Boil, steam, stir-fry/saute, braise/stew, bake, deep fry, grill/broil, microwave, raw
Harvest peppers whenever they are wanted - either immature or mature. Personal taste is the best preference. Sweet peppers become sweeter as they mature and hot peppers become hotter. Pick pimientos only when they are red ripe.
Storage and Preservation Methods
When handling hot peppers for storage or cooking, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. The membrane that joins the seed to the fruit contains an oil called capsaicin that can be caustic on skin - especially if hands touch eyes, nose or other sensitive areas. The "temperature" of the hot pepper can be reduced by excluding seeds and the membrane that joins it to the fruit when cooking.
Peppers can be stored fresh for a short time, frozen, dried, or pickled. To ripen after picking, store at room temperature, or store in cool temperatures for longer periods.
Peppers do not need to be cooked or blanched prior to freezing. Slice open and remove seeds. Chop or dice remainder and freeze.
Peppers must be pressure cooked when canning as the spiciness is not caused by acids needed for cold-pack canning methods.
To dry, chop and place on screening in a warm area. To make a Mexican ristra, or a long string of chilies cut small slits through the flesh below the stem and thread string through using a needle. Hang in a warm dry place. Hot chilies should be strung on dental floss because capsaicin oil dissolves thread.