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Author Topic: Whats the best way to dry Cayenne peppers?  (Read 1950 times)
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calcentral_chris
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« on: September 01, 2011, 01:38:56 AM »

My cayenne peppers are finally starting to turn red. I was wondering whats the best time to pick them for drying. What method is best to dry them?

I wanted to use them for cooking in Sichuan (spicy western chinese) meals.
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MAYOR
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 04:51:12 AM »

Pick the peppers and wash them all good....
Let them dry in the sun or towel dry.....
Using about 20# strength or greater monofilament fishing line and a large needle....string them up by running the needle thru the stem of the pepper.....
Caution:  Dont run the string thru the pepper or the neck of the pepper but thru the tough part of the stem....they will rot if you dont!

Hang them up in strings of about 3' in length in a good warm dry place.....
an attic that's hot, or a wooden storage building, in the rafters of a barn or garage.  They must be kept free of dampness so thing like a basement or outside are out of the question as they will all mold or rot.

Once ours are really dry.......we destem them and I run them thru a good processor which grinds them up real good.......seeds and all.  After that, I run them thru an old fashioned type meal sifter........mine is about a 3 cup tin can with a crank on one side which turns a cage inside that runs against a screen in the bottom......this removes the fine ground red pepper (almost dust) from the coarser flakes and seeds........we just place this in pint jars and use it too cook with or sprinkle over food.   
The flakes and seeds are not as hot as the fine ground pepper so we use it right on foods in moderation.....the dust is really hot and good for seasoning cooking foods and for those that like really hot stuff.

its a good idea too keep the finished product in a good dry place before sealing lids on the jars and move it around occasionally too let any moisture completely dry out after grinding or it will mold in the jars.

Its really simple too do and the rewards are well worth it!

Oh Yeah!!!!!......DO THIS OUTSIDE!!!!  Especially the grinding and wear latex gloves and a good repirator when grinding.  It doesnt bother my eyes but be careful not too rub your eyes or touch any other body parts without washing your hands thoroughly before doing so!!!!!  I repeat.....Be cautious as too wash your hands thoroughly before.......Oh shoot...just wash your hands before going too the bathroom!!!!!! Tongue Undecided Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
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MAYOR
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 04:57:17 AM »

A much simpler way of doing this if you have room in the barn loft is too cut the pepper plant off and carefully haul it too the loft and hang the whole plant from the rafters upside down.....the plant will dry out and the peppers will dry right there on the plant and you can pick  them off later........this way works the best but takes up alot of room!

I also forgot too say that once your peppers are dried and you are destemming them.......there will be a gazillion seeds hit the floor.
Save these seeds as they are good for planting next year!!!!!!
Now ya know how I had all those seeds too give everyone last year!.

Keep the seeds in a big paper envelope or cheesecloth bag...something that will breathe so they dont draw moisture and mold.

Regardless of how careful you are in the drying process...some of the peppers will mold in the tips....just break off the bad part and keep the good part...wont hurt a thing in flavor.
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Moondog
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 08:31:17 AM »

Mayor is dead on but we string ours with just sewing thread. Not to many to a thread - hang them by the fireplace. Even if its not burning. Let em dry. Then throw them in the food processor and pulse. Put in jars - red pepper flakes.
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1tongarden
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2011, 09:03:22 AM »

Hershowi did mine just picked after there all red set in tray in the house let sit till dry sometimes i put a quick roast on em in the oven      prettysimple but has worked for me
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watchnpray
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2011, 11:04:58 AM »


Has anyone tried drying the peppers with a dehydrator?  Huh?
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2011, 11:24:07 AM »

Hi, Watch and Pray,  welcome to the forum.

I did some NuMex chiles in the dehydrator.  They did not get crisp enough to make pepper flakes out of.  They are kinda leathery like some things get in the dehydrator.  i snip them up with the kitchen shears when i use them.

Cayennes may dry crisper.

Gail
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tbird
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2011, 11:46:03 AM »

Welcome W&P to the forum!  I hope you spend some time with us regularly.   Wink

I grow lots of cayennes.  Thin long reds.  I just pick em, wash em, and place em between two screens outside under the carport.  We have low humidity here in the day and since dew can't get to them at night, when we rarely get it,  they dry in a week or so to a good crisp texture.  Then I usually grate them in a blender for crushed peppers, it save them in a vacuum bag for other uses.  For Hot Sauces I use them fresh.   Wink

I like Szechuan cooking also.  Those peppers are also great in Hunan style cooking! 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 11:48:26 AM by tbird » Logged

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watchnpray
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2011, 12:18:27 PM »


Thanks for the welcome!!  Grin Great info/insight everyone...many thanks! Yes, I will be spending quite some time 'round here...still a newbie so thanks for being patient.  Cheesy
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nowhiteflag
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2011, 06:50:55 PM »

Watchnpray, welcome! I used a dehydrator for my peppers last year and was very happy with the results.  The small ones like the Thai peppers, I just pick, wash and dry. The bigger peppers like jalapenos, I wash,  slit on both sides and dry.  I have a NESCO and it takes from 6 - 10 hours. Crushed some for pepper flakes and pepper powder but most I leave whole for tossing in chilis and other mixes.
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Grampa
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2011, 01:16:08 PM »

I've dried mine this year in the dehydrator. I did them at 125 degrees until they were brittle, then put them in the blender. I use a quart jar instead of the blender container, the blades and retainer screw to a mason jar nicely. I always did them the way Mayor describes, but this year I wanted to try the dehydrator, (I just bought it, and needed to play with the new toy) I like the results.

Grampa
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Roy
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Maggie13
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2013, 08:48:11 AM »


Has anyone tried drying the peppers with a dehydrator?  Huh?

That is how I do mine.
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reartinetiller
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2013, 03:11:11 PM »

I did all mine in a two dehydrators and then ground them up in the food processor.  Worked great.  Roy
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MAYOR
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 01:57:23 AM »

We used the dehydrator this year on a batch...worked great but here's what I found!. 
1.  Cover the dehydrator with a screen because the flies got right in the dehydrator!.....lots of them!, had too scrap that batch.
2.  Had too do it outisde due too the odor and gas the peppers were putting off.
3.  They came out nice but were a lot blacker in color!.
4.  They were a little leathery compared too natural air drying.

So...even though it worked great....I'm going back too air drying I think!.

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Tenman
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 07:28:29 AM »

There are many videos on youtube about drying peppers one easy way is put them on a sheet in the oven on very low heat I dry mine on some old windows screens .
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Pjames
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« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 12:04:22 PM »

I do mine in a dehydrator then use a coffee grinder to powder them... Other than that, pretty much like Mayour said... I just have to let the dust settle before pouring it into the jar..
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2013, 06:00:51 PM »

I grow the 9” to 12” “Iberian” cayennes. The ones that I don’t ferment (for hot sauce) I dry for red pepper shake. I rebuilt a 1979 Vulcan stove with double commercial ovens on it. With the pilot lights on they stay at a constant 100 to 105 degrees. After a thorough washing, I lay the peppers out on 19” X 26” sheet trays, pop them in the ovens and forget about them. When I get the time I then grind them. Too bad the new ovens have electronic ignition………

<S> PWG
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farmboy
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2013, 07:14:06 PM »

I do all of my peppers in a dehydrator, the ones I don't pickle or freeze. I works great. I would suggest putting the unit in an out building. Gets pretty rough to have it inside.
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