Too Many Jalapeños?

43 Comments

If you like to cook and garden like I do, then you probably grow a variety of chile peppers. It doesn’t take but a couple of pepper plants to keep a family stocked with fresh chiles, but I always plant too many. It’s just what I do. Every spring. This is especially true with jalapeños, cause we like them.
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So here’s an idea that might come in handy when you have jalapeños coming out your ears like I do. Dehydrate them!

I simply hold the peppers, stem-end, in my left gloved hand (disposable latex gloves are so handy for this), and then cut uniform slices with a knife in my right hand. (I’m right handed.)

Place the slices on the dehydrator trays, making sure they’re not overlapping.
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I place the heat setting on 118 degrees Farenheit. It typically takes about 24-36 hours, depending on the fleshiness of the chile peppers and the thickness of the slices.
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And take note – even though the jalapeños are dehydrated, they’re still very strong! And during the dehydration process, the air in your house will be chile pepper-potent.

After they’re completely dehydrated, let the dehydrated chile peppers cool completely, and store them in sealable bags in the refrigerator.
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You can tell that I used green and red jalapeños in the batch I just dehydrated.

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Alternatively, if you don’t own a dehydrator, place the slices on a jelly-roll pan, without overcrowding, and put the pan in the oven at about 200 degrees. It should only take about 8 hours. Lower the heat towards the end – you don’t want any browning, just dehydration.

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Either way you dehydrate them, they’re handy for soups and stews, chilis, beans, stir fries, stuffed bell peppers, omelets – you name it.

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Today I served a zucchini and corn soup topped with some dehydrated peppers. I hope you find them as handy as I do!
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Having a dehydrator is also helpful if you have an abundance of cherry tomatoes as well!

43 thoughts on “Too Many Jalapeños?

  1. Mimi, this is brilliant. I didn’t realize there would be such a thing as too many chilis, but alas, look at that! I love the idea of drying them and also pickling. But what a great topping they make for soups. I remember in the 80s my dad bought a dehydrator and I thought we’d be using it all the time, but it went right next the juicer….the things we love to use, but don’t get to very often. I suspect if I got an ice cream maker it might happen too. But i want them all!! Very beautiful post and great idea!

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  2. Oh wow, I love this post! I adore chilis, but they are hard to find (fresh or dried…), and I’ve never even tasted a jalapeno. I bet I’d love them. I bought chilis last summer and pickled quite a few, and loved using them in salads, stews, etc. I also love the idea of drying them, but I’d never find the patience to do so in the oven, and I don’t own a dehydrator (and haven’t enough space for one)! If I ever do get one, I’ll definitely put it to good use, and definitely try this!

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  3. What a fun was to preserve too many chiles. I used to have a dehydrator when the children were young. I made raisins and dried fruit for homemade trail mix, fruit rollups, jerky, etc. Fresh dried fruits are incredible and much better than commercial stuff. The kids loved it. I believe the ex has it and if she does I’m sure it isn’t being used. Typically, we roast and freeze all of the chiles that we don’t use in cooking, make hot sauce (we make gallons of hot sauce), or pickle and can.

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    • Which reminds me. Have I told you how much I enjoyed the pickled chipotles? If not, I apologize. I put them on everything! I know your hot sauces were in my quesadilla post!!! Also good, also gone!

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  4. Our garden is so bad this season. I would love to have enough jalapenos to dry (along with enough tomatoes, cukes, etc.)

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  5. I don’t have a dehydrator but drying the peppers is a great idea. In the past, I’ve just sliced my jalapeños in half, removed the seeds and frozen them. I have to laugh about your comment about the kitchen being chili pepper potent when cutting lots of chilies…it can almost take your breath away.

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  6. I use to dry a lot of peppers and I always did it in the garage – kept the smell out of the house and also my dehydrator was kind of noisy! You could also smoke your jalapenos outside once they turned red. Gene actually built me a smoker just for that purpose for chipotles!

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  7. We definitely have an overabundance of jalapeños… and habañeros, and banana peppers, and thai chiles, and chiltepins. Mark’s and my office mates have been reaping the rewards of our harvests! Now, I need a dehydrator!

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  8. You are so lucky to have so many jalapeño. I used to have a lot but now my garden has too much shade. I used to pickle them with garlic and a little sugar, they were wonderful on nachos and in dishes as well. I am going to buy some to make this year. I will dig out my recipe if you would like it.

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  9. My boys would love to help out with your too many jalapeño situation… they love spicy dishes. A food dehydrator is a great idea with so many things in your garden to harvest. I think you should bottle up your pretty red and green chili and give them as x-mas gifts… so pretty!

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