Can I dry peppers in the oven, and if so what temp and how long?
Very expensive way to dry peppers. A dehydrator would make more sense. An oven doesn't offer warm air movement, and most ovens cannot control the temperatures below about 200 degrees, far to hot for most drying. You don't want to bake them. Also, the faster the item dries, the more flavor and color it retains. Dehydrators are easy to find and there are many that offer fans as well as just simple low wattage heater coils.
A convection oven would move air for drying, but not all convection ovens have a low enough temperature.
There is another issue. If you dry peppers in the house, you're going to fill the air with pepper fumes. Believe me, it's not an enjoyable atmosphere. It would be better to dry in a garage, or if the weather allows (not damp) on a covered patio, etc.
There are inexpensive dehydrators stores like Wal-Mart carry that would definitely be worth looking into.
Recently, a Tai resturant in NY was drying some very hot peppers to be used in some very spicy dishes. Apparently the fumes were so strong the neighborhood had to be evacuated, and the fire deparment was called in. Needless to say there wasn't much they could do, until the fumes went away.
If you are not in a hurry and want to go on the cheap, you can always air dry Cayenne peppers.
Unlike Jalapenos that have a thick skin that results in rotting before drying when using an air dry method, Cayenne are thin skinned and easy to dry in a relatively warm spot with good air circulation.
You could make a decorative ristra and hang it in a sunny window. IÂve included a link below. Of course a dehydrator works great and is faster but, you wonÂt have the enjoyment of watching your nice red peppers dry naturally.
Just an option,
Here is a link that might be useful: Ristras
IÂm sorry, after posting my response I realized that I did not directly answer your question. If your oven can keep a 150F temperature, this would be the setting to dry peppers over a 12 Â 17 hour period. Of course, convection is the best route if you have the option.
Trust me, as ksrogers and Carol have mentioned, this would not be your optimum method to dry them. I heavily smoked some jalapeÃ±o peppers for five hours and put them in the oven at 150 overnight to finish drying. Suffice to say that my significant other did not appreciate the fact that our place smelled like it burnt down in the morning. The hot pepper aroma on top of the smoke smell in the kitchen didnÂt make things any better! LOL
So if you really want to use your oven, 150F is the temperature for 15 hours to thoroughly dry (my best guess).
Best of luck which ever way you go.
Peppers usually mold before they air-dry here in Missouri. However, cayennes are one of those varieties that have a chance of succeeding.
I have a friend in New York state that is experimenting dehydrating whole pods packed in salt. He reports that it is going well.
Some peppers are easier than others to dry outside - but unless you have the sunny days when the peppers finally ripen, it poses quite a problem.
I'm still working on outside drying and have had a bit of success with the Thai types - they are small and seem to dry OK without molding inside.
On the other hand, some of the larger ones will dry if they are split in two - but even then must be watched for mold every day. Also the hot sun will cook them, rather than dry.
I've had some luck with ristrau types, but must watch for weather - especially later in the season when hot temps can cook them.
My little operation consisted of 2 window screens butterflied together with space inside to slide the peppers between. I also rigged a very small fan to blow indirectly on them - during the day.
I managed to dry almost all of my ancho types that way - and went on to process them into enchilada sauce. It turned out great - I might add (my GD said so too), and I was able to add a few more hot types to spice things up a bit.
I still have quite a few large ancho and some blocky types drying on my window sill - the last of the garden - and they seem to be surviving OK. I will cut into them to see if there is any mold - if so, they will be opened and exposed a bit more.
Not sure if this is helpful - I'm still learning, but thought I would share.
Here it was a lousy gardening summer and the rainiest fall in 10 years. If I tried to air-dry peppers they'd just rot. Heck, forget the peppers molding. At this rate, I'll be molding.
Gee, Carol, only a hundred miles south we're practically in a drought. It has been really strange to watch all the storms hit you guys and we don't get a drop sometimes.
Like yesterday, it only sprinkled a couple of times here.
Last night we got almost a 1/4" though.....
I've been wishing we hadn't had the 3 days of frost in September........maybe more tomatoes and peppers could have ripened on the vine. :+(
No frost here yet. It's cooling but is still akin to monsoon season. This fall's been a bit of a challenge for the vintners.
Hey Deanna, did you try that nut shortbread? (Talk about OT.)
We finally had a small shower. Funny thing - the weather forecasters really gave a big "hoot-de-do" about it. You would have thought we were in for a big flood or something - but maybe the back country got some, but wish they could be a bit more specific about these "alarming" forecasts.
At least it washed the dirt (outfall from cars) off the fruit trees - often wondered just how much the trees can withstand (carbon emissions), without being damaged.
My tomato crop was a bust - it was overcast right up until late August - then heat - but that was when the peppers started coming red ripe, so we lucked out there.
Started fall planting - with temps in the 60-80 range - but have shaded most of them. Lots of peppers still looking strong, so may try to start a bed of perennials with them. If I don't need to replant next year, that will make gardening a bit easier. Need all the help I can get from now on - as the saying goes. It probably won't be necessary to plant anyway, as I preserved quite a bit this year. I do like that every 2 year "rule" that canners/preservers go by.
Just my 2 c's.
I have found a wonderfully quick and efficient way to dry red peppers, small quanities atleast. A week and a half ago I pulled my last peppers off the plant before the frost. I laid them across the top of my 42" flat screen tv. with in a week they were almost dry. 8-10 days total dried em completely. The tv was left on overnight on occasions, maybe 60% of the time. The peppers were dried whole and uncut with the stem attached.