The Q&A Archives: Drying Habanero Peppers

Question: This is the first year I have planted pepper plants. Two of them are Habanero Peppers. Can I dry them? If so how. What is their shelf life once dried? Would an alternative be to freeze them?

Answer: Habanero peppers are one of the hottest peppers, and are usually used fresh. Drying will intensify the flavor, so use them sparingly! You can dry peppers by stringing them up after harvest in an airy indoor location until they are completely dry. Some gardeners string them together and hang them in the kitchen, first as a decoration, and then as a convenient place to keep the peppers until used. If you crush the dried peppers (or leave them whole), you can store them in an air tight container and keep them in a cool, dark place. They'll begin to lose some of their potency after a few years, but should keep many years if stored properly. You can freeze habanero's if you par-boil them first for about 30 seconds, then cool and place in plastic bags in the freezer. Frozen habanero's can be kept for about 6 months before they begin to lose their flavor.

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