Saturday, August 22, 2009

How To Dry Hot Peppers

What do you do when you don't want to Pickle a Peck of Picked Peppers?

You String 'em UpFont size!

By Pat Mader

A close friend planted a really huge Garden, to which they added a variety of Peppers. Bob wanted to add to his growing collection of Hot Pepper Seeds so he dropped a little hint. He brought over several large coffee cans - for putting around their Tomatoes and Bell Peppers, and several 1-inch hot pepper plants of 3 varieties: Anaheim, Hungarian Hot, and Cherry Peppers.

The tiny plants were duly planted and several weeks later; our friend handed me a 3 gallon bucket full of assorted h0t peppers. Now what?

Bob only needed a few for his seed collection which left me with a Peck Sack of Picked Peppers! So I decided to try my hand at stringing them up to dry. Here are the 3 methods. Try any you like.


Stem Wrapping Method


The First method was to wrap the stems tightly with a long string of yarn - adding one pepper after another. It really looked good. Until I tried to hang the peppers up to dry! The whole darn thing unraveled and peppers went from "Heck to Breakfast". Across the counter, To the floor, and under my Bar Stool perch! But I still had the string of yarn in my hand...It fell apart to fast and I didn't get a picture.

Stem Tying Method

My next attempt was more successful. I tied each stem, knotting the yarn each time.

But it was an awkward procedure and the pepper spacing on the string was left to chance. That's when Bob stepped up and said that he read that some people dry their Hot Peppers by sewing them together. You wouldn't believe the images That brought to mind. Ladies at Sewing Machines inserting one pepper after another... But I decided to try it.

Sewing Through the Stem Cap Method



























For the Sewing Through the Stem Cap Method, I used a regular needle and sewing thread - but heavier thread may be better. Sewing into the base of the Stem Cap, close to the pepper, I strung the Hot Peppers quite easily. And they look nearly as good at those pepper decorations you see. Hang the Hot Pepper Strings in a Door Way or on a Garage or Attic Rafter.

We are still in the "Wait and See" stage of this experiment. Will the thread break? Will the Peppers dry OK? Will the seeds be OK? All I can say for now, is it sure looks pretty!

CAUTION

It's best to wear protective gloves when working with Hot Peppers expecially. However, All peppers have oils that can burn your eyes. And I am here to tell you. You won't like it. Just a wiff on your fingers and rubbed accidentally into your eye is excruciating. Get under running water immediately if this happens and and flush your eye for several minutes - while your jumping up and down and yelling bad words. Small amounts of juice can even burn your hands and fingers.

Additional Methods of Drying

Place sliced Peppers out in the hot sun on a sheet or window screen.
I would not recommend plastic sheeting or screen - or any type of galvanized window screen.

The roof of a car works good. Don't forget about the Peppers. I've even heard of using the bed of a Truck. Dry in the sun on one side for 8 hours, then turn them over for another 8 hours. The peppers are done when they snap!

Be sure to cover them nightly if you leave them out to keep the bugs off!

Copyright Robert Mader 2009
All Rights Reserved
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