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Dehydration is one of the best ways to preserve your pepper harvest. After a while though, exposure to air will lessen the shelf life of what you have worked so hard to save. I have found that vacuum sealing after drying preserves the peppers indefinitely.
What is needed
- Foodsaver vacuum sealer with accessory port and hose/connector. The newer Foodsavers come with this attachment.
- Jar-sealer attachment – This attaches to the accessory hose.
- Dehydrator – I use a cheap Presto model, but any will do.
First, dry the peppers in the dehydrator. When you start the process of drying, go ahead and wash up the jars, rings and lids you’ll need. Even if using brand new jars, wash them anyway. Also use soap when washing the lids, this will help the seal perform better. Towel dry, then set out to air dry while the dehydrator is running.
Let the peppers dry until they are beyond cracker crisp. To test this, crush a piece between your fingers. It should crumble easily. Wear gloves if handing very hot peppers.
Let them cool, and place the dried pods in clean, dry jar. If you don’t care about keeping the pieces fully intact, you can press them down into the jar to fit more if needed.
Place a clean lid on top of the jar and push the jar sealer attachment over it. Make sure the sealer attachment is attached to the accessory hose, and it is attached to the Foodsaver. press the accessory button on the Foodsaver. The vacuum process will stop when the jar is sealed. you can then remove the jar-sealer attachment. The lid should be on tight. You can optionally screw on a jar ring, but it is not necessary.
I have read other reviews on the Jar-sealer attachment saying the wide mouth size works better. I have not tested the regular mouth to share any experience with them. Some of the other reviewers did mention that if you use the regular mouth and have trouble, you can add a second lid, this somehow helps. I’ve had zero issues using the wide mouth lids.