How To Make Jalapeno Powder At Home – Its Easy!

Spicy peppers are some of the most versatile ingredients to cook with. From stuffed bell peppers to homemade hot sauce, the options are virtually endless. Today, I want to share a simple method for creating jalapeno powder as a spicy topping for other foods. Fresh jalapeños add great flavor to homecooked meals. However, when you dehydrate and grind them into a powder, the flavor becomes more distilled and concentrated.

Jalapeno Powder

If you’re just looking to buy jalapeno powder, check here on Amazon for some options.

How To Make Jalapeno Powder

This article is intended for gardeners who have fresh jalapeños. Either fresh off the plant or store-bought will work fine for this process. Let’s get started!

1. Choose Ripe Jalapeños

Jalapenos have distinct stages of ripeness. Over the course of the summer, jalapenos change in color from light green, to dark green, to almost black, and finally to red. When you pick jalapenos will have an impact on both flavor and heat level. A less-ripe pepper will have a far less sweet flavor, and will also lack heat. On the other hand, fully ripened red jalapeno peppers will be softer, and much more sweet and spicy.

Ripe Red Jalapeno Pepper

For jalapeno powder, it is best to pick peppers that are on the verge of turning red, or fully red peppers. This will offer the most heat and sweetness to your powder. If you want a more tart and mild jalapeno powder, feel free to use less ripe peppers. Ultimately this will come down to preference, but it is good to understand the differences in outcome.

2. Clean & Slice Peppers

Once you have selected your peppers, it’s time to prepare them. First, clean all your peppers thoroughly under cold water. Next, slice off the stems, and halve the jalapenos lengthwise.

Tip: Cut peppers across the placenta to make seed-removal easier.

Slicing Jalapeno
Slice Across Placenta For Easy Seed Removal
Sliced Jalapenos Lengthwise

Finally, remove as many seeds as possible. You may think, “Oh no! Taking the seeds out is going to make my jalapeno powder less spicy.” However, this doesn’t have to be true. Most of the heat is in the placenta, or “pith” portion of the pepper. To keep your powder hot, try to delicately remove just the seeds, leaving as much of the placenta as possible.

To learn more, see our article on what makes peppers hot here.

Why remove seeds at all?

Seeds should be removed for two reasons. One is that the seeds will not turn into powder as easily as the pepper’s flesh. Seeds are tougher and will require more blending to become powdery. However, some people like to keep seeds in their pepper powder or flakes, and that is completely fine!

The second reason to remove seeds is that they can be saved for planting next season! If you are using properly ripened peppers, these seeds can be dried on a plate for a few days and then stored until next planting season. Learn more about saving seeds in our article here.

3. Dehydrate Jalapeños

We wrote an extensive article on how to dehydrate peppers here. The drying process can be done in a number of ways, but your goal is to remove all of the moisture from your jalapenos. The best method is to use a dehydrator (see on Amazon), which is made specifically for this task. However, it can also be done in the oven at low heat. We recommend reading our article on dehydrating peppers, but here is a quick roundup on how to dehydrate jalapenos.

In The Oven

Dehydrating Jalapenos

Most people don’t have a dehydrator, so you will have to use the oven. Most ovens have a minimum heat of around 200F degrees. This will cause your peppers to cook slightly during dehydration, but will also dry the peppers more quickly.

Time needed: 12 hours.

Dehydrating Jalapenos in the Oven

  1. Preheat oven to lowest temperature

    This is typically around 175-200F degrees.

  2. Arrange peppers on an oven-safe cookie drying sheet

    This allows air to circulate all around the pepper. Place peppers face down (the opposite of what we did in this picture works better (learned from trial and error!).

  3. Place on a baking sheet

    The baking sheet will ensure peppers don’t fall into your oven when they shrivel and dry.

  4. Bake for 6-12 hours or until peppers snap when bent

    Peppers should be brittle, with no bending at all.Dried Jalapenos

In A Dehydrator

If you do have a dehydrator, you probably know what you’re doing already. However, here is a quick guide to drying Jalapenos in your dehydrator.

  • Set temperature to ~120F degrees
  • Arrange peppers on the drying rack
  • Dehydrate for 12-24 hours or until completely dried and brittle

Using a dehydrator is recommended because you retain more of the spicy heat and the overall flavor. Dehydrating in the oven causes the peppers to slightly cook, taking away heat and flavor along the way.

4. Pulse In Blender or Grinder

Now that you have completely dehydrated jalapenos, you are ready to turn them into a powder. This step is simple. Properly dried peppers are just asking to be powder. Simply put them into a blender and pulse until your powder reaches the desired consistency.

Tip: Don’t add any ingredients (like salt) while pulsing. You can mix in other ingredients after the peppers have been powdered.

Dried Jalapeno Peppers

For the most part, the peppers will have a great flavor on their own, but some people like to mix in other spices or herbs to make a custom blend. Pepper blends can be used for dry rubs on grilled meats and fish. You can also try using a pepper powder blend to make a spicy aioli.

5. Store In Spice Container

With your jalapeno powder complete, all that is left is to store it in an air-tight container. You can buy spice containers for cheap on Amazon here. You can also use a glass jar like a mason jar, or a leftover spice container. If reusing glass containers, boil them ahead of time to disinfect and ensure maximum storage life for your powder.

Cooking With Jalapeño Powder

Now that you have delicious, spicy, powdered jalapeno, it’s time to use it! Here are a few ideas on how to use jalapeno powder in cooking.

  • Put it in a shaker and add to pizza, tacos, salads, etc.
  • Make an aioli by mixing with mayonaise and citrus juice
  • Dry rub it on chicken or other meats for grilling
  • Spice up soups and stews that need an extra kick

What will you do with your Jalapeno powder? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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Calvin

One of the original PepperGeeks! When Calvin isn’t gardening or learning more about peppers, he might be traveling new places or playing some music.

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