My mom made a mistake when she sent me two packages of spicy chile seeds last spring. It was my first summer living in an apartment, the summer in 10 years I didn’t have a garden. I was super excited to grow something small in my apartment. Chiles worked perfectly! They fit in a small pot and only grew 2 feet. Plus, they were absolutely beautiful.
But it did come at a price. I can’t eat spicy food. My body completely rejects it. So although this gift was thoughtful I was perplexed by how I was going to put these chiles to use.
Then I realized that’s what food preserving is for! I totally forgot the forgotten practice of drying food and that drying chiles were actually super easy.
So I washed my chiles, strung them with a needle and thread, and hung them on my wall in the middle of September. For two months we watched their colors change from green to red, and them slowly shriveling up into their final form.
There are two general ways you can grind peppers, and both are easy.
Drying Peppers with The Hang Dry Method
- Wash peppers with water (and I like to add some vinegar). Dry them with a towel.
- Thread a clean needle, and thread together each pepper on a string through the base of the stem. Allow space between each pepper.
- Hang peppers on a wall that gets consistent light. Allow them to hang for several weeks until they are completely dry a shriveled.
Drying Peppers In The Oven
- Wash peppers with water and dry them with a towel.
- Pre-heat oven to 135. Lay peppers on baking sheet with space between. Place in oven until completely dry. Depending on the size this could take a varying amount of time, but potentially several hours.
That’s all! Both methods are super easy! When you’re all done, you can easily take them stems off and grind dried peppers in a coffee grinder or blender to use as a powder.