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How to Buy, Clean, and Store Dried Chiles

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2018

We made our way through more than 250 dried chiles while developing a recipe and learned a few tips along the way.

Shopping: Look for chiles that are pliable and smell slightly fruity. Avoid those that feel hard or crack when you try to bend them.

Cleaning: Wipe chiles with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove dust or dirt.

Storing: If not using straightaway, preserve the chiles' flavor and texture by sealing them in an airtight container or zipper-lock bag and storing them in a cool, dry place.

Take These Home

Look for flexible dried chiles.

Leave These Behind

Avoid chiles that crack or tear when bent.