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How To Make Your Own Chili Powder from Dried Chiles

How to make chili powder from dried chilis. Make your own chili powder.

You may have seen hanging dried peppers in markets and wondered what you could do with them and why are they dried like that.

At the end of the harvest season all of the peppers that have not yet been harvested yet usually turn a bright red color. Before it gets really cold and the frost starts to set in all of those peppers are picked. They are then strung up together in a dangling fashion. This string of peppers is called a ristra the peppers are then hung in the sun to dry. These dried peppers can be used just like the green ones and are every bit as hot.

If you would like to buy a ristra you can hang it up as a decoration for while before you actually have to use it, but when it is done hanging you can use it for cooking or make chili powder out of it. If you have a garden that is producing more chiles than you can possibly use allow them to get bright red and then hang them up with string and hang them outside somewhere where you get a lot of sunshine or in a window in your house that gets a lot of sunshine and allow them to try.

Weather you have dried the chiles yourself or purchased a ristra you can make a wonderful chili powder that will last for a very long time if kept in the freezer.

Best Method for Making Chili Powder

To make chili powder, roast the dried chiles in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes (about 5), remove chiles, and let them cool. Put rubber gloves on. On top of wax paper on your counter top or on a plastic cutting board (do not use a wooden cutting board) break them open and then remove the stems, seeds and any dark spots. Then grind them in a blender until they become a fine powder.

Be very careful not to inhale deeply during this process and keep your face away as best you can from the peppers as you are seeding them and after the powder has been created.

Alternative Method

Place chiles in a large pot. In a separate pot or tea kettle boil some water there should be enough water to cover the chiles. When the water is at a boil remove from the heat and immediately pour it over top of the chiles. Allow it to sit on the chiles for just about 60 seconds, then take some tongs and lay them on paper towels and allow them to cool off and pat them dry if they are still wet. Then remove the peels and the seeds. Then place them in the blender and blend until they become a fine powder.

Remember with this method also to wear your rubber gloves, keep your face away, and use some plastic or wax paper on the counter, or a plastic cutting board, do not use wood. If you have protective goggles it would not be a bad idea to wear them while doing this. Even if you wear gloves be sure to wash your hands really well after making chili powder.  I like to use Comet cleanser to wash my hands after working with peppers.  It gets all of the pepper off.  Just be sure to wash the Comet off really well, and then follow up with soap, and then put on some gentle lotion because the Comet can be drying, but at least you won't end up with pepper powder in your eyes or pepper juice if you are using fresh peppers. 

After either method you then store this powder in a glass jar in the freezer or in freezer safe zip lock bags.


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Comments (3)
Ranked #34 in Food & Cooking

this is great. I use chili powder a lot in cooking. Fresh would be even so much better

Great kitchen tips.

I put chili powder in my roasted peanuts, great presentation.