How to Make: Cayenne Powder
Updated: Jul 30, 2022
Spice up your life by making your own spice. Make your own cayenne powder at home using a dehydrator. It's easy to make, as fresh as it gets, and cheaper than store bought.
Now you must be asking yourself, what on earth would I even use this for, or maybe you aren't. Well, in either case, I have a couple of ideas of how you can use it.
What types of recipes can you make with Cayenne Powder?
Cayenne peppers are best known for its role in Mexican cuisine. It can also be used as:
- Dry rub for veggies, chicken or fish.
- Use in meat marinades.
- Mix it in flour or breadcrumbs for battered foods.
- Mix in ground meats for fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or any other type of Mexican dish.
- Add to homemade curries, casseroles, and stews.
- Add to beans and pulse dishes.
Some recipe ideas add cayenne pepper in:
- Turkey burger
- Fajitas, Tacos, and Burritos
- Veggie Burger
Equipment for making Cayenne Powder
- Food dehydrator
- Cutting board, knife, gloves
- Food processor or coffee grinder (I much prefer the coffee grinder)
- Storage Jar
When handling chili peppers, I suggest wearing gloves. Capsaicin, the active compound in chili peppers, is a chemical irritant which to humans can cause a burning sensation on the skin (depending on how hot the pepper, there were reports of it blistering the skin!). So make sure to turn the gloves inside out after using them and wash your hands with soap. I learned that the hard way.
IF YOU DO NOT use gloves, be WARNED that no amount of washing your hands will get rid of that chemical irritant. It can linger for a full day. I once touched my eyes later that night and the pain I felt was insane. So, please be careful. Do not touch your FACE, MOUTH, NOISE, EYES or an OPEN WOUND after handling peppers for the entire day.
Most importantly be careful when handling peppers around children and pets!
Prep time: 15 mins Dehydrating time: ~30 hours Yield: depends on how much you use
Luckily all you need is Cayenne Peppers - but select only the freshest peppers. Don't pick any that are bruised, or showing signs of rot.
Preparing the Peppers
Wash and dry them.
Remove the stems and slice them lengthwise (wear gloves when handling peppers)
You can remove the seeds + membrane (white pith on the inside) if you'd like. This will reduce the heat factor and help speed up dehydrating time.
Arrange the peppers in a single layer on your tray liners.
Space them evenly for good air circulation, place cut-side up.
Drying in a dehydrator
Turn the dehydrator to 100°F
Set it for 30 hrs, and wait patiently. Honestly that's the hardest part.
Once they are done drying, make sure you get to them ASAP. Once they soften back up they get really flexible and you'll need to dry them up some more for a couple hours. You'll know they are done when they snap in half and crumble easy.
Grind until it reaches desired consistency.
PROTIP: Once you grind up the peppers. Be careful when you take the top off. The powder will hit your nose so quickly...it makes it hard to breath.
As with anything, you never want to make too much of something. Finding a decent size jar can be tricky. No worries, I found the perfect ones: Decorative Mason Jar 125 ml Wide Mouth
Make sure once you seal the powder in their jars, write down what spices they are and the date.
BEST ADVICE: I ever got when making homemade spices, shake it once a day for the first couple days. This makes sure that any leftover moisture disappears so you don't end up with a lumpy product.
Store bought cayenne powder - properly stored - will generally last up to 3 to 4 years. They have industrialized machines that dry out the products perfectly. However, your homemade cayenne powder won't last quite as long. Depending on how well you've dried it, expect it to last up to a year.
Store in a dry, cool place in an air tight container.