Texas Homesteader ~
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I’ve planted many bell pepper plants in my garden this year. But it’s still too early in the season for them to be producing. So I stumbled upon a great deal on bell peppers at the store recently. Yeah, I mean like 15 peppers for $0.99 kinda great deal! After I fainted and before I could catch a breath I grabbed up about 5 of them. Oh I suppose I could have grabbed more but I only wanted to buy what we would use.
Other than stuffed peppers (which RancherMan absolutely LOVES) I cook with bell peppers fairly often. Once I got home I found that I still had stuffed bell peppers in the freezer. Maybe I can just freeze them to use as an ingredient in my cooking? Hummm… my freezer space is pretty tight so there’s no room to chop & freeze them for later. What to do? I know – I’ll dehydrate them!
Preparing The Fresh Bell Peppers
I washed the peppers and removed the stem, white membrane & seeds. Then I quartered each pepper by cutting them in half, then half again longways.
I got busy slicing the peppers into about 1/4″ slices. You can use a mandolin for exact duplication of thickness. But I just used a good ole sharp knife and eyed the slices for consistency. When all the peppers were sliced I layered them on my dehydrator trays.
I have an * Excalibur Dehydrator that I absolutely love with nine large trays that makes short work out of larger quantities of produce. But that would have been overkill for just these 5 peppers.
I also have a * solar oven that I use for energy-free dehydration. But the sun’s not shining today and it promises to be cloudy for several days in a row. So I’ll just toss these bell pepper slices in my little household-sized dehydrator.
Bell Peppers Into The Dehydrator
I pulled out my good ole household dehydrator & ended up filling all five trays with sliced peppers. I like to do most of my dehydrating on the back porch as the aroma of drying bell peppers could be a little overpowering for the entire time they’re drying. Plus in the warmer weather I don’t like to add heat & humidity to the house.
So out to the back porch the dehydrator went. After a couple of hours I rotated the trays for even drying.
I need to dry the pepper strips until they’re leathery. My Excalibur book says it should take between 4-8 hours. But It took about 9 hours to completely dehydrate the peppers as I sliced them. Drying time will vary based on thickness of slices, humidity, etc.
Making Sure Peppers Are Dry Enough
After 9 hours I brought the dried peppers back inside the house & left them on the counter overnight to cool and air-dry just to make sure. If dehydrated veggies aren’t dry enough they will mold inside the container. That would not make me happy.
The next morning I gathered up my dehydrated peppers & placed them in a glass jar that I’ll store in my pantry. A quick label to identify the contents and I’m done.
Using My Dehydrated Bell Pepper
I love that these peppers take up so little space now. Plus they need no additional energy to store like they would if they were chopped & frozen. Using them is easy too – I bring out the quantity I need and cover them (just barely) with boiling water. I typically take the shortcut by putting just a little water in the bottom of a microwavable mug and microwave until the water starts to bubble. Then I’ll bring it out and snap off pieces of bell pepper into the mug until I fill it to just below the surface of the water. Finally I cover the mug with a pot holder and let the peppers steam in that mug for about 15 minutes.
Then I take a fork & pull out the peppers, leaving the remaining water (if any) in the mug. I can now use them in my recipe.
Other Dehydrating Posts
- Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating Fresh Carrots
- Dehydrating Fresh Pumpkin For Easy Storage
- Dehydrating Spinach To Enjoy All Year Long
- Using A Dehydrator To Preserve Fresh Onions
- Dehydrating & Storing Cabbage
- Bell Pepper Dehydration
- Using A Solar Oven To Dehydrate Garden Produce
- How To Make Dehydrated Blueberry Powder
- Dehydrating Plums
See All Our Dehydrating Posts
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How long do these keep in a jar for?
There are many variables – how dry you’ve gotten them (moisture is the enemy of dehydrated foods), how tighly you’ve sealed them, etc. BUT I will say my dehydrated bell peppers last a year or more. I make sure they’re completely dry, then seal them tightly in a glass jar with little air space and keep them in my cool, dark pantry. ~TxH~
How about roasting the peppers then freeze them? I see that way can separate to skin from the flesh and keep the peppers longer than and year
Oh I think they’d be delicious roasted Lita. But freezer space is at a premium right now so they’re all being dehydrated to preserve them for later. When I finally get some freezer room freed I’ll surely be roasting them – or maybe roasting & dehydrating. YUM! ~TxH~
This page is related to dehydrating peppers not freezing them. Maybe you should go to the freezer page. smh
Just did the last of the garden’s sweet peppers. Got a full crate full but most were small ones. I diced them all (using a dicer) and am flash freezing about a 1/3 and the rest filled 10 trays in my Excalibur. House reeks at the moment, lol. Another 8 hours to go. I’ll do cinnamon apples tomorrow to save my nose 🙂 Great site!
What a great idea, I love the idea that they aren’t using any energy whilst being stored. I think I’ll need to dig out my dehydrator again. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings
Oh man, Terri – I LOVE my dehydrator! ~TxH~
These are one of my favorite pantry items. I like to dice them and then dehydrate them. We use them in soups and sauces and it is so convenient! Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas on the Art of Home-Making Mondays each week 🙂
I usually chop and freeze my extra peppers, but I have to double and triple bag them to keep them from permeating the stuff around them. I may have to try to dehydrate them instead! I use them mostly for chilis and soups during the winter anyway, so they could re-hydrate right in the pot!
I do too Carlee and they are really handy in the freezer. But like you I’ve run out of freezer space and since typically use them in soups & stews anyway dropping them in the bubbling broth is a cinch. ~TxH~
Dehydrating is a wonderful way to preserve the harvest – great post! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
What a great tip! I love tips like this that give options for using veggies, etc. Thanks for sharing on The Yuck Stops Here, I hope to see you back tomorrow with another awesome tip or recipe! HUGS
Yes ma’am Cheryl, I’ve been a dehydrating fiend this year and I’m loving it! ~TxH~
My dehydrator is one that is placed In A microwave and do e that way. The thing is I have never used it, and
Lost the instructions can you help.
Sorry, I’ve never heard of a microwave dehydrator Dorothy. Your best bet is to either contact the manufacturer or do an online google search for the user manual for your dehydrator’s model. Good luck! ~TxH~
Thank you for the wonderful ideas, I have about 100 bell peppers in my freezer taking up space. Real estate in the freezer is very important at our lil place. Think we will take the plantains off the Dehydrator and get started making room in that big old freezer of ours.
I’m like you Anna, my freezer space is pretty valuable real estate. I’ve really been bitten by the dehydrating bug lately. LOVE IT! ~TxH~
Dehydrating is a fantastic way to preserve! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
Dehydrating them was a great idea! What an amazing deal.
Dehydrated peppers would be so easy to toss into soups and stews. I will be giving this a try. Thanks again for sharing at Green Thumb Thursday!
Yes Rachel, they really are easy to rehydrate and use, but especially in soups since if you time it right you don’t even have to rehydrate them first, they rehydrate in the soup pot using the soup’s broth. ~TxH~
What a great idea! I recently started freezing my bananas that were about to get over ripe but my freezer is getting full. Dehydrating veggies sounds like a good alternative.
Linking up from the Weekday Mixer Social Medial Linkup. Nice to meet you!
Oh yeah Shana, you can dehydrate almost anything. And now that I’ve got an Excalibur I’ll be doing some heavy-duty dehydrating from the garden this year! ~TxH~
Try dehydrating those bananas. I gave my 3 year old grand-daughter a mason jar full of dried banana chips
for her birthday – she said it was the best gift ever. She thinks it’s candy!
OMGosh I’m going to give that a try Debbie. What do you do to keep them from turning brown after the bananas are cut? ~TxH~
I love the way the peppers are lined up on the tray, for a minte It looks like a green cake.. So colorful..
I just love your farm! I grew up on a apple farm in upstate new york!
Have a great weekend! stay in touch Maria
LOL Maria – a big green cake. Now if we’re going to be perfectly honest I’ll say that although I do try to line them up pretty well so air flows through better, I’m usually a *little* more haphazard than these perfectly-aligned trays in the picture. 😉 ~TxH~
I use the Vidalia Chop Wizard to dice the bells for dehydrating. Two sizes are possible. The safety factor is great – just put the cored and seeded bells on the chop blade and pull the handle. No nicked pinkies and lots of peppers to fill the dehydrator.
Oh sandy that sounds awesome, and lightning fast! I’ve got one of those old vintage french-fry making press contraptions, wonder if that would work for chopping into small cubes. Hummm…. ~TxH~
Thanks for this post … I need to do this. I’ve dehydrated lots of things, but usually freeze my green peppers … but this would be so handy. Thanks for sharing.
I agree Debbie – HANDY! I love that they take up so little room in the pantry, and let’s be honest, those pretty glass jars lining the pantry shelves filled with dehydrated veggies is very pretty! 😉 ~TxH~
OMGoodness Shelle, I was wondering if you could dehydrate asparagus. I recently had lots of it and wanted to preserve but wasn’t sure I could dehydrate or how I would use it once it was dehydrated. I ended up canning it all but the dehydrator would have been so helpful! ~TxH~
It worked really well, the dehydrate time has about 12 hours at 135 degrees. The stalks were different sizes and I didn’t account for that. I’m planning on adding it to soups and stews this fall – when asparagus is so expensive! I’m also experimenting with turning it to powder and adding it to smoothies and using it as a thickener in soups.
OMGoodness Shelle, how industrious you are! Love it. ~TxH~
I always freeze green peppers but I want to try this now. I love how little room they take up! Thanks for the article!
Me too Luncy, and it gives me another tool in the arsenal for preserving and using fresh produce and ya know I love that! ~TxH~
I never would have thought to dehydrate bell peppers! I’m not sure why, but I just hadn’t. My plants aren’t producing yet, but when they do, I’ll have to keep this in mind!
When my plants do start producing we’ll be in hog’s heaven with all the bell peppers. Might as well have them to enjoy all year long! ~TxH~
I have no dehydrator so I have to dice mine up and freeze. I do like using diced peppers on pizza, in casseroles, omelets, etc.
Noticed yesterday that I have a sweet banana pepper and a couple bell peppers on my plants. :}
Peppers already? #jealous ~TxH~
I had planted my onion sets and pepper plants ( 3 bell pepper plants and 1 sweet banana pepper plant) the middle of March..
I think in order for me to be able to can up some sweet banana mustard I’m going have to get me a few more plants. Really don’t think one plant will be enough