Dehydrating peppers is the ideal way to preserve a bountiful harvest or leftovers from a meal for later use. Dried peppers are very versatile, and when prepared correctly, you can use them as is, or reconstitute (hydrate) them in water. Either way, drying the peppers gives you one more way to utilize the spice. Knowing how to properly dehydrate peppers depends on various conditions, such as airflow, weather, and humidity levels. Choose the method that works best in your environment for the best results.
Step 1. Choose quality peppers for dehydration
The chosen ones must be completely ripe. Do not use peppers that have cuts, stains or defects.
Step 2. Remember that air dehydration techniques only work in dry climates
Trying to do natural dehydration in a humid climate can result in softened and damp products.
Method 1 of 3: Dehydrated Peppers in the Sun
Step 1. Use a sharp knife to cut your peppers in half lengthwise
Remove the seeds.
Step 2. Identify the time when your local weather forecast indicates a warm, sunny temperature, and for a period of at least three consecutive days
You can use your local weather forecast channel, online forecasts, or newspapers to determine this forecast.
Step 3. Place the peppers cut side down on a baking sheet and place them in direct sunlight
The backyard of a house is better, but if you have to, you can also place them on a windowsill.
Step 4. Dry the peppers in the sun for a minimum period of 8 hours
Turn the peppers over, letting the cut side face the sun, and let them continue to dry.
Step 5. Cover the baking sheet overnight with a clean sheet or towel to prevent insects from attacking or eating your peppers
Early the next morning, remove the frosting so the peppers can continue to dehydrate.
Step 6. Carefully remove the dried peppers from the roasting pan as they can easily break into pieces between your fingers
Store them in a closed container for later use.
Method 2 of 3: Use the oven to dehydrate the peppers
Step 1. Preheat oven to 79°C
For a convection oven, the temperature should be 40 °C.
Step 2. Place the peppers, cut sides down, in a cookie sheet
Arrange them in just one layer. The roasting pan is best covered with a layer of muslin, with the peppers placed on top of the muslin.
Step 3. Place the baking sheet in your oven
Step 4. Cook the peppers for about six to eight hours
You can choose to turn them over once during the cooking process, but it's not necessary. They are dehydrated when they turn brown. Be aware that the drying time depends a lot on the size of the pepper.
Method 3 of 3: How to Dehydrate Hanging Peppers
This method requires a dry environment; if you try to do this in a damp or excessively humid environment, the peppers can become moldy.
Step 1. Cut a very long string
You can use kitchen thread, polyester or nylon thread and calculate how much you'll need, depending on how many peppers you have to dehydrate.
Step 2. Tie the stalks together
Using the string, tie the stalks as close together as possible. You can also use a large needle and sew your stems together.
Step 3. Hang the pepper line in a well-ventilated room
Allow to dehydrate for a minimum of three weeks.
- Peppers freeze well.
- Keep the door open when dehydrating the peppers.
- If you choose to hang the peppers to dehydrate, you will need a porch or other well-ventilated place where the wind and air can flow freely.
- Drying time depends on the size of the peppers.
- When dehydrating peppers in the sun, start as early as possible to make the most of the sunlight.
- You can also dehydrate pepper seeds in the same way as peppers. You can grind the seeds in a pepper mill or blender and use them to spice up recipes or meals, just as you would use red pepper flakes.
- A food dehydrator can be used to dehydrate the peppers. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- If you place your baking sheets on the roof of your car or inside the back of a pickup truck, it can speed up the drying process. These spots tend to be hot, and the surfaces are reflective, which will heat baking sheet from the bottom to the top.