Dehydrating peppers is a great way to cut down on food waste and preserve these veggies for a longer storage date. But, did you know that you can dehydrate peppers in air fryer?
This goes for bell peppers (sometimes called capsicums depending upon where you are from), as well as chili peppers too.
Keep reading to learn all about why your air fryer is a great tool for dehydrating peppers, and what you can do with them afterward.
Why Use an Air Fryer for Dehydrating Peppers?
Traditionally, dehydrating peppers could either be done by sun drying them, using an oven, or having a specialty dehydrator in your kitchen. Here, we’ll outline the ways in which an air fryer beats these other methods.
It’s quicker than an oven
Although both methods of dehydration rely upon subjecting the peppers to a low consistent temperature over a long period of time, choosing to dehydrate peppers in air fryer takes considerably less time than using an oven.
Dehydrating peppers in an air fryer can take as little as 1 hour, whereas it can take up to 12 hours in an oven!
An air fryer uses almost half the amount of electricity as a conventional oven, meaning that using it to dehydrate your peppers will help you to save on energy costs. This is particularly important when you think that dehydrating is one of the longest cooking processes in the kitchen!
No fancy equipment needed
Dehydrating in an air fryer is pretty simple, and you don’t need to buy any specialist equipment to make it possible. Compared to the cost of a dedicated dehydrator, which could be between $40 for a budget model to $600 for one with all the bells and whistles, air fryers can be bought pretty affordably and offer a ton more functionality for other kitchen tasks.
How to Dehydrate Bell Peppers in Air Fryer
There are two types of peppers you can dehydrate in your air fryer: bell peppers and chili peppers. As they both differ in size and use, we’re providing instructions for each of them, starting with bell peppers.
- Wash the bell peppers thoroughly and pat them dry with a clean towel. Remove the stems, seeds, and membranes. You can choose to slice the peppers into thin strips or dice them into small pieces, depending on your preference.
- Prep your air fryer by making sure it is fully clean and dry, with no oil or moisture residue. This ensures a perfectly dry space to assist in the dehydration process.
- Preheat your air fryer and set it to the lowest temperature setting available. Typically, this would be around 120 degrees, but it may vary depending on your specific air fryer model.
- Place the prepared bell peppers in a single layer on the air fryer rack or tray. Make sure to leave some space between the pieces to allow proper airflow and even dehydration.
- Dehydrate the peppers for around 2-4 hours, remembering to check on them periodically. The time will vary depending on the size of the pepper pieces, the natural water levels within the chosen peppers, as well as any humidity in your kitchen.
- Once the peppers are dehydrated, remove them from the air fryer and let them cool down completely in a dry space, before transferring them to an airtight container for storage in a cool, dry place.
How to Dehydrate Chili Peppers in Air Fryer
If you are looking to dehydrate chili peppers, here are some more specific instructions on this process.
- Prepare the chilis by washing them thoroughly, patting them dry, and removing the stems. Unlike bell peppers, you don’t need to remove the seeds. Smaller chilis such as birdseye can be air-dried whole, but larger peppers like jalapenos are recommended to be sliced in half vertically or into circular slices.
- Preheat the air frying to its lowest temperature setting possible. This is normally 120 degrees, but your air fryer may vary.
- Place the chilis into the basket or onto the air fryer rack, making sure to leave a gap between them for even dehydration.
- Dehydrate the chilis for between 1 and 3 hours. Check on them regularly. The chilis will be done when they are fully dry but still slightly pliable.
- Leave to completely cool, and then store in an airtight container.
Some air fryers, such as the Ninja Foodi range, offer a dehydrate setting as one of the cooking options, which can help you to be able to perform this task easily without adjusting many settings.
To check how to use this setting effectively, refer to the manual for your particular air fryer model for the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Top Tips For Dehydrating Peppers in an Air Fryer
Select good specimens
It’s important to choose good quality peppers for dehydrating to ensure a great end result. The peppers should be free from blemishes, as well as being as fresh and firm as possible.
Peppers with a high moisture level, like bell peppers (capsicums), jalapenos, and serrano all lend themselves really well to the dehydration process.
Save the date
If you are freeze-drying batches of peppers and other food regularly, making a note of the date on which they were dehydrated on the storage container helps you to be able to keep track of what needs to be used first.
A spicy gift
Air fryer dehydrated chilis can make for a great gift idea! Place them into an airtight decorative jar, and secure the lid with a piece of colorful fabric and some ribbon for a perfect homemade present for friends and family.
When working with chilis, especially ones that are particularly spicy, it is recommended to take appropriate measures such as wearing gloves, thoroughly washing equipment, and remembering not to touch your face and eyes. You don’t want to rehydrate the peppers with your tears from the spice!
How Long Do Dehydrated Peppers Keep For?
So long as they are kept appropriately in dry and cool conditions, peppers will keep for between 1 and 2 years. Whole dried chili peppers on the other hand can keep for up to 4 years!
Ways to use Dehydrated Peppers
Dehydrated peppers are perfect for adding flavor to a dish, and can help to bring stews and casseroles to life. They can also be rehydrated in hot water and added to pasta dishes, salads, sauces, and much more.
Peppers, especially chilis, can also be ground up into powders to be used as a seasoning or a rub for various meats and dishes.
Chili peppers can also be added to bottles of oil, to infuse them and add flavor for cooking and dressing.
So, if you ever needed a reason or two as to why you should dehydrate peppers in air fryer, we hope we have managed to change your mind! With peppers being so versatile both in fresh and dried forms, we are sure you will be able to create some amazingly tasty recipes.