How to Sun Dry Chile Peppers
It’s summertime, Woohoo!
Take advantage of the fresh air and hot summer sun and add a bit of the outdoors to your cooking! Back in the “old-days” chiles were most often sun dried. Sun drying, requires little to no preparation, as chiles were placed on large flat hot stones or on wicker drying trays.
Today sun drying is still a popular method, and only requires a little preparation. Here is a quick way to get started. These days stainless steel screens are a more popular method of creating drying trays. It is a good idea to use steel trays as aluminum screens can react with the acids in the chiles.
If using trays, keep them away from dusty roads and yards where grass clipping may be flying by. Keep screens/trays at least 1″ above a table or flat surface. use bricks or some kind of wood to allow good air circulation below the chiles. Cover chiles w/ cheesecloth to protect them from insects. Now spread out your chiles on the screens and keep about 1/2 inch apart.
Allow to sit in the hot sun for 3 days until the skin is wrinkled and light shines through when held to the sun. Once sun-dried to remove additional moisture from thicker chiles and to kill any eggs possibly laid by insects, heat sun dried chiles in a 150 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.
Good luck, and Buen Provecho!