Drying cayenne peppers to use in cooking or for cayenne health benefits. Health benefits of cayenne pepper. How to make cayenne pepper powder and capsules.
Any thin-walled hot pepper can be dried using the instructions on this page for drying cayenne peppers.
How you want to use the dried peppers will tell you which to use.
For cooking, choose the pepper with the flavor and heat level you prefer in your food. If you plan on curing with cayenne, choose the hottest pepper you can tolerate.
The long, slender cayenne red pepper fruit ( sometimes misspelled cayanne pepper)is easy to dry. But it is not the only hot pepper which contains the healing power of cayenne pepper.
The heat in cayenne fruit is what confers the health benefits. This heat is caused by a substance called capsaicin. The hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains and the greater the health benefits.
Cayenne peppers usually measure approximately 30,000-5,000 SHUs on the Scoville Heat Scale. The Scotch Bonnet pepper measures 100,000-350,000 SHUs. The Bhut Jolokia pepper measures 820,000-1,000,000 and is considered to be the hottest pepper in the world.
Pure capsaicin measures 15,000,000–16,000,000 units.
Cut the fruit from the cayenne pepper plants with an inch of stem attached.
Wear protective gloves when cutting or stringing the fruit and avoid getting the capsaicin oil in your eyes or on any broken or sensitive skin.
If you inadvertently bring capsaicin into contact with your mucus membranes, it will burn like fire. It will not do you any permanent harm, but you will want to stop the stinging as quickly as possible.
Neutralize hot pepper capsaicin with milk.
Water tends to simply spread the oil around causing it to burn a larger area. Milk contains an enzyme which breaks capsaicin down.
You can dry cayenne peppers by stringing them or you can use an electric dehydrator.
The dehydrator will dry the peppers more quickly and with less chance of mildew. It's the preferred method for people who live in humid climates.
Rinse the harvested peppers in running water to remove any debris. Cut off the stems and halve the peppers lengthwise.
You can leave the seeds attached or remove them when drying cayenne peppers. Hot pepper seeds are hotter than the flesh of the chili. If you want the extra heat, leave them in. I prefer to remove them not because they are hot but because they are hard. I don't like biting into them.
Spread the chili halves out on the dehydrator trays and dry them until they are crisp. Check the peppers and turn the trays frequently.
How to String Peppers
Hold 3 peppers together by the stems and wrap a length of cotton string around the stems to bind them together. Bring the free end of the string under 1 pepper and back up to the stems. Make a half hitch to secure the cluster.
Without cutting the string, repeat the above with another 3 cayenne peppers. Try to keep the clusters about 4 inches apart. String as many chilis as you have. If the sting starts to tangle, just cut it and start a new strand.
Now take a length of wire, loop one end to keep the hot peppers from falling off and braid the string of peppers around it.
Hang the ristra from any horizontal support.
Grind large quantities of dried chili peppers in a dedicated blender as the smell and taste of cayenne will linger.
Use a face mask as a small amount of the cayenne powder will become airborne. It can irritate your lungs and cause coughing.
To use the cayenne pepper chili powder in cooking, store it in jars. If you intend it for medicinal use, scoop it into empty capsules. Store the cayenne pepper capsules in a jar.
Cayenne pepper healing explores the health benefits of hot peppers. Cayenne health benefits derive from the extract capsaicin. The many benefits of capsaicin can be enjoyed by using it both internally and topically.
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