Smoke drying peppers

sworegonjim(8)August 8, 2010

I have never tried to smoke dry a fresh pepper. What kind of temperature do you maintain in your smoker? I guess you simply turn them a time or two and keep them in the smoker until they are fully dried?

I would appreciate some guidance. Thanks!

Jim in SW Oregon

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Hey Jim,

I've smoked pounds of peppers over the past few years. I'll respond with my experience but others may differ.

First, it'd be helpful to know what you're using as s "smoker". I use a Big Green Egg with Hickory chunks for small batches and an electric Bradley smoker with Hickory pucks for large volumes.

In my experience anything more than 5 or 6 hours of good smoke is a waste of smoke material.

When it comes to fully drying, it really depends on your pepper (thin wall cayenne faster) and (thick walled Jalapenos longer) and adequate heat and air flow. I pull my smoked peppers off the smoker after 5 - 6 hours and dry in cheap Wmart dehydrators. They're done when they snap.

Regarding temp, I treat peppers as a perishable food item where bacteria can easily grow. As such I maintain temps in the 140F - 200F zone. Even cheap dehydrators without temp control are designed to maintain 140+. Some may recommend lower temps to retain better colour but I err on the side of caution.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 8:38PM
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One more thing...

I slice all my smoking peppers in half lengthwise. Even though whole smoked & dried peppers may look purttier, slicing allows for better smoke penetration, faster drying and weeding out of peppers that are going bad or have little critters taking up residence.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 8:50PM
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From the research i did (today) before smoking my first batch, it appears the low temp is used for the smoking process (2-4 hours) and then you dry them. I used this batch for fermented sauce, but my next smoke out is going to be for drying. After smoking, I plan to lay them out on a cookie sheet and back at 150 in the oven until dried.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 8:56PM
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Ya might want to re-think the oven thing. Did that the first time I heavly smoked Jalapeno peppers. Woke up @ 3AM to the smell of smoke and thought the house burnt down around me. Opened the oven door and felt like I got hit with pepper spray.

Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 9:20PM
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Hey - thanks for the info. I have a big propane smoker that I use often for meat; beef, pork, turkey, chicken, elk, deer and such. It is really simple to hold the temp evenly for long periods.

Bill - my sister in Illinois uses a Big Green Egg, pretty much year round. She absolutey loves it. I have gotten her into smoking meats and using homemade rubs this summer. She will be glad to hear that you use your egg for smoking peppers.

Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 9:30PM
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Sounds like you got a great setup for smoking. Gotta have good air flow and heat for good drying though.

Yep, I use my BGE year round. Two years ago we did a beef roast in -35F. Turned out juicy and moist... try pulling that off on a metal gas Q. LOL Your sister has great taste!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 10:05PM
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I also have a Bradley electric, I am thinking split into 1/2 (large jalapenos) 3-4 hours smoke at 145, then complete in dehydrator.

Is this a good Plan?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 2:31AM
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