Air Drying Chilli Peppers
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Air Drying Chilli Peppers

If you’re anything at all like me, chillies, especially the hot ones are an ingredient best used very sparingly. As a little chilli goes a long way in our house, what do you do if you come into a large number of fresh chillies all at once? Rather than just letting them spoil, why not try drying them instead.

Fresh Chillies

The process starts with the fresh chillies. They should have the stalk still attached and be in good condition. The pictures show the chillies we are going to use in this example. We were given them by a friend who grows their own and had a glut at harvest time.

The next step is to take some string and tie them to it as close together as possible however it doesn’t really matter how far they are apart so long as you have enough space to hang them. When doing this I use a simple slip knot which is easy to tie and release but if you happen to have a heavy needle handy you can also thread the chillies onto the string using that as well. If using a needle you need to thread them through the base of the stem rather than through the flesh of the chilli.

Tie Chillies to string
Hang Chilli in a spot with good air flow

The next step is an easy one; simply hang the string of chillies and leave them for a few weeks. The best place is to hang them in a well ventilated area with plenty of air flow. The actual drying time will depend upon the conditions where you hang them. High humidity, cooler temperatures and low air flow will mean a longer drying time. Low humidity, higher temperatures and good air flow will dry the chillies faster.

After a while you will see that the skin will start to wrinkle up, the chillies will start to shrink slightly and get lighter as the moisture is removed. When they are dry you can remove them from the string and store them in an air tight container. If stored in a cool dark location, dry chillies can last for up to a year. The method outlined above will work for most varieties of chilli pepper providing they aren’t too big.

Dried Chilli Peppers

For those of us for whom a little Chilli goes a long way, drying Chilli Peppers is an easy way to extend the life of this versatile cooking staple.

Total time: Up to
Recipe By , Flavoursome Delights

Current Rating: 4.72
From: 25 votes
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Current Comments

3 comments so far (post your own)

How to dry red chili pepper with out changes the Fresh red Color ?

Thanks.

Posted by LT.Basuki on Sunday, 24.10.10 @ 20:18pm

The colour is always going to change a little bit when you dry out a chilli but I have found that the slower the drying process, the less the colour will darken. This means that if colour is your primary concern Id say youd be better to hang the chilli on a string rather than put it on a rack in the sun or in a warm place.

Using this method now as i have far to many chillies to use before they go bad. got about 400 hanging out in my garage, going to be eating alot this year.

Posted by R Spring on Thursday, 12.01.12 @ 15:13pm

Excellent, looks like lots of spicy food for you. Just make sure to keep an eye out for any that might start to rot so you can pull them out before they infect any others.

Have you discovered any solutions to prevent chilies from rotting while drying ?

Posted by T.M.L on Saturday, 15.09.12 @ 16:08pm

There is no 100% effective method but good air flow and low humidity help a lot.

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