After sharing my way of dehydrating Scotch Bonnet Peppers in a Food Dehydrator and then making Scotch Bonnet Pepper Flakes, there were a lot of messages asking if you could dehydrate peppers in an everyday oven. This brings us to this recipe/technique using freshly harvested Carolina Reapers from my garden (last summer).
Wash and airdry the peppers you intend on dehydrating. In my case I used Carolina Reapers, but you may use Scotch Bonnet, Habanero, Trinidad Moruga Scorpions, Fatali, Naga.. basically any pepper you want.
I kept the peppers whole, but you can cut them in half for quicker dehydration. Since these peppers are insanely hot I didn’t want to handle them too much. Yes I left the stems on as I used them to hold onto the peppers. WEAR GLOVES please!
I opted to use a combination of ripe (red) and green (not fully mature) peppers as I find that the flavor profile of each is immensely different. The green ones tend to have a more fruity undertone, while the red or mature one is just raw insane heat.
As a test I dehydrated one batch directly on a cookie sheet and the other on a wire rack on a cookie sheet. The idea behind using the wire rack, is to allow for air circulation around the peppers.
Into a 180 F oven for 10 hours. Will be the same for any pepper – habanero, scotch bonnet etc. Do note that should you opt to cut the peppers, they will be done in about 40-50% less time. * No I didn’t have to rotate or flip them. * No there were no distinct difference in using the wire rack as compared to directly onto the sheet pan. * YES, vent your kitchen as they dehydrate. * Yes you can remove the seeds before dehydrating if you want.
Once done, you can pulse in a food processor and make flakes or powder (continuous). Do wear a mask and gloves with either option. I basically stored then in 2 bathes (both labeled – name and date), one in an airtight glass container and the other in a vacuum sealed bag.
This is a great method of preserving peppers when in season or on sale when you can grab a batch. The slow way of dehydrating them really do help maintain the heat and flavor of the peppers. As long as you store them in an airtight container they will last in excess of a year.
Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @ CaribbeanPot.com/CookBook/