Drying – Dehydrating peppers is simple to accomplish and yields such wonderfully concentrated flavors. If you buy chili powder in the store you may not realize that chili powder is not the only ingredient. Several seasonings may be mixed in with the chili powder, effectively diluting the real chili flavor.
When dehydrating your own, you are in charge of what goes in your powder. I mixed Cayenne and Thai Chili’s this year with a bit of Sweet NuMex red pepper to make my own blend of chili powder, delicious. The farmers market is a great place to get chili’s in bulk and they are usually pretty reasonably priced. If you want to make your own chili powder and can’t find any fresh, another option is to look in the Mexican food section in your grocery store. There you will find bags of dried peppers at a reasonable price and this will enable you to make your own blend.
- Peppers - Any Variety
- Rinse, core and coarsely chop your larger sweet or hot peppers.
- If drying smaller hot peppers rinse and pat dry only.
- Place peppers or pepper pieces on dehydrator leaving space in between each pepper for good air flow.
- Turn dehydrator on and set to 135 degrees ( or follow manufactures instructions as each dehydrator is a little different)
- Dry peppers until completely dry (approximately 24 hours depending on size and shape of peppers)
- Whole peppers may take require a longer drying period.
- Once dehydrated peppers can be stored in a clean jar with lid tightly fastened, or a plastic bag. Be sure peppers are completely dried before storing to prevent spoiling from moisture.
- When making powders, it is best to use a coffee grinder or spice grinder to form your powder. A food processor is not equipped to handle the small pieces and a powdered form is much more difficult to achieve. Store dried powder in air tight container away from heat and direct sunlight. Powder may cake a bit so shake gently before using to reduce clumps.
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