How To Dehydrate Peppers Plus Making Pepper Powder

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dehydrate-peppers-plus-making-pepper-powder

Usually when I write a post about food I start off by telling you how much I love that particular food. What can I say? I am a food lover! But I can’t lie about peppers. I really don’t like them. I use them in cooking for seasoning and spice but you won’t see me preparing stuffed peppers or tossing them into my salad. Unfortunately, my family does not share my dislike of peppers and so I have to deal with them from time to time, and I do grow them in my garden.

It’s really only bell peppers that I dislike; Jalapenos and Peperoncini I really do like, but they don’t like me back so I avoid them. So it’s not like I hate all forms of this huge family of vegetables. Also, I do realize that sweet peppers do add a certain flavor to foods that I do like.

Peppers are a little complicated because some are sweet,  some are mild, some are hot and some are OMG hot. They even developed a scale to indicate pungency (hotness) of peppers–the Scoville Scale. Sweet peppers have a  zero rating (no significant heat) and Carolina Reapers have a rating of 1,569,300, which basically means they burn A LOT from the time they enter your body until the time they exit your body, and they can even burn your skin. While I have occasionally bought Serrano, Arbol, and Cayenne chili peppers for spice, in general Jalapenos are as high up on the Scoville Scale as I like to go (at about only 5,000 Scoville units). Chili peppers (or chilies) are simply peppers with a little heat. They all come from the same family of vegetable but people often drop the word “pepper” from chili pepper and refer to hot peppers solely as chilies.

Dehydrating peppers or drying chili peppers is a standard commercial  practice, unlike a lot of other vegetables, and it’s not uncommon to see a bag of dried chili peppers in the grocery store. However, drying the peppers with low heat is still a bit unconventional which is a shame because they have the most potential and can be used in more recipes.

How To Dehydrate Peppers

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Start with fresh ripe peppers.

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Wash your peppers.

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Chop up your peppers.

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You can leave the peppers in larger chunks or you can dice them up. I remove all the seeds from the sweet peppers.

dehydrate-peppers-plus-making-pepper-powder

You can leave the seeds in smaller peppers with a little heat if you like. Keep in mind the seeds are hotter than the pepper, so leaving the seeds in will make the dehydrated peppers hotter.

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I’m lazy and use my food processor to chop up the peppers.

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Be sure and use the pulse button if you decided to use your food processor as you do not want to liquefy the peppers.

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Here is the size of my food processed chopped peppers.

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Load up your dehydrator trays. The back two trays have sweet peppers and the front tray has Poblano peppers.

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I have a 9 tray Excalibur Dehydrator and I loaded it with 6 trays of sweet peppers, 1 tray of Poblanos, one tray of Peperoncini and one tray of Jalapenos. Mixing the dry peppers to use in soups and stews takes flavors to a whole new level.

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Set the dehydrator on the vegetable setting for about 18 hours.

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Here are the dried Poblanos.

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Here are some of the dried sweet peppers.

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Place them in a container that is air tight. For long term storage you will want to keep the dried peppers away from light, air, heat and moisture. You can add them to soups, stews, chilies, salads, or whatever creation you can come up with or you can make them into pepper powder.

To Make Pepper Powder

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Here I’m making Jalapeno powder with my KRUPS coffee grinder – my favorite tool for making powdered dehydrated food. You can make sweet pepper powder, hot pepper powder, mild pepper powder. The possibilities and combinations are endless. I have a friend who makes homemade spaghetti sauce with sweet pepper powder because if you add powder to the mixture you don’ t have to wait for the mixture to cook down. You’ve already removed a lot of water.

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Here is what the pepper powder looks like after it’s been ground.

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Here is a closer look.

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Before I add dehydrated peppers or pepper powder to my food storage I always vacuum pack them with my FoodSaver in Mason jars. I love this attachment for canning jars. It comes in a regular mouth size and a wide mouth jar size.

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The regular mouth size even fits these little 4oz jars.

To reconstitute add one tablespoon of power to two tablespoons water. If you add the dehydrated peppers or powder to soups, stews or chili  just add water as needed, as there is probably enough liquid in your recipe to accommodate reconstituting a few peppers or a few tablespoons of pepper powder.

Can you think of other ways to use dehydrated peppers?

Step by step instructions on how to dehydrate peppers, plus how to make pepper powder. I discuss both sweet and hot peppers.
  • Marie lucas says:

    For peppers I add them to rice or other grains to increase flavor. I have also re-hydrated them and then added them to eggs along with re-hydrated onions. My son has moved out and lives over 600 miles away and he now calls home asking me to send him “some of that dehydrated stuff because he can’t get the food he cooks to taste right without it.” I dehydrate about 20 lbs each of red,yellow, and orange sweet peppers each year.

  • Meg says:

    Great post! I have a bunch of poblanos that I wasn’t sure what to do with…. I’ll dry and grind them up, they’ll be a great addition to my homemade taco seasoning and homemade hamburger helper. Plus the peppers will be awesome in pot of gumbo 🙂

  • Vickie Johnson says:

    Thank you for this great site! I love those colorful little peppers in the bags, but know that one day they may not be available, so this will help me have them year round. Looks like there are lots of other things to dehydrate, too. I think I’ll dive right in and give it a shot! What could it hurt? Thanks again!

  • Barbara says:

    We both love Mexican food and eat it at least once or twice a week or even more. We especially love tortilla soup, but not the commercial chili powders, so I make my own ancho chili powder by soaking the dried ancho peppers in just a little hot water, then removing the stems and seeds when they are soft. When fully softened, it is easy to puree them in a blender. I spread the puree on my fruit rollup sheets and dehydrate it, then powder it. It isn’t very hot, but the flavor is unmatchable! I also use it to blend with other spices to make taco seasoning and my favorite Tex-Mex chili gravy to pour over enchiladas. Muy bueno! I also dry lots and lots of mini Baby Bell sweet pepper rings or halves for soups, salads, and fajitas and other recipes. We eat fresh sweet peppers pretty much every day because we love them and they and they’re very high in vitamin C. Those that are left over after a few days get cut up and dehydrated, so there’s never any waste.

  • JennyPat says:

    I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who doesn’t really like peppers! Or I should say they don’t like me, so the feeling is mutual. I don’t mind them once in a while, in small doses, and the sweet ones are OK, but the green and hotter peppers are the issue.

  • Deborah says:

    Very informative. Peppers will be on my list for the garden next year. Wish me luck in growing them. I haven’t been too successful yet. LOL I need the recipe for the Mexican food spices. Please?

  • kamay says:

    I have actually dried jalapenos whole on my counter, not sure if that is a ‘food legal’ thing to do. I plan on grinding them up one day to make powder. Have you ever heard of anyone doing this?

  • Mike says:

    Thank you for this post. I am in the middle of drying my first big batch of bell peppers (4 each of 4 colors) and they look and smell terrific. I couldn’t wait for them to be done to say ‘thanks’! I’ll be making pepper powder soon!

  • Mike says:

    I’ve added Carolina reapers and devils tongue powder to vanilla ice cream. Try it. The neat thing is that you get the flavor of the peppers which have been sweetened by the vanilla ice cream and then the heat after. Very addicting.

    Try roasting the peppers near black then dehydrate. Adds a different flavor profile.

  • Amy says:

    I love using dehydrated peppers in everything. I don’t like the “mouth feel” of raw bell peppers and hate finding one in a recipe. So I started doing this with my peppers last year. They make recipes so much easier and most don’t have to cook as long. I use them in my baked beans and my family loves them. I love the fact that I don’t have to precook the onions and peppers before putting it all together to go in the oven. And I do other veggies this way too. That way I can sneak in veggies, that my stepson wouldn’t eat, into his meal and he gets the nutrients from them without knowing.

  • Frances says:

    I’m gluten free and have a flax cracker recipe that includes dried peppers. I have 15 lbs of sweet poblanos we just harvested and am using your instructions. Love the low heat setting. Will post after they are made with fresh sprouted flax seeds. Thanks for post

  • Khaled says:

    thank you for this page and all information you include.

  • John says:

    A few points of note: peppers are fruits, not vegetables (they carry the seed). Speaking of which – the seeds absolutely DO NOT make peppers hotter. It is the placenta, which the seeds are attached to, which cause this. And for those who do love peppers – scale the temp back, and adjust the drying time, for maximum flavor. It can be hard to get low temp drying done in high humidity climates, but well worth it, if you can. I have the exact same dehydrator that you have, and I like to keep it under 110 degrees.

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