Too Many Jalapeños?

102 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. This is especially true with jalapeños, cause we like them.

So here’s an idea that might come in handy when you have jalapeños coming out your ears like I do. Dehydrate them!

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

Place the slices on 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 them cool completely, and store 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.

Either way you dehydrate them, they’re handy for soups and stews, chilis, beans, stuffed bell peppers, omelets, or this stir fry.

Here they are topping a summer zucchini and corn soup.

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Here they are on a chicken curry.

I hope you find dehydrated chile peppers as handy and versatile as I do! Having a dehydrator is also helpful if you have an abundance of cherry tomatoes!

Now, if you have a lot of jalapeños you can do what Debbie and David do from The Mountain Kitchen, which is to make their own chipotle peppers! If you weren’t aware, chipotles are smoked and dried jalapeños. Enjoy their beautiful photo!

102 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!

  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!

  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.

    • 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!

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

    • really? aren’t you in enid? or are you just somewhere in Oklahoma? the rain ruined a lot of veggies… but then, it was also good for us…

  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.

    • Freezing is great, too. But the dried peppers are so pretty, and they stay like that forever! Yes, I wouldn’t dehydrate jalapenos while my grand baby was here!

  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!

  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!

  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.

  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!

    • You know, my mother is the only friend/relative I know who like hot and spicy flavors! So far, she has been the only recipient of these dried peppers!!!

  10. Like Amanda, I’m lacking the dehydrater (and the juicer, vitamix, and ice cream maker) but nonetheless, I loved this post and had a few stabs of jealousy about your beautiful, dried jalapenos. ;)

  11. Brilliant!! I absolutely love this idea because I always have too many peppers.
    Do you think they could be ground up after dehydration into a jalapeño chile powder??

  12. My garden is pathetic, but then I am gone all the time. I can see you in your kitchen dehydrating jalapeño peppers. I love the idea and they come in handy when you don’t have fresh ones.

  13. We’ve been dehydrating peppers this week, too. I got some that were mislabeled (supposedly shishitos). Not sure what they are, but they are mighty hot!

  14. What a crazy coincidence, I literally just had too many jalopeños! I needed a couple for some salsa I made but had to buy a mess of them (a whole $1.62!). I made jalopeño jelly this afternoon, I should have saved a few for this tasty idea.

  15. There’s no such thing as too many either plants or peppers! I’m quite envious of your yield, maybe I should plant some in my parents’ garden next year.
    I currently have a single small plant on my balcony, given to me as a birthday present in April and it finally has to peppers on it ready for harvesting.

    • Well you don’t want so many that they all can’t be used and shared. I guess my point is that it’s easier to stick a few tomatoes into a dish, but not always easy to use fresh jalapeños!

  16. We always end up with a ton of jalapenos, too! Last year, we chopped and froze ’em…probably 30-40 jalapenos. This year, we were smart and only planted 1 plant. But now I wish I had planted more so that I can dehydrate them. That’s an excellent idea! Oh, and making my own chipotle peppers has totally been on my bucket list. Eventually I’ll get there!

    • I really never thought about smoking my own chiles either. But now I must! I think I end up with so many plants because they often sell one variety in a 4-pack, then I want another variety, so 4 more plants, and so forth…

  17. Awww, Mimi! Thank you for sharing our post. I don’t know why I haven’t thought to dehydrate them too. I can imagine what your house smelled like while drying them. YUM!!

    • No! In fact they get hotter. I don’t mind seeds. After the slices dry, a lot of the seeds drop out anyway.

  18. I love dehydrated homegrown produce so much but I’ve not yet used it for chillies.,But with a glut of them just about imminent this will be a great way to use some of them

  19. Terrific idea! We no longer plant pepper plants, because we have lots of friend we do, and always have to many. So they share with us — how lucky! But I actually have too many jalapeños at the moment, so I should give this a try. Thanks!

    • That’s exactly what I mean. You can’t use jalapeños like you do tomatoes or squash. You can end up with too many! Dehydrating works so well. I still have a bag from last summer’s jalapeños.

    • I have done that, and it works great. Many of us had a blogger friend who was the hot sauce king, in Texas. Sadly, he died from a massive heart attack and we miss him terribly.

  20. Amazing Chef Mimi – so good to see these after my recent dehydrator post! I’ve passed it onto my husband who is the dehydrating pro (and who loves chillies!)

    • I should venture into fruits myself, but I don’t grow any. We have to pick apples off of one apple tree green to beat the raccoons to them!

  21. This is a brilliant idea… unlike when I decided to roast all ours on a grill and then completely forgot there were out there. I opened the grill to perfectly shaped cinder-peppers. The I accidentally punched the grill (accidentally, mind you) and the all disintegrated into fine ash. I will be getting a dehydrator … with a timer!

    • Oh that’s a great idea!!! Where I get in trouble is when i want four different varieties of chile peppers, but they only sell them in sets of 4!

  22. What a fabulous idea! And yes, I have too many jalapenos so I’ll be trying this. One can only use so many pickled jalapenos. :)

  23. Great idea, Mimi! I usually pickle them or make Cowboy candy but this is so perfect! We have a shorter growing season here and depending on how early we can get the peppers in we may or may not get a bunch. Usually at the end of the season we’re covering the garden on frost nights trying to eke out a few more weeks. So if I’m gardening I often don’t plant peppers, though I alwlays have hopeful years.

      • I looked it up, our average hard freeze is september 27, and last average freeze first week of May but then there are all those days in the Spring when it’s too wet to get in the garden and plant and our temperatures can be pretty cool in spring and fall and the plants grow slowly. So you buy big plants or try to grow them indoors to plant and hope for the best!

  24. There’s no such thing as too many jalapenos~! And you’ve just added two more reasons to my personal list of reasons for that :D I’ll hijack my neighbors oven tomorrow give your oven-version a try! So far I’ve either pickled my leftovers or strung them up on butcher’s string to dry.

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