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5 Easy Way to Make Dried Peppers

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There are many methods you can use for dried, or dehydrated peppers. A commercial dehydrator, or the oven, your grill, even your air fryer can be used for dried peppers.

Dried and fresh peppers arranged on paper bag with pepper identification added.Pin
How to Dehydrate Peppers

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, Hot Pepper Relish 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.

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What types of chiles to dry

Many types of peppers will dry well. You can really use any pepper that you grow or pick up at the farmer’s market. This is only a partial list. The hotter the fresh pepper is the hotter the dried chile pepper will be.

Did you know that when fresh chile peppers are dried, their names change?

  • Chilacas- Dried chilacas are called pasilla. They are one of the most widely used in Mexican cuisine. They are bit spicier than poblanos but still mild.
  • Marasol- Once dried marasol chiles are referred to as guajillos. This pepper has a fruity flavor that has a bit of kick. This pepper is also used extensively in Mexican cooking. Use it for chili powder mixes, dried pepper flakes or rehydrate and use it for sauces, soups, stews and chilies.
  • Poblanos – Anchos are the dried version of poblano peppers. They are probably the most used peppers in Mexican cuisine. They are a mild pepper with not too much spicy heat. Use them for chili powders with a mixture of other peppers. Rehydrate them for soups, stew, chilies or traditional Mexican enchilada sauce.
  • Chiles de árbol – These peppers are usually picked when they ripen and turn red.
  • Jalapeños – These can be dried either green or red. Once dried, the jalapeno is called chipotle. It is a medium hot pepper and has a fairly large heat range from medium hot to hot. Traditionally the red chipotle is smoked prior to drying. This adds a whole new flavor dimension to these peppers. They are used in powders for a delicious chipotle powder, or make hot pepper flakes. They can also be used to make chipotle in adobo sauce. Jalapenos are by far the most popular pepper in the states.
  • Cayenne peppers – These are the most common pepper to use for hot pepper flakes. They are served as a condiment or spice in most good Italian restaurants to add a bit of kick to your favorite dishes. They are considered a hot pepper ranging on the Scoville scale from 30,000-50,000 units.
  • Habanero – If you want a really spicy chili powder, or hot pepper flakes use the habanero or one of the other very hot varieties that have even surpassed it in heat. The habanero has a Scoville index scale of 100,000- 300,000 units.
  • Bell peppers or sweet peppers – as we mentioned above, any pepper can be dehydrated and reused in soups, stews, sauces and more. If you like the flavor of peppers but not the heat, use a sweet pepper like sweet banana or bell peppers.

How to use the dry peppers

Dried and colorful fresh peppers on white backgroundPin

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 incredible.

Another wonderful use for dehydrated peppers is Chili Powders and red pepper flakes.

Other uses for dried peppers include, hot sauces, salsas, chili pastes, or soups and stews. Chiles are essential for Mexican dishes, like Moles, or Enchiladas.

Dried peppers in glass canning jarsPin

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?

Peppers on white boardPin

The next thing that we love about drying the peppers, is that it gives us the opportunity to have a hands off method of preserving. This is especially useful in September or October, when we have the end of the season picking. We have so many things that need to be preserved, at the same time.

dried peppers on crinkled brown paperPin

Drying a huge batch of peppers, allows me the time to use different methods of preserving, such as; making enchilada sauce, or canning the peppers, even, freezing roasted peppers works well, when we’re 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 benefits. See this Healthline article, for a full list.

dried peppers next to fresh peppers on paper.Pin

How to Make Dried Peppers

In your commercial dehydrator

  1. Rinse and dry off peppers. Cut out any bad spots or obvious blemishes.
  2. Cut peppers in half to speed up drying time. Slice them to dry them even faster. You can remove seeds or leave them in.
  3. Place them on the dehydrator racks and load into dehydrator.
  4. Set time. Set temperature to 135°F.
  5. Times for drying peppers should be 8-15 hours, depending on the size of the peppers and if you cut or slice them. Whole peppers can take up to 36 hours, depending on the size.
  6. Peppers are fully dry when they crack when you try to bend them.
  7. Once peppers are fully dried, let them cool and then place them in a quart mason jar.
  8. Lastly, see section below to condition the peppers.

In the oven

  1. Rinse and dry off peppers. Cut out any bad spots or obvious blemishes.
  2. Set oven to it’s lowest setting, usually between 150°F and 175°F.
  3. Cut peppers in half to speed up drying time. You can remove seeds or leave them in.
  4. Place peppers on racks that are placed over a baking sheet to improve air circulation around them. Leave the oven door cracked (place a wooden spoon in the door to keep it open. This will also increase airflow.
  5. Whole peppers can take 8-10 hours, depending on the temperature and size of peppers.
  6. Check often.
  7. Peppers are fully dry when they crack when you try to bend them.
  8. Once peppers are fully dried, let them cool and then place them in a quart mason jar.
  9. Lastly, see section below to condition the peppers.

On your grill

  1. Rinse and dry off peppers. Cut out any bad spots or obvious blemishes.
  2. Start grill on one side only to very low heat. Spread peppers out directly on grill grates on the opposite side of the heat. (Indirect grilling)
  3. Prop the grill open the a wooden spoon.
  4. Cut peppers in half to speed up drying time. You can remove seeds or leave them in.
  5. Dry for 6-10 hours depending on the size of peppers, if the are halved and how high you have the heat set. Check them often.
  6. Peppers are fully dry when they crack when you try to bend them.
  7. Once peppers are fully dried, let them cool and then place them in a quart mason jar.
  8. Lastly, see section below to condition the peppers.
Peppers on grill, showing stages of dryingPin

In your air fryer

  1. In your air fryer, set heat to the lowest setting, mine is warm, less than 250°F.
  2. Place peppers on air fryer basket and air fry in 5-10 minute intervals.
  3. Depending on the size of the peppers and the lowest temperature setting of your brand of air fryer they can take 20-40 minutes to fully dehydrate.
  4. Check often. If they are not quite dry after 40 minutes, dehydrate for 5 minutes at a time until dry.
  5. Peppers are fully dry when they crack when you try to bend them.
  6. Once peppers are fully dried, let them cool and then place them in a quart mason jar.
  7. Lastly, see section below to condition the peppers.

Air drying

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. They can take as little as a week to dry in a dry climate.

If you live in a more humid climate, you can dry them in a dry place.

Prepare them as in step one above. With a needle and a strong thread, pierce the stem with the needle and pull the thread through. Continue until you’ve used up all of the thread or all of the peppers and hang them. We find a metal hanger is great to hang them on.

They should take about 3-6 weeks to fully dehydrate.

Conditioning your fruit

Conditioning your fruit is an important step in the drying process, so don’t skip this step.

What is conditioning dried fruits?

Conditioning is the process of testing the fruit to make sure that it is thoroughly dry.

Why is conditioning important?

Even a bit of moisture in a couple of pieces has the potential to ruin a whole batch.

How do you condition fruits?

Allow the dehydrated fruits to come to room temperature. Immediately place them into a glass mason jar. Place the jar in a dark area.

Shake the jar daily to break up any stuck pieces. Allow them to stay in the jar for 7-10 days, shaking daily.

If you see any moisture droplets collecting on the jar. You know you have moisture in them.

What if I see moisture after conditioning?

If you see any evidence of moisture or any condensation in the jar, re-dry the food in your oven or dehydrator. After re-drying condition them again. Once they are fully dry, pack in tight fitting glass jars.

What if I see mold?

If you see any evidence of mold during the conditioning process. Discard the product.

How to store dried chiles

Once chiles are dry, you can store them whole in glass canning jars. Vacuum packing works very well after peppers are conditioned. Don’t vacuum pack fruits that haven’t been conditioned.

They can be frozen to preserve freshness too.

If you’d like, place them in a spice grinder, coffee grinder or food processor to grind them into chile powders and flakes.

Pro tips for you success

  • Slice in half lengthwise or in slices width wise to speed up the drying process.
  • Always wear food safe gloves when slicing peppers.
  • Drying should be done at the lowest temperature you can manage for a longer period of time. Trying to speed up the process will cook the peppers rather than dry them.
  • For each method, place peppers in a single layer.
dried peppers in vacuum packed bagPin

So, that is how easy it is to make dried peppers. With so many uses and the ease of the process, there is no reason not to dry your peppers for easy food storage. It can also save you lots of money on commercial spice blends.

Conditioning your fruit

Conditioning your fruit is an important step in the drying process, so don’t skip this step.

What is conditioning dried fruits?

Conditioning is the process of testing the fruit to make sure that it is thoroughly dry.

Why is conditioning important?

Even a bit of moisture in a couple of pieces has the potential to ruin a whole batch.

How do you condition fruits?

Allow the dehydrated fruits to come to room temperature. Immediately place them into a glass mason jar. Place the jar in a dark area.

Shake the jar daily to break up any stuck pieces. Allow them to stay in the jar for 7-10 days, shaking daily.

If you see any moisture droplets collecting on the jar. You know you have moisture in them.

What if I see moisture after conditioning?

If you see any evidence of moisture or any condensation in the jar, re-dry the food in your oven or dehydrator. After re-drying condition them again. Once they are fully dry, pack in tight fitting glass jars.

What if I see mold?

If you see any evidence of mold during the conditioning process. Discard the product.

Love Gardening? If you love growing your own produce, these posts are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss our How to Start a Garden Series!

The first section is Planning Your Garden. Second is Preparing the Garden Site.

The third is Choosing Plants and Planting Your Garden. The fourth is Garden Maintenance.

The last is Harvesting a Garden and Preserving the Harvest, this article has over 100 FREE recipes for preserving your harvest!

dried pepprs packed in jars and vacuum packed on burlap backgroundPin

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Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Dried peppers in antique canning jars.Pin

Dried Peppers – 4 easy methods

There are many methods you can use for dried, or dehydrated peppers. A commercial dehydrator, or the oven, your grill, even your air fryer can be used for dried peppers.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: miscellaneous,
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours
Hands off time: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 10 depends on number of peppers dried
Calories: 1kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $4

Ingredients

  • hot peppers

Instructions

In a dehydrator

  • Rinse and dry off peppers. Cut out any bad spots or obvious blemishes.
    hot peppers
  • Cut peppers in half to speed up drying time. Slice them to dry them even faster. You can remove seeds or leave them in.
  • Place them on the dehydrator racks and load into dehydrator.ppers.
  • Set time. Set temperature to 135°F.Times for drying peppers should be 8-15 hours, depending on the size of the peppers and if you cut or slice them. Whole peppers can take up to 36 hours, depending on the size.
  • Peppers are fully dry when they crack when you try to bend them.
  • Once peppers are fully dried, let them cool and then place them in a quart mason jar.
  • Lastly, see section below to condition the peppers below.

In the oven

  • Rinse and dry off peppers. Cut out any bad spots or obvious blemishes.
  • Cut peppers in half to speed up drying time. Slice them to dry them even faster. You can remove seeds or leave them in.
  • Place peppers on racks that are placed over baking sheets to improve air circulation around them. Leave the oven door cracked (place a wooden spoon in the door to keep it open. This will also increase airflow.
  • Whole peppers can take 8-10 hours, depending on the temperature and size of peppers. Check often.
  • Peppers are fully dry when they crack when you try to bend them.
  • Once peppers are fully dried, let them cool and then place them in a quart mason jar.
  • Lastly, see section below to condition the peppers.

On the grill

  • Rinse and dry off peppers. Cut out any bad spots or obvious blemishes.
  • Start grill on one side only to very low heat. Spread peppers out directly on grill grates on the opposite side of the heat. (Indirect grilling)Prop the grill open the a wooden spoon.
  • Cut peppers in half to speed up drying time. You can remove seeds or leave them in.
  • Dry for 6-10 hours depending on the size of peppers, if the are halved and how high you have the heat set. Check them often.
  • Peppers are fully dry when they crack when you try to bend them.
  • Once peppers are fully dried, let them cool and then place them in a quart mason jar.
  • Lastly, see section below to condition the peppers.

In the air fryer

  • 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 in 5-10 minute intervals. below to condition the peppers.
  • Depending on the size of the peppers and the lowest temperature setting of your brand of air fryer they can take 20-40 minutes to fully dehydrate.
  • Check often. If they are not quite dry after 40 minutes, dehydrate for 5 minutes at a time until dry.
  • Peppers are fully dry when they crack when you try to bend them.
  • Once peppers are fully dried, let them cool and then place them in a quart mason jar.
  • Lastly, see section below to condition the peppers.

Air drying

  • 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. They can take as little as a week to dry in a dry climate.
  • If you live in a more humid climate, you can dry them in a dry place.
  • Prepare them as in step one above. With a needle and a strong thread, pierce the stem with the needle and pull the thread through. Continue until you’ve used up all of the thread or all of the peppers and hang them. We find a metal hanger is great to hang them on.
  • They should take about 3-6 weeks to fully dehydrate.

To condition dry fruit

  • See notes below.
See all of my favorite tools and gift ideas on my New Amazon Store!Check out Binky’s Amazon Store!

Video

Notes

Cutting the peppers in half will cut the dehydrating time.
Use any variety of hot pepper you have access to.
Conditioning your fruit is an important step in the drying process, so don’t skip this step.
What is conditioning dried fruits?
Conditioning is the process of testing the fruit to make sure that it is thoroughly dry.
Why is conditioning important?
Even a bit of moisture in a couple of pieces has the potential to ruin a whole batch.
How do you condition fruits?
Allow the dehydrated fruits to come to room temperature. Immediately place them into a glass mason jar. Place the jar in a dark area.
Shake the jar daily to break up any stuck pieces. Allow them to stay in the jar for 7-10 days, shaking daily.
If you see any moisture droplets collecting on the jar. You know you have moisture in them.
What if I see moisture after conditioning?
If you see any evidence of moisture or any condensation in the jar, re-dry the food in your oven or dehydrator. After re-drying condition them again. Once they are fully dry, pack in tight fitting glass jars.
What if I see mold?
If you see any evidence of mold during the conditioning process. Discard the product.
Uses for dried peppers;
  • chili powder
  • hot sauce
  • chili paste
  • enchilada sauce
  • chilie
  • mole
  • soup
  • stew

Nutrition

Calories: 1kcal
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Originally published December 27, 2018. Update September 5, 2022

43 Comments

  1. 5 stars

    This article has so much amazing information. Today I learned so many things in this blog post. Keep doing your awesome work

    1. Sorry for the late response. Just soak them in water for about 30 minutes and then use them in your recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve used your method with the oven and my chilly powder came out great. Thanks for the info. Gave some whole chilly peppers to my sister and she took a short cut and used the microwave. Big mistake. Walked into her kitchen and felt like I was just pepper sprayed. Was hours before she could use her kitchen again. Lol.

    1. Oh, my word! That capsacin can be really bad! I’m glad it worked for you in the oven! Thanks for trying the recipe!

      1. We love this Enchilada sauce made with our dried peppers. I also add them to chili, soups, stews or anything else that would benefit from an extra kick of heat. Thanks for checking out the recipe Barbara.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve dried tomatoes in my oven but never peppers! I am definitely going to try it this year! Such a great idea!

  4. Such an easy process it is – now that I have ready your post! I often use dried peppers for my sauces and pastes, so this is such a relief to know there are so many ways to dry peppers at home. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Yeah don’t bother trying the oven method. Followed instructions exactly, 10 hours in still soft and not dry.
      Ruined many pounds of peppers.

      1. Did you halve the peppers? As stated in the recipe, many factors contribute to the length of time it takes to dry peppers. The size of the pepper, the oven temperature, the moisture content of the peppers themselves… and many others. If they are not totally dry, just keep them going until they are. The peppers are not ruined by any means. As I also said the dehydrators took several days until they were dry.

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve always been curious about how to do this! Thanks for breaking it down. Peppers make food so much tastier in my opinion!

  6. 5 stars
    I wish I had a pepper patch. I have to live vicariously through you though. Great instructions and I can just imagine what I’d put these in!!

        1. Sure. You can dry bell peppers to use in soups, stews, sauces, etc. Thanks for checking out the recipe Linda!

  7. 5 stars
    I love how you offer so much information about the various ways to dry peppers. Your posts are always so informative. I would never have thought of using the grill and indirect heat. Great idea! I love spicy enchiladas too. I’ll check out your recipe for it.

  8. 5 stars
    One more great idea here on your blog! Just a quick question, how long would they last if you store them in a jar?

    1. They really last indefinitely. They may lose a bit of flavor after a couple of years, but they last a very long time! Thank you Claudia!

  9. 5 stars
    Like you, I have a ton of peppers at the end of the growing season, and I usually hang them to dry naturally, but I love your idea to use the air fryer and can’t wait to try it!

    1. It is a lot faster than waiting for them air dry. It is very humid where I am, as well, so I will occasionally run in to a bit of mold before they are totally dry! Thanks Colleen!

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve never thought of drying peppers as a gift! That’s a great idea for anyone who loves to make salsa too! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Thank you. I really enjoyed this. I would like to contact you privately for a question I want to ask you privately. Please what mail can I contact you on . Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you

  12. 5 stars
    I can’t wait until this summer to give this a try! I always have so many peppers that I am always looking for ways to preserve them! Thanks for the tip!

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