How to Preserve Red Chile

How to Preserve Red Chile

Chile is one of those words that encompasses many things (and is spelled a couple of different ways).  There are so many different varieties of chile, that by simply using the word, one could be talking about green, red, cayenne, bells, bananas, pimentos, poblanos, jalapenos, or any number of other varieties.

In New Mexico, however, where Hatch Chile grows in abundance, Chimayo Red is incomparable, and “extra” chile is used as the center-piece for a variety of decorations, when one speaks of chile, they’re usually speaking of said green and/or red chile which goes on top of virtually every meal possible.  And truly, the hotter the better (as long as it’s tasty and not just hot).

red chile used as decoration

Because we like our chile on everything, and because the growing season only lasts so long, chile must be preserved so it can remain on our tables well beyond the peak harvesting season of late summer. Truly, the goal is to preserve enough so as to not be forced to go without some while waiting for the next season’s batch to arrive!

There are many ways to preserve chile, depending on which variety you are preserving.  In the past I’ve talked about making your own hot sauce, making your own crushed red pepper flakes (using cayenne), as well as a few ways you can preserve green chile.

Red & Green Chile - canned

Today, I’m going to talk specifically about preserving red chile.  Now, it’s a little known fact that red chile is actually just green chile that has ripened.  Yes, you read that right, green chile is simply unripe red chile 🙂 This, in my mind, is wonderful! Two, very distinct flavors given by a single plant simply for offering both your impatience and your patience while it ripens!

How to Preserve Red Chile - powder

While red chile can be canned, the easiest way to preserve red chile is to dry it, which can be done in a few ways. First, however, you want to wash all of the dust and dirt off of your chiles and gently dry them off with a towel. Once clean, you can either string them up to dry, put them in the oven to dry or place them in your dehydrator. Here, let me explain a bit more:

  1. String them up – with a needle and thread, simple run a string through the stem of each of your chiles, leaving an inch or two between each chile to allow for air flow (see this post for an example). Then, hang your chiles up in a sunny, well ventilated and dry spot in your home (or under your porch) for a couple of weeks until thoroughly dry.
  2. Oven dry them – cut your chiles in half, then place them on a baking sheet and into your oven set at 100-125 degrees. This method can take several hours, the exact time will be determined by how thick your chiles are and how humid your climate is, so you will have to just keep your eye on them.
  3. Dehydrate them – you can either cut your chiles in half or place them whole on your dehydrator trays (I dream of this dehydrator almost daily) on a low to medium heat and they will dry overnight.

Once your chiles are completely dry, you can either grind them up into a chile powder (similar to cayenne) or store them whole in an air tight container to be re-hydrated later.

Dried Red Chile

I prefer my red chile ground into a powder and I almost like it as much as green chile on my burritos…though my Frito Pies must be smothered in red 😉

How to Preserve Red Chile - Red Chile Powder

Now it’s your turn! What’s your favorite way to eat red chile? Please share your favorite meals (or recipes) in the comments below!

But, before you go! This post is part of a Round Robin of sorts! Please join us as several bloggers share different reasons and methods of how we preserve food to create a long-term storage plan for our families.

The Prepared Bloggers - How We Preserve Foods

Click on each link to be taken to a new blog with helpful information and tips.

Mom with a PREPHow to Dehydrate Ginger and Make Ginger Powder

Preparedness MamaMake Jam Without Pectin

Mama KautzDehydrating

Busy B HomemakerFreezer Jam

Ed That MattersAnyone Can Do It: Fool Proof Food Storage

The Apartment PrepperEasy Marinated Mushrooms

The Homesteading HippyHow to Use Your Pressure Canner

Montana HomesteaderMaking and Preserving Cherry Pit Syrup

Are We Crazy or WhatHow to Dehydrate Cherries

Your Thrive LifeHow I Preserve Food: Meals in a Jar

Melissa K NorrisRe-Usable Canning Tattler Lids-Do They Really Work?

Real Food LivingPreserve and Store Grains wiith Dry Ice

Cooke’s FrontierSmoking

Homestead DreamerWater Bath Canning

Survival SherpaModern Mountain Man MRE’s

The Backyard PioneerFermentation

Trayer WildernessHow We Preserve Food

Living Life in Rural IowaVegetable Soup

The Organic PrepperHow to Make Jam without using added Pectin

Homesteading MomHow I Preserve Broccoli and Goat Cheese Soup

A Matter of PreparednessHow I Preserve Using Mylar Bags


Written by Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm


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