- When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown peppers for the best quality and nutritional value.
- Know when fresh peppers are available in your state with this seasonal food guide.
- If this is your first time drying or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read General Drying Information before beginning.
- Select peppers at peak quality and flavor.
- Do not use vegetables that show signs of decay, mold, or bruising. These defects may affect all pieces being dried.
- Use clean, food-grade dehydration equipment or oven with drying trays or racks that allow for good air circulation.
- Many types of food dehydrators can be used and are explained in detail in Food Dehydrators.
- Conditioning containers
- Large, clean plastic or glass container with lid
- Storage containers
- Clean, dry home canning jars, plastic freezer containers with tight-fitting lids or plastic freezer bags
- Vacuum packaging is also a good storage option
- Cutting board
- Timer or clock
3. Prepare Ingredients
- Thoroughly wash peppers.
- Remove stem, core, partitions and seeds.
- Cut into 1/4-3/8-inch strips or rings.
- Arrange peppers in single layers on drying trays.
- Dry at 140 degrees F (60°C) in an oven or dehydrator.
- If necessary, turn large pieces over every 3 to 4 hours during the drying period.
- Vegetables can scorch easily toward the end of drying, so monitor more closely as drying nears completion.
- Dried peppers should be tough to brittle.
- Total Drying Time: 8-12 hours in a dehydrator (may take up to twice as long in a conventional oven)
- Condition peppers by placing cooled, dried vegetables loosely in large plastic or glass containers, about two-thirds full.
- Lightly cover and store in a dry, well-ventilated place for 4 to 10 days.
- Stir or shake containers daily to separate pieces.
- NOTE: If beads of moisture form inside the container return peppers to drying trays for further drying, then repeat the conditioning step.
- Store small amounts of conditioned, dried vegetables in moisture-vapor-proof containers or bags.
- Label packages with name of product, date and method of pretreatment and drying.
- Store in a cool, dry, dark place or in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Properly stored, dried vegetables keep well for 6 to 12 months.
- Discard foods that have off odors or show signs of mold.
7. Using Dried Vegetables
- Dried vegetables can be eaten ‘as is’ as a snack or part of a meal.
- Adding dried vegetables directly to soups and stews is the simplest way to rehydrate vegetables.