Drying Jalapeños

Pioneering women planted vegetable gardens as soon as they could when they arrived to their new homestead. These gardens were needed to provide the family with food. With the vegetable plants in full production pioneer women needed to preserve the bounty of the garden so that they could enjoy the harvest in the winter time as well. One method used in preservation of food was to dry the food.
I have plenty of jalapeños right now. I have been using them up as much as I can in my recipes. I have grilled them, stuffed them with cheese, added them to homemade pizza, made them into salsas, and used them to spice up my weekday slow cooker recipes. Now I have decided to dry a bit of them to add to my food pantry for use later in the year. Let me put my disclaimer out, this is the first time I have ever dried jalapeños. I like to learn new home keeping self-reliant skills, so here I am relating my experience of drying jalapeños.

Wash the jalapeños thoroughly to remove any dirt. I cut off the tops and remove the seeds. Slice them and place on a dehydrator tray.  I sliced mine lengthwise. They could be slice crosswise as well. It just depends on your preference.  They dry between 10-20 hours depending on the thickness of the slices, amount of water in the jalapeño, and the humidity in your area where you live. After they are completely dried store them in an airtight container and label with the date.
Dried jalapeños can be used ground, cut or whole to spice up a recipe. Dried jalapeños can be reconstituted by soaking them in water.

When handling a few jalapeño peppers with my bare hands I am okay, but when I need to handle a lot of jalapeños I need to use plastic food handler gloves. The gloves protect my hands from the “burning” sensation I get when my skin comes in direct contact of so much jalapeños. Also I have to wash my hands repeatedly after removing the gloves and keep reminding myself not to touch my face, my eyes, nose, or mouth because if I do I will spread the “burning” sensation.


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