Drying chili peppers with your food dehydrator

Chili PepperWhen you have an excess amount of food, you know that dehydrating is a great way to preserve the extras. Drying chili peppers lets you store them for over a year. That means you can buy in bulk and not worry about spoilage.

Tip: Whenever you cook with chili peppers, it's best to wear rubber gloves.

The oils in the peppers stick to your skin, and if you rub your eyes with pepper oil by accident, you'll be crying in pain. If you don't have gloves, be sure to wash your hands carefully when you're done.

Take advantage of electricity

While sun drying is the oldest form of drying anything, you know that it's unreliable to depend on the weather. If you have an electric dehydrator, now's the perfect time to bring it out of storage.

The first thing you need to do is slice the pepper in half. Use your knife to scrape off some of the seeds. You can save the seeds for another recipe or throw them away. The seeds are where most of the heat lives, so you can adjust how hot your peppers will be when the process is finished.

Set your dehydrator to 150 degrees F. Place the peppers on the trays, and dry for 6-12 hours, depending on your dehydrator. You'll know they're done when they're completely dry. Your kitchen might fill up with pepper fumes, so good ventilation is important. When they're ready, they'll snap when you bend them.

Use and storage

For storage, use a glass jar or large tupperware.

To use, you can rehydrate the peppers by soaking them in warm water. If you're making soup or stew, you can simply throw them in the pot.

If you saved the seeds (dried), you can add those to any recipe for a bit of spiciness. Or, put them in a grinder, and have ground chili seeds for a more subtle heat.

Common spelling for "chili" include "chile" and "chilli," and all three are correct.

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