- Why Dry Hot Peppers?
- Preparing Chile Peppers to Be Dried
- Drying in the Oven
- Drying in a Food Dehydrator
- Drying Hot Peppers Outdoors
- When They’re Dry
- “Sun Dried” Sweet Peppers
- Yields and Equivalents
- Usage notes
- How to Dry Peppers
- Drying Hot Peppers Indoors
- Drying Peppers Outdoors
- Drying Peppers in the Oven
- Drying Peppers in a Food Dehydrator
- I have dried the peppers– now what?
- Join list.
- The hottest peppers in the world shipped to you!
- Dried Chilli
- Everything worth knowing about dried chilies!
Why Dry Hot Peppers?
The main reason to learn how to dry hot peppers is simply to enable you to keep them for a long time. Peppers can last for several days to a few weeks at room temperature or in the refrigerator before they start to rot. Freezing peppers, if done right, can make them last several months, but the thawing process can be a tricky one where often you’re left with overly soft and mushy chiles. Dried chiles can last from several months to a few years if stored properly.
Removing moisture from peppers will magnify and intensify the heat, flavor, and natural sugars it contains. Dehydrated chiles pack more fiery punch and ferocity in both solid food and hot sauce recipes than fresh peppers. Plus, if you grind or crush dried peppers, you can use it as an all-purpose flavoring and seasoning for any occasion.
Preparing Chile Peppers to Be Dried
Before you start drying peppers please take the following precautions:
If you’re drying peppers indoors, keep the area well-ventilated. Warmed peppers will give off pungent fumes that are irritating to the eyes. If you have a ceiling fan, use it; or better yet, open your windows and bring in a portable fan or two to keep the air circulating and minimize the watery eyes and burned nasal passages. Take extra precautions around young children, pets, or anyone who is sensitive to spicy foods.
If possible, always wear gloves when handling hot peppers. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after touching hot peppers. Do not scratch your eyes, nose, face, or any other sensitive area of your body after handling.
Inspect each pepper before starting the drying process. Discard peppers if they have:
- Soft, mushy, or spoiled areas
- White, grayish, or diseased-looking spots
- Have a questionable or rotten odor
Wash the peppers with warm water and dry thoroughly with a cloth towel.
Remove the stems from your peppers. If you’re drying in them in your oven or food dehydrator you may wish to slice the peppers length-wise (this will allow them to dry faster). If you’re drying the peppers indoors you may want to keep them whole as it usually takes a few weeks to dry and not cutting them open helps prevent premature spoilage (but you may wish to experiment based on your regional humidity levels and temperature).
Drying in the Oven
You can dry peppers in any regular kitchen oven. It’s convenient that this method of drying can be done in just about any kitchen in the western world, but there is one big disadvantage; it may take several hours to a few days for the peppers to fully dry, depending on the size. It can also heat up your kitchen considerably if you’re drying on warm spring or hot summer day.
Simply position the peppers on a pan or cookie sheet in a single layer and place it in the oven. Set the oven to its lowest temperature setting, which is usually labeled as “WARM”, or just below 150 degrees Fahrenheit (120° to 140° is desirable). To allow moisture to escape, keep the oven door slightly open at least a couple of inches (now you know why it can make your kitchen hot). Every hour, rotate and/or flip the peppers over for even drying.
If you find peppers getting soft, brown/black, or extremely hot on the side where they touch the pan, then they’re getting cooked; you certainly don’t want this, as you’re just trying to dry these to use at a later date. To prevent this, try one of the following:
- Turn down the temperature slightly. Not all ovens are calibrated the same – some may be off by 10° or more from the “real” temperature.
- Flip the peppers over and move them around more often
- Open the oven door wider
As soon as they’re fully dry, remove from the oven and place in an air-tight container. Larger, thicker-skinned peppers will take longer to dry than smaller or thin-skinned chiles.
Drying in a Food Dehydrator
This is the quickest and easiest way to dry not just chile peppers, but just about any fruit or vegetable.
If you’re shopping for a food dehydrator online, I recommend the following things:
- Purchase a dehydrator with a motorized fan. Air that’s constantly circulating will dry your peppers faster.
- Don’t be afraid to spend a few extra bucks more to get the best. A cheap dehydrator will have a noisier motor, will take much, much longer to dry your foods, and will be more likely to break sooner. The price of a good dehydrator will start at around $60 US.
- Read online reviews to get a sense of what other people think works best for them.
What do I use? A Nesco American Harvest FD-61 Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator. It’s relatively inexpensive, has a powerful yet quiet motor (when it’s turned on in the kitchen, the dehydrator’s fan has the volume level of a microwave oven running), and dries food evenly no matter what rack it’s on. But like I said, do the research and find the right brand and model for you and your needs.
Once you have a dehydrator in your house or place of business and have it set up in a well-ventilated area, it’s time to dry your chiles. If the chiles are medium or large in size put them length-wise and place them on the dehydrator’s tray with plenty of space around each piece for good airflow. Smaller peppers (1 inch or less in length) can be left whole to dry.
If your dehydrator has a temperature setting, place it between 135 and 145 degrees. Let the chiles lay in the dehydrator for 8 to 12 hours, checking every so often to see if the smaller or thinner pieces have dried out. Larger pepper pieces may take a few additional hours to dehydrate.
You’ll notice that you’ll accumulate a lot of loose seeds on the bottom of your dehydrator. Be sure to save these either for replanting purposes or for using later in your dried chile recipes.
After complete, place your veggies in air-tight plastic bags or containers to prevent moisture from getting on them.
This is the “easiest” method of drying peppers, yet probably the most time-consuming. Place whole or sliced chile peppers single-layer in a bowl, plate, or sheet and set them in a very dry, warm, and extremely well-ventilated area with loads of sunlight. Rotate the peppers regularly and discard any that show signs of softness or spoilage. If at all possible, place your bowl or sheet outdoors when the forecast calls for hot, sunny, and dry weather (this will speed up the drying process). Within one or two weeks, you should start seeing your beloved chiles get dry and brittle.
Drying Hot Peppers Outdoors
There are a couple of different methods for drying hot peppers outdoors. One, you can dry the aforementioned way of laying them out on a sheet and placing them outside when there’s a long string of hot and sunny days. Sun-drying can be very effective if the weather cooperates and if you’ve picked a spot where you can get maximum exposure to direct sunlight. If you’ve sliced the peppers, you may wish to place a screen over the sheet or bowl to provide protection from insects.
Another good way of drying chile peppers outdoors is to hang them from a string. Grab some whole peppers with the stems still on, take a long, sharp needle, and string them together with strong thread or fishing line through their stems.Unlike decorative ristas (which clump several hanging chiles together in a tighter space), you’ll need to leave plenty of room in between peppers for proper airflow. At one end of the string, tie a small stick or wooden dowel to prevent the peppers from sliding off. Hang up your strand of peppers securely in an area where they’ll get plenty of sunlight and fresh air.
It can take up to two weeks of drying time in good weather.
When They’re Dry
Properly dried peppers should be devoid of any signs of moisture or soft “fleshiness”. Fully dried peppers can still retain a bit of flexibility in their skin – you don’t have to dry them until they’re brown, crumbling, or hard as a rock. But when in doubt, the pepper should be uniformly dry, slightly brittle, and have a tough skin.
What to do with them you’re done? You can:
- Separate them by pepper type and store them in high-quality Ziploc-type plastic bags or plastic containers. This way you’ll always have a handy supply of dried peppers to use in sauces, soups, and other dishes.
- Crush them in a food processor, blender, or spice mill and create a chile pepper seasoning.
- Give them to family and friends as unique gifts so that they can spice up their own recipes.
- Plant the seeds for a new crop of chile pepper plants.
“Sun Dried” Sweet Peppers
Sweet peppers can be dried just like tomatoes
We are still seeing bell peppers in the markets, though the season is almost done. When they are young, bell peppers are green. Red bells are vine-ripened and, as a result, are particularly sweet.
I usually blister red peppers, peel them and put them up in a marinade (which can be water bath canned—the recipe is in Well-Preserved, but there is also a recipe available on the data base, Preserving Food Safely, which uses only USDA approved recipes). But recently I was shopping on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx and saw that Teitel Brothers at 2372 Arthur Avenue (http://www.teitelbros.com/) was selling sun-dried red peppers—right next to the bins of sun-dried tomatoes.
This is an incredible product: When you add the peppers to soups, stews and sauces they lend a lovely sweetness. They also make a fabulous pesto, which I’ve used on bruschetta, tossed with spaghetti and seared scallops, and served with grilled steak. You can also use these peppers in a Romesco sauce (but you’ll want to add some heat). See my post from April 2010 for a Romesco sauce recipe.
Dried sweet peppers are actually pretty easy to do at home—they are put up the same way as sun dried tomatoes. You will have the best results with a food dryer.
“Sun-Dried” Sweet Red Peppers
Wash the peppers and cut them in half, and remove the seeds. If the peppers are very large, cut them in quarters lengthwise.
Place the peppers on trays in the food dryer. Set the temperature to 120 degrees and dry for 24 hours. The peppers should be leathery.
Place the dried peppers in a large jar and shake them up every day for about a week. This distributes the moisture—the 10 to 20% that remains–throughout the food.
Keep the peppers in jars in the pantry or in the fridge, or covered in olive oil in the fridge. Food stored at 52 degrees will last two to three times as long as dried foods stored at 70 degrees.
If you want to use your oven, the peppers can be laid directly on the oven racks, or a finer rack can be inserted. Most ovens don’t go below 200 degrees, so set to 200, or whatever the lowest option is, and open the door. Or, if you have a warm feature, use that. Turn on the convection feature if you have one, to move around the air. You will need to use an oven thermometer to determine whether your oven is too hot. 140 degrees is your goal. (Note, its okay for the oven to run hotter than the dehydrator.) The peppers should take 12 to 18 hours to dry, but remember, oven drying is less dependable that using an electric dehydrator.
I recommend you put up dried foods in small packages or jars because if there is any spoilage then at least only a small percentage will spoil. In general, dried foods last about one year.
Sun Dried Sweet pepper pesto, ready to process
“Sun-Dried” Pepper Pesto
Makes 1 cup
1 cup packed “sun dried” peppers
2 small garlic cloves
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
¼ cup blanched and skinned almonds
About 4 tablespoons or more light olive oil (see Note)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse to grind. You can make the pesto a bit grainy or process to a smooth puree. Taste to adjust seasoning, and have fun with the ingredients. If you want more garlic, add it. If you crave a little tartness, add a squeeze of lemon. You may need to add more olive oil, but if the pesto seems dry, I would recommend instead a bit of warm chicken stock or water.
Pack the pesto into a sterilized half pint jar (to sterilize, place the jar, lid and band in a pot of water and boil for 10 minutes at sea level, adding 1 minute for every 1000 feet altitude). Cover with a prophylactic of light olive oil and refrigerate. Holds for about a week.
Note: I don’t prefer extra virgin olive oil in this pesto: it’s too rich, but it is certainly okay to use if you like!
On another subject, I will be preparing a mushroom tasting at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on November 9. The speaker is Gary Lincoff, an incredibly knowledgeable guy who is known as the “Woody Allen of Mycology.” I am going to prepare marinated maitake with scallops, chicken canzanese with morels, and cheesecake bars with candy cap syrup. Here is the link: http://www.amnh.org/calendar/event/Wild-Mushroom-Harvest:-Foraging-Local-Woods-and-Markets/
You use dried sweet peppers as a flavouring / seasoning element in dishes.
Dried green bell peppers have a mild zippy taste to them; dried red bell peppers have a sweeter taste.
See also: Canning peppers, Green pepper powder
Yields and Equivalents
1 tablespoon dried chopped sweet pepper = 3 tablespoons fresh chopped sweet peppers
1 cup dried chopped sweet pepper = 70 g / 2 oz
1 bell pepper = 1/4 cup dried bell pepper flakes (SETP, 2014, page 364)
Here we compare directions from three different sources.
Ball Blue Book
Preparation: Wash, remove stem and seeds, dice.
Temperature: 125 F / 52 C
Time: Until leathery
Notes: “Choose any well-shaped bell pepper.”
Water content: 93%. (Used if doing a Dehydration Weight Test.)
Reference: Ball Blue Book, 37th edition, 2014. Page 167.
Note: Ball All New (2016) says “Cut into 1/4 inch (.5 cm) wide strips.” (Page 340)
Preparation: Remove the stems, seeds and white sections, then wash and dry the peppers. Cut into 1/4 ” strips or rings, or chop in a blender.” Presoak if desired.
Blanching: Pretreatment is not necessary, however, you can soak in 1 teaspoon sodium bisulfite per cup water.”
Temperature: 125 F / 52 C
Time: 4 to 8 hours until leathery.
Notes: “Select fresh well-formed peppers that have thick walls. Good drying peppers include California Wonder, Merimack Wonder, Oakview Wonder, and Big Bertha.”
Reference: Excalibur. Preserve it naturally. 4th edition, 2012. Page 26 and 58.
So Easy To Preserve
Preparation: Wash, stem, core. Remove “partitions.” Cut into disks about 3/8 by 3/8 inch.”
Temperature: 140 F / 60 C
Drying time: 8 to 12 hours
Reference: So Easy To Preserve. 6th Edition. 2014. Page 350.
Let the dehydrated product cool completely to room temperature before packing it into storage containers.
Watch the sealed containers for the first few days for any sign of condensation. If condensation occurs, dehydrate a bit more.
Label jar with name of product and date. Store away from heat and direct light.
Use in soups, stews, casseroles, pasta sauces, rice dishes, etc.
Or, grind up and use as a spice.
Cover with cold water and soak 30 to 90 minutes, or cover with boiling water and soak 20 to 60 minutes. After soaking, simmer until tender.” P. Kendall, P. DiPersio and J. Sofos. Drying Vegetables. Colorado State University Cooperative Extension. Publication no. 9.308. July 2004. Page 2
When adding to a dish with lots of liquid, there’s no need to rehydrate in advance: just add about 15 to 20 minutes before the end of cooking time.
When using ground as a spice, no need to rehydrate.
I’m laughing as I write this, because I’m about to confess that a sale on bell peppers made my week. I was so excited to see a great price for the first time in a year. I picked a bunch of them up just to dehydrate. This is 16 large bell peppers being prepped for the dehydrator. I had no idea what to expect with regards to how well they would rehydrate, so I cut them several different ways.
Finely diced, medium 1/2″ or smaller dice, matchsticks, and my favorite size 3/4″-1″ pieces. The smaller pieces were completely dry overnight, approximately 9 hours at 125 degrees. The larger ones took another couple of hours to completely dry out.
I poured the dehydrated pepper pieces into jars and was amazed once again by how much smaller everything is now. The tiny jar on the top right contains three peppers worth of finely diced pieces.
I was anxious to see how they would rehydrate, so I used some of them in our dinner tonight. This is one tablespoon of finely diced and then dried bell peppers. I poured boiling water over the pieces and then let them soak in that for about 20 minutes.
Once the pieces were soft, I drained the water and this was the result. Perfectly rehydrated pieces of bell pepper. I tasted one of them and it was perfect. The flavor was the same, the texture was softer of course, but they worked great with our dinner.
I’m looking forward to trying the other dehydrated sizes soon. In the meantime, I am headed back to the store for more peppers to dehydrate.
How to Dry Peppers
As the pepper season winds down, many wonder how best to preserve their harvest.
Dry peppers can last from several months to a few years if stored properly. Just note that thinner skinned peppers are better for drying. Below I offer several ways you can dry your peppers along with ideas of what do to with them once dried.
Before drying your peppers, always wash them with warm water and dry thoroughly with a towel.
Drying Hot Peppers Indoors
This is my preferred method just because it’s simple and I grow a lot of small, thin-skinned red peppers like Pequin, Tabasco, Thai Peppers and Firecracker Cayennes. The photo above is from the latest harvest from some of those plants. I dried and then coarsely blended these into some REALLY hot red pepper flakes. 🔥
If you’re not really in a big hurry for your dried peppers, just place whole or sliced chile peppers, single-layer, on a plate or baking sheet and set them in a very dry, warm area with loads of sunlight. Under a window should work best. If your peppers are a little larger, place them on a cooling rack while drying so they have air circulation all around. These peppers can also be moved outside to bask in the sun for a bit on hot and sunny days.
I only dry small peppers with thin flesh, and I cover mine with a paper towel just so they don’t get dusty. If drying larger peppers, I cut off the stems to expose the inside to allow the pepper to dry out more quickly.
Thicker skinned peppers (like Jalapeños) have a greater chance of rotting before drying out. For these types of peppers, you can slice them in half. Be sure to rotate the peppers regularly and discard any that show signs of softness or spoilage. Within a week or two, your peppers should get dry and brittle.
Drying Peppers Outdoors
Similar to drying indoors, place whole or sliced chile peppers single-layer on a plate or baking sheet and set them outside when you have consistent hot and sunny days. Make sure they are in an area that gets lots of sunlight. If you’ve sliced the peppers, you can place a screen over the sheet or plate to keep out insects.
You can also make a strand of peppers by hanging them from a string. Start with whole peppers with stems still on. Thin-skinned peppers work best. Take a long needle and, using a strong thread or fishing line, string them together through the stems. Keep about an inch or so between each pepper for airflow. Tie a toothpick or small stick on each end to keep the peppers from sliding off. Hang them horizonally in an area that receives lots of sunlight and fresh air.
Drying Peppers in the Oven
For a quicker method, you can dry your peppers in the oven. The peppers may take several hours to fully dry, depending on the size. Larger, thicker-skinned peppers will take longer to dry than smaller or thin-skinned chiles. Cut your peppers in half or quarters so the flesh is open and dries out faster. Place the peppers seed side up on a parchment-lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake at 125 degrees F (or your lowest setting) for several hours. To allow moisture to escape, keep the oven door slightly open at least a couple of inches. Every hour, rotate and/or flip the peppers over for even drying. Keep a very close eye on them and remove those that are well dried. Also do your best to keep thee peppers from burning. If you find peppers getting soft, brown-to-black, or extremely hot on the side where they touch the pan, then they’re getting cooked. and you’re trying to avoid this.
Drying Peppers in a Food Dehydrator
This is the quickest and easiest way to dry hot chile peppers if you have a food dehydrator. If your peppers are medium or large in size cut them length-wise and place them on the dehydrator’s tray with plenty of space around each piece for good airflow. Smaller peppers (1 inch or less in length) can be left whole to dry.
If your dehydrator has a temperature setting, place it between 135 and 145 degrees. Let the chiles lay in the dehydrator for 8 to 12 hours, checking every so often to see if the smaller or thinner pieces have dried out. Larger pepper pieces may take a few additional hours to dehydrate. The peppers are done once they dry and become brittle.
I have dried the peppers– now what?
There are many uses for your dried peppers!
- Finely grind any dried hot pepper into a powder using a food processor, blender, coffee grinder, or spice mill.
- Coarsely grind dried red peppers into red pepper flakes. So much hotter and more flavorful than store bought pepper flakes!
- Store them in a Ziplock bag. You can rehydrate peppers or used them dried in any recipe.
- Create your own spice blend to give to family and friends as gifts so that they can spice up their own recipes!
One of the great aspects of chilies is their versatility. They can be used and preserved in many ways.
There are many methods for preserving the peppers that include everything from pickling to freezing.
But for the best long term preservation, dehydration is the preferred method. The following information provides tips and trick on how to dehydrate chili peppers, for maximum use and safe storage.
Chili peppers can be dehydrated by hanging them outside, drying them slowly in a low-temperature oven, or in a food dehydrator.
However, using a food dehydrator is the best method for several reasons. Chilies that are hung outside will often not dehydrate evenly, especially in very humid climates, and they can be ruined by mold and mildew.
Although placing them in an oven at a low temperature will dry them, this method often tends to cook them instead, which can easily turn the flesh a dark color. A good electric food dehydrator will assure that the peppers are dried evenly, and that the flesh retains its natural color.
Before dehydrating the chili peppers, there are several things to keep in mind. First and foremost, handle them very carefully – especially the hotter varieties! Wash your hands often during handling, and never place your hands near your nose or eyes after cutting.
Pepper spray is made from the essence of hot chilies, and their natural juices can have the same effect on your nose, eyes, and throat.
Second, keep in mind that green chilies do not dehydrate well. They turn black instead, and rot easily during the drying process. The only good way to dry the green fruit is by using the pasado technique, which involves roasting on a grill and removing the flesh.
Before preparing the peppers for dehydration, sort through them and remove any with black spots, as these will usually become moldy or rot even after dehydration. Always wash the peppers thoroughly when you’re preparing them.
Your peppers need to be sliced in half or into thin strips before dehydrating.
All chilies must be cut in half or cut into strips for proper dehydration. Leaving the stems, pith, and seeds in place is a matter of personal choice. Keeping the seeds will result in a hotter finished product.
Set the temperature on the dehydrator to between 113 and 122°F, and preheat for about ten minutes. Always place the peppers inside-up on the tray.
The length of drying time will vary based on many factors. These include the amount and type of chilies you are drying, external temperatures and humidity levels, the altitude of the area in which you live, and the power of the dehydrator.
Don’t worry that you will dry them too long. Dehydrating is a slow process. It normally takes at least eight hours for most varieties to dehydrate. You will know they are dried when they snap instead of bending with a rubbery feel.
You should be able to find more information on drying times and proper temperature settings in the instruction manual that came with your dehydrator.
After the chilies are dried, they are best stored in airtight containers, placed away from direct sunlight. Adding oxygen absorbers and dessicant packets can help to preserve them even longer.
It is important to keep dried peppers away from moisture and sunlight, as both of these elements can shorten shelf life. A good spice rack that’s built to keep these out, or that’s kept in a dark, cool drawer or cabinet can help. Check out Foodal’s review of the best models.
Unless you intend to freeze them, do not store dried peppers in plastic bags. Most of these will allow oxygen to pass through, which will break down the dried fruit very quickly, due to oxidation. Mylar is a better alternative, or try sealing them in Mason jars.
The dried peppers can be used whole, cut into smaller pieces, or ground into a powder using a spice grinder (NOT your good burr coffee grinder) or a food processor like one of these.
Again, a word of warning – if you grind them, be very careful when handling the powder, and make sure the grinder has a secure lid in place before grinding begins. It can be easy to burn your eyes or nose if mishandled – or to add too much spice to a meal.
For the hotter varieties, it is best to wear gloves when handling the powder.
To reconstitute dried chilies, soak them in hot water for at least ten minutes.
Share your favorite spicy chili recipes with us in the comments! And be sure to check out Foodal’s Utlimate Guide to Herbs and Spices for more tasty seasoning ideas.
About Lynne Jaques
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!
We’re at the end of summer, when the bounty of the season is in full swing. Time to start preserving the harvest in any and every way. Canning and freezing are the most common ways to do this, but don’t forget about dehydrating! This is a simple and effective way to preserve food for storage, whether it be for the short or long term. Sweet bell peppers from the garden are a treat, and they are also one of the easiest veggies to dry. Here’s how to dehydrate peppers for food storage.
The best part about dehydrating is that you can take a huge amount of produce and reduce it down to a very small container, with all of the vitamins and minerals still intact. When you’re ready to use the dehydrated veggies, just add hot water to rehydrate. They won’t have quite the same consistency as when fresh, but can still be used for many things, such as soups, stews, pasta or rice meals. They also can be combined with other dried ingredients to make meals for camping or backpacking, or just for storing in your pantry. Peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms and tomatoes all dehydrate very well, as do most fruits.For the peppers, the first step is to dice them into relatively uniformly sized pieces.This is a great time to think about saving your seeds for next years planting.Spread your pepper pieces in a single layer on a dehydrator tray.When choosing dehydrators, I more than highly recommend the Excalibur Dehydrator. Definitely go for the 9 tray model as it can do so much more at once. I also use mine for many different applications besides simply drying veggies and fruits such as zucchini chips and apples, making yogurt, drying medicinal herbs, making infused oils, and making homemade tempeh. I love my dehydrator and have never been disappointed in my purchase!
Put the tray in your dehydrator…
And then repeat until you’ve used up all the peppers!Push the trays all the way in and put the cover on.Dehydrate the peppers at 125°F for 12-24 hours. It took about 18 hours for mine to be fully dehydrated, but it will depend on the heat and humidity in your location, and also how juicy your peppers are to begin with.They shrink down quite a bit! Make sure they are completely dry and do not have any softness to them whatsoever, especially if you are using them for long term food storage.All of those peppers I started with turned into one fully stuffed quart of dried peppers. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me!Perfect for putting in your pantry and grabbing a handful here and there as needed.
It’s so nice to be able to eat your homegrown veggies year round! I like to mix together dried veggies with couscous in a jar and keep it in the pantry for a quick meal. All you have to do it add hot water and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. Add a little olive oil, seasonings of your choice, and protein (can be leftovers or even a can of tuna) and you’ve got an easy dinner! Not to mention it makes a great gift in a jar.
Time to add dehydrating as one of your food preservation methods, you won’t regret it!
Having trouble finding dried chilies in your area? No problem!
Luckily you’ve got plenty of online options to ensure you’ve got everything you need for that mouth-watering recipe that’s been on your mind.
The only downside to buying online is you can’t give the chiles a squeeze before buying them! You want the ones that are soft and squishy — if they are hard or brittle then they are past their prime. Luckily most vendors know this and I’d say well over 90 percent of the chilis I’ve bought online were high quality, so don’t worry about this too much.
First up, of course, is Amazon. I’ve had good success with this Ole Mission brand on Amazon lately:
Those are Chipotle Morita chiles that were around 18 bucks for a single pound.
Ole Mission also offers:
Chile de Arbols
For reference, the single pound bag of Moritas had 50+ chiles inside, but keep in mind that this varies greatly dependent on chile size, i.e. Moritas and Chile de Arbols are small, Anchos and Guajillos are large.
The other brand I’ve had success with on Amazon is Casa Ruiz:
They have similar pricing to Ole Mission, and in addition to the more common chiles they also offer:
Chipotle Meco chiles
Pasilla Negro chiles
Both of these companies will offer various package sizes to choose from, with 4 oz., 8 oz, and 1 lb. being the most common choices.
Be sure to doublecheck this when ordering because a 4 oz. bag of Chile de Arbols is usually plenty because they are so small, but a 4 oz. bag of Anchos is sometimes disappointing. I’m in the habit of buying everything by the pound because dried chiles store so well. Keep them in a bag or airtight container in the pantry and they will keep for months at a time.
Chile Guy is another good source for dried chilis online. They offer cheaper prices and they carry some of the less common dried chiles like Habanero, Mulato, Ghost, Pequin, and Pasilla de Oaxaca.
I just wish they would update that website to make ordering a little easier on the eyes!
Spices Inc. is another online option I will occasionally check on. In addition to Mexican dried chiles, they also carry chiles that are used in Asian and Indian cuisines.
Note that they also sell chili powders and chili flakes, so be sure to select whole chiles if you purchase from them (also sometimes referred to as chilipods).
And last, here’s a link to chiles on MexGrocer:
MexGrocer dried chiles
Although the dried chile prices are a little more expensive on MexGrocer, they also sell loads of other Mexican cooking ingredients, so it can be a good one stop shop if you need to stock up.
Okay I hope this article was helpful! Feel free to get in touch if you have questions about any of these sources. You can find just about anything online these days so don’t sweat it if your area is lacking in Mexican ingredients!
P.S. Got chiles in the house and not sure how to use them? For some helpful info on working with dried chiles see here.
We also have some helpful ingredient pages on the individual chiles if you want to know more about them before purchasing. Here are links to dried chile pages on this site:
Chiles de Arbol
Pasilla de Oaxaca
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*Article Update*. Unfortunately PeppersByMail is no longer shipping hot peppers. Instead, check out my “Where to purchase fresh or frozen peppers online” article. It lists many online retailers that offer fresh peppers.
Here’s what I’ve found to be the perfect: Order fresh hot peppers from PeppersByMail.com.
PeppersByMail.com offers some of the hottest peppers out there, delivered right to your door. Popular ones like the Carolina Reaper. 7 Pot Brain Strain and 7 Pot Primos. Chocolate Bhutlah, Red Savina, and the exotic-sounding Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. And, of course, the always popular Ghost Pepper.
Any heat-loving chef will likely find something for any spice-fueled meal.
About Peppers By Mail: Peppers by Mail is a small family owned and operated business located in the rolling hills of Kentucky. Quantities are limited, and seasonal, so order quickly. Learn more about the family that grows these peppers.
When are Fresh Peppers available?
Generally, a few peppers breeds become ripe in mid-July, with more availability over the summer and into the fall. Full boxes of individual peppers typically become available at the first of August. By the first of September they usually have full boxes coming in each morning.
These are often offered as mixed boxes, like sampler packs.
All Prices Include Shipping to US Destinations.
Check out their site for more information on current offerings: peppersbymail.com
Everything worth knowing about dried chilies!
In the following article, learn everything important about the little agitators. Why are they so spicy and what can you use them for? These and other questions will be explained in the following paragraphs.
The dried pods are really fiery hot!
In the process of drying, of course, the water content in the chilies is reduced. Although this is not new knowledge, this point is important, as it is the reason to why the dried fruits are much hotter than the fresh ones. On our scale of heat for the dried pods, reach all values in the upper third of the scale. You should always be aware of this when working with dried chilies in the kitchen, so that your dish does not trick you. Because, even if spicy food definitely has positive effects on the organism, you do not want to overdo it.
Many varieties can be preserved this way!
Originally, the method of drying was solely meant for preservation. Once again, water is the deciding factor. The moister a food is, the faster it can spoil. The dried chilies have therefore a much longer shelf life than the freshly harvested pods do. Even today, drying is a widespread way to preserve foods of all kinds for longer keeping. However, the drying process is not just for preservation alone, it is often only the first step on the way to the final spice.
How can you use the pods in the kitchen?
The dried pods can be used in many ways. Among other things, they can of course be crushed with a knife or a so-called Cruncher, in order to spice up any desired meal. With soups or stews you do not have to do this work, you can also cook the chilies as a whole. Depending on how hot you want the food to be, you must either leave the pod in the mix or remove the pod sooner or later. Many traditional recipes require immersion in water before the pods are consumed. This serves primarily to the consistency. With these dried chilies, you can also easily produce your own chilli oil by putting the spicy pods in vegetable oil. You can then use this flavored oil at will, for example, for frying or as a basis for a hot dressing in the kitchen. You can also process the dried chilies perfectly to make your own chilli powder. Make the hot spice yourself, so that you can spice up all sorts of dishes with it – you only need a mortar and the pods. This method even has one decisive advantage: you can decide how fine or coarse your own chilli powder should be. However, you can achieve a particularly fine result by crushing the dried chilies in an electric mill instead of in a mortar. To achieve an even more intense flavor, you can briefly roast the dried pods in the oven on both sides. However, if you roast the chilies too long, bitter substances are released. The result would be pods that taste way too bitter. Of course, you have to be careful, in case of both of the methods that there are no stems left on the pods. Furthermore, you should keep in mind that after you have crushed the fiery pods, you should always clean the utensils very thoroughly before other foods come into contact with it. We have summarized the previous points once more clearly for you:
- Dried chilli can be crushed with a knife.
- The pods can also be cooked as a whole.
- With the mortar or a mill fine powder can be produced.
- For a more intense flavor you can roast the pods briefly.
What else is important?
When storing, it should be noted that the pods need little light, little moisture and a cool place. Unfortunately, when dealing with the really hot chilies it can also come to discomfort and burns. It is therefore always advisable to wear gloves during processing. If, however, something of the capsaicin literally catches your eye, you must immediately wipe the affected area with oil. In no case may you use water for the first aid, which would only intensify the burning. Not only the hands and the face are vulnerable zones, but also the respiratory tract. The fine dust, which is produced, for example, during the crushing of the dried chilies, must under no circumstances be inhaled. What you should pay attention to when dealing with dried chilies, is again in the following summary:
- The pods must be stored in dark, dry and cool places.
- Gloves should be worn during processing.
- If it comes to burns – oil helps, not water!
- Also, the dust, for example, when crushing, can be dangerous, so better not breathe it in!
Where are the dried pods available?
Dried chilies are relatively hard to find, at least in our latitudes. Not every delicatessen carries these fiery specialties. The World Wide Web offers in this day and age the best conditions to find the dried chilies. Of course, we do not want to deprive you of the spicy pleasure that the dried pods have to offer. In our Pepperworld Hot Shop you will find a large selection of different varieties, all of which are dried with a lot of love. In addition to the pods themselves, you will also find the right accessories there, such as the Chilli Cruncher.
What’s the fiery conclusion?
The dried chilies are, due to their low water content, significantly hotter than the fresh pods. In the kitchen, the small fire pods can be used in many different ways. Whether whole or in oil, the possibilities are really diverse. From the dried chilies you can also, without much effort, produce your own chilli powder. Since the procedure of drying is traditionally a shelf-life method, many varieties of chilli are processed this way. In use, it is advisable to wear gloves during work. Unfortunately, these hot varieties cannot be bought anywhere, or rather fortunately! That’s why we can exclusively offer you a great selection of dried chilli products and the corresponding kitchen utensils. Check out our Pepperworld Hot Shop and have a look around.