dehydrators Dehydration timing question (not length of drying)

I picked up the Presto Dehydro electric model (or stock #) 06300 today. (I can return it if I don't like it)
Anyway, see my "Welcome" post and the picture and compare it to the picture below. The green from the habaneros is literally almost gone ..... the reapers have been sitting out for about 3-5 days now and so have the cayenne peppers.

Here's the confusion: *I KNOW* the peppers can sit out for 3-5 days and be perfectly fine. Past that you need to paper bag em' (IMHO) and put em' in the fridge and they'll continue to keep fine for up to 14 days.

*I DO NOT BELIEVE* I will have more peppers ready to dehydrate in the next 14 days. So I'm kind of at a "do it now" or wait a few more days for the habs to ripen completely.

Thoughts? Advice? (Ps... I live in a single wide mobile home with my elderly parents and I'm planning on choking the #hit out of them tonight. Will I succeed?)
Joke. - Ish. Will include a view of my front porch view too. Enjoy. (I am their caretaker)
 

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I don't normally wait. Put in what you have ready, add other stuff as it's ready to go. Pull as it dries.
 
I don't normally wait. Put in what you have ready, add other stuff as it's ready to go. Pull as it dries.
Thank you sir. I feel like I have a pretty good green thumb and every instinct in my body is telling me > "Do it now."
Ps......I'm in NC too, (I know you can see that).... Burke County, but technically Hickory mailing address. Our Police Dept. out here is named "Tim" and he only works part time. ~ True story. <grin>
 
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...So I'm kind of at a "do it now" or wait a few more days for the habs to ripen completely.
I wouldn't wait on the green pod to ripen. Dehydrate the ripe ones, and leave the green hab on the counter. That way, you let the flavor of the green hab develop, and you get to test-drive your new dehydrator.

One thing I recommend is to cut each pepper in half before you dehydrate. Sometimes peppers look fine on the outside, but are black and moldy on the inside. It also helps the pods dry faster.

Other thoughts:

Depending on what you're going to do with the dehydrated pods, you could dehydrate the green hab as well. If you're going to grind and make a hab powder, the green one would just "disappear" in with the ripe ones.

If more peppers are on the way, you can freeze what you have, and thaw and dehydrate later. In fact, lots of folks freeze their peppers first to break the cells in the pepper down, which releases moisture in the pepper. They'll dehydrate faster than fresh peppers. Remember, freezing the pods will kill the seeds. If you want to save seeds, remove them prior to freezing.

If you do want to save seeds from the peppers, you need to dehydrate at a lower temperature (if you can adjust). I use 105F max. It takes longer, but seeds are viable.

Just a few thoughts. Have fun and enjoy dehydrating!

EDIT: I just looked up your dehydrator and it's at a fixed temp of 165F. So, if you want to save seeds, you'll need to remove them prior to dehydrating.
 
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One thing I recommend is to cut each pepper in half before you dehydrate.

Good point. They dry much faster with the interior exposed. I ONLY leave my rainbow cayennes intact because I sell them as whole peppers.
 
One thing I recommend is to cut each pepper in half before you dehydrate. Sometimes peppers look fine on the outside, but are black and moldy on the inside. It also helps the pods dry faster.
I did cut each pepper in half. I also removed the seeds, rather roughly, from the habaneros and cayennes. I did not remove the seeds from the Reapers because they were rather small to start with.

I have mixed feelings about removing the seeds. Isn't that where all the hot stuff is?? (not in the seeds but the surrounding ...? whatever it's called)

You said something about depending on what I wanted to do with my peppers........

I definitely want to dehydrate and coffee grind the Habs for chili this winter. As for the Reapers, I will do the same but I'd also like to have some of them dried whole and kept in a clear, air tight jar. Is this doable?

Also, I live in NC and I am not sure if the "take a needle and string them together" will work for me due to humidity. I'm kinda worried about mold issues doing the string method on the Reapers. But, if I was able to pull it off, I could then put them in the air tight clear jar for storage. No?
 
Ristras (strung together) work really well in the New Mexico climate. You're right, it's too humid in NC to do that. Even just sun-drying outside is so-so at best - I tried that and had to throw out over half because they started rotting before drying fully.

Airflow is the key. a LITTLE warmth helps, but not so hot to cook them. In our climate it helps dry things out a bit.

I'm thinking of making a drying tunnel - mesh underneath, clear plastic on top (like a hoop house), fan at one end.
 
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