Who doesn’t love delicious meals cooked with chilli? Particularly with homegrown ones?
But what if you could enjoy your chillies all year round? Dried chillies can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place for more than a year. In this blog, we’ll give you a couple of different methods on how to dry chillies.
Note: We advise you to wear gloves when handling the chillies, as the capsaicin can be difficult to remove from the skin and a forgetful rub of the eye is all it takes for a painful mistake. We’ve all been there!
Preparing the Chillies
Although you don’t need to give the chillies any special treatment before drying them, you can improve their flavour by dipping them in boiling water for four minutes and quickly chilling them in an ice bath. All you need to do after is dry them off before you proceed with the drying process of your choice.
Should you wish to dry them without their skin, just dip them in boiling water for six minutes before quickly chilling them - the skin will peel off easily. Alternatively, you can roast the chillies until you notice the skin curling and then you can peel it.
Inspect all chillies before drying them (and use them fresh), looking for:
- Greyish, white, or unhealthy-looking spots.
- Spoiled, soft, or mushy areas.
- Rotten or questionable odour.
How to Dry Chillies: Air Drying
This age-old, traditional method of drying chillies is used across the world. When drying chillies indoors, make sure to choose a well-ventilated area. Chillies need airflow to prevent them from rotting and it’ll help keep spicy fumes contained.
A herb dryer is a great choice to dry chillies, seeds, herbs, mushrooms, fruit, and so much more easily and conveniently. It may take a week or so for whole chillies to dry completely, but air drying is still extremely efficient and easy to do.
If you want, you can slice the chilli peppers to speed up the drying process - and you can also dry the seeds separately for another great seasoning option.
How to Dry Chillies: Oven Drying
Oven drying chillies is also possible. You just have to make sure you don’t accidentally burn them!
Make sure your oven’s temperature can go as low as 100℃ (or, ideally, 70℃-80℃). Lay the chillies on trays and place them in the oven, leaving the door slightly open to provide good airflow. This will remove the generated water vapour quickly.
To speed up their drying process, flip the chillies every one to two hours. This can take more than a day, so make sure you have the time (and don’t mind using up power!) to look after the chillies so they don’t burn.
The chillies will turn a dark red colour when they dry completely, even if their original colour was yellow or green. They won’t feel fleshy but they’ll still be a bit flexible.
If you want to speed up the drying process in the oven, you can slice them lengthways and remove the seeds. But keep in mind that the chillies won’t keep for as long and they’ll likely lose flavour and heat.
Make sure to let us know if you need help with your chillies. Our team is always happy to help, so get in touch with us or give us a call on 0845 602 3774 or 01695 554097 if you need help with your order.