If you have ever had a garden, or planted peppers, you know that at the end of the season, you usually end up with a bazillion peppers. Although we love our Pickled Peppers and Candied Jalapenos, there are only so many canned peppers that one family can eat throughout the year, even when you consider giving a bunch of them as gifts.
What types of chiles to dry
Many types of peppers will dry well. This is only a partial list. The hotter the fresh pepper is the hotter the dried chile pepper will be.
- chiles de árbol
- New Mexico chiles
- chipotle (red, ripe jalapeños)
How to use the dry peppers
A great way to utilize the excess of peppers that you have, is to dry, or dehydrate them. You can store them for years, really, if you vacuum pack them. Then you can rehydrate them for this delicious Homemade Enchilada Sauce, it is authentic!
Another wonderful use for dehydrated peppers is Chili Powders and red pepper flakes, recipe to follow soon.
Other uses for dried peppers include, hot sauces, salsas, chili pastes, or soups and stews. Chilies are essential for Mexican dishes, like Moles, or Enchiladas!
Peppers, in most forms, make a wonderful edible gift for the holidays, or any other special occasion. A hostess gift, perhaps. Who wouldn’t want to get a gift of candied jalapenos or homemade chili peppers?
The next thing that I love about drying the peppers, is that it gives me the opportunity to have a hands off method of preserving my peppers. This is especially useful in September or October, when I have the end of the season picking. I have so many things that need to be preseved, at the same time.
Drying a huge batch of peppers, allows me the time to use different methods of preserving, such as; making tomato sauce, or canning the tomatoes or peppers, even, freezing tomatoes and zucchini, when I’m short on time.
The Health Benefits of Dried Peppers
The other wonderful benefit of peppers is that they contain a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin has multiple benefits, including;
- The capsaicin in peppers can aid in digestion
- Peppers are high in fiber and nutrients, including; vitamins C, K, B6, and A, and low in calories.
- Peppers are shown to have anti- carcinogenic properties.
- They have been shown to have analgesic proporties (good for relieving pain), as well.
- Believe it, or not, they can help prevent stomach ulcers.
…… Among other things. See this Healthline article, for a full list.
How to Make Dried Peppers
- Cut off any bad spots or obvious blemishes. In your oven on it’s lowest setting. It will take 8-10 hours, depending on the temperature and size of peppers.
Place peppers on racks that are placed over baking sheets to improve air circulation around them. You can also leave the oven door cracked to increase airflow.
- On your grill on very low, and over indirect heat. (the opposite side that the burner is on.)
- In a commercial food dehydrator. Place cleaned peppers on the trays in a single layer. I find this is the slowest method. It took me 3-4 days to dry the peppers whole. If you choose this method, definitely cut the peppers in half or slice them.
- Air drying them will work if you live in a very dry climate, think California or Arizona, you can dry them outside, in a sunny location, but protect them from any chance rain, or dew, at night. That option is not an option, where I live.
- In your air fryer, set heat to the lowest setting, mine is warm, less than 250°F. Place peppers on air fryer basket and air fry for 20-40 minutes, depending on the size of the peppers and the lowest temperature setting of your brand of air fryer.
Once chiles are dry, you can store them whole or place them in a spice grinder or food processor to grind them into chile powders and flakes.
How to store them
So, that is how easy it is to make dried peppers! I can’t wait for pepper season again! I so miss my garden in the winter! How about you? Do you love to have a garden and enjoy all of the fresh fruits and vegetables?
Due to my background in horticulture, I had several readers request a tutorial on Vegetable Gardening. So if you have interest in the subject, these posts are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss my How to Start a Garden Series! The first part is Planning Your Garden! Second is Preparing the Garden Site. The third is Choosing Plants and Planting Your Garden. The fourth is Garden Maintenance, and the last is Harvesting a Garden and Preserving the Harvest, this post has over 100 FREE recipes for preserving your harvest!
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Enjoy! And have fun cooking!
Dried Peppers – 4 easy methods
- hot peppers
- You can dehydrate hot peppers in 4 different appliances. Oven, grill, air fryer, and commercial dehydrator. If you live in a climate with low humidity, you can even do it outside in the sun.
- If you cut the peppers in half, laterally, they will take less time to dry. I opted to do a large batch whole, so they would be nicer for gifting.
- Place peppers on a rack, small enough so that the peppers don’t fall through. You can place a baking sheet with sides underneath, especially, if drying in the oven or air fryer.
- Turn your appliance to a low setting, My oven, that temperature is 170°F. My air fryer is approximately 160°F. Try to keep you grill around 150°F. Most commercially available dehydrators are set to a higher setting.
- Since there are so many variables, such as temperature and size/ thickness of the pepper you are drying, it is hard to give you a time. If you cut them in half they will take considerably less time. Most of whole peppers were done in 8-10 hours, with the exception of the dehydrator, which took many days. The halved peppers only took about 5 hours in the oven. They should be very dry. You will be able to feel if there is any moisture in a pepper when you squeeze it.
- chili powder
- hot sauce
- chili paste
- enchilada sauce
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Originally posted 12/27/18