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Discussion Starter #1
I had a good crop of various peppers from my garden this year, so I tried drying a bunch. I heard about 100 ways to do it, and I figured the easiest was to just lay them out on paper on a countertop. As the weather gets cooler, my house gets pretty dry, plus we have a wood stove running which makes it even drier.

Over a period of a month or so I just left the peppers on the counter. If any got mold on them of just looked or felt weird, I threw them away. I now have a pile of different peppers that look and feel like small shriveled rocks.

As I was experimenting with some of them, I noticed that a lot of them have grey fuzz inside. I would guess this is mold. These peppers are all solid and don't have any non-pepper smells or soft spots or anything, and externally they look like bright red dried peppers.

If a person was to buy these in a store and just toss the entire dried pepper into a recipe, you would never know that they looked kind of funky inside. Have any of you dried peppers before? Do they get moldy inside? Does it even matter? How do you dry your peppers (if you have)?

If the mold is going to be a big problem, next year I think I'll just freeze them. They look so cool though when they're dried. I told my wife I was going to decorate the Christmas tree with them. She wasn't too keen on that idea.
 

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We did it a few years ago, and we used one of those dehydrators that can be used for fruit and everything else. We cut the peppers into pieces to fit into the unit. Worked out pretty well.
 

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I've never dried any, but would think you would need to use a dehydrator, or at least cut them in half lengthwise.

I have tried freezing them, with less than stellar results. They are OK for a recipe to be cooked into, such as chili, if you don't thaw them first, but if you thaw them to use only a portion, they all turn to mush, as soon as they defrost. :cray:
 

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I've never dried any, but would think you would need to use a dehydrator, or at least cut them in half lengthwise.

I have tried freezing them, with less than stellar results. They are OK for a recipe to be cooked into, such as chili, if you don't thaw them first, but if you thaw them to use only a portion, they all turn to mush, as soon as they defrost. :cray:
Yes, that happened because the freezing moisture (and peppers have a lot of water) expands and destroys the cell walls. Once the cell wall are destroyed, nothing holds the liquid in place (the liquid makes the peppers crisp), and the inner tissue becomes just a mush. The outer tissue stays mostly intact because it is much harder and the ice crystals cannot. That is the reason that only substrates that contain relatively little moisture, or that do not have a cell structure that can be broken up by ice crystals, will freeze well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys and gal! I do have a dehydrator, but that just seemed like cheating. I think I will try it next year with them.

The frozen ones we just toss into sauces and stuff where it doesn't matter if they turn to mush. They are just there to add some flavor.
 
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