Dehydrated peppers can be confusing, if you have ever wondered how to use dehydrated peppers, you are in the right place. Listed below are a few facts, quick tips and tricks, and important information to consider when dehydrating peppers.
There are a lot of things that you can use dried chili peppers for! These delicious peppers are packed with flavor, and although they are dried, do not lose their intense flavors.
What Is The Purpose Of Dehydrating Peppers?
There is a long history that comes with dehydrating peppers. In North America, there used to be short growing seasons because of the long winter months. Although now we have commercial growing and indoor greenhouses, this was not always the case.
Families in Mexico and the U.S would grow, harvest, and cook with food from their land. In fall, they would take these gigantic harvests and dehydrate and can them so the food could last them throughout winter. This way, the product would not rot and they could have food during the months where they could not grow or hunt due to the harsh weather.
Interestingly, this changed for a few reasons. Suddenly, the world of farming received many innovations that allowed agriculturists a longer growing period. However, a lot of people loved dehydrated peppers because the flavor was more intense than a hydrated pepper. This is the case because as pepper is dehydrated, there is less water to dilute the flavor.
What Can You Use Dehydrated Peppers for?
There are many dishes and meals that use dehydrated peppers as opposed to freshly grown peppers. Thankfully, if you do decide to use these peppers in your kitchen, there is a lot you can do with them! The most common uses are:
- Soups and Stocks
- Dried Pepper Powder
- Chili Flakes
Dehydrated peppers are because with just some water or liquid, they can revert back to their original form. When you use dehydrated peppers in soups, pasta, and stock the liquids hydrate the peppers again. However, dehydrated peppers in the form of powder or chili flakes have a spiciness and do not rehydrate.
How To Dehydrate Peppers
Since there are so many ways to prepare and use dehydrated peppers, the way you cook them depends! For example, if you choose to use dehydrated peppers for dried chili peppers, then you need to work on a drying process. Most of the time, the chili peppers we eat in recipes and seasonings are mainly made up of seeds that pack heat and flavor.
The best way to use and dehydrate peppers is to slice the peppers. It is very difficult to dry chili peppers without first cutting them. You can chop them up finely or slice them directly down to form a ‘circle’. Once you have sliced your desired peppers, you can begin the process.
Keep checking every thirty minutes on the status of your pepper, and rotate them when the side pointing up appears like leather. You can also dry peppers whole, but they take significantly longer!
Storing Dehydrated Peppers
The hardest part about dehydrating peppers is to store them properly so they last months. Surprisingly, it is not difficult! You can use either a container with a lid that seals tightly, a plastic bag with a Ziploc or a mason jar. While there are products that will store dehydrated peppers in small spaces, they are not always necessary.
Since there is no moisture or water left in your peppers, they are not at risk for molding. However, to decrease the chances, you should store them in a closed place with light. For example, place them in your pantry in a tightly sealed bag. If air gets in, then so can bacteria and moisture.
Typically, you can store homemade dehydrated peppers for 6 months, but it depends on the process you used to dehydrate them. If you ever are unsure, you should not consume the peppers or refrigerate them to preserve them.
Tips And Tricks On Using Dehydrated Peppers
For those of you who are new to using and main dehydrated peppers, this information may seem like a lot! However, with a few tips and tricks, the process can go smoothly. My first tip for you is to experiment and choose various different peppers. Although Mexican food uses a lot of chili peppers native to Mexico, you can dehydrate any pepper!
Since they have a long storage time, you don’t have to worry about wasting peppers as you can add them back into any recipe of your choosing. Another trick I have for you is to invest in a dehydrator. Although the oven works well, there are tools that can speed up the dehydrating process. This tool can be found nearly everywhere and is an excellent help!
If you do use the oven trick, you should always leave the oven slightly open to let air in. This not only speeds up the process but allows some moisture into the oven as the peppers dehydrate. If you are creating a powder, always air dry and wash the seeds first. Contrary to popular belief, washing the seeds with water does not take away the spiciness.
Dehydrated peppers are a must in nearly all Mexican cuisine! These peppers pack a punch and come in various colors, sizes, and varieties. Did you know that you can make your own? The process and storage are easy! You can use household items and appliances like an oven.
Once the peppers are complete, you can simply hydrate them in boiling water or seasoned stock to intensify the flavor. This method not only preserves the peppers longer without the use of a refrigerator but also increases the spiciness.