• If you need help identifying a pepper, disease, or plant issue, please post in Identification.

flavor Dried flavors

HellfireFarm

Business Member
I'm wondering about the different flavors you get from dried chiles. How much is the variety, how much the local conditions, and how much the drying method?

For example, ALL New Mexico and California chile I buy (Hatch in particular but any others as well) tend to have a deep, earthy flavor. Same with Paprika. But my ground Anaheims - pretty much same as the NM - are really bright and fruity, as is my homemade paprika from bell peppers. Big Jim's I grow aren't much different than the Anaheims, and that's a Numex variety.

The fruity flavor is fine, but I also want that rich eartly flavor. How do I get that?
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Are you letting your Anaheims turn red?
 
I got this from :http://scottroberts.org/ultimate-guide-to-drying-hot-peppers/
This is how I will try drying some Mexican peppers I grow this year.

Drying Hot Peppers Outdoors

Drying Hot Peppers Ourdoors
There are a couple of different methods for drying hot peppers outdoors. One, you can dry the aforementioned way of laying them out on a sheet and placing them outside when there’s a long string of hot and sunny days. Sun-drying can be very effective if the weather cooperates and if you’ve picked a spot where you can get maximum exposure to direct sunlight. If you’ve sliced the peppers, you may wish to place a screen over the sheet or bowl to provide protection from insects.

Another good way of drying chile peppers outdoors is to hang them from a string. Grab some whole peppers with the stems still on, take a long, sharp needle, and string them together with a strong thread or fishing line through their stems.
Drying Hot Peppers Ourdoors
Unlike decorative ristas (which clump several hanging chiles together in a tighter space), you’ll need to leave plenty of room in between peppers for proper airflow. At one end of the string, tie a small stick or wooden dowel to prevent the peppers from sliding off. Hang up your strand of peppers securely in an area where they’ll get plenty of sunlight and fresh air.

It can take up to two weeks of drying time in good weather.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
The way peppers are grown for drying in Mexico is they are left on the plant until fully ripened (deep red) and have lost most of their moisture. Then, they are picked for drying and are sold at markets for drying, not eating. There's also green and red peppers for fresh preparation. The red are more vibrant red.
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
Yes, they're red. I've been picking them when fully red and using a dehydrator.

I would love to dry the more traditional way but that's not as easy here in NC, and I just don't have the patience to do ristras. @Marturo you think you'll get dry enough there in the mountains (i'm guessing) to do that?

I'll try leaving some on the plant this year - see how much difference that makes. Thanks for the tips!
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Try a double-dry. Dry until most of the moisture is gone but before it shrinks/gets brittle (65%?), rehydrate in water, dry again. I have never tried this it's just a theory. You are essentially drying longer like a slow dry so your sugars and all that will concentrate even further and you may get the robust tones you are after. And not drying all the way the first time will ensure the pod stays intact when rehydrating. I'd be interested to hear back if you tried that.
 
Yes, they're red. I've been picking them when fully red and using a dehydrator.

I would love to dry the more traditional way but that's not as easy here in NC, and I just don't have the patience to do ristras. @Marturo you think you'll get dry enough there in the mountains (i'm guessing) to do that?

I'll try leaving some on the plant this year - see how much difference that makes. Thanks for the tips!

I was thinking of using glass 4'x4' panes over screen racks then tarps for overnight fog.
Some years like last year it seldom rained for the growing season, however it's the French broad river valley that has heavy fog in the am.

Also leaving pods on until red ripe is ok only, The moist river valley night fog would most likely rot them.
We may find it easier to just buy those beautiful smelling & delicious peppers grown, harvested, & dried right from the perfect place on earth.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Was thinking about a solar cooker, and instead of putting the peppers inside, put a screen on top so the temperature is more in line with drying.

1645555377947.png
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
I was thinking of using glass 4'x4' panes over screen racks then tarps for overnight fog.
Some years like last year it seldom rained for the growing season, however it's the French broad river valley that has heavy fog in the am.
I had something similar but didn't get to get the cover part on. I'll have to dig up a picture.

I was wondering if the sun-dry vs. dehydrator was a critical difference. Will be an interesting experiment this year.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
A dehydrator cooks as it dries. The end product is a dried cooked pepper. So yes there is a difference.
 
How about cold drying it in the fridge? I know it works for thin-skinned peppers like birdseye, I found a few crispy ones that I forgot about & discovered after a month. I didn't try any of them & decided to just keep them for the seeds, so I wouldn't know whether it makes a difference in flavour.
 

thoroughburro

Extreme Member
Drying causes chemical changes, resulting in a real change in flavor and utility similar to cooking… but the process, although effected by heat, is independent of it. A dried pepper is a dried pepper, not inherently a cooked dried pepper. A pepper that was dried at too hot a temperature, which happens industrially sometimes, is poorly dried and not as desirable.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
@thoroughburro I take back what I said, for some reason I thought dehydrators ran at 160°. I wonder where I got that silly notion. But I haven't owned one in years.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
I dry in my oven now which works great, so I simply forgot the temps dehydrators run at. European convection oven, lowest temp, door cracked open.
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
Drying causes chemical changes, resulting in a real change in flavor and utility similar to cooking… but the process, although effected by heat, is independent of it. A dried pepper is a dried pepper, not inherently a cooked dried pepper. A pepper that was dried at too hot a temperature, which happens industrially sometimes, is poorly dried and not as desirable.
I'm wondering if it might be that. I don't remember the exact temp but it wasn't room temperature.

The flavors are pretty close to the fresh flavor of the peppers. But I don't have any comparisons of fresh red Hatch chiles so I don't know how much THOSE change in the process.

I guess I'll report on my experiment at the end of the season! I'm going to try to set up a few different methods and see how each turns out.
 
Top