How To Preserve Chilies (in 5 simple methods)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to preserve chilies?”, and discuss the different methods of preserving chilies and the potential implications of preserving chilies.

How To Preserve Chilies?

You can preserve chilies by various methods such as drying, salting, pickling, freezing, etc. Preserving chilies green or red becomes of much importance since chilies add on to a great flavor to the food prepared. 

How to preserve chilies by drying?

Drying is a very common method for preserving chilies from ages ago. Drying chilies will remove the water content from the chilies and thus, avoid molds from affecting them. 

There are various ways of drying chilies. 

Oven drying of chilies 

Using the oven for drying chilies is a convenient way of preserving them as it can be done in any season irrespective of how the weather is. Drying chilies in the oven takes a few hours using low temperatures. 

Steps of oven drying the chilies involves the following steps.

  • Wash the chilies properly.
  • Remove the stalks from the chilies.
  • Check on the good chilies( mushy ones should be discarded and the ones with white flesh underneath the stems are said to be the healthy ones).
  • Slices the chilies making slits in each one of them.
  • Place the chilies on the tray.
  • Set the oven temperature as low as about 40℃( do not set high temperature).
  • Once in a while open the door of the oven and let the moisture out of it. 
  • Flip the chilies and heat dry the chilies again until the chilies are brown.
  • Turn off the oven and remove out the tray and let the chilies cool and come down to room temperature.
  • Store the chilies as such or chop them into chilly flakes to be used in the dishes so prepared. 

The only disadvantage of drying the chilies in the oven can make the chilies lose their aroma. 

Traditional drying of chilies 

For ages drying chilies has been seen as a custom in various parts of the world. Drying the chilies directly into the sun brings the color and also enhances the spice in the chilly.

Steps of drying chilies traditionally involves:

  • Find a well-ventilated and dry space.
  • Clean the chilies and wash them thoroughly.
  • Pet the chilies dry with paper napkins.
  • Discard the rotten chilies and look for healthier ones.
  • Place the chillies on a clean cloth or tray.
  • Look for space with enough sunlight.
  • Rotate the tray/cloth from time to time for even drying of the chilies.
  •  Discard the ones with the signs of damage. 
  • Once dried enough in the sun for days, the chilies are ready to be stored for further use.

 Drying chilies on string

          Another way of drying chilies can be hanging the chilies upside down on a string. This method of drying chilies also adds to the aesthetics of the kitchen when the string of chilies is hung in the kitchen. 

             Steps involved in hanging chilies on the string.

  • Segregate the good chilies.
  • Take a thread and sew the chilies one by one in the thread so that the thread looks like a garland. 
  • Keep the string hanging in a well-suited place( well ventilated and dry).
  • Keep rotating the string for the chilies to dry properly. 

 Drying chilies using food-dehydrator

A food dehydrator is very useful when we have a pile of chilies to dry and store for months together. It consists of a fan and air circulation. This helps in drying the chillies faster.

Drying chilies using a food dehydrator involves the following steps.

  • Segregate the chillies and find the fresh and healthier ones.
  • Switch on the dehydrator and dry the chilies.

A food dehydrator is a great instrument for drying the chilies faster.  

How to preserve chilies by salting or pickling?

Salting is also one of the ways in which we can preserve chilies. Salting can preserve chilies for a long time, almost for months together. 

The steps involved in preserving chilies are as follows.

  • Clean the chilies. 
  • Remove the stalks and check for the healthy ones. 
  • Cut the chilies into small pieces.
  • Take a clean jar and wash it properly.
  • Dry the jar with a kitchen towel.
  • Mix enough salt with the chilies( add vinegar, sugar adequately for pickling)
  • Store the chilies in the jar.
  • Add extra salt on the top(or brine). 
  • Store the jar in a dark and dry place. 

How to preserve chilies with oil?

Oiling the chilies is also said to be a very good way of preserving chilies. Oil is a great condiment that not only adds flavor but also increases the shelflife of the chilies.

Steps of preserving chilies with oil.

  • Select the healthy chilies.
  • Clean and remove the stalks from the chilies. 
  • Make slits in the chili and remove off the seeds.
  • Chop the chilies into small pieces. 
  • Sterilize a jar and put the chilies in the jar.
  • Add oil generously to the jar. 
  • Keep the jar dark and dry. 
  • Once opened for use the jar should be refrigerated.

How to preserve chilies by freezing?

Freezing chilies is the simplest way of storing/preserving chilies. Chili’s stored in such a manner can be used in the dish in the curry or as garnish. Freezing can also help store chilies fresh for almost a year.

Steps involved in freezing chilies are:

  • Clean the chilies.
  • Remove the stalks and remove the wilted and mushy ones.
  • Take a clean ziplock bag.
  • Stuff the chilies in the ziplock bag and store them for a long run in the refrigerator.
  • For use, take the ziplock bag out of the freezer and defrost the chilies.
  • Use as needed in the dish.

How to preserve chilies in sauce? 

Chilies can also be preserved as a sauce. Preserved in such a way chili can be used whole or in garnish, but it can be incorporated into the dish. This can help add flavor and spice to the dish. 

Steps to preserve chilies as sauce are as follows.

  • Wash the chilies in clear water.
  • Wipe the water off the chilies with a clean paper towel.
  • Remove the stalks and seeds to reduce the spice.
  •  Put the chilies in the blender.
  • Add salt and oil to taste.
  • Blend the chillies well.
  • Store the paste in a clean jar in the refrigerator. 

Use it as and when needed in the dishes to add flavor to the dishes.

Other FAQs about Chili that you may be interested in.

What can I substitute for Korean chilli powder?

Can you eat green habaneros?

Can I substitute chilli powder for cayenne pepper?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to preserve chilies?”, and discussed the different methods of preserving chilies and the potential implications of preserving chilies

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.


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