Drying Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne peppers are small to medium size tapered red hot chilis. They pack a very fiery punch and are a popular chili to dry and powder. Cayenne powder is used to spice up endless recipes. You can also make crushed chili flakes from dried cayenne peppers. Dry cayenne three different ways, and there’s no need for fancy equipment.



Wear gloves to protect your skin from capsicum burn and avoid touching your eyes or mouth while processing hot chilis. You can dry peppers whole or sliced into whatever shape you like. Different methods of drying will work better with different methods of preparation.

Discard fruits that are mushy, and cut out any mushy or diseased portions of the peppers. After processing them, run them under cool water and rinse any particulates off of the fruit.

Here are three ways to dry cayenne peppers.

  • In The Oven
  • In A Dehydrator
  • In The Open Air

In The Oven

Dry chili peppers in your oven on the lowest setting possible. Before drying, prepare peppers by removing the, stems slicing them lengthwise, and taking out the seeds. Whole chilis will not dry as well in the oven.

Spread the pepper slices out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. They need to bake at a temperature below 150°F (65°C). Different ovens have different low settings. If your oven will not go this low, leave the door cracked while the peppers dry.

Put them in the low-temperature oven for several hours up to two days for larger, thicker fruits. Check them periodically and turn them over to ensure they dry evenly. If they appear to become soggy or blackened the oven is too hot. Turn the temperature down or crack the door to release heat and moisture.

In A Dehydrator

It is recommended to slice peppers larger than one inch in diameter. Larger fruits may not dry in the expected time frame. Spread them evenly on the trays. Set the dehydrator at 140°F (60°C). This method will only take 8-12 hours depending on the thickness of the fruit.

Seeds that fall and accumulate in the bottom of the dehydrator can be planted in next years garden.

In The Open Air

Air-drying chilis may take the longest time, but it requires the least amount of preparation and equipment. If dry climates you can dry them outdoors.

Simply spread whole or sliced chilis out in a single layer on a sheet of cardboard, paper, or fabric. Leave them in the sun until they are crisp.

Another method is to hang them on a string. Use a needle to thread a string through each of the pepper stems and tie a knot to secure it in place.

Text: Garden.eco