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27 September 2017

Use your dehydrator (or oven) to make your own chili flakes at home. They’re perfect for dashing over pizza or any other food for a bit of zing and flavor. A great way to preserve your pepper harvest.

My garden, at the moment, is EXPLODING with chili peppers. I just picked several pounds of peppers yesterday and there are still more to grab today. It’s that time of year, my friends. SO. MANY. PEPPERS. All harvesting at the same time.

There are many, many ways you can preserve them – see our Preserving Chili Peppers section – and here is yet another that I haven’t written about in a while.

Homemade chili flakes.

Yes!

How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes – Recipe

Why I Love Chili Flakes

Chili flakes are great to have around. I mean, just look at them. They’re a super seasoning. You can sprinkle them over anything you’d like for a nice pop of heat and flavor. And, the great thing about making them at home is, you can make any type you’d like.

When you purchase them from the store, you’re basically limited to the singular crushed red peppers they sell, the same stuff you get at every pizza place across America. I’ve never understood why there isn’t more crushed pepper variety. Don’t get me wrong. I love the stuff served with my pizza, but as a chili pepper afficianado, I like a bit of variety. Don’t you?

So let’s make our own!

I HIGHLY recommend using a dehydrator for this, my friends. You CAN use your oven to dry your peppers, but the process is so much smoother and easier with a dehydrator. And yes, that is basically all we have to do is dry some of our favorite peppers.

So let’s get drying.

How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes – Recipe

How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes – Method

First, wash and dry your preferred chili peppers. I used Squash Red peppers that I grew this year, as they have a nice medium level of heat, but this will work with ANY pepper. I often make crushed scorpion peppers for a crazy heat blast.

Next, slice each pepper in half lengthwise for smaller peppers, or into rings for thicker walled peppers. It is best to cut them into 1/4″ or smaller pieces for ease and uniformity of drying.

Set them into your dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 130 degrees F for 12 hours, or overnight. You may need to dehydrate longer, depending on the air conditions.

If oven drying, you need to keep the heat at the lowest setting possible. Most ovens won’t go as low as 130 degrees. If not, spread the peppers out on baking sheets and crack the oven door so keep the temps down and some air flow moving. Air flow is important to dry the peppers evenly.

Learn more about How to Dry Chili Peppers, and also How to Dry Chili Peppers to Make Your Own Seasoning Blends.

How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes – Recipe

When the peppers are completely dried through and brittle, place them in a plastic baggie and seal. Crush them with your hands, or with a towel if your skin is sensitive, as some of the powder may leak through.

Like so…

How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes – Recipe

Finally, pour the crushed peppers/chili flakes into a shaker and use as needed.

How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes – Recipe

Making Chili Flakes – a Great Preserving Method

It really is a great way to preserve a large chili pepper harvest. I have chili flakes all over the house, at our breakfast table, at the bar in our basement, tucked away in drawers. You never know when you’re going to need them. Actually, you DO know when you’re going to need them. When you’re eating!

If you don’t have a dehydrator, this is one that I recommend:

Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator – It’s an affiliate link, FYI. I started with a Nesco and still use it today.

Also, if you enjoy dehydrating, check out my cookbook – The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook: 95 Incredible Recipes to Turn Up the Heat on Jerky, Hot Sauce, Fruit Leather and More.

I hope you enjoy your homemade chili flakes!

How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes – Recipe

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 fumes from the chili peppers and/or the fine powders 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.

Check Out Some of My Other Homemade Seasoning Blends

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 3 votes
How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes – Recipe
How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes – Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
12 hrs
Total Time
12 hrs 10 mins
 
Use your dehydrator (or oven) to make your own chili flakes at home. They’re perfect for dashing over pizza or any other food for a bit of zing and flavor. A great way to preserve your pepper harvest.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 32
Calories: 22 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces chili peppers of choice
Instructions
  1. Clean and dry your chili peppers.
  2. Slice each in half lengthwise for smaller peppers, or into rings for thicker walled peppers.
  3. Set them into your dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 130 degrees F for 12 hours, or overnight. You may need to dehydrate longer, depending on the air conditions.
  4. When the peppers are completely dried through and brittle, place them in a plastic baggie and seal. Crush them with your hands, or with a towel if your skin is sensitive, as some of the powder may leak through.
  5. Pour into a shaker and use as needed.
  6. The crushed chili flakes will last indefinitely, though they will lose color and potency over time. They’re best used within a year.
Recipe Notes

Makes about a cup or so of crushed chili flakes.

Nutrition Facts
How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes – Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 22
% Daily Value*
Sodium 6mg0%
Potassium 132mg4%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Vitamin A 1875IU38%
Vitamin C 2.2mg3%
Calcium 3mg0%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes - Recipe

 

How to Make Homemade Chili Flakes - Use your dehydrator (or oven) to make your own chili flakes at home. They’re perfect for dashing over pizza or any other food for a bit of zing and flavor. A great way to preserve your pepper harvest. | ChiliPepperMadness.com #Dehydrator #Seasonings #ChiliFlakes #Spicy

12 comments

  1. 5 stars
    Bumper crop this year! We have dehydrated a couple batches of jalapenos in the last couple of weeks and turned them into chili flakes for our shakers using this recipe. No more raiding those little pizza packets . . . it takes forever to fill the shaker not to mention a small mountain of packets.

    Will be looking into making some of your powder mixes soon. Thanks for the great content!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, David! Glad it worked out for you! I’ve already made several large batches this year. Looking forward to enjoying it all year long.

  2. 5 stars
    So I tried my first batch, all some Scorpions my mother (bless her heart) grew for me. I’m a fan of pain by heat, but oh boy was this hot. So much so that im thinking it might be (god forbid) too hot for daily use lol. Do you have any good blends that tame the heat just a tiny bit, or that add a complexity to the flavor? I wish we had our normal abundance of basic habaneros this year! I think they might help, but I would love to hear any of your favorite blends of peppers for a mixed flake! Even if it wont help this year, maybe i can plan for next?

    Also, love your site!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks! Yeah, pure scorpions are going to be pretty awesomely hot. Depending on your heat preference, I suggest mixing them with milder chili flakes. You can dry bell peppers and mix the scorpion flakes to really even things out. Test out some ratios. Bell peppers have a TON of flavor. Another ideas is to grind the flakes into a powder then mix it with some other ingredients to make a seasoning blend. Just a little will go a long way, of course! Let me know if you want any other suggestions.

  3. Maggie Viken

    What do you think is the variety of chili pepper used to make commercial chili flakes? Thank you

  4. I am fermenting products as a business and have started to make fermented hot sauce this year and was looking at ways to include more chilli products to my range. I am definitely going to include chilli flakes and also maybe a chilli and garlic shake. Thank you for a great newsletter and website!

  5. Hi!

    I have a batch of chillis that I froze last year. Perhaps a silly question, but are they able to be dried? May take longer but do you know if it even works or will I lose them all?

    ( 🙁 I wish I’d dried them instead of freezing)

    REPLY: Mat, yes, you CAN dry frozen peppers. You are correct that it may take longer. Just be sure to thaw them and chop them as needed. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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