How To Make Chili Powder: A Step-By-Step Guide

  • 5 min read
  • Sep 30, 2023
Infinitely Better Homemade Chili Powder Recipe
Infinitely Better Homemade Chili Powder Recipe from

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Are you tired of buying chili powder from the store, only to find it lacking in flavor and freshness? Why not try making your own homemade chili powder? Not only is it incredibly easy to make, but it also allows you to customize the flavor and heat level according to your preference. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making chili powder from scratch, using simple ingredients that are readily available. So let’s get started on this spicy adventure!


Chili powder is a versatile spice blend that adds a burst of flavor and heat to a variety of dishes. Made from dried chili peppers, it is commonly used in Mexican, Indian, and Tex-Mex cuisines. While you can easily find chili powder at your local grocery store, making it at home ensures that you have control over the quality and freshness of the ingredients. Plus, you can adjust the level of spiciness to suit your taste buds. So, why not give it a try?

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of making chili powder at home. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of making your own chili powder, provide you with a detailed explanation of the process, and answer some frequently asked questions. By the end of this article, you will have all the knowledge and confidence to whip up your very own batch of flavorful chili powder.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Chili Powder

Like any culinary endeavor, making chili powder at home has its pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages:



Customizable Flavor: When you make your own chili powder, you have the freedom to experiment with different types of dried chili peppers and adjust the flavor profile according to your liking. You can create a personalized blend that perfectly complements your dishes.


Freshness: Store-bought chili powder often lacks the freshness and aroma of homemade versions. By making it yourself, you can ensure that your chili powder is made from freshly dried chili peppers, resulting in a more vibrant and flavorful spice blend.


Control over Heat Level: Some people prefer milder chili powder, while others crave the fiery heat of a spicy blend. Making your own chili powder allows you to control the level of spiciness by choosing the types and quantities of chili peppers you use. You can create a mild, medium, or hot blend according to your preference.


Cost-effective: While the initial investment may seem higher compared to buying pre-packaged chili powder, making your own can actually save you money in the long run. By purchasing dried chili peppers in bulk and making larger batches, you can significantly reduce the cost per ounce.


Additive-free: Many commercially available chili powders contain additives, such as anti-caking agents and preservatives, to prolong shelf life. By making your own chili powder, you can avoid these additives and have full control over the ingredients that go into your blend.


Satisfaction: There’s something incredibly satisfying about creating your own spice blends from scratch. Making chili powder at home allows you to connect with your food on a deeper level, knowing that you’ve put your heart and soul into every flavorful pinch.



Time-consuming: Making chili powder from scratch does require some time and effort. You’ll need to source and dry the chili peppers, remove their stems and seeds, and grind them into a fine powder. However, the end result is worth the extra work.


Equipment Needed: To make chili powder, you will need a few basic kitchen tools, such as a dehydrator or an oven, a spice grinder or a blender, and a sieve or a fine mesh strainer. If you don’t already own these items, you may need to invest in them.


Consistency: Achieving a consistent texture and flavor can be a challenge when making chili powder at home, especially if you’re using different varieties of chili peppers. However, with practice and experimentation, you’ll be able to fine-tune your blend to perfection.


Storage: Unlike store-bought chili powder, which comes in a convenient jar, homemade chili powder requires proper storage to maintain its freshness and flavor. You’ll need to store it in an airtight container away from heat, light, and moisture.


Availability of Ingredients: Depending on your location, it may be challenging to find a wide variety of dried chili peppers. However, you can always order them online or grow your own chili peppers to ensure a steady supply.


Trial and Error: Developing your own signature chili powder blend may take some trial and error. It may require several attempts to achieve the perfect balance of flavors and heat. But don’t be discouraged, as each batch will bring you closer to your ideal blend.

Table: How to Make Chili Powder

Ingredients Quantity
Dried chili peppers 1 cup
Cumin seeds 2 tablespoons
Garlic powder 1 tablespoon
Onion powder 1 tablespoon
Paprika 1 tablespoon
Oregano 1 tablespoon
Salt 1 tablespoon

Now that we’ve discussed the advantages and disadvantages of making chili powder at home, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of creating this flavorful spice blend. Follow these instructions carefully, and soon you’ll be enjoying the rich aroma and taste of your very own homemade chili powder.

Step 1: Selecting the Right Chili Peppers

The first step in making chili powder is selecting the right chili peppers. The type of chili peppers you choose will greatly impact the flavor, heat level, and color of your chili powder. Here are some popular chili pepper varieties used in making chili powder:

1. Ancho Peppers

Ancho peppers are dried poblano peppers that have a rich, smoky flavor with mild to medium heat. They are the most commonly used chili peppers in traditional Mexican cuisine and are an excellent choice for a mild, flavorful chili powder.

2. Guajillo Peppers

Guajillo peppers are another popular choice for making chili powder. They have a slightly fruity flavor with a moderate level of heat. Guajillo peppers are commonly used in Mexican mole sauces and add a unique depth of flavor to the chili powder.

3. Cayenne Peppers

If you prefer a spicier chili powder, cayenne peppers are a great option. They have a fiery heat level and a vibrant red color. Cayenne peppers are commonly used in Indian and Tex-Mex cuisines to add a punch of heat to dishes.

4. New Mexico Peppers

New Mexico peppers, also known as Hatch peppers, have a mild to medium heat level and a slightly fruity flavor. They are popular in Southwestern cuisine and are often used in making chili powder for their balanced flavor profile.

5. Chipotle Peppers

Chipotle peppers are smoked and dried jalapeƱo peppers. They have a distinct smoky flavor and a medium level of heat. Chipotle peppers are commonly used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines and add a unique smokiness to the chili powder.

6. Habanero Peppers

For those who crave extreme heat, habanero peppers are the perfect choice. They are one of the hottest chili peppers available, with a fruity and citrusy flavor. Use habanero peppers sparingly in your chili powder to add a fiery kick.

Whichever chili peppers you choose, make sure they are dried and in good condition. Look for peppers that are pliable, without any signs of mold or moisture. Avoid using overly dried or brittle peppers, as they may result in a bitter taste.

Step 2: Preparing the Chili Peppers

Once you have selected your chili peppers, it’s time to prepare them for grinding into powder. Follow these steps to ensure the best results:

1. Removing the Stems and Seeds

Start by removing the stems from the chili peppers. Simply grasp the stem and twist it off. Then, cut the chili peppers in half lengthwise and gently shake out the seeds. Removing the seeds will help reduce the heat level of the chili powder, as the seeds contain most of the capsaicin, the compound responsible for the peppers’ heat.

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