Preserved chillis - how do I do?

Joined Mar 4, 2010

I have cultivated very nice red chillis on my garden. But now I don´t know what to do with so many of them!!. Which is the best way to preserve them?
Dry them at the sun or in the oven?? Make pickles?


Joined Oct 23, 2008
Hot sauce!! You can also create any number of relishes that incorporate the chilis. For simpler approaches you can flavor both oil and vinegar with them. I think if you plan to dry them then you might as well freeze them. At least where I'm from we have a lot of humidity so drying/dried goods don't keep that well.
Joined Mar 21, 2008
They pickle well, dehydrator works if you cut them in half, sun dry works if you live where it is always sunny and dry with low humidity. The key to drying is to get enough moisture out before mold sets in. Most ovens are to hot and would roast them (not bad, adds flavor but not always what you want).


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
If you do oil, do it in small batches you'll use up quickly otherwise you've got a botulism risk.
Joined Jun 5, 2009
I place them in a small ice chest with a block of dry ice to "flash" freeze them.  Then store in the regular freezer.  Just sticking in the freezer seems to leave large ice crystals so that the thawed peppers are mushy.

Joined Feb 1, 2007
I prefer drying and pickling to freezing.

As mentioned above, drying really works best in a dehydrator, unless you have high heat and low humidity. This is especially true with thick-walled chilies. If your environmental conditions are right for air drying, google "ristra" for insights into making long strings and wreaths of dried chilies.

Among many other uses, you can grind dried chilies to make your own chili powder; either single-variety or blends.

One nice condiment is to fill a shaker jar with small chilies (pierce them first with a knife, or prick with a fork) and cover with Sherry. This is an interesting variation of pepper vinegar, and goes especially nicely with seafood dishes.
Joined May 2, 2010
 Regarding the botulism risk I understand that garlic preserved in oil carries the same problem has anyone on the forum read about this concern?  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif

NOTE*    have just read the article mentioned by Eastshores,  have changed my mind about making garlic infused oil this week.    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/surprised.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/blushing.gif
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Joined Mar 4, 2010
Hi HYHeirloomer,

I´m interested in your idea about the sherry vinegar. Did you mean, sherry vinegar right? My first understanding was about the Sherry wine...

Thanks to all!!
Joined Feb 1, 2007
No, no, no Sirlene. You're mixing two different things.

Pepper vinegar is just that. Small chilies are put in a shaker jar, then the jar is filled with plain white vinegar. Most people heat the vinegar first, but it's not really necessary.

Although you could use sherry vinegar there's not much point to it. Why change that wonderful flavor profile?

The peppered Sherry is the same thing, only Sherry wine is used instead of vinegar.

Keep in mind, too, that in both cases it's the liquid that you use as a condiment, rather than eating what amounts to being pickled chilies. However, as the liquid level decreases in the jar you can replace it with fresh vinegar/Sherry as appropriate.
Joined Mar 4, 2010
Really interesting... I haven´t seen such use of wine.. As you said, I´m one of those who heat the white wine vinegar to prepare it with herbs (such as tarragon, sage)..

Thanks again for your explanation!!
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