A Comprehensive Guide to Drying Poblano Peppers

How to Dry Poblano Peppers: A Comprehensive Guide

Poblano peppers are a versatile ingredient in Mexican cuisine, known for their mild heat and smoky flavor. If you have a surplus of poblano peppers and want to extend their shelf life, drying them is an excellent option. Dried poblano peppers, also known as anchos, can be used in a variety of dishes to add depth and flavor. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore three methods of drying poblano peppers: hang drying, using a food dehydrator, and oven drying.

Why Dry Poblano Peppers?

Drying poblano peppers serves two main purposes. First, it helps preserve the peppers by removing their moisture, allowing them to last longer. Second, drying poblano peppers transforms them into anchos, which are widely used in Mexican cooking. Anchos have a deep red color, mild heat, and a distinct smoky flavor that enhances the flavor of many dishes. They can be used whole or ground into chili powder.

Hang Dried Poblano Peppers

Hang-drying is a traditional method of drying poblano peppers and is best suited for warmer climates where temperatures reach around 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Here is a step-by-step process for hang drying poblano peppers:

  1. Prepare the peppers: Select thin-walled peppers that are free of damage and debris. Make sure the peppers are completely intact.
  2. Thread the peppers: Thread a large needle with string through the stems of the peppers and string them together. Leave enough space between each pepper to allow for airflow.
  3. Set up the drying area: Find a well-ventilated area with plenty of sunlight to hang the peppers. It should be protected from environmental factors that could interfere with the drying process.
  4. Hang the peppers: Hang the bell peppers in the designated area. It usually takes 3 to 4 weeks for the peppers to dry completely. Check them regularly and remove them if they become brittle.

Drying Poblano Peppers with a Food Dehydrator

Using a food dehydrator is an efficient way to dry poblano peppers, especially in climates where hang drying is not practical. Here is a step-by-step process for dehydrating poblano peppers with a food dehydrator:

  1. Select the peppers: Select undamaged peppers that are similar in size to ensure even drying.
  2. Place peppers on drying screens: Place the peppers on the drying trays of the food dehydrator. Make sure there is enough space between them for proper airflow.
  3. Set Temperature: Set the food dehydrator to a temperature between 125 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit (or according to the manufacturer’s instructions).
  4. Monitor the drying process: Rotate the screens regularly and remove any peppers that are drying faster than the others. Drying time can vary from 4 to 12 hours, so keep a close eye on the peppers.

Drying Poblano Peppers in the Oven

If you don’t have access to a food dehydrator or suitable drying conditions for hang drying, drying poblano peppers in the oven is an alternative method. Here is a step-by-step process for oven drying poblano peppers:

  1. Prepare the peppers: Select fresh peppers with no blemishes or damage. Cut larger peppers into smaller pieces to speed up the drying process.
  2. Arrange the peppers: Spread the peppers out on a baking sheet, leaving space between them. If you have a large quantity of peppers, work in batches.
  3. Set oven temperature: Preheat oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the oven door slightly ajar to allow airflow and moisture to escape.
  4. Dry the peppers: Place the baking sheet with the peppers in the oven and check every 30 minutes. Remove any peppers that dry faster to prevent burning. Typical drying time is 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the pepper.

Using Dried Poblano Peppers

Dried poblano peppers can be used in a variety of ways to add flavor and spice to your dishes. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Rehydrate dried peppers: To rehydrate dried poblano peppers, remove the seeds and toast the peppers in a skillet for about 30 seconds on each side. Then pour boiling water over the peppers and let them soak for 15 to 30 minutes until they are rehydrated. Drain the water before using the peppers in sauces or other dishes.
  2. Whole or ground: Dried poblano peppers can be used whole or ground into chili powder. Incorporate them into sauces, salsas, seasoning blends, or use as a dry rub for meats.


Drying poblano peppers is an easy and effective way to preserve these flavorful ingredients for an extended period of time. Whether you hang them to dry, use a food dehydrator, or dry them in the oven, the end result will be anchos, a versatile ingredient in Mexican cuisine. By following the step-by-step instructions in this guide, you can enjoy the smoky and mild heat of dried poblano peppers in your favorite recipes. Experiment with rehydrating them or using them as a seasoning to enhance the flavors of your dishes. These drying methods will help you get the most out of your poblano peppers and enhance your culinary creations.


Can I dry poblano peppers without special equipment?

Yes, you can dry poblano peppers without any special equipment. Hanging them in a well-ventilated area with plenty of sunlight is a traditional method that requires no additional tools.

How long will dried poblano peppers last?

When properly stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, dried poblano peppers can last up to a year or more. However, for the best flavor and quality, it is recommended that they be used within six months.

Can I use dried poblano peppers directly in my recipes?

Dried poblano peppers are quite tough and may not be pleasant to eat directly. It is best to rehydrate them before using them in recipes. Rehydration can be accomplished by toasting the peppers briefly and then soaking them in boiling water for 15 to 30 minutes.

How should I store dried poblano peppers?

To ensure the longevity of dried poblano peppers, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place away from moisture and sunlight. A pantry or cupboard is an ideal storage location.

Can I substitute other dried chili peppers for dried poblano peppers?

While dried poblano peppers (anchos) have their unique flavor profile, you can substitute them with other dried chili peppers, such as dried guajillo or dried pasilla peppers. Keep in mind, however, that the flavor may be slightly different, so adjust the amounts accordingly.

Can I grind dried poblano peppers into chili powder?

Yes, you can grind dried poblano peppers into chili powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. This homemade chili powder can be used to add flavor and seasoning to a variety of dishes such as soups, stews, and marinades.