Dried peppers are an important part of authentic Mexican cuisine, which is why you may be wondering how to store dried peppers. Before you begin the process of storing dried peppers, it is important to understand some basics including which peppers can be dried, the purpose, the steps, and the best ways to preserve dried peppers.
Down below is information on how to store dried peppers. Listed is one way to dry Mexican peppers common in authentic dishes, however, everyone has their own way of doing so! It is important to properly store dried peppers for long use.
What Are Dried Peppers?
In many Mexican dishes, dried peppers are common to use during cooking. They are not only delicious but versatile! You can use dried peppers to make broths, stews, and heavy rice dishes. The great thing about dried peppers is that they can be any type! However, the most common types of peppers that you can dry are:
- Mexican Red Chilis
- Guajillo Peppers
- Ancho Peppers
- Chipotle Peppers
The process of drying peppers is surprisingly quick and easy, but it does take time. You should always take a few hours of time to do this properly.
Why Do You Store Dried Peppers?
Why not just use fresh peppers? While fresh peppers have a savory flavor, they do not last long. For areas with a long growing season, it may not be necessary to use dried peppers. However, dried peppers last longer because there is a lack of moisture in the fruits of the plant. The biggest reason that peppers, like all other vegetables, start to rot is because of an excess of moisture in the vegetable or fruit.
It is not recommended to leave dried peppers in an open area. While they won’t start to rot immediately on your counter, they can decrease the flavor. It is not uncommon to taste peppers that have been improperly stored with a lack of spice and sweetness. The fruit will become bland if left out in the open. This makes it hard to understand how to Store Dried Peppers.
How To Store Dried Peppers
Now, you are probably wondering to yourself ‘how to store dried peppers’. Although everyone has their own process and preferences, listed below are four steps on how to store dried peppers.
Step 1: Choose the Peppers
Before you can begin to think about drying peppers, you should consider which ones to use. There are so many peppers to choose from! The drying method has been around for centuries and is not likely to go away anytime soon. Although it is more common to dry peppers for cooking, you can use the same process on tomatoes and garlic to make powders and dried fruits.
Peppers come in various sizes, shapes, colors, and flavors! There is an entire scale dedicated to ranking hot and sweet peppers by their ‘heat’ levels called the Scoville scale. It is also a lot easier to choose peppers that are small as they have more flavor packed into the fruit.
Step 2: Cut Peppers into Small Pieces
Gather the peppers you will be drying. After you have all of them, cut the larger peppers into small pieces. This will decrease the drying process. However, smaller chili peppers can be dried whole. Before you can dehydrate the peppers, you will need to take out the pits and seeds.
Keep in mind, however, some people prefer the seeds as they give a kick. You can keep the seeds to make a chili pepper powder mix as well to add extra flavor.
Step 3: Dehydrate or Bake the Peppers
There are a lot of ways you can dry peppers for storage, however, the most common two are using a dehydrator or baking the peppers in an oven. A dehydrator is a device that sucks out the moisture from the peppers and helps in the process of how to store dried peppers. A dehydrator can take up to 12 hours to take the moisture out of each pepper using the drying screens. Not everyone, however, has a dehydrator.
Ovens are more common in households and can do the same thing, but with a few changes! However, it is easier to accidentally burn a pepper when using an oven. Depending on the size and type, you can line hot and sweet peppers on a baking sheet with some kind of substance to decrease the chances of the pepper sticking onto the pan.
Bake at 150-175 degrees Fahrenheit, with the door, slightly cracked to allow air in. Flip every thirty minutes and check frequently.
Step 4: Cool and Place in Air Tight Bags
Once they are done dehydrating and baking, you should place the peppers in an air-tight bag. Try not to cram too many different peppers in one location. While it may save space to use the same bag for storing dried peppers, the flavors can invade each other. Instead, use multiple bags.
Best Ways To Preserve Dried Peppers
There are so many ways you can preserve dried peppers efficiently! I also recommend avoiding other tips, like placing dried peppers in a humid location. Dried peppers will lose flavor over time, this is normal, however, they are resistant against bugs and diseases since they lack moisture. It is important to understand how to Store Dried Peppers as it lengthens the pepper’s shelf life.
While this is the case, the peppers can grow mold if exposed to a lot of moisture. How to store dried peppers is a hard question to answer for a lot of Mexican cooks because there are so many ways! They should always be stored, however, in a sealable container. When you store the peppers, make sure to take out the excess of air. For example, press down on a Ziploc bag to push out the air.
All in all, it is not difficult to figure out a great way on how to store dried peppers, but it takes trial and error. What works for someone on how to store dried peppers, does not work for others. What do you think of this article? Do you know any other storage tips and tricks for dried hot peppers? Comment them below and share this article with friends and family!
what is a dried peppers?
Dried peppers are peppers that go through a drying process naturally or using a heat source like an oven. These peppers are commonly used in authentic Mexican cooking and thoroughly enjoyed.
how to dry chili peppers
Chili peppers are easy to dry. The best way to start is by picking them when they are ripe. You can either dry them by leaving them by using a dehydrator or an oven. Since not everyone has a dehydrator, it may be easier to use an oven. Bake them on low for approximately two hours, while also periodically rotating them.
do dried chiles go bad?
Dried chili peppers do not go bad for a long time. They can last up to an entire year, however, they can lose flavor. It is also important to store dried chilies in an area that is away from humidity and moisture to not produce mold.