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28 October 2017

Yes, you can still ripen unripe peppers you’ve pulled from your pepper plants due to frost or other reasons. Here is how.

It’s the end of the chili pepper harvesting season and I’ve just pulled all of the remaining peppers off the plants. Sadness reigns. It was necessary, though, because the weather is calling for frost and frost will destroy anything that is left.

The problem now, though, is I’m stuck with a bag load of green, unripe chili peppers. Should I eat them green? Sure, they are still edible, but they have a raw, green flavor that some may not enjoy. Whatever you do, don’t toss them out because you can still ripen those green peppers.

How to Ripen Unripe Peppers

The Windowsill Method. This is easiest if you only have a few unripe peppers. Simply leave your peppers on a sunny windowsill in a warm room for a few days. They will begin to turn color and ripen in the sun. Once ripened to your liking, store them in the refrigerator or use them right away. If they start to go soft, throw them out.

The Paper Bag Method. Store the unripe peppers in a paper bag with a ripe tomato or apple. This also works with green tomatoes. The ripe fruit will speed the ripening process and your peppers (and tomatoes) should ripen in a week or longer.

Note that temperature is an important factor when ripening your peppers indoors. The peppers will ripen more quickly at room temperature, and more slowly at cooler temps.

The Branch Method. Another trick is to hang them upside down while still attached to their branches, indoors, and they will continue to ripen. This will, of course, require you to remove at least the plant branches, but at end of season, it won’t really matter.

Realistically, peppers do continue to ripen on their own after you’ve picked them, so even if you keep them in a small bin at room temperature, they should ripen up for you in about a week or two, though be sure to check on them periodically to make sure none of them goes bad.

Let me know what methods work best for you!

Enjoy your bountiful pepper harvest! Check out other methods for Preserving Chili Peppers.