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How to dry herbs & Kung Pao peppers?

How to dry herbs & Kung Pao peppers?
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  • How to dry herbs & Kung Pao peppers?

    Post #1 - September 13th, 2012, 11:42 am
    Post #1 - September 13th, 2012, 11:42 am Post #1 - September 13th, 2012, 11:42 am
    (I did some searches to see if the topic was covered before & they were unsuccessful, so if there is an existing thread, please point me in the way.)

    I've never attempted to do so but I'd like to try and dry some of my herbs (Sweet Basil, Thai Basil, Sage, Oregano) & peppers (Kung Pao & Thai) that I've grown. I did see Alton Brown's drying episode where he put items on furnace filters & then strapped the filters to a box fan that was run for a few days.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #2 - September 13th, 2012, 6:34 pm
    Post #2 - September 13th, 2012, 6:34 pm Post #2 - September 13th, 2012, 6:34 pm
    Thai, Chinese, and Japanese chiles - and any small, thin-skinned, pointed red chiles, really - should just be air-dried, as they are so low in moisture that they shrivel up in just a couple of days. Even in our relatively humid climate, I have never had any mold problems. Higher moisture chiles - even thin-skinned Habaneros - should be done in a dehydrator.

    For herbs, I generally just bundle them tightly, and hang upside-down in a well-ventilated area, out of direct sun; store the whole branches in a big zippy bag. This works fine for tarragon, oregano, marjoram, thyme, and sage, as well as lavender, should you have enough flowers on hand to do it. I have a bay laurel, too, and I just leave the individual leaves out on the kitchen counter until dry, and store in a glass jar. Some herbs aren't worth the bother, though, like dill weed, chervil, and basil; they don't have enough essential oils to retain any flavor. Dill seed is another story, though - plus it sprouts like mad after reseeding, as does chervil seed (though chervil seed doesn't have much flavor to speak of).

    Good luck, and have fun - it's interesting to see which herbs, spices, and chiles retain their flavors best.
  • Post #3 - September 14th, 2012, 9:42 am
    Post #3 - September 14th, 2012, 9:42 am Post #3 - September 14th, 2012, 9:42 am
    I don't know about Kung Pao peppers, but we dry our herbs on strings in the rafters of our garage.

    Image

    It's not a very good picture and the herbs up there are from last fall and way too dry. We are just getting ready to start putting new ones up there, since it started raining again, and we are getting growth.

    Depending on the temps, it usually only takes a couple of weeks up there to dry herbs.

    My sister puts them in a cake pan and sits them in the rear window of her car, while she's at work. It only takes a couple of sunny days to do the job and she says the smell on the way home relaxes her. :lol:

    Good luck

    Tim
  • Post #4 - September 15th, 2012, 10:03 am
    Post #4 - September 15th, 2012, 10:03 am Post #4 - September 15th, 2012, 10:03 am
    Putting herbs to dry in direct sunlight (in my opinion) fades the color of the herb. If you have a dehydrator, that is the easiest, fastest way to get the job done.
  • Post #5 - September 15th, 2012, 10:58 am
    Post #5 - September 15th, 2012, 10:58 am Post #5 - September 15th, 2012, 10:58 am
    thanks for the replies, it looks like I should have asked this question sooner as I went out to my peppers & nearly all the Kung Pao & Thai chilies had been eaten, whatever was eating them only liked the red ones as my plants still have many green ones on them.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #6 - December 22nd, 2012, 12:24 am
    Post #6 - December 22nd, 2012, 12:24 am Post #6 - December 22nd, 2012, 12:24 am
    It is always recommended by the people that to dry the herbs always use a room away from sunlight.

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