5

I've got about 20 red thai peppers from my garden this year that I air dried. I currently have them in a mason jar with the lid and ring on (not sealed though). Is this a sufficient storage method, or is there a better way? The peppers are whole.

3

That's how I store the bird's eye chili that I get from my small balcony garden. I truss them up so they're hanging from their stems and hang that from a baker's rack, let them dry naturally, and just store them in a glass jar with a lid or cork.

I produce way more than I use, so I use small (pint) size glass jars to store the peppers, and I rotate them by using the oldest batch to grind up into several kinds of chili powder; the oldest batch I keep in the cabinet is about 8 months old (and that's the point where the pungency has mellowed just enough for use in rubs and stuff)

But yes, as long as you've got them covered and stored in a relatively cool place, they'll keep a nice flavor for quite some time. Just don't forget about them and taste before using if you can't remember when you bottled them (labels help!) :)

2

If they are fully dry and you keep the mason jar in the dark, you are good to go, in my opinion. Light can degrade many things, so storing your goodies out on the countertop for all to see can have some negative effects you would not see if they were stored in a cupboard, closet, or opaque jar. When you first jar the dried item, keep an eye on the jar for any sign of condensate/water droplets/fog as that would be a sign that they need more drying (and you risk mold if you leave them in the jar in that state.)

0

Besides humidity look out for moth larvae, too. I've had those ruin dried peppers. Not sure which kinds of moths it was but as some of them are repelled by bay leaf I now add one of those to every glass of dried peppers I keep.

It might be coincidence but I have not had this problem since then.

  • Oh god don't even talk to me about larvae :( I have a pretty consistent pepper maggot problem with my habaneros. Fortunately, the thai peppers I'm storing don't make a good host for them. – MGZero Sep 28 '16 at 15:06
  • I'd guess your larva problem could be completely solved by giving the jarred peppers a few days in the freezer: that should kill them. – derobert Oct 13 '16 at 21:28
  • @MGZero that freezing comment (above) is to you, too. – derobert Oct 13 '16 at 21:29
  • @derobert I'm sure, but at that point, I wouldn't even want to eat the peppers – MGZero Oct 14 '16 at 20:44
  • @MGZero well, I mean you freeze them to kill the larva (or eggs) in the one or two peppers, before it has a chance to spread. – derobert Oct 14 '16 at 22:25
-1

If they are not completely air dried, and in a jar (even without the lid tight) condensation and/or mould will result. Make sure they are dry - I hang mine by threading clear filament through the stems with a needle, stacking them with the string at the top to tie them up to hang - and you can always add more. Hang in a shaded dry place (not over stove-top or sink).

Also add fully dried chillies to an Olive Oil bottle, along with some whole peppercorns and let sit on shaded counter-top for a few weeks to infuse.

Fresh chillies can be frozen in a jar whole, with stems on, or chop them fine and freeze.

  • Hello Valri, I don't know why you added the suggestion for home infused oil, but that's a known botulism risk. – rumtscho Sep 27 '16 at 18:10
  • 1
    No botulism (Clostridium botulinum (C. bot), which can cause botulism) is not risk if the chillies are completely dried - there are safe and unsafe ways to make infused olive oil. The unsafe way is to put anything in the oil that contains any trace of water or moisture. That would include garlic, lemon peel, fresh peppers, fresh herbs and spices. The oil will not support bacterial growth but the water containing herbs will. Botulism bacteria can grow in this type of environment, even in a sealed bottle. – Valri Sep 28 '16 at 20:44

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