Drying: Hot Peppers

Dehydrating hot peppers was a very simple process minus one small factor.  Hot peppers contain capsaicin.  This is what is in the peppers that makes them hot.  When you are cutting the peppers, DO NOT touch your eyes without scrubbing your hands first.  You may know this already, but do you also know that when you dehydrate the peppers the fumes can burn as well?  Move your dehydrator to a very well ventilated area, even outside, before you start.  That being said, the rest is really basic.  Cut your peppers up and remove the seeds.  Lay them out nicely, not overlapping, on the dehydrator sheet.  I set mine to about 110 degrees and it took somewhere around 12-14 hours.  You can turn the heat higher and it won’t take as long, but I prefer to use a lower heat.  The reason being that at a lower temperature you kill less of the good stuff, like enzymes, in your peppers or any vegetables or fruits for that matter.  I’m not sure this works with meat as well, so do your research before trying the low temperature on meat.  When they are nice and dry, store them in an air tight container, preferably a glass jar.  That’s all there is to it.

What do you do with hot dry peppers?  I was wondering that myself and so I did some looking around online to see if people actually stored hot peppers this way.  Lots of people do apparently.  Dried hot peppers make an excellent spice.  Depending on what kind of peppers you dry, you can make things like chili powder or crushed red pepper to season your meals.  Never have to buy these spices from the store again!

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You inspired me to get a food dehydrator! I do not eat much meat so dehydrating meat was never a desire, BUT I have tons of hot peppers that I want to preserve. This would be perfect and I could use the dehydrator for my herbs too. Thanks for sharing and getting me to move forward on this.

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