Hatch Chile is a staple here in New Mexico. We buy it in bulk in September from grocery stores or pop up vendors in parking lots throughout our cities and counties, pay a little extra to have it roasted on the spot, cart home our steaming hot plastic bags full of chile, spend hours and hours prepping it and then store it away for use in every dish possible throughout the year.
If you don’t live where chile is as readily available, you light be lucky enough to find small quantities of Hatch Chile at your local grocery stores, and you will probably have to roast it yourself before picking your storage technique. The Pioneer Woman has a wonderful tutorial on how to roast chile.
This is, of course, the quickest way to store your chile. No peeling, chopping or messing with jars or pressure canners. Of course, this means that all your prep work comes in when it’s time to actually eat your chile as you’ll still have to thaw, peel, chop and cook it.
We use quart size freezer bags when we prep our chile this way.
Peel, Core, Chop, Bag & Freeze It
This method takes a lot more time in advance, but saves you several steps when it’s time to eat as all you’ll have to do is thaw and cook it.
Again, we use quart size freezer bags and put about 2 cups of chile in each bag.
Peel, Core, Chop and Pressure Can It in Pint Jars
This method requires many hours of prep work and canning time (the exact number of hours will, of course, depend on how much chile you are putting up). Be sure to follow proper canning guidelines and canning times for your elevation.
A pint of chile works perfectly to use in most meals. Any leftovers after your meal can be put in the fridge and used within the week.
Tips & Tricks
- Always use gloves for your hands. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but after handling chile for more than a few minutes, you will feel the pain. Plan ahead, you’ll be happier for it.
- If you are freezing your chile, freeze it in amounts similar to what you think you’ll use for a meal or two for you or your family.
- Use freezer bags, not sandwich bags to save your chile from freezer burn.
- If you use the Bag & Freeze method, run your chile under cool water while peeling it later, the water will help the skin of the chile slip off and it will help keep the chiles oils off of your skin
- When canning your chile, add in your salt and garlic powder to taste (we use 1/2 tsp of each per pint). Then, when you crack open a jar for your meal later, it’s as simple as heating it up!