Find a local pick your own farm here!

How to freeze English Peas from your garden or the shop - Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs

How to Freeze English Peas, Crowder Peas and Other Hulled Peas

PDF print version

If you like frozen peas in the winter, just imagine how good it would taste if you had picked a bag yourself and then quickly froze it at home!  It is also one of the simplest ways to put up a vegetable for the winter. Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. The peas will taste MUCH better than anything you've ever had from a store.

Directions for Freezing English Peas, Crowder Peas and Other Hulled Peas

Ingredients

  • fresh peas - any quantity.  I figure one handful per serving.

Equipment

  • Vacuum food sealer or "ziploc" type freezer bags (the freezer bag version is heavier and protects better against freezer burn.
  • 1 Large pot of boiling water
  • 2 large bowls, one filled with cold water and ice.
  • 1 sharp knife

Instructions

Step 1 - Get yer Peas!

Start with fresh Peas - as fresh as you can get.  If there is a delay between harvesting and freezing, put it in the refrigerator or put ice on it. And don't use peas that are old, overripe or dried out (see below):Peas in pod

Step 2 - Wash the Peas!

I'm sure you can figure out how to rinse the Peas in plain cold or lukewarm water.

 

 

 

 

 

Peas

 

Step 3 - Shell the peas

You can do this manually or use a pea sheller. I simply "snap" 90 degrees the tip that was attached to the plant and pull downwards. the strings in the hull separate and open the pod. Then I slip my thumb inside the pod and slide the peas out into a waiting bowl below!Shelled peas

 

Step 4 - Get the pots readyPeas

Get the pot of boiling water ready (about 2/3 filled) and a LARGE bowl with ice and cold water.

 

 

Step 5 - Blanch the peas.  

All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that, over time, break down the destroy nutrients and change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. Peas requires a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes before freezing. Blanching times for peas is 3 minutes (the duration should be just long enough to stop the action of the enzymes and kill the bacteria).

Begin counting the blanching time as soon as you place the Peas in the boiling water. Cover the kettle and boil at a high temperature for the required length of time. You may use the same blanching water several times (up to 5). Be sure to add more hot water from the tap from time to time to keep the water level at the required height.

Step 6 - Cool the peas

Cool Peas immediately in ice water. Drain the peas thoroughly (this shouldn't take more than a minute).

After vegetables are blanched, cool them quickly to prevent overcooking. Plunge the peas into a large quantity of ice-cold water (I keep adding more ice to it). A good rule of thumb: Cool for the same amount of time as the blanch step. For instance, if you blanch sweet peas for 7 minutes, then cool in ice water for 7 minutes. 

Drain thoroughly. 

 

 

 

 

Step 7 - bag the peas

I love the FoodSavers (see this page for more information) with their vacuum sealing!  I am not paid by them, but these things really work.  If you don't have one, Ziploc bags work, too, but it is hard to get as much air out of the bags.  Remove the air to prevent drying and freezer burn. TIP:  If you don't own a vacuum food sealer to freeze foods, place food in a Ziploc bags, zip the top shut but leave enough space to insert the tip of a soda straw. When straw is in place, remove air by sucking the air out.  To remove straw, press straw closed where inserted and finish pressing the bag closed as you remove straw. It works fairly well, but I'll stick to the Foodsaver, since the bags are microwaveable and much thicker than a Ziploc bag (even the Ziploc "freezer bags")

Step 8 - Done!

Pop them into the freezer, on the quick freeze shelf, if you have one!

 

 

 

 

 


Tips:

  • Harvest early in the morning, especially if the weather is hot, to get peak flavor.
  • Harvest the peas at its peak maturity (firm, straight, not lumpy)
  • Process promptly after harvesting, or keep cooled in the fridge or with ice until then.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When you take your peas out of the freezer, how long do they take to cook?

    Just the same as store-bought frozen peas: 3 to 5 minutes; just until hot and tender.

     
  2. I've frozen peas but they seem so rubbery after being cooked. Any idea why?

    Generally, that means the peas were either old to being with, or they were overcooked.  It only takes 3 minutes to blanch the peas, then plunge them immediately into ice water.

  3. How long can they be frozen?

    It depends upon how cold is your freezer and how you packed them.  Colder (deep freezes) are better than frost free compartments, which actually cycle above freezing (that's how they melt the ice).  Vacuum packing results in longer storage capability, too.  Thicker bags also help prevent freezer burn.

    In general, up to 9 months in a ziploc bag in an ordinary freezer, and 14 months in a deep freeze in a vacuum packed bag.  After that, the peas won't make you sick; they just won't taste as good.
     
  4. When blanching peas you say to cook for 3 minutes only. When we put the peas into the boiling water the boiling stops for several minutes before starting again. This may add 5 or 10 minutes to the process. Is this good or should we take the peas out after 3 minutes even if the water hasn't come back to a boil?

    Excellent question. The directions from the USDA assume that we're using a large enough pot and a large enough burner that it returns to a boil quickly (say 2 or 3 minutes). If you can, use a larger pot on a hotter burner. If that's not practical, I just add a couple of minutes to the time - otherwise the food gets overcooked!



Home Canning Kits

See the seller's website for more information, features, pricing and user reviews!

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You will never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!




 

 

Bean "Frenchers"

It is tiring and laborious to prepare beans for canning; there are so many of them and you do them all by hand.  But wait there's a new device that makes it easy.  Hmmm, actually, these devices have been around since our great-grandfather's day!  Here are several different types and makes, some hand fed, some cranked: choose the one that meets your need and budget!

For photos and features of the bean frenchers, click here!

 

   

Get canning lids on Amazon here, fast and inexpensive, and BPA-free    Mrs. Wages salsa canning mix

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!

Picking Tips

[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pic

k and why!]  [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]

Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

[ Easy Home Canning Directions] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]


Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book