Drying Chillies

An introduction to drying chillies

How chillies dry, largely depends on the variety. Thin skinned varieties dry alot better than thicker skinned varieties.  Food dehydrator

The easiest way to dry chillies is in a dehydrator.  This device sucks the moisture out of the pods over a period of time.  It is made up of enclosed racks which easily dry pods using warm air circulation. 
A dehydrator is the best bet if you have large amounts of chillies.    They cost between £40-£150 depending on their capacity.

dehydrating chillies

You can easily dry thin skinned chillies indoors over a woodburner. Use net bags (such as onion bags) and dry Cayenne / Apache / Habanero  easily within a week or so.

If you have a Rayburn or Aga, you can dry chillies on the bottom compartment which maintains a steady low heat.

It is possible to dry chillies in a conventional oven. However it is easy to burn them.
On thicker skinned varieties such as Jalapenos and any Sweet Peppers, we would advise freezing them instead.  


In warmer countries they hang chillies in strings called ristra's but this is not really suitable in the UK as it is too wet. The chillies are likely to dry erratically and this leads to rot. You also need to make sure that ristra strings have adequate ventilation. 

Once your chillies are dry, keep them in a moisture free container and use a coffee grinder to reduce them to flakes for use in your cooking.
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