How to Convert Fresh Chili to Powder

Updated February 21, 2017

Pack some punch with freshly powdered peppers instead of opening a jar of mellowed chilli powder. Chilli powder is made by grinding dried chilli peppers, and over time, the powder loses its potency. Grinding dried chilli peppers as close to the time you need the chilli powder will preserve the spiciness of the peppers. Use your own freshly grown, ripened chilli peppers and create a custom chilli powder blend from your garden.

Thoroughly wash and dry the chilli peppers.

Thread a needle with thick thread and pass it through the stems of several chilli peppers, but allow for at least 1-inch of space on all sides of each pepper. Alternatively, arrange the chilli peppers on top of a wire screen.

Hang the string with the peppers in a warm, dry and well-ventilated place. Or, if using the screen method, store the peppers on the screen in a warm, dry and well-ventilated place.

Speed the drying process by directing a large fan toward the chilli peppers to improve the air flow through the area.

Dry the peppers for several weeks or until the chillies shrivel and become brittle.

Cut the stems off the dried chilli peppers. Turn upside down and shake out the seeds from the seed cavity. Cut the connecting membranes to remove the seeds, if needed.

Grind the dried chilli peppers to a fine consistency just before using in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Store leftover chilli powder in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Use the leftover chilli powder as soon as possible, but discard it when it loses its aroma.


To save time, use an electric food dehydrator to dry the chilli peppers before grinding them into a powder.

Things You'll Need

  • Red, fully ripe chilli peppers
  • Heavy needle and thick thread or 1 wire screen
  • Large fan
  • Spice grinder or coffee grinder
  • Air-tight container
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