Hot peppers (aka chiles) are one of the most popular food items to dehydrate. Most reputable sources also agree that they are one of the highest quality dehydrated products you can make.
You use dried hot peppers as a flavouring / seasoning element in dishes.
You can use them in larger pieces, or minced, or ground to a powder.
Yields and Equivalents
1 tablespoon dried hot pepper = 3 tablespoons chopped fresh hot pepper
Here we compare directions from three different sources.
Ball Blue Book
Preparation: “Wash, cut into pieces about ¼ to 1 inch (½ to 3 cm) thick.”
Temperature: 125 F / 52 C
Time: Until crisp.
Notes: “Crush or grind and use as a seasoning in soups, stews, casseroles, and Mexican foods… When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.”
Water content: 93%. (Used if doing a Dehydration Weight Test.)
Reference: Ball Blue Book, 37th edition, 2014. Page 167.
Note: Ball All New (2016) says “Cut into ¼ inch (.5 cm) wide strips. Dry until brittle.” (Page 339)
Preparation: “Wash peppers. They can be diced or left whole. Peppers that are diced will have better color and aroma because the drying time will be shorter. When cutting peppers, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.”
Temperature: 125 F / 52 C
Time: “Until leathery.”
Notes: “Choose fully developed dry pods of dark varieties such as Anaheim, Jalapeno, Red Cayenne, Hungarian, Yellow, and Red Chili… After dehydration, hot peppers may be ground to make paprika, cayenne pepper, or chili powder.”
Reference: Excalibur. Preserve it naturally. 4th edition, 2012. Page 26 and 58.
So Easy To Preserve
Preparation: Wash, stem, core. Remove “partitions.” Cut into disks about ⅜ by ⅜ inch.” [Ed. We can’t quite picture that either.]
Temperature: 140 F / 60 C
Drying time: 8 to 12 hours
Reference: So Easy To Preserve. 6th Edition. 2014. Page 350.
Special notes for New Mexico style green chiles
New Mexico style green chiles (aka Hatch, aka Numex, aka just “green chile” by the locals in New Mexico) are always peeled before dehydrating as their skins are otherwise so tough as to be unpalatable. Here’s directions from New Mexico State University:
Chile peppers, green. Wash. To loosen skins, cut slit in skin, then rotate over flame 6–8 min. or scald in boiling water. Peel and split pods. Remove seeds and stem. (Wear gloves if necessary.) No blanching. Dry 4 to 8 hours until crisp, brittle, medium green.” Flores, Nancy C. and Cindy Schlenker Davies. Drying Foods. New Mexico State University. Guide E-322. 2016. Page 2.
Let the dehydrated product cool completely to room temperature before packing it into storage containers.
Watch the sealed containers for the first few days for any sign of condensation. If condensation occurs, dehydrate a bit more.
Label jar with name of product and date. Store away from heat and direct light.
Use in soups, stews, casseroles, rice dishes, Mexican foods, etc.
Or, grind up or mince and use as a spice.
Cover with cold water and soak 30 to 90 minutes, or cover with boiling water and soak 20 to 60 minutes. After soaking, simmer until tender.” P. Kendall, P. DiPersio and J. Sofos. Drying Vegetables. Colorado State University Cooperative Extension. Publication no. 9.308. July 2004. Page 2
When adding to a dish with lots of liquid, there’s no need to rehydrate in advance: just add about 15 to 20 minutes before the end of cooking time.
When using minced or ground as a spice, there is no need to rehydrate.