Dehydrating Peppers

missemerald(7 (Virginia))September 28, 2012

We bought a dehydrator recently and have been loving it. It's great for all sorts of stuff!! My problem is that I tried to dehydrate bell peppers once, and didn't like the results. They seemed to take forever and never entirely dried out, then they got moldy. What I'd like to know is how to slice them (pieces? slices> rings?), how to treat them, how long to let them dehydrate (I have a 700 watt Nesco if that matter), and how to tell when they're done. The book isn't very explicit; the fruit worked great but I obviously need help with these. My peppers plant is still producing monster peppers and I need to do something with the ones in the refrigerator (I've already put bunches in the freezer). Thanks for the help!

Marcy

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

Chopped into small pieces is the easiest and fastest. 8-10 hours until fully dried.

Problem is they turn shriveled, dark and unappealing in appearance. Taste ok but don't look so good. One reason why freezing peppers is so much more popular than dehydrating them.

As an alternative you can 1/2 dry rings or slices till lethery and then store them in the freezer. But that is just more work and wastes energy when you could just freeze them in the first place.

IMO peppers just don't lend themselves all that well to dehydrating while they will store in the freezer for a couple of years.

Dave

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 6:01PM
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missemerald(7 (Virginia))

Thanks, Dave. That's pretty much the opinion I came up with also-- I've been freezing them for years and wanted to try something different. Seems like it would be a wasted effort to 1/2 dry peppers and then freeze them, so I don't think I'll bother. I'm not impressed with dehydrated tomatoes either (unless I'm doing something wrong there).

I'm loving the dehydrator, though, and am continually looking for new stuff to try in it :) My kids have been gobbling the dried fruit like crazy!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 9:23PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I tend to agree on the peppers and tomatoes.
Much prefer to can my tomatoes and freeze pepper chunks (or roasted and peeled, depending on type).

Try making kale chips in the dehydrator! Yummy.
Just tear washed kale leaves into "chip sized" pieces.
Place in a big bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands to make sure all the leaves are lightly coated.
Spread on dehydrator trays, season with salt, pepper,dry spices of your choice (I like garlic powder). Only takes about 4-5 hours to make a big batch of healthy snacks!

Deanna

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 10:29AM
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jackieblue

Your drying time is going to vary depending on the humidity in the air where your dehydrator is. So if you are dehydrating in the kitchen and you're doing anything that may add moisture to the air then it is going to take longer. Instead of going by a strict timeframe, try testing a few pieces from different spots in the dehydrator before taking them all out. Take a couple pieces out and lay them somewhere to cool. Once cooled pick them up and drop them a few times on your counter. They should sound dry, like a clickety clackety sound or like potato chips being dropped on the counter. If they sound like that then they are dry. You can take them out of the dehydrator but don't package them for storage just yet. Put them in a bag or jar and several times a day just pick them up and look for signs of moisture condensating on the bag or jar, if you see moisture put them back in the dehydrator if you don't just shake them up a bit and let them sit. You should ideally do this for ten days if you are going to seal them up for long term storage. The shaking and waiting allows what little moisture content there is to completely stabilize so you wont have a moist spot that will mold and ruin the whole batch.

I've done red, yellow, orange, and green peppers in rings and strips. They retain their color very well and so they look great in addition to retaining flavor and nutrients.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:50PM
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psittacine

One year we had so many of peppers, (bells and hots) that after doing foods like salsas and spiced tomatoes, as well as stuffing as many as I had room for into the freezer after roasting them on the grill, I dehydrated the remaining. I diced them and dried them crisp. It was wonderful for convenient flavoring in soups, as an addition to the top of potatoes as they cook or in a pasta sauce etc. 1 TBS = 1 large bell. Stored them in a canning jar with the air removed and really missed them when I ran out. More will be done this year!

As jackieblue said, all dehydrated foods should be tested for excess moisture by placing in a container large enough to stir/shake them for several days. This time allows for the internal moisture and the external dryness to equalize, and if too much moisture remains, put back into the dehydrator.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 7:47PM
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