Peppers are some of the most versatile ingredients to cook with. From stuffed bell peppers to
Fresh jalapeños add great flavor to home
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How To Make Jalapeno Powder
This article is focused on using fresh jalapeños to create flakes or powder. Either fresh off the plant or store-bought will work fine for this process. Let’s get started with our jalapeno powder recipe!
1. Choose Ripe Jalapeños
Jalapenos have distinct stages of ripeness. Over the course of
The timing of when you pick jalapenos will have an impact on both flavor and heat level. A less-ripe pepper will have a far less sweetness and will also have less heat. On the other hand, fully ripened red jalapeno peppers will be softer, and much more sweet and spicy.
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 green 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.
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 isn’t necessarily true.
Most of the heat is in the
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 grind into a powder as easily as the pepper’s flesh. Seeds are tougher and will require more blending to become powdered.
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.
However, some people like to keep seeds in their pepper powder or flakes, and that is completely fine!
3. Dehydrate Jalapeños
We wrote an extensive article on how to dehydrate jalapenos 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, which is made specifically for this task.
However, dehydration can be accomplished 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
Most people don’t have a dehydrator, so you may have to use the oven. Most ovens have a minimum heat of around 200°F. 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
- Preheat oven to lowest temperature
This is typically around 175-200°F.
- 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!).
- Place on a baking sheet
The baking sheet will ensure peppers don’t fall into your oven when they shrivel and dry.
- Bake for 6-12 hours or until peppers snap when bent
Peppers should be brittle, with no bending at all.
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 125°F
- Arrange peppers on the drying rack
- Dehydrate for 12-24 hours or until 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 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 grind them into a powder. This step is simple. Properly dried peppers are just asking to become powder.
Simply put them into a blender and pulse until your powder reaches the desired consistency. If you don’t have a blender, an affordable coffee grinder works well too.
Tip: Don’t add any ingredients (like salt) while pulsing. You can mix in other ingredients after the peppers have been powdered.
For the most part, the peppers will have a great flavor on their own. However, you can mix in other spices or herbs to make a custom blend.
Pepper blends can be used for dry rubs on grilled meats and fish, or as a flavor-booster for soups and stir fry. You can also try using a pepper powder blend to make a spicy aioli.
5. Store In a Spice Container
With your ground jalapeno powder complete, all that is left is to store it in an air-tight container. You can buy glass 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 jalapeno powder.
Jalapeño Powder Uses
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 mayonnaise 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 homemade ground jalapeno powder? Share your ideas in the comments below!