Fall is technically a few weeks away, but there are indications the season is near. Nights are cool, kids are back in school and the smell of roasted green chiles drifts in the air. With each whiff, you’re reminded that it’s time to restock your green chile stash. For a winter without green chilies, is like a rainy day on the beach. You’ll survive, but it’s not as enjoyable.
Before you get too wrapped up in the single most important decision you have to make about purchasing green chiles, you know – mild, medium or hot, don’t forget to assess your storage space. It’s a tough decision to make when you’re on the brink of having enough green chiles to make it another year. Yet, you’re not sure it’s worth the risk of running out. The decision is further complicated when freezer space is approaching capacity.
Fear not, freezing is not the only way to preserve your precious green chiles! You can also preserve them through pressure canning. This allows you to continue making spicy and delightful midwinter meals, while also preserving freezer space.
Tips for preserving green chilies
- Follow Utah State University Extension’s safe instructions for canning green chiles.
- New to pressure canning? CSU Extension has a vegetable canning fact sheet to help you learn.
- Low acid foods, such as green chiles, must be pressure canned for safety. Clostridium botulinum spores (the cause of botulism) survive temperatures below 240 degrees F. This temperature cannot be reached in water bath canning.
- Use new lids and rust free bands.
- Check the elevation of your canning location, and achieve the necessary pressure based on guidance from the USU Extension recipe. If using a weighted gauge, always use 15 pounds of pressure in Colorado.
- During long term storage, leave bands off of sealed jars until after you open and refrigerate.