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14 April 2014

Learn how to dehydrate your chili peppers with a dehydrator and grind them into chili powders.

Dehydrating your chili pepper harvest is an excellent way to preserve your peppers. You can easily crush them or grind them into powders for use all year long. The method is very simple with a dehydrator. Check out the video below.

What can you do with your dried chili peppers?

Grind them up to make your own chili powder, which is like cayenne powder, or keep them whole and use them as you might use a sun dried tomato. They can be rehydrated with hot water and go great with many chili pepper recipes.

Here is a link to the one I own – It’s an affiliate link, FYI: Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator FD-75A.


    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Rebecca, no, but the process would work for them the same. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  1. Love your site. I made your pineapple-habanero sauce the other day and it’s a big hit! This past weekend I smoked the last of the jalapenos and anaheims from my garden for 3 hours at 180 deg F, (split in half, seeds in). I then put the smoked peppers into the Nesco dehydrator (same model as your link above), which took up 3 of 5 trays. Surprisingly, it took 26 hours to dry the peppers in the dehydrator at 135 deg.F to the point where they snapped when bent. Maybe they were just thick-fleshed jalapenos??? Other than the smoked chili smell that permeated the house for the better part of 2 days, it was no big deal. I was just surprised how long it took… Anyway, thanks for sharing your wisdom and experiences!

    REPLY: Thanks, Matt! There are a number of factors that can affect your drying times, such as humidity levels, temps, pepper thickness, etc. I’ve had some batches take that long. Glad it worked out! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  2. Have you tried making powder with Carolina Reaper peppers?

    REPLY: Angela, yes, it works great. You can do this for any pepper. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  3. Anthony Bucci

    Hi Mike I have a question I have in the past made chili powder and flakes using a hydrator but now I want to try and get that smoky flavor can I dry them in a wood burning stove by smoking

    REPLY: Anthony, you can smoke them and then finish them in a dehydrator. That works well. They can be dried right in the smoker, but the dehydrator will work great. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  4. John Jinkins

    Mike, thanks for this inspiring and educational video. My wife is from Mexico and we live in the D.C. area where there are many Hispanic stores. In her country and our local stores they sell whole dried poblanos as ‘chili ancho’ with the seeds retained within. Do you think we could dry whole poblanos in the Nesco?

    REPLY: Thanks, John. Yes, you can dry whole poblanos, though it will take much longer. You might consider cutting slits into the sides to the air can move through more easily. They might have a hard time fitting in a Nesco, but you can do it. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  5. jeff palmer - from greenfield Wis

    For x-mas I got a Nesco FD-37 What a super gift! I used to dry them in the oven (with mixed results – mostly bad)

    Then it was the microwave – on low for 20 min

    And now the dehydrator is the way to go and you got all the pepper flavor! Love doing orange habs slice in there

    REPLY: Nice! I LOVE my Nesco. And my Excalibur. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  6. I am so glad I stumbled upon your site! VERY helpful, intellectual and fun to watch. Pluggin’ in the dehydrator right now for my first batches of Chocolate Habenero, Scorpion, Carolina Reapers, Habeneros and Jalepenos! Can’t wait to stock the pantry.

  7. Don Coach Cocheo

    After dehydrating and grinding the peppers, what can be used to prevent the powders from caking in the storage container?? I did the whole she-bang but i find the powder is almost immediately caking. Also, how long will the powders be good for? BTW, I did this process in very low humidity conditions.

    REPLY: Don, much of this has to do with moisture and humidity, though powders can cake up. You might try adding in a few grains of rice or beans to help soak up any excess moisture. The powders last indefinitely, but will lose potency over time. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  8. Should I let the peppers mature fully before trying to dry them? I have a Nesco, also, but wondered about air-drying some whole…..

    REPLY: Christy, it is best to let them mature for the overall flavor. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  9. Annie Leos

    So do you remove the seeds? Or do you make the powder with the seeds?

    REPLY: Annie, most of the seeds fall out after dehydration and fall to the bottom, but the seeds can be used in the powder, as long as they disintegrate enough. Everything that doesn’t grind down properly is sifted out. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  10. Carolyn Gaylord

    This is my first try at making Hot Sauce. The recipe said to use pepper flakes, and oil so I put that together, then I found othervariations with salt and powdered garlic, ground dried onions and parsley. I added these and now I’m wondering if I should have ground the pepper flakes and can I blend this mixture in the blender, will it grind up the pepper flakes (there are also seeds)

    REPLY: I think it should be fine, Carolyn, though yes, you can try a food processor or blender to get a better consistency. Also, try a strainer to get out the larger bits if they bother you. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  11. Just started growing my own hot peppers last year and this year had a fair crop of Habs and Ghosts. I like the idea of dehydrating and turning into a powder to use. My question is for making hot sauces, it is better to use these powders or to use fresh or frozen pods? I’m trying to decide if I should preserve what I have by leaving them frozen or to dehydrate and powder.

    Thoughts – frozen whole or powder into recipes like your pineapple/mango ghost hot sauce?

    REPLY: Hey, John. Fresh is always best for hot sauces. You’ll get all the body of the pepper in the sauce. You CAN make sauces with powders, but then you’ll need other ingredients to fill out the sauce, like onions, fruits, etc. Also, you can certainly make sauces from frozen peppers. I hope this helps! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  12. Fred Rivard

    Mike, can I dehydrate my jalapeƱos after they have been frozen. Thank you.

    REPLY: Fred, YES, you can dehydrate frozen peppers. Just thaw them first, though they could take longer. – Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  13. I have a huge chili Rocoto ( Monzano) pepper plant that’s 12 years old which produces around 10 gallons of peppers every year1
    Have made many different hot sauces that are absolutely the best that I have ever tasted .I have plenty of seeds .Just send prepaid envelope
    I am looking for any recipes using same for hot sauces so let’s trade??

  14. Do you ever do Thai chili peppers? We have a small crop of them this year. They were fun to grow but now we’re not sure just what to do with them!

  15. I bought a Nutribullet – the Magic Bullet’s new big brother – for just this purpose. The Nutris come in 600 watt, 900 watt, and 1700 watt versions now, so they grind anything to fine powder much, much better than the old Magic Bullet. I dehydrate and make make lots of my own powders mixes like chili powders, onion powder, garlic powder and tomato powder, which is SOOO much better to have than tomato paste.

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