Preserving Hot Peppers

veetaJuly 18, 2011

I have grown Tunisian baklouti hot peppers with the express purpose of making the north African saude harissa. The recipe I usually make calls for rehydrated dried New Mexico peppers, so I thought these would be more authentic and that I would dry them as well. However, I'd like to consider my options for preserving them. Does anyone have any suggestions? (e.g., pureeing and freezing, etc.) I do not have a dehydrator, and if I dry them outside I fear the birds would not resist--though they have so far stayed clear of the ripe peppers on the plants--and this 100 degree week would be perfect.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Oven dry them if you have no dehydrator. It is less energy efficient but works. And then freeze them until ready for use. That would give them the longest storage life.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 3:18PM
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veeta

Thanks--I'll try that with the fall harvest, but with the currently ripe ones I may just take chances with drying outside, as it's going to be 100 this week! Plus, my gas stove really smells when it is on low temps (I assume you do this at low temps--is that right?).

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 3:31PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Can you string them and dry in an enclosed area, such as a garage or someplace the birds won't get them ?
If it is that hot they should dry if you string them.
Yes, an oven would be low heat, and you prop the door open and put a fan on the side to blow out the moisture. Not a great solution, I don't think.
That, or can you rig up a box with something for racks to keep the birds out ? Use some vinyl window screen for racks. Walmart has Nesco dehydrators for a good price. Not the lousy Ronco or Sunbeam? ones they have, but the Nesco are good ones. About $50.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 5:05PM
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veeta

Thanks--I could hang them inside a shed, or I could use a door screen to protect them if I can figure out how to put it all together--I bet on my flat shed roof they'd dry super quick!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 5:19PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

My past attempts at drying peppers included tying 2 screens together in butterfly fashion, and hanging them outside my kitchen window. It worked fairly well, although did require more watching - to prevent sun scorching, etc.

However, one thing I do recall, it was best to cut the peppers in rings, to prevent the edges from rolling over onto themselves. If that happens, it provides an opportunity for mold to set in.

Because of my damp climate, I find a dehydrator to be the better option.

Bejay

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 5:29PM
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