Are Wrinkled Jalapenos Still Good? – 3 Interesting and Simple Ways To Tell

Last Updated on October 14, 2022 by

Are Wrinkled Jalapenos Still Good? This is a question often brought up. Let’s be honest, sometimes time flies by and suddenly there are about 3 wrinkly jalapenos in our refrigerator. Are they still good to eat? Did the jalapeno lose flavor?

Here we will learn and dive into jalapenos and how to choose the right ones. These irresistible and delicious jalapenos are packed with flavor! There are so many things you can do with them too. Some people even eat these peppers without any sauce!

What Are Jalapenos?

So, what exactly are jalapenos? Jalapenos are long pepper that is about 2 inches thick. Although they are commonly 2 inches thick, they can grow as large as three inches in width. I have grown jalapenos at home for about 5 years now and sometimes they stop at 2 inches, while others end at 6 inches long.

Most of the time, we are used to seeing jalapenos that are vibrant and bright green! Fun fact, this is not a ripe jalapeno, although you can still eat and enjoy it. Jalapenos start to ripen when they change colors, from vibrant green to a deep and almost purple red. During this time, they also start to wrinkle.

These popular peppers emerge from gorgeous purple and white flowers. As they continue to grow, the larger they are, the less heat they pack. Interestingly enough, small jalapenos less than three inches in length are hotter than longer ones! This is because the energy is focused on a much smaller fruit.

The Benefits Of Jalapenos

 Are wrinkly jalapenos hotter?

Did you know there are health benefits to eating and using jalapenos in your everyday life? While there are benefits, you should eat and prepare them with care! Jalapenos produce an oil that comes out when it is cut open. The oil can irritate your skin, which is why you should never touch your face when cooking.

To avoid this, wear gloves! As long as you are careful when handling hot peppers, you can reap the benefits.

For example, jalapenos are high in both vitamins A and C and are low calorie! Are you on a diet and want to eat flavorful items? Try incorporating peppers into your dishes!

What Do Ripe Jalapenos Look Like?

So, what do ripe jalapenos look like? Are wrinkled jalapenos still good? What about dried ones? Interestingly enough, these peppers are so flexible that you can dry jalapenos into chipotle peppers used in sauces! As they ripen, jalapenos turn a dark purple or deep red color.

During the same time the outside layer changes color, the jalapeno can be wrinkled. The wrinkling of a jalapeno does not mean much though! Soft jalapenos still pack heat and are delicious to eat. When you cook with them though, this heat can harm your eyes and skin.

3 Interesting and Simple Ways To Figure Out Wrinkled Jalapenos Are Still Good

1. Color

 Can I use a soft jalapeno?

So, now that we know the answer to ‘is wrinkled jalapenos still good?’, we can discuss ways to find the best jalapenos. First, look at the color! The greener a jalapeno is, the smoother the taste and flavor. You are not going to get intense heat levels from green pepper. It is not ripe yet!

If you want a jalapeno pepper that packs more heat, you will need to look for one that is a deep red or purple color. The darker the jalapeno, the more heat it packs! This is a good one if you want to dry the pepper and make a sauce.

Green jalapenos are better suited, as long as they are hard, for slicing, dicing, and filling!

2. Size

What about the size? We know the answer to ‘Are Wrinkled Jalapenos Still Good?’, but does the size of the pepper matter? You may be surprised to find out that yes! Size does matter when it comes to the heat levels, ripeness, and usability of a jalapeno. You see, the smaller a jalapeno is, the more heat is packed in it!

With that being said, jalapenos do need time to develop. It is best to choose a smaller jalapeno about 3-4 inches long. Any shorter and the inside is not developed enough, causing an issue with flavor and consistency. Instead of a delicious pepper, you may take a bite of seeds, hot oil, and a small amount of skin.

For smaller jalapenos, the best use is cutting them up and using them in food. For example, I like to make scrambled eggs in the morning that uses small jalapenos bites. This adds heat, flavor, and a delightful crunch.

Don’t worry though, just because a jalapeno long does not mean you cannot use it! Long jalapenos are still perfect for filling and stuffing. Have you ever had cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos? They are delicious and one of a kind!

3. Firmness

 How do you know if a jalapeno is bad?

We know that ‘Are Wrinkled Jalapenos Still Good?’ is a good question to have and that it is okay to eat wrinkled and soft jalapenos, but what does the firmness tell us? How can we avoid picking and eating ‘bad’ jalapenos?

Truthfully, as long as the pepper does not have traces of mold or fuzz, you should have no problem eating it. However, the softer the jalapeno is the harder it is to use in recipes. Instead, I recommend letting the jalapeno dry and smoking it on a grill! This allows for a smoky flavor you can use in sauces, stews, and more!

The harder or firmer a jalapeno is, the more stability it has, giving you plenty of room to wrap, slice, and fill it!


Hopefully, now you have an answer to ‘Are Wrinkled Jalapenos Still Good?’ Although a wrinkly jalapeno may look overwhelming or like there is something wrong with it, this is not true! A wrinkly jalapeno simply points to the answer that it is ripe!

Have you learned anything new about the topic ‘Are Wrinkled Jalapenos Still Good? ‘ Please let us know down below! Also, don’t forget to leave a comment and share this informational blog about jalapenos with interested friends and family!


How do you know if a jalapeno is bad?

When Jalapenos are wrinkled and start to crack or display signs of discharge from rotting, this means they are bad. Since the tough outside keeps the inside fresh, clean, and good, it is not common to find bad jalapenos.

Are wrinkly jalapenos hotter?

Wrinkly jalapenos are hotter as they change color and dry out, turning into smokes or hot chipotle peppers.

What can I do with overripe jalapenos?

There is a lot you can do with overripe jalapenos, including making hot sauces, drying it thoroughly, or using it in soups!

Can I use a soft jalapeno?

Yes! As strange as it is too feel a soft jalapeno, they are still usable. As long as the inside does not have fuzzy white or black mold, it is okay to use jalapenos with a soft texture.