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Don’t you find it frustrating, having to pop out of the house and run down to the shop to buy a single pepper for your soup or stir fry? Preserving these gorgeous gems seems like a myth, but trust me it’ll be the best choice you ever made.
As well as green peppers, most fruits and vegetables can be dehydrated as well, such as onions, garlic, mushrooms and tomatoes, just splash some water to rehydrate! Although I will say that the dehydrated fruits and vegetables will not have the same consistency as they did when they were bright and fresh, but they’re perfect for adding to stews, pasta or stir-fry meals.
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What Are The Different Methods Of Drying Peppers?
There are many methods that you can use to dry your peppers, it all relies on the one that works out perfectly for you, knowing that you’ll do the same next time with your other vegetables. You can dehydrate your peppers by placing them beneath the hot rays of the sun, using an air fryer, or your very own oven. Most people prefer to layout their sliced peppers on a dehydrator, which is fantastic, but an oven, the sun or an air fryer can work just as well.
What Kinds Of Peppers Can You Dry?
Peppers are dried or dehydrated for all sorts of use, sometimes you’d rather buy a good bunch of peppers instead of running out of the house every time you need them to cook a stew or pasta dish. This is why the process of drying the peppers is a wonderful way of preserving them so that you can use them whenever you like and don’t worry, though their shrivelled appearance may seem daunting, they are still loaded with the perfect amount of flavour.
Let’s take a look at the types of peppers that can be dehydrated:
- Poblano Peppers
- Cayenne Pepper
- Bell Peppers
If you love the flavours and zingy kick of jalapenos but want the consistency of a bell pepper, then dark triangular-shaped poblano peppers are calling your name. Drying these peppers will make them last longer so that you can stop stressing about the absence of peppers in your home!
To dehydrate these peppers start by washing the peppers to clean out the dirt and dust that rests on them, then dry them with a kitchen towel. Take a fishing line and add your peppers to the wire, one by one, you can thread them on with a needle or simply attach them with a peg.
Hang them on a humidity free place, like a sunny window or in a cabinet or pantry. Wait a few weeks for the peppers to dry completely, and then you’ll notice the colour of the poblano peppers beginning to change from green to red, then wrinkly in texture.
You can store these dried peppers in a glass jar with a tightly sealed lid or an airtight container, that’ll help keep the flavours strong and intact for a longer period of time. You can comfortably use these perfectly dried peppers in your food like soups, stews, pastas and rice for up to 6 months.
This is one of the popular types of peppers that is used for crushed pepper flakes, after the cayenne pepper has been dried they are ground into cayenne chilli powder, or rehydrated and used in recipes.
To dehydrate these peppers make sure the outdoor temperatures reach above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Slit the small cayenne peppers and cut the large peppers into half lengthwise.
Place the peppers one layer deep on a screen or drying rack, and cover them with netting or a cheesecloth to keep them safe from creepy crawlies. Bring the peppers indoors once the sun sets, and repeat this process for several days until they have shrivelled up and dried completely.
Sweet peppers like these of every shape and colour can be dried too, they can be cut into small diced pieces, making it easy to grab a handful when you want to chuck them into soups or stews. These peppers can be dehydrated in the oven for about 8 to 72 hours at 52 degrees Celsius.
First wash the peppers thoroughly, then slice them in half and remove the seeds and innards, dice these sweet peppers into little cubes, and place them on some paper towels so that their natural wetness can be eliminated.
Set your oven to its lowest temperature, and place the diced bell peppers on to some parchment covered cooking racks, let the door of the oven stay ajar slightly so that the moisture can escape through the gap. Watch the peppers closely so that they don’t burn.
Dehydrating Chilli Peppers In The Sun
Chilli peppers are a little different compared to bell peppers or green peppers, for starters they sting your tongue in a terrific way, and you can use them for added spicy flavours in your foods, whether it is thrown into a soup, or added to South Asian dishes like biryani, the choice is yours.
Here are a couple of ways that you can sun dry your chilli peppers:
- String Hang Drying
- Sun Drying
String Hang Drying
Like the name suggests, to preserve your chilli peppers, hang them on a string that is tightly secured outside where the sun is most likely going to hit towards, throughout most of the day, as this will be our sole source of heat. You will need some pegs to attach the tops of the chilli peppers to the thread, maintaining about an inch of a distance between each pepper. This will allow proper circulation of air for each of the peppers, ensuring that they all dehydrate and shrink at roughly the same pace.
Give the chilli peppers about 1 to 3 weeks and they should have shrivelled and crisped enough to be almost perfect. Just make sure that there are no squishy, juicy areas on the pepper and start to detach them from the string, placing them in an air-tight container. These dried chilli peppers can be preserved at room temperature for up to 6 months, please do keep in mind that this method of dehydrating chilli peppers only works in relatively warm climates, one where sunshine and warmth is promised for 3 to 4 weeks.
If your sole source of heat that you intend to use for drying chilli peppers is the sun, then make sure the weather is sweltering, because in moist climates these peppers will only go bad and lose their flavour which is not what we want.
Cover your chilli peppers in a little oil; lay your peppers on a tray, ensuring that there is enough space between them, and cover them with a mesh or thin towel, then take them to dry in the sun. Turn the peppers every few days so that each pepper equally absorbs enough sunlight. In 1 to 2 weeks the peppers should have dried up completely, fetch them and store them in an air-tight container, storing them in an area void of moisture, so that you can use them for up to a year.
How To Rehydrate The Peppers
To bring your shrivelled and wrinkled peppers back to life, simply place the peppers in a bowl, and pour boiling water over them, making sure that their drowning in the water, before covering them. Let them sit for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your peppers, then remove the water and use them in your simmering dishes. The water used to rehydrate the peppers can be used in your dishes that you’re cooking as well, as it will have useful flavours floating around that’ll make your food taste impeccable.
Although we can more than happily jump into the car, or run to the nearest corner shop to buy a couple peppers to drop into your stews, soups or pastas, it is more useful to dehydrate a large quantity of peppers so that you can simply walk to your cupboard or pantry to retrieve your preserved peppers, that’ll only need a bit of magical boiling water to have the, full and slightly juicy again.
Do Bell Peppers Need To Be Blanched Before Dehydrating?
Luckily for all the little chefs out there, bell peppers are one of the easiest fruits to preserve before dehydrating. They don’t need to be blanched, just wash them thoroughly and de-seed each of the peppers, then cut them into thin strips and and place them on dehydrator sheets, for 12 to 24 hours at 125 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Long Does It Take To Dehydrate Bell Peppers?
Bell peppers can take up to 4 to 12 hours depending on the process you choose to dehydrate them. If you’re planning to dry the peppers in a dehydrator them set the temperature to 125 to 135 degrees F. But if you choose to dehydrate the bell peppers in the oven, then set the temperature to 52 degrees C and give them 8 to 72 hours.
Is It Better To Freeze Or Dehydrate Green Peppers?
Freezing the peppers is a good way to preserve them, but the only downside to this preservation method, is that they are not as juicy when thawed and added to your stew, soup or pasta. Whereas dehydrating green peppers is the process of removing the moisture in vegetables so that mould and yeast can stay far away from your food, and once they’ve been rehydrated they still taste delicious, perfect for your meal.