1. Make Chile Ristras!
You can also make Ristras from your peppers, which are beautiful and very effective at drying out large amounts of peppers. They also are the perfect kitchen decoration & accessory as they keep your peppers ready to use anytime in any recipe. You can make Ristras from any peppers, not just the Hatch chile varieties. This is a great way to store your peppers for the winter.
Learn how to make a Chile Ristra »
2. Set out chile peppers in the sun – people sometimes put them on their roofs! Anywhere hot and dry will do the trick.
3. Dehydrate your peppers with your grill that sits in the sun!
Yep! But no gas is needed. That's because you can use a grill that is sitting in the sun to dry out your hot peppers and chiles! If you like to make hot pepper flakes like us for year-round use, this is a great way to dry out your peppers quickly and with free solar energy! Our grill that sits in the sun is typically 110˚-120˚ without ever turning on the gas! So we slice up our peppers to help them dry quicker, then set them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheets inside the grill all day (lid closed) in the sun, and voila, you have dried peppers!
We keep the lid closed to keep bugs and dirt off while they're drying, grills have built-in ventilation holes already so it works great in our dry climate.
Make sure to rotate or stir them occasionally to help speed the drying process. Make sure they're crispy and brittle which means that they are totally dry, then you can use them to grind/process them into hot pepper flakes or powder and use them year-round in the kitchen.
4. Dry them on the Counter:
3. Dry Chile Peppers in your Car on the Dash!
Have you ever noticed how hot your car gets when it sits in the sun? That's solar heat, baby, and you can use it to dry out your peppers super fast. Just put them on a cookie sheet or on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put them on your dash or any sunspot. Leave the windows up and – BONUS – it works as an air freshener too! Nothing like the smell of chile.
NOTE: You may not want to try this car drying technique with super hot peppers like the Carolina Reaper or the Trinidad 7 Pot Pepper if your sensitive, you don't want to get into a car accident because your eyes closed up from the heat!
You can also just leave peppers on the counter, you'll find that they will dry up on their own too if you live in a dry climate and you keep them in a dry, well-ventilated space. Make sure to spread them out so they're not touching each other.
Chiles like Hatch Chiles and other hot peppers naturally dry out on their own, creating beautiful, wrinkly pods that store well into the winter.
Anyway you dry your peppers will work! What's great about chile peppers is that you can dry them and they store their flavor and heat in their dried form, so they are a great "spice" to keep on hand for all your recipes. Because, if you're like us, you like to have Chile with every meal!
What do you do with your dried hot peppers?
Make Red Pepper Flakes!
Harvest time is a great time of year to dry out your harvest and crush into pepper flakes.
We just acquired a Molcajete, perfect for the job! We can grind down the peppers without making it too powdery so it's easy on the eyes and nose when sprinkling onto food and recipes.
What do you use to make pepper flakes or powder?
Many people use blenders, food processors, or even coffee grinders to grind down pepper flakes. If you use any of these, make sure to do it outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, and if your grinder/processor is not well sealed, cover it with a damp towel while grinding to cut down on the hot pepper dust, which burns!