How you can Dry and Retailer Scorching Peppers

Scorching peppers are small, and every plant produces basketfuls of fruit. Drying and storing these fruits creates a stockpile of spicy taste so that you can use all through the seasons. Dried peppers final for a 12 months or longer, and they don’t require refrigeration. This centuries-old preservation observe ensures you’ll by no means have to purchase dried ones on the grocery retailer once more.

With out additional ado, listed here are three simple steps for drying and storing sizzling peppers.

YouTube video

Step 1: Harvest

The green hot fruits hang on the plant amidst lush green leaves and small white flowers, showcasing their vibrant color and elongated shape.
For optimum drying, go away pepper stems intact when making ready them.

Harvest for drying as soon as they’ve achieved their ripened shade. Totally ripened chiles dry and retailer higher than inexperienced, unripe ones. ‘Early Jalapeño’ ripens pink, ‘Aji Dulce’ ripens orange, and bells flip pink, orange, yellow, and purple. Look to your selection’s seed packet to see what shade it ripens into.

Harvest the fruits with natural snips or pruners. As you chop them, go away their inexperienced stems on the prime connected. Chiles dry higher once they have this connected, because it closes the fruit off from exterior air, bugs, and micro organism. 

Step 2: Select a Drying Methodology

There are 4 principal strategies to dry peppers. Use whichever works greatest for you with the tools you will have readily available. Wash and rinse the chiles earlier than you dry them to take away filth and particles.

I prefer to air-dry within the kitchen so I can watch their progress. Air and solar drying take longer than the opposite strategies, however their outcomes are extra dependable. Make the most of an oven or meals dehydrator for a fast dry.

Air Drying

The hot chiles hanging on the string for air drying showcase their vibrant colors and wrinkled, shriveled texture as they slowly dehydrate.
Use ristra, a way that creates ornamental bunches with string.

Whereas the identify is self-explanatory, air drying happens in two methods: by hanging peppers up or arranging them on a tray. I tie the chiles up by their stems utilizing yarn or string and grasp them to dry close to the kitchen windowsill. Ripe fruits like airflow, oblique mild, and heat temperatures from 68°-80°F (16-27°C) in the course of the drying course of. Too chilly, and the fruits ripen slowly; too sizzling and so they develop mould or fungi. 

Ristra drying is how folks dry peppers in New Mexico and comparable areas. Use this technique by poking holes within the stems with a needle and operating a string via the holes. Then, grasp the strung-up peppers to dry. You’ll have ornamental bunches of dried chiles tied collectively earlier than you recognize it. The time period ristra is Spanish for “string” and signifies the strings and yarn used to tie up the fruit. 

Solar Drying

Close-up of a large round tray with dried harvest in red-orange hues, drying on the roof under the sun's rays.
Solar dry peppers on trays, shielding them from bugs at night time.

One other tried and true technique is solar drying. It mirrors air drying with sturdy solar rays to hasten the method. To solar dry, first prepare the peppers on a tray. Cowl the tray with cheesecloth, mesh web, or an analogous merchandise to guard the fruits from bugs. 

Place the tray in direct daylight in the course of the day. Bugs have free entry at night time, so convey the fruits inside when the solar goes down. Repeat this day by day till the chiles dry, wrinkle, and are barely brittle to the contact. 

Utilizing a Meals Dehydrator

dehydrator process close up.
Use a meals dehydrator for environment friendly and even drying

Dehydrators are like low-temperature ovens. They dry fruits, herbs, and greens in a couple of hours and will let you have dried peppers the identical day of harvest. Every kind has distinctive settings, so seek the advice of your machine’s directions for additional steerage. 

My meals dehydrator has rows of perforated trays that stack on one another, and it has a set temperature. To make use of it, prepare the clear, complete peppers on the trays with house round every fruit. Stack the trays, and switch the dehydrator on. It takes roughly two to 12 hours, relying on fruit dimension—bigger chiles take longer than small, thin-fleshed ones. 

Monitor in the course of the drying course of to make sure they don’t burn. In the event you can management your machine’s temperature, set it between 125°–135°F (52-57°C). This vary dries fruits with out scalding them.

Oven Drying

Close-up of lightly wrinkled, bright red fruits arranged in rows on a baking sheet covered with foil, ready to be placed in the oven for drying.
Set your oven to low for environment friendly pepper drying.

Ovens set to low temperatures work simply in addition to meals dehydrators. To start out, set the oven to its lowest temperature. Most ovens’ lowest settings are between 140-165°F (60-74°C). Organize your clear harvest on a steel tray with foil or parchment paper. 

Place the tray inside as soon as the oven warms up. Depart the oven door barely ajar in order that extra moisture and warmth escape. This drying technique takes two to 12 hours relying on the fruit dimension. Monitor throughout this course of to make sure they don’t scald or burn. 

The uncovered components of the fruits dry first within the oven as a result of sizzling air warms these areas. Flip the chiles when the uncovered pores and skin shrivels so that each one sides dry equally. 

Step 3: Storage

Dried chiles are prepared for preservation once they’re wrinkled. They need to look smaller than once they had been contemporary and devoid of any moisture. Simply as there are a number of drying strategies, the identical is true for storage methods. Select one which works greatest for you with the supplies you will have readily available.

YouTube video

In Glass Jars

Close-up of a glass jar filled with wrinkled dried red chiles.
Retailer in glass jars for simple visibility and preservation.

I desire to make use of glass jars for dried chiles—I can simply see which of them I’ve, and the glass retains them protected and safe for a 12 months or longer. This selection is a wonderful alternative in the event you plan on making soups, stews, and fermented items. 

Pack dried fruits in glass jars two-thirds full. A little bit of open house helps with airflow and retains molds at bay. Safe the jars with a lid, and retailer them in a cool, darkish location in your kitchen. A pantry, cabinet, or darkish nook are very good spots for long-term storage.

In The Freezer

Close-up of frozen chiles that appear firm and slightly wrinkled, retaining their vibrant color.
Freeze your dried harvest to protect taste and prolong storage life.

A freezer’s trendy comfort is difficult to beat! It retains your harvest safe, and it locks within the taste. Freezers are additionally versatile; you’ll be able to retailer contemporary and dried chiles for a 12 months or longer. 

Begin by sealing your pepper fruits in a closed container. Then, place the container contained in the freezer. It’s that straightforward! As you prepare dinner, take chiles out of the container while you want them and put the container again into the freezer.

In Vacuum Seal Luggage

Close-up of yellow and red pieces sealed in a vacuum bag on a table,
Attempt vacuum sealing for handy, long-term storage and freshness.

This technique affords the very best of each worlds—maintain vacuum seal luggage within the freezer or a cool and darkish location. It creates an hermetic capsule for the fruits to dwell in till you want them. Use this technique in the event you plan on utilizing them in batches. Devour the chiles inside per week of opening the baggage, or freeze them for long-term storage. 

To hoover seal, first discover food-safe vacuum seal luggage. Place the dried fruits inside and seal. Then, suck the air out of the bag utilizing the hose attachment in your vacuum. As soon as sealed, place the baggage contained in the freezer or pantry.

Continuously Requested Questions

In oil, contemporary peppers create micro organism that result in botulism. You may combine dried or ground-up chiles in oil, however plan on utilizing it inside a month or two. Oil with natural matter can spoil, particularly when left at room temperature.

I recommend creating chili oil while you’d prefer to eat it and storing it within the fridge. Use different storage vessels like glass jars or vacuum seal luggage for long-term storage.

Retailer in cool, darkish places like a pantry or cabinet. Freezers are additionally glorious choices for storing fruits. Place dried sizzling chiles in a sealed container and maintain them in one in all these places for greatest outcomes.

Dried sizzling peppers spoil shortly within the fridge. The moist, cool circumstances trigger the fruits to mould and decay. Some chile merchandise you’ll be able to retailer within the fridge are contemporary and cooked chiles, chili oil, and salsa.

Remaining Ideas

Preserving sizzling peppers places you in nearer proximity to your backyard. It creates meals resilience and makes you much less reliant on big-chain grocery shops for the products you want. 

Meals preservation places us in contact with our historic methods of protecting meals. Reap the well being advantages and strive drying sizzling peppers as we speak. You’ll be joyful within the wintertime when you will have a gentle provide of scrumptious chiles!

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles