Last Updated on February 15, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Chili preserves well by drying them. Because of their thin walls, the fruits are quick and easy to dry. This allows for a steady supply of chilled chilies until next year’s harvest.
How To Use Dried Chilli Peppers
Dried chilies can be used in a variety of ways, just like fresh chilies. These can be stored in containers and woven into a chili ristra. You can also grind them into a paste, or even add oil or vinegar to warm them.
When to Harvest Chili Peppers for Drying
It doesn’t matter if your chilies turn red before you can pick them. You can pick the fruits as soon as they have matured. They will be full-sized and beige by then.
Wear Gloves When Harvesting Chili Peppers
Wear garden gloves if you plan to pick a lot of fruits or if you have a tendency to forget. It is impossible to get rid of all the chili pepper’s spicy capsaicin even after thorough cleaning. As you can imagine, a quick glance or a blink during a lapse in concentration can cause severe pain. Gloves protect your hands from the fiery fruits so you can take them off after harvesting.
To make a ristra, cut the chilies leaving the attached stem intact. To remove dirt and dirt, you can wipe the fruits with a dry towel.
How to Make A Chili Pepper Ristra
A ristra simply refers to an arrangement of dried chili peppers. These are very easy to make, and can look stunning.
Because it is smooth and fine, fishing line is best for your ristra. It offers the least resistance which allows the chilies glide on the line with ease and cotton thread is a close second. Start by attaching a knot to one end of the string. You will need to tie a knot at one end of the line. This will hold the first chili, so make sure it is large enough that it doesn’t fall off.
The other end of your line should be threaded through a darning needle. Next, start to thread on the chilies. The needle should be pushed through the green cap of each chili, not the flesh. This could allow for mold growth.
After you have threaded all your chilies on, tie the line to create a loop. Place the chili peppers in a spiral arrangement, making sure each chili should be placed at least 30-60 degrees apart from the next. Spiral ristras look prettier and improve airflow, which will allow the fruits to dry faster. Your ristra should be hung in a well-ventilated, warm place.
Using a Dehydrator to Dry Chili Peppers
A dehydrator can be used to dry the fruits instead of drying them in the air. The fruits will dry out in 24 hours if the air is warm enough. Splitting the freshly picked chili peppers in half lengthwise will speed up drying. Place them on trays and let them dry. This is where a pair of gloves can be very useful.
You can dry fruits without a dehydrator by simply threading them onto a fishing line or cotton thread and spacing them as miniature stockings. It shouldn’t take more than two to three week for them to dry. After that, they can be dried in an oven at low heat for one hour.
Storing Chili Peppers
You can store dried chili peppers in any container that is airtight. You can either keep them whole, or cut them in half for use in spicy homemade curries. To make chili oil, you can either use dried chilies or infuse whole fruits with olive oil in sterilized bottles.