How to Sun Dry Your Own Chili Peppers
Pepper harvest will soon be on us and peppers can get a little prolific. Here is a great way to sun dry and preserve your harvest for future use when the neighbors just won’t take any more from you.
- Baking Sheet or Small Clean Window Screen
- Clean Bath/Beach Towels or Clean Bed Sheets
- Vinyl or Plastic Gloves (for handling the chili peppers safely)
- Paring Knife and a Cutting Board
- Clothes Pins or Small Clamps
Rinse your chili peppers under cool running water and pat dry with a towel. Using a knife, slice open the chili pepper length-wise, without cutting through the other side of the pepper. Use your knife to remove the membranes from the pepper and discard them immediately into the trash.
For the next step you can use a clean metal baking sheet or a small window screen. Lay your sliced open peppers (cut side down) onto your surface in a single layer, leaving 1/2″ of an inch between each pepper to allow the air and heat to circulate around them. Take your tray outside early in the morning and lay it where the sun can hit it all day long. At dusk, bring your tray indoors or cover it with a towel or bed sheet to protect it from critters during the night. (It is helpful to use clothes pins or clamps to secure my towels to the baking sheet/window screen). Early the next day place your tray back in the sunlight and flip your peppers over so that the “sliced” side is now facing up. You will want to continue this process for a few days until your peppers are done drying.
Your peppers are done drying when no more moisture remains in them. Their flesh will be dry and brittle and should crumble easily. Once they are done drying, place them in an airtight canister for storage and later usage.
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