o How Do You Dry Peppers?

This is a thread cut & pasted into the FAQs.

Drying peppers for later use

Posted by Cathy123 z5 IL (My Page) on Mon, Aug 5, 02 at 11:17

 

I am growing Serrano and Cayenne peppers this year for the first time. I am mainly growing them to feed to my parrot--he LOVES peppers, especially the seeds.

Are there any quick and dirty instructions for how to dry peppers? Is there a certain way whole dried peppers should be stored? I'd like to save some of the harvest this way so I can give my bird some home-grown peppers during the winter.

Thanks for your help!

 

 

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Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: Taba z5b MO (My Page) on Mon, Aug 5, 02 at 16:51

Lucky bird!

I've only dried Habaneros and Jalapenos, but I imagine it would be the same process. I use a dehydrator.

I haven't tried drying whole because I grind them afterwards for spice mixes. I cut off tops, slice in half, remove seeds and placenta, then place in a single layer on the dehydrator screens.

It takes a couple of days to dry completely and it fills the house with pungent odor, so consider doing it in a well-ventilated area. Also make sure that they are completely dry - any moisture left will encourage mold during storage. I put the dried halves in a big freezer ziploc, and take them out when I need to grind more.

There may be a better way - this is just how I have been doing it.

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Mon, Aug 5, 02 at 17:36

Cathy123,

Would your parrot eat frozen peppers? Just a thought. A lot easier than drying. I often throw throw peppers in a ziploc freezer bag for use in soups and stews later. (I also dry a lot)

JohnT

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: Cathy123 z5 IL (My Page) on Mon, Aug 5, 02 at 17:49

He might eat frozen peppers, I've never tried giving them to him. His favorite parts of the peppers are the seeds and the stem--I'd like to find a method drying/freezing/preserving the peppers that keeps those intact.

My father-in-law has a dehydrator, maybe he'd let me use it while visiting. Although he HATES hot stuff and would probably abhor the aroma of drying peppers. Hmm...

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: Scribz z5 OH (My Page) on Mon, Aug 5, 02 at 18:11

Abhor, maybe not, but if you dry any quantity of hot peppers indoors, be prepared to fill your home with eye-burning, chest grabbing, cough and sneeze provoking fumes. Been there, done that. Recommend doing your drying out on the picnic table, patio or deck, especially if you dry habs.

I have a yellow head Amazon, 17 yrs. old, hand-raised as a chick. Thinks he's a human, and eats hot peppers without even blinking. I planted some seeds from the peppers in his food, and they are really nice plants. Anyone want a tempermental , messy animal that gets noisier every year and sings opera?? I would trade him for a set of front and rear bumpers for a '70 Karmann Ghia... :).... just kidding, I guess.

It is amazing that they don't seem to mind the pepper juice.

Scribz

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Mon, Aug 5, 02 at 18:12

I save most of my chiles as ground powder.

I cut most of my pods in 1/2 for dehydrating. When I am done most of the seeds are on the dehydrator tray.

If you want just seeds and stems, I am sure there are a lot of folks that would send some..

Most of us just compost that stuff.

Byron

 

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Mon, Aug 5, 02 at 19:24

>>If you want just seeds and stems, I am sure there are a lot of folks that would send some..<<

Chorus: "Those stems and seeds that we don't need...." Hmmm, sounds like an old Cheech & Chong song.

I would think that the Cayenne peppers would air dry nicely.

JohnT

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: Taba z5b MO (My Page) on Mon, Aug 5, 02 at 23:30

>>It is amazing that they don't seem to mind the pepper juice<<

Scribz (and Cathy) - Capsaicin is actually good for birds. Helps combat intestinal lesions in parrots and mackaws according to this article. Vitamin A in peppers brightens the birds’ plumage according to this DeWitt article. I don't have birds but know several people with parrots and mackaws.

I second Scribz' recommendation for dehydrating outside.

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: rossjm 5b Elkhart (My Page) on Tue, Sep 3, 02 at 16:55

I dont have a dehydrator but lots of outdoor space:-))

How would one go about drying peppers "the old fashioned way"?????

Can I wrap them in panty hose, not used of course, and dry them that way??

Can I hang them in a garage and air dry them,what would be the best way to surpress the molding of the peppers???

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: Earl SW Ohio 5-6 (My Page) on Sat, Sep 7, 02 at 9:47

If the pepper all turn red at once, pull up the entire plant, hang it root end up in a dark place. Remove peppers when they become brittle.

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: ragland z6 KY (My Page) on Sat, Sep 7, 02 at 22:13

When picking your peppers, make sure to leave some stem. Take a needle and some thread and thread all the peppers through the stems and hang outside to dry. It will take several weeks to completely dry, so make sure they don't get rained on. After they have dried you can cut off however much pepper you need and leave the rest hanging somewhere in the kitchen.

ragland

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: Mocknbird Wash, DC (My Page) on Tue, Sep 10, 02 at 11:42

If you are drying cayennes then you shouldn't need a dehydrator. I just leave mine out on the kitchen counter in a big bowl. They dry in a few weeks time. Check them for mold or wetness every once in a while and throw out any that are not drying properly.

You could probably remove the seeds first if you wanted to.

Serranos are likely a different story because of the thick walls. I don't know.

Good luck, M

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers- turning black

Posted by: DaveAinVA Z6/7 (My Page) on Fri, Sep 27, 02 at 12:48

I am using a dehydrater for drying "salsa" peppers, also super chili and serrano.

Especially the "garden salsa" peppers turn black. Why?

At frost I have pulled the whole plant and hung it in the garage. I grind the dried peppers in the spring to use on sweet potatoe plants and others to keep off the rabbits and hogs (ground).

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Fri, Sep 27, 02 at 14:22

> Especially the "garden salsa" peppers turn black. Why?

They do turn color to a darker red. This is normal. Black is not in my experience. I suspect that your dehydrator temp is too high. If your dehydrator can be turned down to a lower temp then do so. And open the vents all the way. I can only use the top two shelves of my cheapo dehydrator w/o using a rheostat to lower voltage to the heating element.

I can stick a meat therometer down the vent holes in mine and check temp at each shelf level. Although I try to keep mine at 140°, a lower temp might be even better.

Just my opinion, and I make no claim that it is the best way to do your drying.

JohnT

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: VinnyC 7 LINY (My Page) on Thu, Oct 3, 02 at 16:51

I second the needle and thread method. My grandmother used to sit for hours, threading cayennes she bought by the bushel from the vegetable truck in late summer. Southern Italians fry the dried peppers in olive oil, and use the oil as a seasoning, as well as eating the peppers. I still do it with peppes from my garden. I have a string of about 50 drying now, and a couple hundred more outside ready to pick. Nana used to hang them near the water heater in the basement of the family restaurant in Queens, NY, I just hang them from the curtain rods in the kitchen window.

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: audrey_mi z6MI (My Page) on Tue, Oct 8, 02 at 0:10

OK, I've read all of your offerings on drying peppers. Uually I put a batch into the freezer for later use,and I have, but I thought some drying would help, especially my serranos. I do not have a dehydrator. I have tried stringing cayennes, but our weather here at this time of year is to humid to dry. I used my microwave with great success (except for the batch I overdried, which just about drove us out of the house!!) Has anyone tried it? Also, my oven will heat to the lowest of 170 (Gas with no pilot), any suggestions for me? I guess I'm looking for a large batch method since I picked dozens tonight due to a frost warning here in Michigan. Help! Audrey

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: Absent UK (My Page) on Tue, Oct 8, 02 at 4:03

I too stitch through the stems of my peppers and hang them up to dry, I've found that as long as the stem of the peppers is undamaged they'll just dry slowly by themselves . A friend brought me back a large wreath of them from Hungary where they are sold fresh and just left alone to dry,

Oddly enough I grow them for the parrot too, swap your 17 year old temperamental messy animal for a two year old full flighted fussy stubborn little sod with a wiring obsession? I have Rock Pebbler. Little swine tried to drop a 2lb glass vase on my head the other night, even checked to see if I was sitting underneath.

Incidentaly - don't train your parrot to give people a kiss if it likes hot peppers, I made that mistake.

The peppers I got from his food bowl are short conical things, very fleshy and eye watering even before the skin has been broken - I'm not sure what type but they made a damned good hot sauce. Duster picks out the seeds from his and throws the flesh away.

Absent

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: dwalls 7 AR (My Page) on Tue, Oct 8, 02 at 7:47

Audrey,

Be careful microwaving some peppers. They can EXPLODE.

Donnie

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Tue, Oct 8, 02 at 8:52

Donnie writes: Be careful microwaving some peppers. They can EXPLODE.

They for sure can! Nuking whole peppers can shave a lot of time off the drying though. I use short bursts over and over until they have wrinkled. Use the lower power settings so that you don't cook the pepper. It takes some experimenting to get this down right with each pepper variety. I use short bursts at low power even for sliced peppers that can't explode. If you have a defrost setting on your microwave you could experiment with that. It might work.

JohnT

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers

Posted by: astroyaker z6 SC (My Page) on Tue, Oct 8, 02 at 10:48

I've got some Cowhorn peppers I may try to dry, though I have thrown a few in the freezer for quick use in sauces & stews.

FYI, birds are not sensitive to capsacin (sp?) so they can eat any pepper seeds to their hearts content. BTW, putting some pepper oil or seeds mixed in with regular bird seed should go a long way to discourage squirels and other non-avian pests from eating the food you put out for the birds.

BTW, anyone know what the process is for readying pepper seeds to be used for following year planting?

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: audrey_mi z6MI (My Page) on Tue, Oct 8, 02 at 14:08

Thanks for the info on micro drying. I would cut the peppers in half and yes use short bursts of power. I think the last time I did this, I used the method in my micro book for herbs. I'm going to try again, will let you know how it works out! Audrey

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: audrey_mi z6MI (My Page) on Tue, Oct 8, 02 at 22:40

OK, I did it! And we do not have to live in the garage because of the smell. I nuked the red serranos, cut in half @ 50%. 1 1/2 min & re-arranged them after that time. It took about 5 times on a double paper towel. Yeh a lot of time, but I was testing. Put them on a paper towel on a paper plate to rest to see if they were crispy. They were not. Most of you were right,these serranos are more meaty. I revved up my oven to finish this drying @ 350, put in the peppers, shut it off, open door and we done!! They are crispy, which I wanted so I could crunch them for sprinkling on pizza or watever? Am I Ok? Audrey

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: Absent UK (My Page) on Wed, Oct 9, 02 at 3:45

Preparing seeds for next year - I just dry the fruits naturaly and either leave the seeds in them hanging up until I want to plant or if I use the peppers, transfer the seeds to a paper envelope and leave them in the pantry,

Absent

 

 

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RE: Drying peppers for later use

Posted by: King29122 Western Ky. (My Page) on Fri, Oct 11, 02 at 0:59

I use a dehydrator to dry mine. Does a better job than hanging to dry. No mold. Keeps the color better. Dries more completely. The cayennes dry the best. Habaneros are the hardest to dry.

I'd be afraid of the microwave or the high temp oven. Might change the characteristics of the pepper heating the flesh and water molecules to over 212 degrees.

Dehydrators use low heat and convection currents (draws air from the bottom, exits out the top) to dry. Very similar to hang drying.

 

Entered by dwalls

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