Storing an Using Hot Peppers

Mexican food is a favorite of a lot of people and depending on the region of Mexico, it can be hot to burn your mouth out hot.

Most of the food, I like is mild, but my husband is the burn your out mouth hot. For our storage, I have been drying chile peppers. Below I have explained a few and their use.

There are two ways of drying chilies, you can make a braid and hang them in a garage or shed to dry.  Usually I cut them in half or fourth’s, then dry them in my dehydrator. I will try drying my next batch outdoors on the rack.  Remove the seeds if you want a milder product. You can crush the peppers if you want powdered chili.  When you dry peppers do it on your deck or outside, they take your breath away while drying. It is almost like a mild pepper spray. Man talk about a head rush.

There have been some great sales on chilies lately. Jalapenos, (small dark green & hot), Serrano’s, (smaller and slimmer, very hot), Wax chilies, (yellow chilies used for salsas and garnish) and Ancho/Anaheims, long pale green chile, that are used for Chili Rellenos. You can also buy them in cans. Poblano, they are a heart shaped dark green chile, which are thicker and shorter. They are the best for chili rellenos. (They don’t break while stuffing).

Except for the Serrano peppers, you can dry or freeze most chilies. Serrano Peppers are thick skinned, dark green and as they ripen they turn colors, red or yellow even brown. You don’t have to roast then before using, which makes them the most popular for cooking.

Habaneros are another pepper that turns colors and gets hotter as they mature. Heat: Very hot… Can be used in any dishes and they grind well for shaker use.

Chilitepans, these can be bought in specialty shops, they are mainly used for salsa or jointly with other spices. They are also very seedy.  (Very-very hot)

I have researched a lot on chilies and their use, some you have to be very careful with. Wearing gloves is always recommended when handling chilies while roasting and cutting. Be sure you have no cuts or sores on your hands while handling chilies and do not touch your eyes or mouth. The experience is a long lasting one. (My grandma roasted her chile outside on an open fire.) Now I understand why.

Chilies were widely used in the American West, because they kept well, were cheap and added lots of spice to beans, jerky or almost any other dish.

Preparedness Mom

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4 Responses to Storing an Using Hot Peppers

  1. A veteran who is preparing says:

    We plant and dry Habaneros, Thai Dragons, and Chayennes. When we dry them we cut the tops off and slit the side to almost the bottom. Then put them in the dehydrator. Seems to work fine, they dry out pretty quickly and as they dry they trap the seeds inside as they curl inwards.

  2. prepping in florida says:

    We have been growing Hab’s for years and make a killer seasoning that we call “Devil’s Dust”.
    Your comment about splitting the habs prior to drying is the best method we have found. It dries them in half the time. Also we freeze our habs whole, till the crop comes in.
    As soon as we have a complete crop for the year. We thaw and dry. After the dry we use a coffee grinder and grind them so they are usable for seasoning. Please do your grinding outside, use gloves and a respirator..
    My wife and I have a plant that is 3 years old. We call it the mother plant. As soon as it turns cold we nip it back and store it in the garage. A little water every now and then and in the spring bring it out. Soon she will be happy and blooming the hotties.

  3. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    How long do they stay good after drying? I’ve never kept any because they all got used but have often wondered.

    • prepping in florida says:


      After grinding I keep the ground peppers in an bell jar and use it up during the year till the next crop is grown and dried. Since i turn it over in a year that is all I can attest to.
      Good luck


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