Drying Hot Peppers In A Dehydrator

WHAT'S SPECIAL

Drying peppers preserves the harvest while gaining even more flavor.

Preserving your garden bounty for the winter months is a lovely way to get a taste of summer all year long. Drying peppers is easy when you use a dehydrator, and the finished product is a soft leathery texture with a deeply warming and condensed flavor. Plus, they last forever at room temp which leaves you with more space in your freezer for other garden goodies.

What kinds of hot peppers are best for drying?

The answer is short and sweet: all hot peppers! Here are some of my favorite peppers that I’ve tried drying over the years:

  • Red Poblano aka Ancho
  • Guajillo
  • Chilhuacle Negro & Rojo
  • Cayenne
  • Jalapeno
  • Anaheim
  • Fresno

What is the benefit of drying peppers?

One of the best things about drying peppers is their ability to last room temp indefinitely. This saves so much space in your freezer and allows you to use the peppers when you want them. Plus, unlike canning or cooking, you can go do other things while the peppers dry. They’re a totally passive food preservation project. Yay!

Dried peppers can be used in soups, stews, salsas, moles, sauces and condiments. One of my favorite ways to use dried cayenne peppers is to make the absolute best red pepper chili flakes. You’ll never use store-bought chili flakes again!

You can also grind the dried peppers into spice mixes which make amazing gifts around the holidays. Some dehydrated peppers will retain their color, while others will darken in the dehydrator. Either way, they’ll be way more flavorful and vibrant looking than the ones you find at the grocery store.

How to dry hot peppers in a dehydrator

  1. Gather your hot peppers and give them a rinse and dry. Do not use any blemished peppers and give the stems a trim so they don’t get tangled in the dehydrator trays.
  2. Arrange your peppers on clean dehydrator trays. You can dehydrate peppers whole or cut into slices depending on your personal preference. Whole peppers will take longer than sliced peppers to dehydrate. I prefer to leave them whole so I can toast them in my recipes. I also enjoy the spice from the seeds.
  3. Set the dehydrator to 125 degrees and begin checking the peppers after 4 hours. Depending on the size and freshness of the pepper, this can take anywhere from 4-24 hours. Peppers are finished drying when they are leathery or brittle to the touch.

Questions about drying peppers:

What kind of dehydrator is best for drying peppers?

This is absolutely personal preference based on your budget and space. I love my Excalibur dehydrator and use it throughout the growing season.

How long does it take to dry peppers in the dehydrator?

This depends on the type of pepper and whether you are drying them sliced or whole. Check the peppers after 4 hours and add more time as needed.

How do I know when my peppers are done dehydrating?

The peppers will be leathery and brittle to the touch.

Do dried peppers lose their heat?

Dried peppers are considered hotter than fresh peppers because their flavor is more concentrated after they are dehydrated. The level of capsaicin (what produces the heat) does not change, but the water that would dilute the heat does.

Drying Hot Peppers in a Dehydrator

Drying peppers is easy when you use a dehydrator, and the finished product is a soft leathery texture with a deeply warming and condensed flavor.
Servings 0.5 lb dried peppers
Prep Time 5 mins
Dehydrating Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 5 mins

Equipment

  • 1 Food Dehydrator (see the link in this post for my favorite)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb hot peppers of your choice red poblano, cayenne, guajillo, etc.

Instructions

  • Gather your hot peppers and give them a rinse and dry. Do not use any blemished peppers and give the stems a trim so they don't get tangled in the dehydrator trays.
  • Arrange your peppers on clean dehydrator trays. You can dehydrate peppers whole or cut into slices depending on your personal preference. Whole peppers will take longer than sliced peppers to dehydrate. (I prefer to leave them whole so I can toast them in my recipes. I also enjoy the spice from the seeds).
  • Set the dehydrator to 125 degrees and begin checking the peppers after 4 hours. Depending on the size and freshness of the pepper, this can take anywhere from 4-24 hours. Peppers are finished drying when they are leathery or brittle to the touch.
Course: Savory

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @growingwithgertie on Instagram.

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