Drying peppers . . .

Discussion in 'Ruffit's Domestic & Wild Game Cooking/ Recipe Foru' started by Pistolenschutze, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. I'm looking for some advice, guys and gals. Has anyone had experience with drying fresh garden-grown peppers? This year, mostly on a whim, I put down two New Mexico green pepper plants as part of my garden plantings. We like these peppers fresh (they're rated at medium hot) in some of the dishes we prepare. If all goes well, however, I expect I will end up with more peppers than I can use fresh. I understand that in some areas of the country, particularly the Southwest, these peppers are often dried for later use, but I really have no idea of how to go about doing that. We do have a food dehydrator and I was thinking about using that for the drying process. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If drying works out this year, I may well plant some Cheyenne peppers and perhaps some habaneros next year. Thanks much for any input you folks might have.
  2. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    Yep!

    I know that some people hang them upside down on a long string and just let them dry out doors, but I have always dried them in the dehydrator, Rich... Then I usually put them in my Ultimate Chopper and turn them into "chili powder", then store in Ziplock bags... I guess I've done Jalapenos, Habaneros, Cowhorn and Cayenne so far. I do them the same as anything else that I dry..."Over dried", probably because I'm afraid of anything growing on them later.

    They sure compliment chili and jerky!

    Let me know how it goes, please?


    Donny
  3. Thanks for the input, Donny! It is much appreciated. :D I shall certainly let you know how my experiment turns out. As a matter of fact, I added one more pepper plant today, a Chile Red which is rated as fairly hot. I read recently that some folks, particularly along the border, do indeed dry them in the traditional Mexican fashion, i.e., stringing them on what is called a ristra and letting them dry naturally. It seems to me the dehydrator method would work just as well, and be a great deal faster.
  4. Erich

    Erich New Member

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    I live in NM and I dry peppers all the time. It's pretty dry here, of course, but it shouldn't be all that much worse in CO.

    My inlaws (whose European ancestors first came here in the late 1500s) still dry the peppers in their attic, in ristras. You just tie a string around the stems of the chiles (there's an art to it) and hang them. When they were kids, they'd have so many of these that they'd have them hanging to dry everywhere, but nowadays they use the attic as a pretty dry and clean place to keep dust off.

    I just bring the peppers (all types - I grow a lot of odd ones) in the house and put them on my windowsills on cookie trays. They dry astonishingly fast - no dehydrator needed.
  5. Thanks, Erich. If I end up with enough peppers to experiment a bit, I may well give the traditional method of drying a try, just to see what happens.
  6. Lead Lobber

    Lead Lobber Former Guest

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    I tried growing Jalapenos last year. They turn red (after shades of blue and black), and attract birds. I think I drove the hummimg birds south in search of hotter stuff. I still have a mess of them; dried by just letting the ones that escaped the pepper head birds lay around and dry out. Slice and dice, add to your favorite recipes. :D
  7. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    Mmmmm... Those red ones are the ones I want. :p


    Crpdeth
  8. Lead Lobber

    Lead Lobber Former Guest

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    I am a pepper neophyte. I don't know why some do better than others in specific climates. My biggest ones got maybe 1 inch long in the green stage, so I tried eating them off the vine with a tomato, picked nearby (hot hot hot!) - you gotta love eating your own produce in the morning right off the vine, and the smell of capsaisin (sp) - don't know how to spell that -

    So anyhow, I ate few while green with young, red night shade fruit.

    The ones I picked for preservation just lazed about, drying thier little hearts out, naturally. I wish I had more space for growing things. And drying things. And dying things?

    Anyhow, I'm going do a batch of the "Habanero Pepper Sauce" recipe - how can one possibly resist? I too like the introduction of other peppers. Each bring their own bite to the blend.

    LL
  9. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    Good post LL

    I used to do a lot of "close planting" as you've described and one thing that always seemed to work well was to plant the habaneros around the jalapeños...Rick (Plano) was teaching me how to wait until the jalapeños were mature (red) then cut the water off on them...They take on a "woody" look and boy are they nice! :D

    I don't do a lot of canning, but last night I opened a jar of chili that I canned up
    last year and to my joy, when the lid popped open there was a stem sticking out of it, tugging on the stem produced the most beautiful red jalapeño you've ever seen which certainly complemented the meal. :D


    Crpdeth
  10. Donny, the way you eat hot peppers, you're gonna need a stomach implant by the time you're 50! :D;):p

    Next year maybe I'll grow some habaneros. I almost did this year, but went with the chili reds and green peppers instead, mostly because I know my wife won't touch the habaneros. She made that mistake once, at my urging, and has never forgiven me since. :D
  11. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    That time is drawing closer and closer, my friend. :p




    Hey Erich, I found this site which is full of info...Tell me what you think, would ya?

    The only thing I read so far that I might add to is the "oven drying method", they state (and right fully so) that the oven does not provide proper air flow, but fail to mention that leaving the door cracked will often times circumvent the problem. The cold winter months might be a better time to try that?

    http://www.fiery-foods.com/dave/drying.asp


    Crpdeth
  12. Erich

    Erich New Member

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    That looks like what my suegros do, all right. :)
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