Homemade Crushed Hot Peppers


I’ve been canning. I’ve been freezing. We’ve got fresh vegetables coming out our ears! And suddenly I remembered the dehydrator. My cousin and his wife gave me a beautiful new food dehydrator for Christmas. My cousin’s wife is one of those people who are most excellent at choosing just the right gift. She knew I would love a dehydrator.
Only I hadn’t used it yet. I’ve done quite a bit of drying in the oven in the past–which can be a hassle. It heats up the house and takes up your oven for hours. But–for some reason, I was afraid the dehydrator might be difficult. I was afraid there might be a lot of instructions. I don’t like to read instructions.
Luckily, it turned out to be real simple. In fact, fun.

Dehydrating is just another way of preserving food, of course. Dehydration expands the options for making use of my garden bounty as well as offering all kinds of craft possibilities. I want to dry apple slices to make a wreath. I want to make potpourri and dried flowers. I want to dry herbs quicker, and make my own granola and fruit rolls. Dried minced onions and honey-dipped banana slices. We just planted grapes–I can make my own raisins. Oh, the things I shall dry out! All without having to take up my oven for hours on end and heat up my house.

I dived into my new obsession by making my own crushed hot peppers.
I had a huge bag of mixed hot peppers. I washed and cored them, not quite removing all the seeds (to keep it extra hot) then sliced the peppers into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch wide pieces. I filled up all eight trays in my dehydrator, placing the sliced peppers in single layers. Set the temperature dial, flipped the switch–and that was it.
Nine hours later, I had perfectly dried peppers. I let them cool then crushed them (very lightly) into a coarse mixture including the seeds.
A huge pile of peppers, reduced to one quart jar of concentrated fire.
It’s the ultimate in space-saving technology. Aren’t dried peppers pretty? Divided into smaller decorative jars wrapped with ribbon or raffia, this would make a great gift!

Dried fruits and vegetables should be kept in a cool, dry location. It’s warm and humid right now, so I’m keeping this jar in the freezer. Soups, stews, chilis, enchiladas, pizzas, and more will all be getting a little heat kick for months from this special stash, long after summer is over and fresh peppers are gone.

And it was so easy. If you don’t like canning, or even if you do, try dehydrating. I’m going to dry some tomatoes today! Tomorrow, I think shall dry an orangutan.

(Just checking to see if you are paying attention.)

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on August 3, 2009  

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27 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 8-3

    your own raisins is too fun, I remember my first ones. Blanching is recommended to soften skins, but I just pricked mine with a straight pin. A couple of failures for me were basil and marigolds, herb turned black and yellow faded almost to white. Great success was pear slices dusted with cinnamon sugar(yum), fruit leather, and zuchini. Nice big dehydrator, cool gift, and let us know how your tomatoes turn out please. Try pansies too.

  2. 8-3

    I love my dehydrator, but sometimes forget I have it!! The house fills with wonderful smells…….You will love using it!

    I did some cherry tomatoes a few years ago, because I had SO MANY!! They kept quite well for 3 years until I used them up! I sprinkled them with italian seasonings before drying, so good! Strawberries worked well after I used DeDe’s hints! And it was much easier drying the herbs with the dehydrator. Jerky works great!! I have tried an orangutan before tho…….. 8)

  3. 8-3

    lol! You are too funny!Sounds like a great thing, this dehydrator and lots of fun too. Lots of possible uses, but uh, don’t try the orangutan, ok?

  4. 8-3

    What an absolutely, fabulously thoughtful gift! Perfect!! But, how in the world did you core and cut up all those peppers?!… rubber gloves?… and, under a vent fan while wearing safety goggles??

  5. 8-3

    We like using ours to make jerky. I did dry apples once to put on a fall wreath. Orange slices are great dried in a dehydrator and used in a bowl of scented rosehips with cinnamon sticks. You’ll like this machine!

  6. 8-3

    I want to see the size of the jar that you use for that dried orangutan. Yowzer! :?

  7. 8-3

    I used my daughter’s dehydrator one year, and they are wonderful. Actually, I had forgotten about them. I dried tomatoes, peppers,and onions, makes really good stuff. Thanks for reminding me. I may have to have one.

  8. 8-3

    I had a dehydrator. It was my mother in laws. She never used it much. I brought it home and there it sits. I got bannans for .33cents a pound at walmart last night. I think I will cut up a few and try it out. I might have tomatoes comming in as well. Something else I can do. I never thought of drying onions. And I like to buy dryed onions. Something else to try. lol. Sounds like lots of food fun.

  9. 8-3

    I love my dehydrator. Dried pears are amazing. Kind of chewy like gummy candy. Last year, besides the pears we dried cherry tomatoes, peaches, apple slices, beef jerky, and sweet corn. All were wonderful. This year I’ve only remembered to do a batch of sweet cherries. So good, they are almost gone already. Hard to dry enough for winter storage. If the kids find your stash of dried stuff they will eat it quicker than candy.

    To keep the color a bit on the fruit I soaked the cut up fruit (pears, apples, peaches in crushed up Vit C tablets. It was cheaper than the ascorbic acid powder sold for food preservation and it’s the same stuff. Although the tablets probably have some kind of binder agent to keep them in tablet form. Should be food safe though, so no problem.

  10. 8-3

    I just inherited a dehydrator from my mom and dad–no instructions included. But there is a temperature dial. So my question is—what temp did you use to dry your peppers? I also have a bounty of banana peppers and jalapeno peppers–still waiting on the habaneros and serranos–I would love to dry some of these. And please let us know how your tomatoes turn out!!

  11. 8-3

    I dried them at 130 degrees, cut in about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices and it took about 9 hours.

  12. 8-3

    If you have one of those desiccant (sp?) packs from a bottle of vitamins, throw it in the jar with the dried food to keep the moisture down. Those packs can be used for many years. They may be dried in a low heat oven.

  13. 8-3

    Putting the jar of dried peppers under the cupboard is ok when it is hot out. Putting the jar in the freezer is not ok. if you are planning to put the jar on the counter when it is not hot & humid anymore. By putting it in the freezer you are slowly introducing moisture back into the dried peppers.I have the excalibur 9 tray dehydrater.I wouldnt want to live with out it.

  14. 8-3

    Well, I’m no expert, so I went by the instruction book that came with the dehydrator: “The ideal storage place is your refrigerator or freezer, particularly for storing low-acid foods such as meats, fish, and vegetables.” (Nesco Dehydrator Recipes & Instructions)

  15. 8-3

    My dehydrator and my food sealer work very well together. I just dried chard and kale for the first time. I am hoping that it will add a little green to our winter soups. I want to try some blueberries, but my some eats those faster than I can get them into the machine!

  16. 8-3

    Maybe if my garden is ever fruitful – my tomatoes got the blight but I’ll get some tomatoes out of them, something ate my peppers, the radishes didn’t grow, I got 1 zucchini so far and too much rain rotted some and bugs got some but I did get a few cucumbers and lots of onions lol.

  17. 8-3

    I have an Excaliber dehydrator, and I just love that thing. I’ve dried peppers, tomatoes, corn, broccolli, beans, peaches and plums…you name it. I’ve even cooked grain and then dehydrated it. I’ve also used it (the dehydrator) to incubate yogurt. That dehydrator has paid for itself many times over. I hope you enjoy your dehydrator, too.

  18. 8-3

    Great idea!

  19. 8-3

    I have to have one. I have been wanting one of these for a long time. I am glad you explained everything. I think I can use it no problem, thanks so much.
    Sunny California

  20. 8-3

    Good on you Suzanne! I have enjoyed mine for years and just love the results. I use powdered Fruit Fresh and cinnamon sprinkled on the apple slices. Yummo.

  21. 8-3

    Thanks for the temperature. I know what I am doing tomorrow!

  22. 8-3

    Our friends had a dehydrator, years and years ago…more like decades..and made the BEST beef jerkey!! I bet deer jerkey would be good too! I would love the banana slices – fruit stuff.

  23. 8-3

    Okay! You’ve talked me into it. I’m headed to e-bay now to check out dehydrators. Can’t wait to try it out and don’t know why I didn’t think to use one before. Thanks, Suzanne!

  24. 8-3

    The best thing I’ve ever dried was ‘Sun Gold’ cherry tomatoes. They are so sweet to start with, once they are dried they are like little pieces of tomato candy!

  25. 8-3

    OH I have done that for years and its the BEST way to keep food!!! NONE of the flavor leaves and when you use them they are just wonderful. I dry a lot of stuff that I use for soup and it tastes like FRESH!!! I have a jar big enough for the orangutan…

  26. 8-4

    My MIL told me that after she dehydrated peppers everything else she put in there tasted like peppers! Please tell this was an isolated instance.

  27. 8-4

    I did tomatoes and onions afterward and they didn’t taste like hot peppers!

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