Pepper Powder

Whole and powdered dried peppers

Powdered dried peppers

If you have extra peppers you can easily preserve some for later in several ways. You can chop them up and freeze or add some to vinegar for spicy vinegar. You can pickle them or make stuffed peppers and freeze those.You can also dry them and then powder them up. Drying is one of my favorite ways to preserve peppers.

I dry both hot and sweet peppers. Drying small hot peppers is easy.  You can just string them and hang to dry. You can also use a food dehydrator to dry whole small peppers or chopped larger peppers. You can even air-dry larger peppers if you chop them up and lay out in a warm, dry place, preferably on some sort of screening to allow better air circulation.

Once dried I like to powder up the peppers in a spice grinder. I just use a small coffee grinder that I only use for spices and herbs. Paprika and cayenne are just dried and powdered peppers. The dried powdered peppers can be added to all sorts of dishes or combined with other seasonings for spice blends or rubs for meats. Dried peppers are the main ingredient in chili powder.

I had a pile of poblano peppers, both red and green so I decided to dry some of them.  Dried poblano peppers are known as ancho chilis. After drying I powdered them up and have a medium- warm pepper powder that I can add to almost every dish. Although they are dried I like to keep them in the fridge for longer shelf life.

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