How to make a Sriracha style pepper spice blend (StanRacha)

Tube of StanRacha powder
StanRacha powder

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Follow in instructions in the video below to see how to make a Sriracha style powder from frozen peppers. I call this StanRacha, the ‘Days Gone By’ blend because I used preserved frozen peppers that were over four years old.

This is a recipe and process for using vacuum sealed frozen pepper pods to make a sriracha type spice blend but could be adapted for any kind of pepper spice blend. This process could also be used from fresh pepper pods. You can adjust the recipe to taste of course, but this will give you a starting point. I also show tips on working with frozen peppers, how to dehydrate them and store for short term use and long term preservation.

For reference, here are the ratios I used, adjust according to taste:

Per 10 grams of dried peppers

  • 1/4 tsp citric acid
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp unrefined cane sugar

Items mentioned or shown in the video:
Pepper storage tubes – https://amzn.to/2laBT5U
Food dehydrator – https://amzn.to/2jN8v5n
Funnel – https://amzn.to/2lgkclD
Blender – https://amzn.to/2ldFTmc
Vacuum Sealer – https://amzn.to/2jNgUpp
Jar-sealer attachment – https://amzn.to/2lggTed
Weber Grill – https://amzn.to/2leF4tt
Charcoal Chimney – https://amzn.to/2lgd2he

Other videos I’ve made on pepper food preservation:
How to dehydrate peppers and make powder – https://youtu.be/7N8oyvRkkQ8
How to preserve peppers – https://youtu.be/thyMpy0xZiI
How to vacuum seal dehydrated peppers – https://youtu.be/VsHPi189TDA
Preserving dehydrated peppers long term – https://youtu.be/O32gsdaqpCk

How to smoke peppers for the dehydrator

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This is a process I use for adding smoke flavor and aroma to dried peppers. This works for both fresh and frozen peppers. I smoke them first, then add to the dehydrator.

Parts needed

Process

  1. Perforate the bottom of a disposable baking pan with a knife. Wash and de-stem peppers, cut in half, then place in baking pan.
  2. Prepare the grill, setting the bottom and top vents to about a 3/16″ gap, lay a piece of aluminum foil (10 x 12 inch) on one end of the bottom grate. Poke a few holes in the aluminum foil with a knife.
  3. Start a small amount of charcoal, about 10 12 briquettes (easier if you are using another grill for cooking, you can make more).
  4. Place the hot coals on the aluminum foil, and dump a few handfuls of smoking wood on top.
  5. Place the top grate on the grill, and set the baking pan of peppers on top, on the opposite side of the wood chips.
  6. Cover and let smoke for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Remove peppers and place in dehydrator trays.
  8. Dry for 24 – 36 hours, or until peppers are ‘cracker dry’.

Video

How to preserve dried pepper pods with a Foodsaver vaccuum jar sealer attachment

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Overview

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

Process

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.

Notes

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.

Video

How to make your own hot pepper powder spice blend using a mortar and pestle

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Mortar and Pestle
Mortar and Pestle

Overview of the process

It’s easy to use a large, heavy mortar and pestle to grind out fresh pepper spice blends that taste great. All you need are dried peppers, and what ever herbs or spices to go with it. Put it all in the bowl and crush it up. I start by pounding, then grinding and cycle through until it is the consistency that I want.

I purchased my mortar and pestle at a local Asian market. The interior bowl is 6 inches in diameter. You can find a comparable sized mortar and pestle at Amazon.

To dry your herbs you’ll need a dehydrator. I use this cheap Presto Dehydro and it works great.

I usually just mix small batches that I can use and share. But if you made a lot that you wanted to keep long term, it’s best to vacuum seal it. I recommend using a Foodsaver sealer with a mason jar attachment. If you had to pick between wide or regular mouth, I think the wide mouth type work best.

Dried peppers and spices before grinding
Before
Peppers and spices after grinding
After

Video

Here’s a video I made showing step by step how to do this. I also share good tips on storing your blend.

Pom Bomb – Blueberry Pomegranate Pepper Jelly

Jar of pepper jelly

This jelly turned out great. I’m sharing the recipe as it can be followed as is, or adapted using different fruits and peppers.

Ingredients:
11 oz mixed peppers (Cereja da Amapa, CGN-20800, CGN-20800 cross and one Jay’s Red Ghost Scorpion)
4 1/2 cups of cane sugar
1 package of Sur-Jel powdered pectin
1/2 cup lime juice
Fruit from two pomegranates
1/2 cup blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Puree the peppers, fruit and lime juice.
  2. Add mixture to a large sauce pan and stir in powdered pectin.
  3. Bring mixture to a rolling boil (can’t stir down).
  4. Stir in cane sugar and bring back to rolling boil
  5. Boil for one minute
  6. Remove from heat and ladle mixture into sterilized jars.
  7. Hot water bath jars for approximately 20 minutes.
  8. This yielded 11 4oz jars.

    This is the equivalent blender that I used.

    Video of the process:

How to make hot pepper popcorn with the Westbend Stir Crazy

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Westbend Stir Crazy popcorn popping machine

Hot pepper popcorn making should never be done in an enclosed area with no outside ventilation. It’s best to do outdoors, or in an open area that has ventilation to the outside. This is because the vapor that comes out during popping has capsaicin which can be harmful to breath, or at the least very distressing.

This could really be adapted for stove top cooking, but you would have less options regarding ventilation. Whereas a Stir Crazy can be moved to whereever you need it. If you have a strong vented-to-the-outside hood above the oven, that would probably work fine. It would still be a good idea to not cook near anyone who might be sensitive to the vapor.

For a full batch of popcorn use:

  • 1 cup of kernels (3/4 cup if using larger kernels)
  • 3 tbsp of high oil like canola, vegetable, etc…
  • pepper slices. Adjust the type and number of peppers to suit your tastes

The Stir Crazy can be purchased at Amazon. I bought ours at a local Goodwill for about 1/2 the price. It was a salvage item, unused, but a small piece of plastic had broken off. Doesn’t affect usability though. We’ve made several batches with ours and it works great, easy to clean up too.

We used two yellow superhots and that made a very hot batch.

Pepper slices in oil

How to preserve peppers – Dehydrating and freezing methods

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I made this video the other day after harvesting a bunch of my peppers. Freezing and dehydrating are two methods that I use most often when preserving peppers. it’s a quick and easy way to put them up for future use. I’ve found that vacuum sealing them is key for long-term preservation.

Tools used in this video:
Presto Dehydro
Extra trays
Foodsaver vacuum sealer
Sealer bags (I recommend the generic type it will save a lot of money and they work just as well)
Jar sealer attachment (Used for sealing mason jars, not shown in the video but was mentioned and is something I use often)