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28 August 2018

Learn how to dehydrate your chili peppers with a dehydrator and grind them into homemade chili powders. Here is the recipe method, from the author of “The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook”.

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.

How to Dehydrate Chili Peppers to Make Homemade Chili Powders - Here is some chili powder

How to Dehydrate Chili Peppers to Make Chili Powders and Seasonings – The Recipe Method

First, wash and dry your chili peppers. Choose only fresh peppers. If they show any signs of rotting, throw them away.

Next, wearing gloves, remove the stems and slice the thicker peppers into rings and thinner peppers in half. Leave them whole if you prefer, but they will take much longer to dehydrate. The gloves are important when working with peppers because the oils from the peppers can burn your skin, and the pain can linger.

Need help? How to Stop the Chili Pepper Burn On Your Skin.

Place the peppers on the trays of the dehydrator. Spread them out evenly so the heat can distribute properly.

Turn on the dehydrator at 135-140 degrees F, or whatever setting your dehydrator recommends.

NOTE: I like to place my dehydrator in the garage because it will release fumes over time and you will notice the odor. Let the dehydrator sit anywhere from 5 hours to overnight. It will very likely take longer than 5 hours, but much depends on the thickness of the pepper walls and how many peppers you’re working with.

I personally turn mine on when I go to bed and check it in the morning. The peppers are usually dried by morning, but if not, just leave them in longer until they are dried.

Once they are dried, remove and grind them into a powder using a spice or coffee grinder. Strain out the powder and process the larger chunks until only chili powder remains.

Safety Advice

When working with hotter peppers, including superhots, it is important to wear gloves when handling the peppers both in raw and dried forms. The oils can get on your skin and cause burning sensations. See above.

Need help? How to Stop the Chili Pepper Burn On Your Skin.

Also, the powders are quite fine and may get into the air if you are not working in a well ventilated room, so you may want to wear a mask and goggles. Superhot chili peppers, truly, are called superhots for a reason.

Storing Chili Powders and Other Fresh Seasonings

Store the chili powder in baggies or containers, or use as you wish. Keep it in a dark place, like your pantry, for freshness.

How Much Chili Powder Comes from Fresh Peppers?

1 pound of fresh chili peppers will yield about 4 ounces dried pods. Ground down, it should yield 3/4 cup chili powder.

These are the products that I use to dehydrate chili peppers and make blends, and I personally recommend them. They are affiliate links – just an FYI. If you use them, let me know if you have any questions and I can help. Email me anytime.

Try Some of My Seasonings/Powders Made from Dehydrated Peppers

Mike’s Recommended Products

Other Resources

More About Dehydrating

If you enjoy dehydrating chili peppers and other foods, I hope you will check out my cookbook, “The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook“. It is filled with recipes, information and techniques for making not only homemade chili powders and other spice blends, but recipes for making jerky, fruit and hot sauce leathers, healthy snacks, entire meals and so much more.

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

5 from 4 votes
How to Dehydrate Chili Peppers to Make Homemade Chili Powders
How to Dehydrate Chili Peppers to Make Chili Powder - Recipe Method
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 hrs
Total Time
5 hrs 10 mins
 

Learn how to dehydrate your chili peppers with a dehydrator and grind them into homemade chili powders. Here is the recipe method.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili peppers, powder, seasoning, spices
Servings: 10
Calories: 14 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
  • 1 pound fresh chili pepper pods
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry your chili peppers. Choose only fresh peppers. If they show any signs of rotting, throw them away.
  2. Wearing gloves, remove the stems and slice the thicker peppers into rings and thinner peppers in half. Leave them whole if you prefer, but they will take much longer to dehydrate. SEE NOTES.

  3. Place the peppers on the trays of the dehydrator. Spread them out evenly so the heat can distribute properly.
  4. Turn on the dehydrator at 135-140 degrees F, or whatever setting your dehydrator recommends. 

  5. Once they are dried, remove and grind them with a spice grinder until they are a fine powder. Store the powders in baggies or containers, or use as you wish. Keep them in a dark place, like your pantry, for freshness.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

1 pound of fresh chili peppers will yield about 4 ounces dried pods. Ground down, it should yield 3/4 cup chili powder.

NOTE: I like to place my dehydrator in the garage because it will release fumes over time and you will notice the odor. Let the dehydrator sit anywhere from 5 hours to overnight. It will very likely take longer than 5 hours, but much depends on the thickness of the pepper walls and how many peppers you're working with. I personally turn mine on when I go to bed and check it in the morning. The peppers are usually dried by morning, but if not, just leave them in longer until they are dried. 

NOTE 2: The gloves are important when working with peppers because the oils from the peppers can burn your skin, and the pain can linger. Need help? How to Stop the Chili Pepper Burn On Your Skin.

Nutrition Facts
How to Dehydrate Chili Peppers to Make Chili Powder - Recipe Method
Amount Per Serving
Calories 14
% Daily Value*
Sodium 4mg0%
Potassium 138mg4%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Vitamin A 425IU9%
Vitamin C 20.4mg25%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post was updated on 8/28/18 to include new photos and recipe card. Originally posted on 4/14/14.

How to Dehydrate Chili Peppers and Make Chili Powders - Learn how to dehydrate your chili peppers with a dehydrator and grind them into homemade chili powders. Here is the recipe method. #dehydrator #ChiliPowder #HomemadeSeasonings

37 comments

  1. Tammy Buford L Wimp

    Tammy again- I neglected to explain the chili mix in my prior question. I have already roasted and made my chili powders. About 5 lbs of each. I don;t believe I explained it correctly before. Now I was wondering if I use the same ratio of each for the mixed powder. Sorry- and thanks again! Tammy

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      No problem, Tammy. Yep, see my previous response. In the end, it’s really about personal tastes so you can mix and match as you see fit. You might experiment with some, make a few different batches of chili with different seasoning ratios and see which tastes better. Great way to land on the perfect blend. Let me know what you wind up making. Enjoy!

  2. Tammy Buford L Wimp

    I lam fairly new to your site- have no idea why! It is awesome. I have been playing around with making chili spices and seasonings. You have helped me create many great ones! I am making chili powder to give as gifts, so I am attempting to make a base chili powder that is middle of the road for those that don’t always like it as hot as we do. I have decided to use a mix of ancho, california & gaujillo. I intended to mix these equally into thirds. I then realized it takes quite a bit more guajillo peppers to make the same amount of powder. Does this mean I should use less to get a good mix or would you suggest even amounts? I sure appreciate your thoughts! Thanks in advance. Tammy

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Tammy. Thanks! Glad you found my site. I would personally say to go with your tastes on the overall mix. If you feel it needs more or less guajillo, go for it. I personally LOVE guajillo so would likely opt for more. The choice is yours! In the end, I would just try to make sure one type doesn’t dominate the entire batch. As long as you have a nice, flavorful blend.

  3. 5 stars
    Our Excalibur makes quick work of dehydrating large batches of jalapenos at a time and our Blend-Tec blender does a fine job of turning the dried peppers into nice powders. Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    I just made Habanero Powder and it really packs a punch, but some of the thicker parts were not completely dehydrated when i ground them up in the spice blender. There are some slight clumps and I think i should dehydrate them further to prevent mold. What is the best approach? Just spread the powder out on a tray and put it in the oven at low temperature?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Harald, yes, you can just dehydrate again, or pick out the clumpy parts. Try pushing it through a sieve.

    2. I have found that blenders do a better job of grinding chilies than a spice grinder even if not completely dried. Especially if you have lots. The best thing is, a narrow mouth Mason jar screws into the bottom of the blender.

  5. 5 stars
    My rating is actually just on dehydrating peppers period. I have been doing it for years and make all my own chili powders. I have gotten so bad that I now have one dehydrator for peppers I smoke (like the red jalapeños currently being turned into chipotles as I type) and one for all other stuff. I live in Michigan and have NEVER had a crop of peppers like this; saw this site for some additional ideas on what to do with them! Habaneros, ghost, Serrano, jalapeños, cayenne, hot green chili..have made lots of jellies, powders, fermenting ghost for a hot sauce…thanks for all the other ideas I am finding!

  6. 5 stars
    Hello. This is exactly the process that I have used for many years now. This season I have processed well over 300 large fruits, a combination of habaneros, carolina reapers, trinidad scorpions, and ghosts. I only have a few plants this year however the weather in eastern Iowa has been just about perfect for abundant growth. Sometimes I grind them in a blender too. Thanks for the great article.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      That’s great, Charlie. Thanks for commenting. Yes, I love this technique and am never wanting for seasoning blends. I love it!

  7. Marshall Reagan

    if you have joint pain , just rub a little oil on your hands after cutting your peppers & thenrub it on your joints to get the benefit of the capsacin . it helps relieve the pain.

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. I know your comment was from last season, but for anyone reading it …

      You’re going to want to invest in nitrile gloves and at least a mask, if not a full respirator and goggles when doing this to ghost, scorpion, etc. The powder from the spice grinder is very fine and gets into the air REALLY EASILY. Taking the lid off of the spice grinder releases some of the super fine particles into the air. You WILL be coughing and have burning nasal passages and eyes if you aren’t wearing protection!

      1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

        Yes, safety is very important when working with superhots. I always advise to wear gloves at a minimum. A simple mask is not a bad idea, or at least work in a well ventilated room.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Fred Rivard

    Mike, can I dehydrate my jalapeños 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.

  20. 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??

    1. Donald Hoggard

      don’t know if your offer is still in effect, but if so, I would like to get some seeds. I grow every kind of chile that I can find and would welcome the opportunity to try the Rocoto. Thanks for your consideration.

  21. 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!

  22. 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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