Banana peppers earn their name for their bright yellow color and curved shaped that is similar to the fruit. Most banana peppers have a mild flavor, though some spicy varieties exist. Freezing and canning preserves most of the peppers' taste, though canned banana peppers are best used in cooked dishes as they lose their crisp texture. Peppers are not highly acidic, which prevents bacterial growth during storage, so you must you a pressure canner to ensure the banana peppers reach a high enough temperature to kill any disease-causing pathogens.
Canning Banana Peppers
Cut off the stem end of the peppers and shake out any seeds. Cut the peppers in half or leave them whole, depending on your preference. Cut three small slits down the length of whole pepper.
Spread the peppers out on a baking sheet. Bake the peppers at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 minutes or until the skins begin to blister. Remove from the oven and plunge the peppers into cool water, then slip off the skins.
Fill a sterilized pint canning jar with banana peppers and add ¼ tsp of salt. Pour hot water into the jar to within 1 inch of the jar's rim. Set a canning lid on top the jar and secure with a lid ring.
Set the jars in the pressure canner. Fill the canner with water and lock the lid in place according to manufacturer's directions. Process the jars at 12 lbs. of pressure for 35 minutes.
Open the canner once the pressure gauge returns to 0 lb. Lift the jars of peppers out of the canner with a jar lifter and set them on a rack to cool for 24 hours.
Freezing Banana Peppers
Cut the stem end off the banana pepper and shake out the seeds. Leave the peppers whole or cut into quarters or strips, as desired.
If you plan to use the frozen peppers only in cooked dishes, remove the skins as you would if canning. Leave the skins on if you wish to preserve their crisp texture.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Spread the peppers out on the wax paper in a single layer then place them in the freezer. Allow the peppers to freeze completely, usually overnight.
Transfer the frozen peppers from the baking sheet and into a plastic freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag then seal it closed.
Use frozen peppers within six months and canned banana peppers within one year.
Add seasonings or pickling mixes to the banana peppers before canning them. Adjust canning time as recommended in the particular recipe you choose.