Pepper finds a lot of uses in many recipes as a flavor enhancer. Dehydrating peppers is easy, straight forward and simple. Well dehydrated peppers add pleasant flavor to most recipes. And dehydrating peppers can be an added fun in the kitchen activities!
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The steps involved in dehydrating peppers
The steps involved in dehydrating peppers, as already pointed out, are easy. They are simple enough for anyone to follow. So let’s get down to the business of how pepper is dehydrated.
First select the pepper to be dehydrated. For best results, ensure you use peppers that are fresh. They should be free from any form of rottenness.
After selecting the peppers, remove the stalk. This is optional. But it is preferable to get them removed.
Wash them well and pat dry using a paper towel. Removing the seeds is optional. This mainly depends on the specie of the pepper. If the seeds are bulky, you may consider removing them.
Slice the peppers in stripes or in a rings form. You may also prefer to chop them. The slicing should either be 1/4 inches thick or a little thicker. It is however, important to note that the thicker the slices are, the longer it will take to dehydrate. Any desire to save time will mean slicing them as thinly as possible.
It is important also to note that the cutting or slicing should be uniform. This in turn will ensure that the drying is uniform. Uneven slices will lead to different time of drying for the vegetables.
Steam blanching of the pepper helps maintain its color. It is optional. It is really unnecessary if you don’t mind the color change.
But it may be carried out for two other reasons. One, it helps maintain the color of the peppers. Two, it helps soften the skin and surface of the peppers which make dehydration easier. It also enhances easier re-hydration later on.
Best result for steam blanching is achieved with electric steamers. However, in its absence, the improvised pan-type steamer may be used. In this case, the pepper is poured on the perforated upper section of the steamer. The pepper is allowed to steam for about two minutes.
Long steaming for blanching should be avoided. It has the disadvantage of destroying part of the enzymes and minerals that the peppers are rich in.
Allow the peppers to cool. Drain of any water and use a paper towel to blot out the excess moisture.
Spread the peppers evenly on the trays of the dehydrator. Better result is achieved if the peppers are in a single layer and do not overlap much.
Pack the trays back into the dehydrator and turn it on.
Set the temperature of the dehydrator at 125 degrees Fahrenheit or 52 degrees Celsius. This is the optimum temperature for dehydrating peppers.
Dehydrating peppers lasts for between 4 –8 hours. The actual time will vary depending on a number of factors. Such factors include: the type and power of the dehydrator. Also included are the environmental humidity and the moisture content of the pepper. Even different batches of the same pepper will likely take different times to dehydrate.
If you are using shelf dehydrators, it is a good practice to turn the trays midway into the drying to ensure uniform dehydration.
Start checking for dryness after about 3 hours.
The peppers are dried when they become leathery.
It is important not to over dry nor under dry the peppers. Over drying tends to destroy or at least reduce the vegetable quality. The vegetable color is also negatively affected by over drying. On the other hand, under drying causes poor shelf life.
When the peppers are dried, allow it to cool. When it cools to room temperature, unpack them from the dehydrator’s tray.
Package it and store. Packaging of the dehydrated peppers can be done using plastic food bags such as zip-lock. For longer shelf life, vacuum seal bags may be used. They can also be packed in a glass container with tight lid covers.
Dehydrated peppers may be stored as is after the dehydration or grounded to powder. Ground peppers are popular as food flavor enhancer.
Storing the dehydrated peppers in a freezer will help prolong its shelf life.
Re-hydrating the peppers is almost unnecessary most times.
Dehydrated peppers most often added straight to any recipe of your choice.
Getting premium dehydrated peppers calls for patience. You must resist the temptation to increase the dehydrator’s temperature so as to save some extra time with the dehydrating of the pepper.
Follow these easy steps of dehydrating peppers and try it out today. Why not share your experience with us afterwards. Meanwhile, you may wish to take a look on quality ..
Partake in the fun of dehydrating peppers today!