I've been having Internet issues lately, and some crazy car issues after an accident (my first) so I've been totally off the radar here. Several weeks back I made a valiant effort to dry a ton of peppers I had from my plants, and was given by a friend in town. I thought the machine was fine and after making sure it was clean enough, I stocked it up with orange habs, red habs, new mexicos, jalapeños, and some hybrid cayennes I have grown due to their location near the jalapeños. I followed the pattern of loading the trays that a guy on my flickr contact list uses with his, and had read misc things linked to me and so forth. I thought everything was fine at first...
They are not joking about the fumes created by dehydrating peppers. The first 6 hours it was a sweet smell and not too bad. I was leery of leaving the ungrounded plug running while I slept so unplugged it until the next day. It had been going nearly 12 hours by then. By the time it was plugged back in, the smell had changed. Less than 2 hours in the second day it was going even worse. Maybe I performed a cardinal sin, but after it started again the fumes were amazingly strong. Everyone in the house was coughing, felt throat get torn up, so had to air out and exhaust, and figure out what to do with these not quite dried peppers.
They all smelled strange, and not at all like what they had been like before nor what dehydrated peppers I have had were like. It's not at all like what my mixed pepper cuts smell like when baked. Not at all. I'm not sure if something was in the bottom that I missed or what happened. The dehydrator was in a box in the garage for a couple years since it was given to me, so it's possible. I tried drying them more in the oven but it wasn't working without fumes and the not quite right smell lingered.
I am used to a lot of pepper smells but this was weird.
I ended up tossing the whole lot of peppers, tossing the dehydrator (free to me), and unsure when I will try again. The peppers I had outside in the heat strung up got wet during a storm and also had bugs find them, so I failed on that front as well. So, for anyone curious what happened to that batch I may or may not have spoken of, there you are. Garage drying is out due to gas fumes in abundance. Better luck some other distance future time, eh?