How do you pick chilli peppers? 

The environments where the pepper originated are located in the Americas and today we find it in every part of the world! In all shapes, colors and different species. Following our advice you can grow the variety of chili you like. Remember to sow between February and March, when the weather improves, it starts to get warmer and the night is not so cold as to freeze the plants. When summer begins it’s time to start harvesting, even if each variety is different and therefore the harvest times may vary, you have to pay attention to this particular because there are peppers that reach ripeness up to 80 days from sowing!

We advise you to use the peppers immediately. If you want to use them later, there are different preservation methods.

Equip yourself with the equipment for the collection of chillies, a pair of scissors for the collection and gloves (we recommend to put them in case you have to deal with extremely spicy varieties such as: Habanero, Trinidad, Scorpion, and others). If the peppers are completely ripe, we must cut them from the stem and leave on the head of the fruit 1 cm from the branch of the plant. This way the chilli will keep better.

The collection of chillies cannot be considered complete if we do not wash the fruits. After that, we have to decide what to do: do we want to eat the peppers immediately? Then you have to put them in the refrigerator. In case they are many or it is the end of the season, you have to keep them in another way: drying, in oil or using them as main ingredients of our spicy sauces!

If you don’t know how to make hot sauce, take a look at the following guide: how to make hot sauce?

  • During the drying of our chillies, the water and humidity, which would be the main cause of the decomposition of the fruit, will disappear and the product of your harvest will last for years! Proceed as you like: drying in the sun, in the oven, hanging or with the appropriate electric dryer. 
  1. Sun-drying: Cut the chillies in half and place them upside down on a baking pan in the sun and turn them every 5-6 hours for about 3 days or more depending on the amount of water inside the fruit.
  2. Drying in the oven: Cut the chillies in half and place them on a baking tray, then insert them inside at a temperature not exceeding 60 degrees. Leave the oven door ajar to allow the humidity to come out, leave in the oven for 10 - 15 hours.
  3. Dry the chillies: Tie the chillies with a string and put them in a dry place, without moisture, if possible place them near a source of heat (the fireplace is fine) for as long as it seems necessary.
  4. Electric dryer: with a modest expense (between 50 and 70 euros) you can buy an electric dryer, which will be useful to dry many types of fruits and vegetables, including your chili peppers. Just cut the chillies in half and put them inside the electric dryer. Then light it and leave them inside for 6 hours (if the chillies are small enough) up to 1 day (minimum for the meatier ones). The method we are proposing is among the simplest and most effective. The dried chili can be chopped and stored in jars with hermetic closure for years! 
  • If you love fresh chili you should definitely try the method of preservation in oil. First you have to cut the chillies into small pieces and make them drain, then you have to put them in a bath of salt and vinegar to give it the sour taste, which serves to avoid the formation of botulinum and other molds. Finally, add the extra virgin olive oil, boil the jar for the vacuum effect and voilà! Your chili pepper in oil is ready to be stored! 

There is much to say about drying methods, so we suggest you click on the following link: how to dry the chili?

If you are people who have no limits, especially in the kitchen, then you can start using your chili peppers creatively and with the necessary precautions! extremely hot chillies are equipped with high levels of capsaicin, we suggest you to use protective tools such as a mask, rubber gloves (not latex because too thin) and glasses. 

Video of how to pick chillies: