Drying Chili Peppers in Food Dehydrator
Drying chili peppers for use in food preparation or in crafts is a relatively easy process in your food dehydrator. You will want to wear gloves when handling the peppers so that the capsaicin oil from the peppers doesn’t burn or irritate your skin. You should place your food dehydrator in a well-ventilated area with good air circulation because during the drying process the odor can irritate your eyes and nose. (use room fans if need be or use your dehydrator outside or in the garage). Once your peppers have been dried, they will be ready for you to use for use as a spice by crushing or making a powder. They can also be used in your home decor crafts.
How to Dry Your Peppers:
Inspect all peppers for damage before you begin and any that have blemishes or smell like mold should be tossed. Once your inspection is done rinse each one under water and towel dry (make sure they are completely dry before moving onto the next step). Once dry place each chili pepper into your food dehydrator in a single layer. Place your trays into your food dehydrator and turn it on. Every day during the drying process you will want to rotate your drying trays to help with the drying process. Continue to dry peppers in your food dehydrator until the drying process has been completed. This will take several days. The peppers are done once there is no moisture left inside them or on their skin. They will be flexible and pliable, not stiff and rock hard. When removing your peppers from the dehydrator wear gloves, your skin can still get irritated by handling dried peppers. Place them into an airtight container until you are ready to craft with them.
Chili peppers are a great pepper to use when you make home decor wreaths, tied into swags or used in dried floral arrangements. They can be mixed with dried plants, dried herbs or with dried flowers. I particularly like using them when I craft with neutral colored herbs because they add a nice pop of color. You can also place a nice bunch of dried chili peppers into a basket and just set them on a shelf or table. No matter what you decide to make with your dried peppers it is important to only handle them while wearing gloves as they can still produce capsaicin oil.
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