Capers are a great way of adding tartness and sourness to a dish. But a few often go a long way. So what can you do with leftover capers? Is it possible to put them into the freezer or not?
Can You Freeze Capers?
Yes, you can freeze capers for up to 1 year. To freeze capers, make sure you drain them from any brine before freezing them on a baking tray. Once frozen solid, you can tip them into a bag to store them for the longer term.
Do Capers Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Capers? Yes
How To Freeze Capers
There are two approaches to take and this depends on how often you use capers and in what quantity.
If you use a little, often, then you’ll want to flash freeze them beforehand. If not, then you can freeze handfuls in freezer bags but, be warned, you will have to defrost them all in one go as they’ll freeze in a clump.
- Drain: Drain the brine from your capers as you don’t want to freeze them in the brine.
- Freeze: Spread them out on a baking sheet and then place them in the freezer for a couple of hours to freeze the outside.
- Bag Up: Tip the capers into a freezer bag. If you haven’t flash frozen them then you’ll need to freeze them in suitable portions.
- Seal and Freeze: Seal the bag(s) up, removing as much of the air from the bag as possible, before placing the bag into the freezer.
How to Freeze Caperberries
Caperberries can be frozen using the exact same method that we have used for freezing capers.
We would highly recommend flash-freezing caperberries though because they’re larger and there’s a chance you’ll only want to defrost 3 or 4 at a time.
Yes, it takes that little bit longer but that extra prep will save you bags of time in the future.
3 Tips for Freezing Capers
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing capers to have the best results:
Drain Before Freezing
There is no benefit to freezing capers in brine. You’ll only find there are drawbacks. When it comes to defrosting capers, if they were in brine they would take forever to defrost.
Make a Sauce
Instead of freezing capers on their own, try chopping them up then mixing with some lemon juice and butter. Once mixed, freeze in an ice cube tray. You’ve now got an instant sauce you can use directly from the freezer.
Avoid Eating Them Raw
There can be some textural changes to capers once they have been frozen so we would recommend not using them raw (in a salad for example) but instead using them in sauces and cooked dishes is a better option.
How Long Can You Freeze Capers?
Not only can you freeze capers but you can actually freeze them for an incredibly long time. Capers will keep in your freezer for around a year.
Beyond this point, they’ll remain perfectly safe to eat but the flavour can degrade rendering them pretty useless when the main reason for adding them to a dish is to give you that natural, pungent salty punch.
How Do You Defrost Capers?
There is no quick way to defrost capers. Instead, grab the capers you want to use and then place them in a bowl in the fridge overnight to thaw out. This does require you to be prepared but no one wants to chew on an icy caper or caperberry.
The only time this is different is if you’re making a sauce. You can warm your capers up in a pan over a low heat until they have thawed out.
Can You Refreeze Capers?
It is safe to refreeze capers but it’s not something we would advise. Every time you freeze them, you’ll break their texture down a little more. Over time, your capers may become a little soggy and squishy.
This isn’t a problem if you’re using them in a sauce, but if you’re using them in a salad or whole then this texture change will be noticeable.
Do Capers Freeze Well?
Capers, caperberries and olives all freeze remarkably well and can be frozen for an impressive amount of time. After around a year, there is a risk that the flavour will degrade so, when possible, try and use all your capers up within a year.
They will be fine to eat beyond this time but they might not taste quite as good as they did.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing capers or capers in general, then these may help:
Although it is possible to freeze capers in brine, there’s no benefit to doing so. It will take up room and will take longer for the capers to defrost. Instead, drain them from their brine beforehand.
Yes, non-pareil capers can be frozen. Non-pareil capers are the best capers you can buy so you might degrade the flavour and texture of these amazing capers but it is possible to freeze them.