After letting my cayenne peppers ripen some more in the grow box I decided that this was good enough and decided to make some cayenne pepper for winter BBQs. The different stages of ripeness provides slightly different flavors, from what I have read partially ripe can give an excellent heat with a unique flavor. As you can see the color is also a little different than what you would typically think for for cayenne peppers. The process for this is very similar to making jalapeno powder with a few minor differences.
Step 1: Clean the peppers. Simply give them a quick rinse and a towel dry
Step 2: Cut off the stems (stocks).
Step 3: Remove seeds. This is an optional I chose not to do this for laziness but also to give my powder a little extra heat. To remove seeds slice lengthwise and scrape out the seeds carefully. Recommend gloves on this step to prevent burning eyes later.
Step 4: Cut the peppers in half. Again this is optional but I did this to speed up the drying time since I didn’t split them to remove the seeds
Step 5: Dry the peppers. These peppers are very tough and can handle almost any temperature for drying. You can go with the slower method by stringing them through the middle using some fishing line and hang them until dry. You can also dry them in your oven at 225-300F checking every couple hours for dryness (about 8 hours). I opted to use my dehydrator (12-14 hours) since I have one and I didn’t want to get up in the middle of the night to check them. Just like the jalapenos you want to dry the peppers until they are crisp and break when you bend them. Just as another warning be careful when handling these peppers even when dry, you still can get burned.
Step 6: Grind the peppers. Use a coffee grinder (or Magic Bullet with grinder blade like me) to a fine powder and store in an air tight container for about 6-8 months for best flavor but still can be used for 1-2 years with decent results.