How to Dry Cayenne Pepper

This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy for details.

Please share this content if you like it. Thank You!

Learn how to dry cayenne pepper at home in four different ways. Dry cayennes are a great ingredient to have on hand and are very easy to add to many recipes.


I am not a huge fan of spicy food… Ok, who am I kidding? Red Doritos are too spicy for me. In other words, I have pretty much zero ability to handle spicy food.

But have you seen a plant of cayenne peppers? Oh, it’s so so beautiful! It’s a vibrant green with a ton of bright red peppers that are long and skinny and gorgeous. Also, no one wants to eat them as they grow because of their heat… The chickens and the ducks, and the deer, and all the pests… They just leave the plant alone so it’s really easy to grow!

How to Dry Cayenne Pepper at Home…

a bowl of dried cayenne pepper

Therefore, last year I just had to grow a cayenne pepper plant (or four) in the garden, I just had to. And so I did. And so I ended up with a million cayenne peppers. And for someone who has zero tolerance for spicy food, a million cayenne peppers are a whole lot.

And so, I decided to dry them because once in a blue moon (mainly when I make food for someone else) I’d use cayenne pepper and dry they will last for years. Also, bright red peppers are really beautiful in a jar on the shelf in the kitchen (that’s my sort of home decor!).

Reasons For Drying Cayenne Peppers…

  • Preserving the flavor -even though cayenne peppers can be found in most grocery stores year-round, they have a season just like any other vegetable. During the summer, they are the most delicious, and that is the best time to preserve them.
  • Easy to travel with – do you like camping? We camp every summer and cayenne powder is always in our spice bin to spice up dinner (someone else’s dinner, not mine…).
  • Preserving for long-term storage – just another way to preserve your garden peppers and keep them at room temperature.
  • Saves time – there are many dishes that call for hot peppers. When you have them ready, dry, and on the shelf, it’s super easy to throw them into anything.

Ingredients…

  • Cayenne peppers – this is all you need. Dehydrate as many as you want!
    Note – you can follow this tutorial to dehydrate any kind of spicy pepper with thin flesh.

Kitchen Tools…

  • Dehydrator – I am using a nice dehydrator that allows me to control the temperature and produces a better end result. If you don’t have one of those, you can still dehydrate cayennes in the oven (if your oven can work at a low enough temperature…) or in a cheap (no temperature control) dehydrator. And you can also just hang them or place on a paper towel but a dehydrator is my preferred method. More about all the options below.
  • Air-tight storage container (I use jars)

How to Dry Cayenne Pepper…

fresh cayenne peppers

Step one – prep the cayenne peppers.

  • Leave the peppers whole – I usually leave my cayenne peppers whole. Since their skin is very thin they have no problem drying whole. If you wash your peppers, make sure to dry them well before drying.
  • Cut the peppers – some people choose to cut their cayenne peppers the same way that we would cut and clean Jalapeno peppers before dehydrating them…
    Wash the peppers and dry them,
    Cut the stem off,
    Halve the peppers lengthwise,
    Clean out the seeds and placenta (the pith, or in other words the white stuff that holds the seeds).
    If you choose to only dehydrate the red skin of your cayenne pepper, the result will be a milder dry pepper since a lot of the heat is in the seeds and placenta.
cayenne peppers on a string

Step two – dry. Since cayenne peppers have very thin walls, there are a few different ways to dry them…

  • On a paper towel – simply lay your peppers in one layer on a paper towel in a well-ventilated location. Drying them this way will take 2-3 weeks probably. Make sure to check them once in a while and turn and flip them.
  • Hang – just as you see in the image above, tie the stem of your cayenne peppers on a string and hang them in a well-ventilated area from a shelf, a cabinet, or whatever. This is basically the same as leaving them on a paper towel, the only difference is that there is no need to flip them since they are hanging and exposed to air from all sides.
  • In the oven – turn your oven to its lowest temperature (preferably under 165 degrees F). Place the cayenne peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven and let dry. Depending on the oven temperature, this will probably take 4-8 hours. You’ll have to make sure to check on your peppers and to turn them 2 or 3 times during the process so they dry evenly on all sides.
  • In the dehydrator – drying cayenne peppers in the dehydrator is the easiest and produces the best result.
    Simply place your pepper on the trays of the dehydrator in one layer and dehydrate at 125 degrees F for 10-12 hours.
a jar of dehydrated cayenne peppers

How to Store Dry Cayenne Peppers…

Once the peppers are dry, remove them from the dehydrator or oven, let them cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to an air-tight container. If you hang your peppers, you can leave them hanging or take them down to store in a container.

How to Condition Dry Cayenne Peppers…

Conditioning means checking for moisture. It’s a good practice to get used to doing with any food that you dehydrate. If you leave your peppers hanging on a string, there is no need to do this, however, if your peppers are stored in an air-tight container, make sure that every day for the first week you take a look at your container.

If you notice moisture, take the peppers out of the container and dehydrate them again for a couple more hours. Then store the peppers again and watch the container for the next week. repeat this until there is no moisture in the container. Moisture will ruin your peppers so this is especially important to do if you are planning to store the peppers for the long term.

How to Use Dry Cayenne Peppers…

Usually, if we are dehydrating orange slices or strawberry slices, for example, I’ll have a few different ideas in this section on how to use the dried food. However, when it comes to cayenne peppers it’s pretty simple. Set the jar of dried peppers on your spice shelf and use them to spice any dish. If a dish calls for hot peppers, simply add a dried cayenne. Here are a few dishes that will benefit from the addition of those delicious peppers…

How to Make and Use Cayenne Powder…

One of the greatest things about dehydrated food is that you can turn it into powder. To make cayenne powder, place the dry cayenne peppers in a coffee grinder and grind them until you get a powder. Store your powder in jars at room temperature and use it to spice dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions…

Can I dehydrate whole cayenne peppers?

Yes. Their skin is very thin, so no matter the method that you choose you can leave the peppers whole and dry them.

I can’t control the temperature on my dehydrator, can I still use it?

The cheaper Presto dehydrator is very popular and you can find it at any Walmart or online. It runs at a temperature of 165 degrees F and there is no way to control the temperature. Yes, you can use this kind of dehydrator to dry cayenne peppers. Again, for best results, we want to process cayenne peppers at a temperature of 125 degrees F but a higher temperature will work as well. Drying time will probably be shorter, around 6-8 hours or so.

Can I rehydrate cayenne peppers?

Probably not. Once they are dry we usually use them as a powder or whole.


So now I have a whole lot of dry cayenne peppers on the shelf. It will probably take me a while to use them all and you are probably not going to find a cayenne pepper plant in my garden in the next couple of years but I’m not complaining. Even just as a decoration they are amazing! They actually make me want to work on my tolerance of spicy food so I can use them more. That’s possible, right? Anyway, they are a great ingredient to have on the shelf in any kitchen!

More Dehydrating Tutorials…

How to Dry Cayenne Pepper

How to Dry Cayenne Pepper

Drying Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours

Learn how to dry cayenne peppers in four different ways.

Ingredients

  • Cayenne peppers (as many as you want to dry)

Instructions

  1. Prep the cayenne peppers. There are a few options here... Leave the peppers whole – I usually leave my cayenne peppers whole. Since their skin is very thin they have no problem drying whole. If you wash your peppers, make sure to dry them well before drying.
    Cut the peppers – some people choose to cut their cayenne peppers the same way that we would cut and clean Jalapeno peppers before dehydrating them…
    Wash the peppers and dry them,
    Cut the stem off,
    Half the peppers lengthwise,
    Clean out the seeds and placenta (the pith, or in other words the white stuff that holds the seeds).
    If you choose to only dehydrate the red skin of your cayenne pepper, the result will be a milder dry pepper since a lot of the heat is in the seeds and placenta.
    Also, only cut the peppers if you are going to dry them in the dehydrator or oven.
  2. Dry. Since cayenne peppers have very thin walls, there are a few different ways to dry them…
    On a paper towel – simply lay your peppers in one layer on a paper towel in a well-ventilated location. Drying them this way will take 2-3 weeks probably. Make sure to check them once in a while and turn and flip them. Hang – tie the stem of your cayenne peppers on a string and hang them in a well-ventilated area from a shelf, a cabinet, or whatever. This is basically the same as leaving them on a paper towel, the only difference is that there is no need to flip them since they are hanging and exposed to air from all sides.
    In the oven – turn your oven to its lowest temperature (preferably under 165 degrees F). Place the cayenne peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven and let dry. Depending on the oven temperature, this will probably take 4-8 hours. You’ll have to make sure to check on your peppers and to turn them 2 or 3 times during the process so they dry evenly on all sides.
    In the dehydrator – drying cayenne peppers in the dehydrator is the easiest and produces the best result. Place your pepper on the trays of the dehydrator in one layer and dehydrate at 125 degrees F for 10-12 hours.
  3. Store. once cayenne peppers are dry, store them in an air-tight container or leave them hanging. If you store the peppers in an air-tight container, check that there is no moisture in the container for the first seven days. If you spot moisture, remove the peppers from the container and dry them for a few more hours, then store them again and check for moisture again.

Notes

Frequently Asked Questions...

  1. Can I dehydrate whole cayenne peppers?
    Yes. Their skin is very thin, so no matter the method that you choose you can leave the peppers whole and dry them.
  2. I can’t control the temperature on my dehydrator, can I still use it?
    The cheaper Presto dehydrator is very popular and you can find it at any Walmart or online. It runs at a temperature of 165 degrees F and there is no way to control the temperature. Yes, you can use this kind of dehydrator to dry cayenne peppers. Again, for best results, we want to process cayenne peppers at a temperature of 125 degrees F but a higher temperature will work as well. Drying time will probably be shorter, around 6-8 hours or so.
  3. Can I rehydrate cayenne peppers?
    Probably not. Once they are dry we usually use them as a powder or whole.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 7Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

Follow Lady Lee's Home on Pinterest!

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest for more great recipes and homesteading tutorials!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Skip to Recipe
Scroll to Top