Chillies come in more than 200 varieties and are members of the capsicum family. They contain capsaicin which is what gives chillies their heat. They range in size from a couple of centimetres to over 25 centimetres and can be green, yellow, orange, red or black. The scoville scale determines how hot each variety is, 0 being the least – that would be sweet peppers – to Jalapeño and chipotle chillies scoring anything between 2,500 to 10,000 and habañero and Scotch bonnet which score 80,000 to 300,000 or more.

All are suitable for dehydrating.


Dehydrating Chillies Uses
Fresh Weight 100 Grams Make your own red chilli sauce.
Dried Weight 6 to 12 Grams Add to curry paste
Powder 10 gms  1 teaspoon Make chilli powder
Prep Time 20 minutes Use whole or chopped in recipes
Drying Time 12 hours Make into flakes and use to flavour oil
Drying Temperature 125 Add to pickles
Health Benefits Increases metabolic rate, good for circulation, pain relief for muscles Make Chilli jelly


  • Sharp knife
  • Plastic bowls
  • Colander
  • Food Wash


Discard any chillies that are rotten. Then soak the chillies in a fruit and vegetable wash for a few minutes and drain. Remove the stems.

Small chillies can be dried whole. Larger varieties can be sliced lengthwise or chopped.


If you touch your eyes after handling chillies, even the smallest amount will make your eyes sting and burn. So wear gloves or make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling chillies.

If you don’t remove the seeds the chillies will be taste hotter. To avoid adding heat you can discard the seeds now or remove the seeds at this stage and keep them for planting, otherwise dry as is and remove seeds later.


Spread out on dehydrator trays.

Drying time will depend on the size and thickness of your chillies. Average is around 12 hours at 125 degrees Fahrenheit/ 52 Celsius. When properly dried they will feel light and brittle.

After this you can either store them whole or process into flakes or powder.


Store in sealed containers in a dark area and add oxygen absorbers to help keep the contents dry.


Conditioning is a process of making sure that whatever you have dried has as little moisture as possible in it. It’s a simple process and involves mixing or shaking to redistribute the Spinach and make sure it is completely dry. do this over a few days.

Tip: If I am making powder I usually do this immediately after the chillies come out of the dehydrator as I find that is when it is at its crispiest.

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