Oven Dehydrating Jalapeno Peppers An Easy Way To Preserve

Oven dehydrating jalapeno peppers is a quick, easy way to preserve them. When you use this method, the jalapenos hold their famous sweet heat flavor so that you can use them all winter. They only take a few minutes to prep to dry. Once you have finished prepping them and have put them in the oven, they take care of themselves and just need to be checked occasionally.

If you love using jalapenos oven dehydrating both makes sense and saves cents on your winter grocery bill.

how to oven dehydrate jalapeno
Fresh jalapenos ready to oven dehydrate.

With oven dehydrating, there are no awkward vertical dehydrator trays to store or take up counter space. You only need an oven, a knife, and a wooden spoon. Oh, and of course you need your jalapeno peppers! When I had one of these dehydrators, I struggled with where to store it. I have a small kitchen and it ended up in an outdoor storage room. It was always very dusty when I brought it in to use it and needed a good cleaning. I was exhausted before I even started dehydrating!

When I had one of these dehydrators, I struggled with where to store it. I have a small kitchen and it ended up in an outdoor storage room. It was always very dusty when I brought it in to use it and needed a good cleaning. I was exhausted before I even started dehydrating!

The nice thing about this is that as you get a bunch of jalapenos pulled in from your plant you can dehydrate in small batches. I have noticed that my plants will produce about 15 to 20 peppers at once. Then, a week later there are another 15 or so jalapenos ready to harvest.

I love making my fresh salsa, but really we can only eat and give away so much of that!   And I can only use up 1-2 jalapenos at once making salsa.

Moving on…

Here are my step-by-step instructions on oven dehydrating jalapeno peppers. But before you begin handling hot peppers, take a quick look at this video on safe handling of hot peppers.

STEP ONE: PREP YOUR JALAPENO PEPPERS FOR DRYING

  • Pick your jalapeno peppers. Watch for bugs as you harvest and discard any that may have bug damage.
  • Wash your jalapenos with lukewarm water to remove and grit or dirt.
  • Pat the jalapenos dry with a clean towel to remove any excess moisture from washing. You want them as dry as possible.
  • Put on a pair of disposable gloves before you cut into the jalapenos. The heat of the peppers is in the stems, seeds, and inside membranes.
  • Cut the stems (tops) off of the jalapenos and discard. Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise. While other hot peppers can be dried whole, jalapenos should not! This pepper has a thicker skin than other hot peppers and the moisture won’t evaporate properly if they are left whole. This could cause mildew inside that could ruin your cooking later. Worse yet, you could ingest harmful bacteria. Always cut jalapenos in half to dry them.

STEP TWO: PLACE YOUR JALAPENOS ON A BAKING SHEET

  • Pre-heat your oven to 320 degrees.
  • Arrange the jalapenos (which are now cut in half) on a baking sheet with the seeds facing up.
  • I like the seeds side up first so I can watch for the seeds to start browning. You can remove the seeds if you like. However, after they are dried they shake right out if you want to remove the hot parts.

STEP THREE: PLACE IN WARM OVEN

  • Place the baking sheet of jalapenos in the pre-heated oven. The rack should be in about the middle of the oven so it’s not in direct contact with the heating element.
  • Stick a wooden spoon in the door of the oven to prop it open. This allows the moisture to escape.
  • Set your timer for 30 minutes.

    prop oven door with a wooden spoon
    Prop open the oven door when oven dehydrating to let steam escape.

STEP FOUR: FLIP OVER THE JALAPENO PEPPERS & PLACE BACK INTO THE OVEN

  • Remove the jalapenos from the oven.
  • Use a fork to carefully flip the jalapenos over so that the seed side is down. The seeds will have a light brown appearance. That’s good. They are drying out.
  • Place your baking sheet back into the oven.
  • Place the wooden spoon back into the oven door to keep it open.

STEP FIVE: WATCH FOR DONENESS

  • Watch the jalapeno peppers for doneness.
  • Pull off smaller pieces which are completely dried so they don’t burn.
  • They will become small, brown, and shriveled in appearance.
  • You want no hint of moisture remaining as it could cause mold or mildew to form.
  • Jalapenos which are not yet dehydrated can be placed back into the oven and checked/flipped in 10-15 minute increments until done.

STEP SIX: COOL AND STORE

  • Let you jalapenos cool
  • Store them in a zip top bag…squeeze out all the air. They will take up very little space.
  • Mark the date you dehydrated the jalapenos.
  • Store the bag in a cool, dark place. I suggest storing in the door of your freezer so you can easily access them when you’re ready for them
  • Store for up to one year in the freezer.
    dried jalapenos
    The entire batch of jalapenos has reduced to half of the original size.

 

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