So, Father Christmas was kind to me this year. He brought me both a Food Dehydrator and a Spice Grinder! I guess that means I’m making Chilli Powder then 😉
So, the last time I dried Chillies out I was complaining the whole time about how much it was costing me to keep the oven going, well, not the whole time but we’ve got one of those energy monitors that tell you how much energy you’re using and it was on amber for the most part of the drying and every time I saw that I might have mumbled something.
So I started looking at other ways for if / when I did it next.
Obviously, you can dry them in the sun, for free. But, well – It’s not been the best year for sun. I also know you can hang dry them, but, I don’t really plan that well for things like that, and, again, the lack of warmth. I don’t want a string of mouldy Chillies hanging around :-/
One of the other methods I came across was to use a food dehydrator, seemed easy enough but not something I wanted to just buy for myself, particularly when Christmas was coming.
Anyway my wife had a word with Father Christmas who sent me an AntonyCraig KYS-336 one, I know very little about this kind of thing and I’m assuming
my wife Father Christmas isn’t an expert either but it certainly looked the part 🙂
So, itching to take it for a test drive I took to setting it all up. I didn’t want to go right in there and dehydrate ALL my chillies in one go, I thought it’d be good just to use the one tray to break it in.
I rustled up some Scotch Bonnets (one of my favourites) and some normal Super (market) Chillies. The flesh on all of these chillies are about the same thickness so they should all take around the same time. If you’re mixing and matching thick and thin skinned chillies then you should expect the thicker ones to take longer.
I was also curious about dehydrating garlic as well so I threw in a clove, chopped into slices as well, just to see.
I Googled around for advice on how best to use the dehydrator, the instructions weren’t brilliant, just the basics, which anyone with half a brain cell could have worked out. Anyways, instructions on drying chillies out where all over the place and a bit of a waste of time. Sure, plenty of helpful people out there but they all had there own ideas about what was best for this.
So, I ignored them and did my own thing.
The maximum temperature of the dehydrator is 70° Celsius, and as I usually dry them in my oven at circa 100° – I figured that 70 wouldn’t do them any harm, especially as I’ve been led to believe you can’t actually burn anything in these things…
Other advice I’d picked up from Googling was that Chillies would take around 10 hours to fully dehydrate, well, again, I ignored that advice and set mine to run for two hours.
And, so repeatedly pressing buttons and 10 hours later… I had dried Chillies…
To be fair, it was a lot better than doing them in the oven, I didn’t have to worry about the burning and the actual colour of them was a lot better than I’d seen before. My energy meter bounced between green and amber the whole time, but I was doing this at night with a house full of people using lights and watching TV’s etc
Anyways, same rules as always apply – They’re dry when you can snap them. If they bend, they need more time.
I’d also heard tales of them being loud and them creating a toxic atmosphere from the smells. Neither of those things where a problem. The noise was just like a background fan and easily drowned out by shutting the kitchen door. The smell was negligible, sure, you could smell it but nothing too bad. My two daughters both commented about it, but, then, they always do 😉
So, on with the turning my crunchy little chilli sticks into powder.
The Grinder I got is a Legend BCG01, again, I’ve no idea about such things and I’m guessing
my daughter Father Christmas doesn’t have a lot of idea either, but, it said it was a grinder, so, guessing it does it’s job as well as any other!
And so I popped my Chilli into the grinder, held the button down for a few minutes, and…
Couldn’t have been easier to make, a little shorter perhaps but, for a first go, pretty good.
I also included the garlic into the mix but the difference of the taste and the smell from shop bought ones is amazing.
It really does smell good, properly fresh.
I didn’t expect a lot of powder from the few Chillies I did, but I was also kind of surprised it was so little as well.
But, still, no doubt this is going to be used and I’ll know more about it’s success, or not, then.
Can’t wait to do this again with some properly hot Chillies, be good to have a little army of spice bottles that I can call my own 😉