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How to Dry Your Own Chillies

Updated on April 10, 2011

Culinary Basics - How to Dry Chilies

Part of the culinary basics is using chilies or other spices to create wonderful and healthy recipes.

You can make your own pepper flakes by drying your own chilies. It is a very easy, straightforward process much as drying your own herbs.

For the enthusiastic gardener, you can even grow your own chilies and then dry them.

This is a wonderfully simple recipe for drying chilies.


courtesy wikicommons
courtesy wikicommons



  • Sturdy white thread
  • Sewing needle or trussing needle
  • Fresh chilies
  • Paper bag
  • Rubber band


  1. Use thin-skinned hot chilies of any variety such as red cayenne pepper chilies.
  2. Wash the chilies and dry thoroughly.
  3. Cut off a length of white thread and tie a large knot in one end. Thread onto the needle.
  4. Run the needle through each chili cap/stem alternating left and right forming a long row of chilies
  5. Tie a loop in the end.
  6. Punch small holes in paper sack with a knife, scissors or pencil.
  7. Place the chilies in the paper bag, leaving the loop hanging out.
  8. Scrunch the bag closed at the top but leave the loop protruding out the top.
  9. Secure the bag closed with a rubber band and hang in a nice and airy place. The bag keeps dust and other contaminants off the chilies.
  10. In about 2-3 weeks, the chilies will be ready for use.
  11. You can use the peppers whole or crush them and use as pepper flakes. If left whole, they have more flavor than crushed.



  • Dried chilies will keep their flavor for 1-1/2 years at least.
  • Chilies will also burn your fingers when working with them. Use gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.
  • Keep fingers from touching your eyes if you have handled them!
  • You can dry chilies in a food dehydrator
  • Another method for the above is to use fishing line
  • You can add a dowel at the other end of the fishing line (not the knot end). This will hold the chilies stacked.  Thread the chilies through the middle, reversing each time - 1 to the left, 1 to the right. Hang in a high place for 3-4 weeks and let them dry naturally


  • Pick a stretch of sunny weather - usually at least 2 days
  • Cut chilies lengthwise in half and remove seeds
  • Place on a screen and put in full sun - turning perhaps once during the day
  • At night, cover with a sheet - repeat the process the next day - they should be dried
  • Dried chilies when completely dried are brittle and flake apart
  • You can increase the drying process by putting the screen on the top of a car or putting the screen in the back of a truck


  • Set your oven temp to the lowest setting - turn on and turn off (usually 150-200 degrees)
  • Cut chilies into rings and remove the seeds
  • Arrange on cookie sheets
  • Turn once or twice if desired
  • Chilies will most probably dry within a full day or overnight


Culinary Basics: How to Dry Chilies & Peppers


You can dry chilies and peppers with very little effort and have a delicious addition to your culinary basics repertoire.

A great use for dried chilies is chipotle sauce. I'm still working on perfecting my favorite one but there are many, many other uses in healthy recipes for dried chilies and peppers.

See which method suits your needs best.  For even more creativity, grow chilies yourself and then dry - and enjoy the benefits of freshly grown, organic chilies!


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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      No kidding! I'm thinking I may have writer's rot - not it possible for your head to just explode - or your arms fall right off?

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I almost put this info in my chipotle hub, but I was tired of writing! lol

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thanks, Pamela - I am starting my first pepper plant this year and hope that my Griffin the malamute does not eat that too - he already got my spaghetti squash and it was only in the ground 2 days!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      akirchner, I never grew chilies but it sounds simple enough to dry them. Good hub.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thanks Katie - appreciate it - and you're more than welcome...there is after all a million different ways to do just about anything these days!

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      I adore chiles thanks for the info as to how to dry chilies helpful culinary basic tips. :)

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      Hello, hello - oh my! Now there is something I did not think of to use chilies for - do you also hang garlic - that works for vampires but not sure on ex-husbands!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      A great hub well done. Thank you. I will never be able to put enough chillies on my door to keep my ex away. Gosh the plague couldn't have been worse.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      Totally true on them being good luck - they are also so good for colds and flu! Thanks for the tag, Darlene!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Love this hub, and chili peppers are good luck, hand them on your front door to keep out the evil spirits, that what they say in Taos New your wise advise on saving on groceries, great hub