How To Dry Cayenne Peppers
How Long Do Dried Cayenne Peppers Past?
Thankfully, dried chili peppers generally last for a pretty long time. You can expect your whole, dried cayenne peppers to last for at least 2 years and possibly up to 4 years if stored in the right conditions. What are the right conditions?
Well, the things that cause dried cayenne peppers to go bad are exposure to air, moisture, and sunlight. The best conditions, therefore, are those that avoid these things as much as possible. Dark cupboards in cool rooms are ideal.
If you’re storing cayenne pepper flakes or powder, you should be able to keep them fresh for a year or two, if you store them properly. However, they generally won’t last as long as whole dried peppers. Why is this?
Well, remember how air, moisture, and sunlight cause the peppers to go bad? Flakes or powder have more of their surface area exposed to these things, and so go bad more quickly. Whole peppers keep their natural oils and the compounds that give them their flavor more easily.
How Do You Dry Cayenne Peppers In The Sun?
If you want to try drying your cayenne peppers the ancient, natural way, you’re in luck – it’s very much doable. In fact, since cayenne peppers have thinner skins than most other kinds of chili, it will usually be quicker than it would be to dry other kinds. However, it will still take you a while.
You’ll also need to pay close attention to the weather. As you’d expect, it needs to be very sunny. If you try to dry the chillies in humid or wet weather, they’ll probably go moldy and/or lose their flavor.
First, coat the chilis in a layer of oil and set them on a tray (steel or plastic are the best materials – avoid aluminum or copper), making sure they’re evenly spaced. Next, cover them with some cheesecloth. This is to stop birds or insects from getting at them and ruining your crop.
Place the tray on top of some large blocks (breeze blocks are good) to improve airflow, and then leave it out in the sun. How quickly they’ll dry out depends on the conditions, but it will take at least several days, maybe even as long as two weeks.
Make sure to turn them every few days so that every part of the pepper gets sunlight. After they’re all completely dry, store them in an airtight container/
How Do You Dry Cayenne Peppers In An Air Fryer?
It’s definitely possible to dry cayenne peppers in an air fryer and it’s a much quicker process than waiting for them to dry in the sun. You’re going to want to use the lowest temperature setting your machine has.
If you go any higher than that, the peppers are just going to be cooked, or worse, burned black. A temperature of around 120F – 130F is what you’re looking for.
If you go any higher than that, you’re more into cooking than drying territory so if your air fryer doesn’t go that low, then you could look into getting a food dehydrator, or an air fryer with a specific dehydrator setting.
The amount of time it’ll take depends on how many peppers you’re looking to dry and on how large they are. If you’re just doing this for the first time, it’s a good idea to check on the peppers regularly to see how they’re coming along.
If you’ve done it before, you’ll probably have a better idea of how quickly your air fryer can dry things. Once they’re done, you can store them in an airtight container like any other dried pepper.