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So if you’re a lover of hot peppers like me, then you’re probably in need of a better end. Freshly bought peppers don’t last very long, it only takes a couple of days before they start to wilt. Dehydrating is an excellent method in preserving your favorite fruits and vegetables. And once you’ve dried your peppers you can do anything you like with em! They can be ground into powders, or rehydrated with boiling water and plopped into soups, sauces and stews. So fear not, if you happen to have stumbled across a great deal at your local market, then grab those peppers and get preserving!

What Does Dehydrate Mean?

Dehydrating is the process of eliminating the moisture that is present within certain fruits and vegetables, in this case chili peppers will hold enough moisture to collect mold and other unpleasant microorganisms that is the result of you disposing of them quicker than you’d like.

Dehydrating or drying is the oldest and most common method of food preservation around the globe. Any type of pepper whether it is sweet or spicy can be preserved by dehydration. You’ll be pleased to know that contrary to what you may think happens to fresh fruit or vegetable when it is dried, it actually intensifies the flavours of the peppers so you can use less of it in your recipe or dish.

What Kinds Of Peppers Can You Dry?

Chili peppers and peppers are dehydrated and preserved for all sorts of things. The most commonly dried pepper for red pepper flakes is cayenne pepper, but there are others that could work too. Jalapenos, both red and green are dried and ground into a powder that can be rehydrated.

Poblano peppers are a mild red pepper that have a bit of a smoky flavour to them, that is evident when they’ve been dried and rehydrated.

Serrano peppers are commonly used in Mexico, and have a subtle heat when rinsed under hot water, which is great to add to soups, and rice.

There are several varieties of paprika peppers which are large cone-shaped peppers that range from hot to mild to smokey.

Anaheim chillies are a mildly hot seasoning when dehydrated and added to soups, providing a pleasantly hot flavour.

Sweet peppers can also be dried with good effects to be used in soups and other dishes.

Different Methods Of Dehydrating Peppers

There are a few common methods in dehydrating peppers. Drying peppers in the sun, is usually effective in hot climates, where rain isn’t a frequent visitor.

Dehydrating peppers in an oven, is another common form of preservation, and an exceptional method when done correctly, because who doesn’t own an oven at home?

A dehydrator is an electric box with a fan designed to preserve fruits and vegetables by removing their moisture, so investing in one of these magical boxes might even motivate anyone to preserve most of their fresh food. It is worth finding out what food dehydrator is best for you, in terms of space, temperature and comfort for your food.

Another form of dehydrating peppers is in an air fryer is an extremely simple way of extending the life of your favourite peppers, whether sweet or spicy.

Benefits Of Dehydrating Your Food

Aside from the obvious fact that dehydrating fresh food can save you quite a lot of money, it also creates naturally concentrated rich and delicious foods, knowing that you’re extracting the natural flavors of the peppers, as opposed to buying dehydrated food from the supermarket. And to think, all you need to do is run the machine you want to use for a few hours or days and it’ll be ready! Cook a feast for your family and enjoy the aromatic, delicate spices that scatter within your meals.

How To Dehydrate Peppers?

Dehydrating peppers through any type of method will give you the same outcome, of dried and crippled peppers that hide a beautiful hit of flavors that can only be extracted once they’ve been soaked in water. Ain’t that magical? The more common methods of drying peppers in colder climates include:

  • Dehydrator
  • Oven
  • Air Fryer

Dehydrator

Before handling your chili peppers remember to wear gloves, especially if you have sensitive skin and don’t touch any parts of your face when working with them. You’re probably wondering whether you should keep the seeds and membrane in the peppers while they dehydrate and the choice is yours. If you want your peppers to be hotter then you should keep them. Judging by the size of the pepper and the thickness of its skin, will determine how long it’ll take to dehydrate them. Larger peppers that have a higher water concentration will take longer. It’ll help with this easy rule, to start at 6 hours at 145F. Larger bell or ancho peppers can take closer to 8-10 hours.

  • Start by washing and drying your chilli peppers; choose only fresh peppers, throw any pepper that shows signs of rotting away.
  • Remove the stems and slice the thick peppers into rings, and thin peppers into half. You can leave them whole if you want, but they’ll take longer to dehydrate. Gloves are important when working with peppers, because you don’t want to get held up with burning sensations.
  • Place the peppers on the trays of the dehydrator, spread them out evenly so the heat can spread over them evenly.
  • Turn on the dehydrator at 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or whatever temperature your dehydrator recommends.
  • Dehydrating time can take 4-12 hours depending on the peppers, you can check on them, some may have dried before others, and you can remove them, placing them in an airtight container.

Oven

Whether you’ve grown your peppers yourself or brought them fresh from the market, oven drying your peppers so that they’re preserved and ready for you to use at any time of the year is a perfect way for you to save some money, and enjoy the natural flavors that are locked inside these little treasures.

  • Choose fresh peppers with no soft spots, and cut the larger peppers into little pieces so they dry quickly. Small peppers don’t need to be cut, and can be dried whole.
  • Spread the peppers out on a baking sheet, and place them in an oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the oven door open a crack to allow moisture to escape.
  • Check on the peppers every 30 minutes and rotate them, removing the ones that are dry. Depending on the size of the peppers, they typically take 1 to 2 hours to dry in the oven. The peppers are dried completely when they’re brittle.
  • Store the fully dried peppers in an airtight container away from sunlight.

Air Fryer

Dehydrating the peppers in an air fryer will give a different outcome to the dehydrator, where the dehydrator was giving your peppers a leathery, wrinkled finish, an air fryer will give your food a crispy exterior much like a deep fryer. Using a multi-purpose air fryer you’ll be able to achieve the same results as a dehydrator.

  • To dehydrate your peppers in an air fryer without cooking it, set the temperature of the air fryer at the lowest temperature setting.
  • No matter how thin the slices of the peppers are, do not stack them one over the other, instead place them next to each other, taking care that they don’t overlap so that each piece will dehydrate properly.
  • Place them on the air fryer basket and air fry them for 20 to 40 minutes.

Ways To Use Dehydrated Peppers

Dried peppers are very versatile, add them directly to soups, and they’ll rehydrate in the simmering liquid, Rehydrate dried peppers and blend them into sauces and salsas. You can blend dried peppers into flakes or powder and use it in your favorite recipes, like South Asian cuisine, which is heavily reliant on the chili pepper, infusing the meals with delicious, spine tingling spices that tie the dish together perfectly.

Rehydrate and Use In Recipes:

Start by removing the seeds because they can add a slightly bitter flavor and texture which will prevent the sauces from blending smoothly. Removing the seeds from the pepper when its dry is much easier that removing them after dehydrating. Wear gloves and use kitchen shears to snip the stems off the pepper, cut it in half, and shake out the seeds.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, and drop the dried peppers toasting them until they are fragrant for about 30 seconds on each side. Turn off the heat and then add some boiling water to the pan to drown the peppers, and let them soak until they’re rehydrated; for about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness of your peppers.

Blend Into Flakes or Powder

Most red pepper flakes and chili powder found in stores are made from cayenne and a mix of chili peppers. Some of which are stored on shelves for so long they lose their powerful flavor. When you make your own crushed red pepper flakes, you can select the flavor and heat level by using hot or mild dried chilies. pepper flakes don’t even have to be red, you can use any dried pepper for this spice, sweet or hot.

How To Make Crushed Red Pepper Flakes:

Break up the dried peppers into smaller pieces and add them to a food processor. Pulse them into small pieces, and store the crushed red pepper flakes into an airtight jar. Use red pepper flakes in spice blends, sprinkle it on pizza, add to scrambled eggs or on anything for extra flavor.

Are We Dehydrated?

Contrary to what we’ve been taught about dehydration in school, its actually great for preserving fruits and vegetables, not so much for living organisms like you and I. So whilst you’re glugging on some water, and watching your chili peppers slowly lose their moisture in your oven, think about all the wonderful flavors that are being trapped inside that crippled pepper, and how you’re going to extract those divine flavors, one pepper at a time.

FAQ’s

Can You Dehydrate Peppers In Your Oven?

Spread the peppers out on a baking sheet and place the peppers in a 150F oven, leave the door open a few inches to allow moisture to escape. Check on the peppers every 30 minutes, rotating and removing the ones that are dry.

How Long Do I dehydrate Peppers?

The peppers generally take 8 to 12 hours to dry in a dehydrator, in your oven can take 1 to 2 hours providing that you are checking, rotating and removing them every 30 minutes. 20 to 40 minutes in an air fryer.