Too Many Jalapeños?
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.
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.
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.
You can tell that I used green and red jalapeños in the batch I just dehydrated.
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.
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!
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!
You make me laugh! I love my dehydrator! It takes up half my dining table, but I leave it out all summer so I have easy access!
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!
Oh those European kitchens!!! They might make little dehydrators, but I’ve never looked into it.
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!
I started drying hot peppers last year and wondered what took me so long! A great way to preserve them. :)
They make great gifts, too!
What a great idea! I have never thought of dehydrating my hot peppers. I look forward to trying this out. Thanks for sharing :)
You are so welcome!
Wow – these look so impressive and would go down very well in our chilli loving household!
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…
What a great idea and future garnish/flavor enhancer. Have you tried this with Hatch Chiles?
No, but I’ve used Anaheims and Habaneros. Any chile pepper will dehydrate, it’s probably just a matter of making the pieces uniform.
I have an abundance of chile peppers this year too! We’ve had a very hot summer for Oregon. Last year I froze mine, but I might dehydrate some this year, great idea!
They’re also pretty when they’re dehydrated!
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!
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!
what kind of would did you use to smoke the jalapenos?
I just checked my post and I do not mention the wood – he rigged it so the peppers would dry slowly – I think you could use any wood you like. See Grouper Sandwich with Chipotle Tartar Sauce.
What a fantastic idea – I saw a dehydrator for sale the other day and have been thinking about buying one. I think you’ve convinced me!
Good! You’ll never regret it!
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!
Yes, you do!!!
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.
Absolutely! I would love it!
OK I will dig it out and send it to you.
May I have your recipe? I’m flooded with Jalapeno this year.
There is no recipe, simply slice the jalapenos crosswise in uniform pieces and use a dehydrator to dry them. Ovens work well also. Just place the slices on a coffee sheet and set them oven to 200 degrees. It might take about 10-12 hours depending how thick your slices are.
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!!!
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. ;)
I can send you some!!!
Mimi – you’re sweet and I’m tempted to take you up on that. xx
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??
I’m sure you could! I would wear a mask!!!
Oh but I love the smell of chili powder in the morning :) I ordered some Hatch Green Chile Powder a couple of weeks ago and it was shipped via the postal service. When I opened the mail box the chile smell was over whelming (despite being really well sealed) but it smelt so good.
A woman after my own heart!!!
I love it! You are so lucky to have so many jalapeños!
I guess I am!
I have just started gardening my friend!! Those jalapenos are beautiful!!
Did you go crazy planting chile peppers?
Great post! Thank you!
You are so welcome!
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.
We didn’t go anywhere this summer, and it really makes a difference.
What a great idea!!! :-) We have decent amount of jalapeno plants and chillies are growing as crazy :-) :-D As my husband is spicy lover and I have been addicted already as well! Thank you for inspiring!
You are so welcome! And they keep forever!
No such thing as too many.
Well, too many to use fresh!
Any ideas how many times I handled jalapenos without gloves and later touched my eyes or lips??
Right. I’ve never done that. Kidding. It’s weird that the membranes in your nose can burn…
I am so absent minded and don’t always have gloves at home
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!
Love them! Haven’t met a pepper I didn’t like yet…
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.
Gosh, that sounds great, I’m just not a jelly/jam maker, so my mind doesn’t go in that direction!
oooo la la!!
I love chipotles, so that is probably what I would have done with too many jalapeños. I can hear Richard that there is no such thing…
I know. I get it. But they’re not the most versatile ingredient!
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.
WordPress did it again, just anonymised me, sorry Mimi – it’s Kiki here!
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!
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…
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!!
I just love that photo of yours.
Thank you! :)
I notice you left the seeds on. Do they loose any of their potency when dehydrated?
No! In fact they get hotter. I don’t mind seeds. After the slices dry, a lot of the seeds drop out anyway.
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
And they keep really well. I still have a bag from last summer!
Love spicy food and have three plants of chilies on my balcony. Thank you for this preserving idea !
You are so welcome! I still have a bag from last summer, so they really keep well.
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.
Fantastic Mimi! They would make a great gift from your kitchen to others as well!
If they enjoy jalapeños, it would make a nice gift!
good idea! i bet making homemade hot sauce would be tasty too (though a little bit more work than dehydrating haha).
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.
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!
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!
HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh my.
It’s amazing the bounty you get from just a few pepper plants. We’ve dried a bunch in the oven before and ground them up to have our own hot pepper powder. Good stuff. :)
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!
We have started them from seed in the past. But yes, we bought seedlings this year. We were lucky that a vendor at the farmers market sold 4 pack with a variety in them. So I will have habaneros soon!
Deliciously genius! GREG
Brilliant! I love this idea!
Oh my, what a delicious idea! I didn’t plant jalapenos this year but sure I could find some at the farmers’ market!
They’re nice to have on hand!
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. :)
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.
Very interesting. We’ll be warm here into October.
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!
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.
They are wonderful little things, aren’t they?!!