the quart bags, holding more than 3 cups.These bags are not usually found in grocery stores, Costco, or other common shopping outlets. You can buy a baker’s dozen for $1 at The Chili Guys at 55th and Federal.
- Ziploc quart freezer bags.
These are about twice the size of the sandwich bags but are much sturdier. If you pack chiles in them and carefully squeeze out all the air before zipping shut, your chiles should last for a full year in the deep freeze.These bags also have a slightly textured white patch on the front where you can write with a permanent marker – very convenient for labeling your chiles.
- Zip-loc sandwich bags.
These are a convenient size (about 2 cups) but are flimsy. If you freeze chiles in them, you can count on holes developing in just a few months. Holes in the bag create dried-out, freezer burned chiles that lose flavor and acquire a freezer burn taste. Yuck.I confess, I still sometimes use them, but only with chiles that I plan to use in 1 to 2 months.These are also difficult to write on with permanent markers.