My go-to has always been to freeze them, until now. I don't know what clicked in my brain but this year I tried dehydrating peppers instead. This has now become my favorite way to store them and it's no more work for me, and they retain their flavor!
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Did your garden give you more peppers than you expected? That's a great bonus to get, but then you have to figure out what to do with them all.
We have had a dehydrator for years and years but it had only been used a handful of times until I dug it out for my peppers. And that had mainly been for making jerky.
We have a basic, easy-to-use dehydrator. Maybe they are all this easy to use, I don't know, this is the only one that I have used, and I really like it.
Dehydrating Peppers Easily
It is best to dehydrate as soon after harvest. You are going to retain the nutrients as much as possible this way.
Wash your peppers, for farm-fresh just running them underwater is going to get the job done. We're the only ones touching our peppers from planting to harvest here.
Slice them. How small you slice them is best determined by how you plan to use them. We use them in stir fry most often so I have my peppers chopped up a bit, with no long slices of peppers.
The size of your pepper pieces is also going to determine how long they take to dehydrate. Small = faster; larger = slower.
Arrange them on your trays. Try to prevent them from touching as that will slow down how they dehydrate and the time it takes to dehydrate.
Make sure you set it to the correct temperature: 135-140F.
Once they are dried, remove and store them in baggies or containers, or use them as you wish. We have ours stored in labeled mason jars.
What to Do With Dehydrated Peppers
All you need to do is add hot water to rehydrate them! They are great to add to soups, stews, pasta, or easy camping meals.
Hot Pepper Tip
My oldest loves hot peppers. We had got some and she wanted t to dehydrate them. So we did and our fingers had the oils from the hot peppers on them. And ouch when you touch your eyes, nose, anything really.
First I'd recommend gloves.
Second use one of these methods to help remove the pepper oils from your hands. (Oil seemed to work best for us.)
- Oil. Oil helps dissolve the hot chili oils.
- Dish Soap. Many dish soaps can dissolve oils and are more effective than regular hand soap
- Rubbing alcohol
- Whole Milk or Yogurt
- Baking Soda Paste