Drying peppers intensifies their heat, flavor, and natural sugar content. You can use whole dried chilies to flavor soups and stews, or even added to cream or pasta water for another layer of infusion.
Lightly toasted in a dry skillet then rehydrated, they can be chopped up and added to salsa or pasta sauces.
- Warm peppers give off fumes that can irritate the eyes, so be sure to keep the area well-ventilated. Turn on the stove’s fan and open a window in your kitchen if you can.
- Wash and dry whole peppers thoroughly, then remove stems. Wearing gloves, slice the peppers length-wise through the middle, cutting only one side, and keeping the ends intact. This opens the pepper up and helps it to dry faster.
- Lay peppers in a single layer on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet or baking stone. If placed directly on the baking sheet the peppers may start to brown because of the direct contact with the hot pan. The wire rack has fewer contact points so peppers will not brown, as well the rack allow for better air circulation and therefor faster drying time.
- Place pan on middle rack in the oven, and turn oven on to its lowest setting (120°F – 200°F). Place the tip of a wooden spoon just inside the door to keep it a few inches ajar. This will allow excess moisture to escape from the peppers as they dry, which will speed their drying time.
- It should take 2-3 hours for the peppers to be completely dry (crisp, brittle skins). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, then store in an air-tight container. They can keep for a year if stored properly.
- To make crushed red chili flakes, place whole dried chilies (along with seeds) into a food processor and pulse until finely ground (see top main picture).
- To make pure chili powder, separate out the seeds and discard. Use a food processor, or mortar and pestle to grind up only the dried red flesh until it’s a fine powder. To make a chile powder seasoning blend, see our Homemade Chile Powder Seasoning recipe.
How to Dry Chili Peppers
- Red Chili Peppers also know as Thai or bird
- Wash and dry whole peppers thoroughly, then pull off the stems.
- Wearing gloves, slice the peppers length-wise through the middle to expose the inside (keep the ends intact). This will open the peppers up and allow them to dry faster.
- Lay peppers in a single layer on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet or baking stone.
- Place pan on middle rack in the oven, and heat oven to its lowest setting (120°F - 200°F). Place the tip of a wooden spoon just inside the door to keep it ajar a few inches. This will allow excess moisture to escape which will dry the peppers faster.
- It should take 2-3 hours for the peppers to be completely dry.
- As soon as they’re fully dry (completely crisp), remove from the oven, allow to cool completely, then place in an air-tight container They can keep for a year if stored properly.