Dehydrating jalapeno peppers is a great way to preserve them for later use in soups, chilies, beans, or anything you cook. It seems we use them in just about everything. Dehydrating basically takes all the liquid from them, or dries them out. Later, when you soak them in water or use them in your recipes, they re-hydrate and and look just like they did when you pick them! By dehydrating them now, we will save money because we won’t have to purchase any throughout the winter. So, it’s time to bring out the dehydrator!
We use a simple dehydrator, which you can purchase from most department stores such as Target, K-Mart, or Walmart. Our dehydrator has 3 trays which stack on top of each other. This makes it neat and not take up a lot of room in your kitchen.
A word of warning here! Handling the jalapeno peppers bothers some people by making their hands burn. If this is the case with you, you might want to wear some light disposable gloves. And for everyone, be careful not to handle them and then rub your eyes or face!!! They don’t bother my hands, but I accidentally rubbed my eye one time and it was not fun
Dehydrating Jalapeno Peppers
(1) Rinse and dry your jalapeno peppers.
(2) Cut them into even slices – they don’t have to be perfect, just cut them as equal as you can.
(3) Spread them out on the dehydrator trays, being careful not to overlap them.
(4) We turn our dehydrator on high and let them stay in there for approximately 4 to 5 hours. This will depend on how many you have on the trays and how closely they are packed together. The more you have the longer it will take because of air flow.
They will be dry and crunchy when done. They will also have shrunk up in size, as you can see from the pictures above of the completed ones.
(5) After they are finished dehydrating, store them in a freezer bag in the freezer for use. Whenever you need them, just grab a handful out! Note: if there are a few that aren’t quite crunchy – this is fine. They will be alright since you are storing them in the freezer.
We also use a lot of cayenne pepper when we cook, so we dehydrate them this same way. The only exception is they have to be crushed up. I’m not sure of the best way to do this, but we use a small food processor. Just be careful not to breath any of the pepper dust. It works great for us! After they are crushed, put them in a shaker and there you are