Made some chili powder this weekend. It’s been some years since I made any and it was time to start replenishing my stock.
Homemade Chili Powder - Breaking Bad Style*
* contains no meth
You will need the following to recreate this article:
- Fresh Chili Peppers
- Food Dehydrator
- Coffee Grinder
- Pearing Knife
- Storage Bins
Please keep in mind that chili peppers can be quite hot (particularly depending on the variety), so make sure to keep the peppers and powder away from sensitive bits such as your eyes and lungs.
Step 1 - Collect Chilis
You start with chilis, A LOT of chilis. In the following photo I’ve just harvested from my barrel garden and am planning to make chili powder from the jalapenos, thai peppers and serranos. For perspective, hat is an 8qt pot.
Step 2 - Prep
Next, you want to wash the peppers and prep them for dehydration. In case of the smaller peppers (thai peppers) remove the stems. For the meatier peppers (jalapenos and serranos), remove the stems and slice in half from stem to tip. I recommend wearing gloves for this step, and make sure not to touch your face, eyes or other sensitive areas.
Arrange the prepped peppers on the dehydrator, leaving some room for airflow. If you’re mixing peppers and want to keep them segregated, make sure you can identify them after they’ve dried. They’re harder to differentiate once they’ve been dehydrated.
Step 3 - Dehydration
Let the dehydrator dry the peppers. For my dehydrator, I set the temperature to 135 degrees and let it run overnight for about 17 - 20 hours. I perform this step in my garage otherwise the house will smell of dried chilis for days and your eyes may water. After drying they look like this:
After drying, temporarily store them in an airtight container. The following photo shows the result of two batches from the dehydrator (8 trays) as I’m prepping to make powder.
A cheap coffee grinder will perform the magic of producing powder.
Step 4 - Grinding (Weaponizing)
CAUTION: This step can potentially be dangerous or can leave you gasping for air, hacking your lungs out or wishing you hadn’t touched your eyes. In addition to making delicious spices, you are also making concentrated chili powder; and depending on the type of peppers (I’ve done this with habaneros and bhut jolokias in the past), you are basically making weaponized chili powder or Metsubushi (ninja powder). The coffee grinder will render some of this powder airborne and you will start coughing if you are not properly prepared. I’ve had luck covering my face with a bandana or shirt, but respirators or other particulate filters may work better.
Load the grinder, run and out comes powder. The longer you run, obviously the finer the powder. For making flakes you can run in bursts, or perhaps use a food chopper.
Step 5 - Storage
Once you’re done you have delicious chili powder, that you can use as a seasoning or in chili! The eight trays of peppers I made produced the following amount of powder (please excuse the typo on serrano). I opted to make flakes out of the thai peppers and left about half of them whole.
Step 6 - Clean-up
I don’t drink coffee, but if someone ever uses my grinder to make coffee they may be in for a surprise! After I’m done I clean the grinder best I can, but I doubt I get all the powder.