How to Dry Chili Peppers for Powder

Written by william mccoy
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How to Dry Chili Peppers for Powder
Once dried, chilli peppers can be ground into chilli powder. (chilli pepper image by Adrian Hillman from

Chilli peppers greatly range in heat and taste, depending on their growing conditions and when they are harvested. Typically, the redder they get, the hotter they will taste. While many people simply buy chilli powder at the grocery store, it is possible to grow your own chillies (or buy them whole) and dry them to eventually grind into powder. Doing so should ensure that your chilli powder is fresh and potent.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Knife
  • Baking tray
  • Oven

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  1. 1

    Wash each chilli pepper under the tap to ensure it is free of any dirt or another substances.

  2. 2

    Slice each chilli pepper in half along its length.

  3. 3

    Place each piece of chilli pepper onto a baking tray. Ensure the peppers are evenly spaced so that they'll dry evenly.

  4. 4

    Move an oven rack to the middle of the oven.

  5. 5

    Turn on the oven to 37.8 degrees Celsius if your oven goes that low. If not, set the oven to the lowest temperature possible.

  6. 6

    Place the baking tray full of chilli peppers onto the middle rack of the oven and let them slowly dry over the course of several hours.

  7. 7

    Open the oven every 30 minutes and turn the chillies to ensure they dry evenly. Check them for dryness. There is no formula as to how long it will take, but a fully dry pepper should crack and crumble when squeezed. The chilli peppers are now ready to be ground into powder.

Tips and warnings

  • Chilli peppers can also be dried by leaving them on a sheet on the counter, but if your climate is particularly humid, they may mould.
  • Hot chilli peppers can often burn your skin. Whenever you're done working with them, wash your hands immediately in hot, soapy water and avoid touching your eyes until your hands are clean. If your skin is sensitive, you may wish to wear rubber gloves when working with the chilli peppers.

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