Drying chillies in the oven

The quickest method to dry fresh chillies is in the oven. After three to eight hours, you can turn your chilli peppers into powder or flakes by drying them. Chillies of various types dry at varying rates. 

Thin-walled chilli peppers, such as de Arbol or Cayenne, are best. The thicker the flesh of chilli pepper, the longer it takes to dry. Drying virtually any chilli in an oven is feasible though. Air circulation ovens are ideal for drying chillies and this will give you the best results.

Chillies should be dried in an oven at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 to eight hours. The oven should be turned off then the door left open, or you can leave them overnight with the oven off and open if it’s cold outside. 

They need to dry out fully, so make sure there is no moisture on them when they come out of the oven before packaging them up.

This article will explain in detail how to oven dry chillies so you can get the best results:

drying chillies snippet image

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Table of Contents

Harvesting or buying chillies

Home-grown chillies, if grown in a controlled environment, are ideal. When freshly plucked, ripe chillies are amazing. Their fragrance and spice intensify when they’re dried correctly. Deep red pods with a hard, glossy surface indicate that the chilli was grown in an Asia Shop or from a vegetable vendor.

Be on the lookout for chillies that have a healthy-looking stem attached to them because this means they were harvested fresh and will dry well. You can oven dry chilli peppers with or without seeds in them, but if you want your dried flakes/powder spicy it is best to leave the seeds in before drying them.

Want to learn how to grow chilli peppers? We wrote an article that shows you the best ways to do it!

purchasing chillies

Preparing the chillies

Wash the chillies thoroughly in a bowl under running water. With a kitchen towel, wipe off the droplets from the chillies. Using a clean knife, remove the stem and calyx from each pepper.

It’s easy to remove the chalice with some cultivars. Part of the seeds will stick to it. Rolling the chilli pepper between your fingers makes this much easier. Cut the chilli pepper in half. Some people dislike them while others do not mind them at all. Chilli flakes eliminate the need for additional cleaning.

Are chilli peppers a fruit or a vegetable? have a read of this article!

chili peppers

Preparing the baking tray

Cover a baking tray with baking paper or aluminium foil. Later, the advantage of using aluminium foil is that it can be moulded into a funnel. This makes decanting the dried flakes easier. The tray is arranged in such a manner that the chillies do not stick to it. Use the shiny side of the foil upwards. On a baking tray, lay out the chillies lengthwise and flesh-side up. Leave some wiggle room between the chilli halves so that the warm air may circulate freely around them.

The oven

Slide the baking trays into the oven. Increase the temperature of your convection oven gradually as it heats up. The temperature should not exceed 100°C. 80°C is ideal for drying chillies. If you’re unsure, use an oven thermometer to be safe. When heat is too high, the amazing fragrance of chilli peppers changes. They then become black rapidly and unappealing to eat due to their rapid growth and dark colouration.

A wooden spoon is useful for leaving the oven lid ajar for approximately 2 cm. It allows moisture to escape. If sharp odours develop in the kitchen, leave the window open.

Check the temperature every hour. Timing is crucial for good chilli powder. When changing, mix the pods. Keep in mind that hotter chilli types can sting when opening the oven. A stinging steam may be released by hot chillies if they are thick-walled or thin-walled. They dry differently depending on

oven door

Time and temperature

The ripening time needed for any chilli variety varies from 8 to 24 hours at 80°C. When red chillies are dry enough, they assume a deeper hue. They crackle when lightly squeezed and can be crushed with ease. It’s now safe to remove the dried chillies from the oven. Allow the baking trays to cool fully before removing the chillies from their pods.

Remove the peppers from the oven and set them aside to cool. The non-dried portions can be bent. Choose one of the following options: put them back in the oven or seal them in an oil bottle for chilli oil.

Chilli flakes

Put the chillies in a sealable freezer bag if you wish to make chilli flakes for example for pizza. Crush the bag with your hands until you have the proper flake size. Use a label to identify the type of chilli and how hot it is next year using this method.

crushed red pepper flakes

Chilli powder

Place the dried chilli in a mixer or coffee grinder to make chilli powder.

Not too much all at once. Pour the contents through a sieve to filter them. The mill returns any large pieces to the mix with fresh chunks. Wear a face mask if you want to avoid inhaling chilli dust. Keep the ground powder in a beautiful, lockable spice box. Tip: Habaneros are ideal for the addition of heat and flavour to chilli powder.

Tip: When working with chillies, you should wear gloves. You should not touch your eyes or other sensitive areas of your body. Even after a few hand cleanses, capsaicin may linger on your hands without being noticed. Consider how important it is to safeguard your eyes and mouth. You can’t mess around with a King Naga Chili, Scotch Bonnet, or any other incendiary chilli.

chilli powder

Drying Chillies FAQ’S

Is it better to freeze or dry chillies?

Drying chillies is the best way to preserve them. You can freeze or oven-dry them according to your needs. Dried pods may be crushed and ground into a powder for cooking if you want this type of convenience. The oven dries well, but it does not have much effect on fresh chilli peppers’ taste or smell. Chillis are dried out in an oven because they are easy to prepare using this method.

The advantage of drying chilli peppers is that they last longer than freezing them when stored properly at room temperature after being dehydrated by heat exposure via ovens or sunlight. They will keep their colour, flavour, and pungency better over time rather than freezer storage times which vary greatly depending on how long the chilli was frozen.

How can you continue growing your chillies through the winter? Have a read of an article we wrote on how to overwinter your chilli plants

chilli seeds

Are fresh chillies hotter than dried?

Fresh chillies are not hotter than oven-dried types. Drying them ensures that the capsaicin content remains intact. Freshly harvested, oven-dried pods contain more flavour and heat than regular fresh ones because they have a greater concentration of these substances after being oven-dried at 80°C for approximately 24 hours or until crisp depending on their size.

Can you dry chillies in an airing cupboard?

In short, no. A greenhouse, a kitchen window, or even a warm airing cupboard are all options. Place your chillies in a well-ventilated greenhouse, potting shed, or on the kitchen window. Also cut off any blackened or dying chillis.

How do you store dried red chillies for a long time?

Chillies should be kept in airtight jars or containers to avoid moisture. They will keep longer if you store them in an oven at 60°C for approximately 12 hours after oven-drying the pods on trays until crisp.

How do you dry chillies in an air fryer?

Preheat your air fryer to the lowest temperature setting. Our model is warm, around 250°F, so we leave it at that. Air fry peppers in an air fryer basket for 20-40 minutes, depending on the size of the peppers and the lowest temperature setting of your brand of air fryer.


food dehydrator
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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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