3 Easy Methods for Drying Chili Peppers

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Stevepb

Drying peppers is an easy way to preserve them. We’ll show you how to dry chili peppers and how to store them so you can enjoy them for longer. 

Chili peppers are in season from the end of July until mid-late October. If you’ve grown more than you can handle or want to enjoy the fiery peppers all year round, you can dry them. Once dried, hot peppers have a long shelf life and are excellent in all kinds of sauces, dips, oils, and stir-fries.

Tip: When working with hot peppers, wash your hands regularly. This will prevent you from accidentally rubbing the spiciness into your mouth, nose, or even worse – your eyes!

#1 Air Drying Peppers

how to dry chili pepper
You can dry herbs and peppers the same way – tie them with string and hang them to air dry. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Schaerfsystem)

Air drying hot peppers doesn’t require any electricity, however, it is a bit more laborious than other methods. Here’s how to dry chili peppers naturally: 

  1. Take a string and tie a knot at the end so the hot peppers don’t slip down later.
  2. Thread the stems of the peppers onto the string using a needle.
  3. Hang up the string once it is full of hot peppers.
  4. Choose a shady, warm place with good airflow. The chili peppers should be protected from moisture and not exposed to direct sunlight.
  5. After four to six weeks, the hot peppers are thoroughly dried.

Want to grow your own peppers? Read more: Growing Hot Peppers: How to Care for a Chili Pepper Plant

#2 How to Dry Peppers Using an Oven

chili pepper
While it’s definitely the easiest method for drying peppers, using your oven requires a lot of energy. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Andrew Coop)

This is probably the most classic method for drying peppers because it is the least time-consuming. Keep in mind, it is also the most energy-consuming method as your oven needs to be on for 8 hours. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place the hot peppers side by side on a baking sheet, making sure they don’t overlap. 
  • Heat the oven to about 150˚F and place the tray with the peppers inside.
  • Leave the oven door open about half an inch – you can use a wooden spoon to prop it open. This allows the moist air to escape from the oven.
  • Keep an eye on them while they’re drying. If you see any dark spots lower the oven temperature!
  • After about eight hours, the peppers will be completely dry. If they crackle when pressed and crumble easily, they’re done and you can take them out of the oven.

#3 Drying Chili Peppers Using a Dehydrator

dehydrating jalapeños
Using a dehydrator is a fantastic method if you have a large surplus of peppers to dry. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Flickr - F.D. Richards )

For those of you fortunate enough to have an automatic dehydrator at home, you can easily dry hot peppers in it. Just follow these steps:

  • Remove the stems and cut the peppers in half.
  • Spread the peppers out on the grids of the dehydrator and then stack them on top of each other.
  • After six to eight hours, the chili peppers are dried. 
  • Keep in mind that even though it’s faster, the dehydrator requires a fair amount of electricity to dry.

Storing Dried Peppers Properly

dried chili flakes
Use your dried peppers to infuse oil, top your pizzas or make some spicy sauces! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Eva Elijas)

Depending on how you want to use your dried hot peppers, you should store them accordingly. To make hot pepper powder or hot pepper flakes, proceed as follows:

  • Remove the stems from the hot peppers.
  • Grind the peppers in a coffee grinder or crush them with a mortar. If you coarsely crush the dried peppers, you’ll get tasty hot pepper flakes.
  • Store the powder or flakes in a resealable jar. It will keep for several years in a dry, dark place. However, it is important that the powder does not get moist. Otherwise, it can become moldy.
  • You can also store the dried peppers as a whole!

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Peperoni trocknen: Methoden zum Haltbarmach

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