Drying chili peppers is a great way to store them for the long term. You don't want to waste any of those chili peppers picked from that huge harvest this year. Here are a few ways to dry them so they don't go to waste.
The Basic Method for Drying Chili Peppers
Wash your chili peppers thoroughly after picking to remove any dirt, then dry.
Place on a plate or a wire rack in a dry, well ventilated room. You can also string the chilies up on string or thread and hang to dry. Within several weeks, you will have dried chili peppers and you can grind them up or use them as ornaments as desired.
Oven Drying Instructions
- Wash your chili peppers thoroughly after picking to remove any dirt.
- Cut them in half, lengthwise to expose the pepper innards.
- Arrange the chili peppers over a baking sheet.
- Bake at low heat, about 100 to 135 degrees.
- There is no set time to bake the chili peppers for drying. Keep an eye on them, turning every few minutes or so. You can leave the oven door cracked for some air flow. It will take several hours with this method. Keep in the oven until the moisture has been baked out of them. Use as desired!
Drying Chili Peppers Without an Oven - Air Drying
- In this case, dry your chili peppers whole. Do not slice.
- String them together on some strong thread with a few inches between each jalapeno peppers.
- Hang the chili peppers in direct sunlight. Be sure it is dry and warm.
It can take several weeks for the jalapenos to completely dry with this method, but it'll be worth it!
Last but not least, you can also consider a food dehydrator, which is a more fool proof method of drying chili peppers.
A dehydrator is probably the easiest method for drying chili peppers. A dehydrator encloses the chili peppers and dries them overnight in soft heat. Slice them up before dehydrating for faster dehydration. You can find dehydrators in stores or online.
NOTE: This is the food dehydrator that I use. It works GREAT and I highly recommend it. It's an affiliate link, FYI: Food Dehydrator: Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator FD-75A - For dehydrating peppers and making powders.
What can you do with your dried chili peppers?
Grind them up to make your own chili powder, which is like cayenne powder, or keep them whole and use them as you might use a sun dried tomato. They can be rehydrated with hot water and go great with many recipes!
Also see: How to Rehydrate Dried Chili Peppers