How to make jalapeno pepper powder



Other than gardening I also enjoy cooking manly foods such as chili and BBQ rubs.  One seasoning I have heard being used for both recently was jalapeno pepper powder.  Not seeing any in local stores and having an abundance of jalapeno peppers in my garden I decided to attempt to make my own.

1. First picked some nice green jalapeno peppers from my garden, I chose to use young green ones but you could also use more ripe red ones for a different and less spicy flavor.


2. Next I cut the ends off the pepper, split them in half, and removed any seeds.  After a little trial and error I noticed that if I cut perpendicular to the line in the middle of the pepper (see below) it was much easier to remove the seeds



3. I then placed the halved peppers in a plastic tray and put them in my dehydrator at 90F for 24 hours until they were brittle (when you break them in half they snap with minimal bending) with no soft or moist areas.

Tip: For difference flavor you can dehydrate at a higher temperature to roast/cook them a little but you will lose some of their heat.


4. Place your dried peppers into a blender or spice grinder and pulse until they create a fine powder.

Be sure to let the powder settle some and be careful to not inhale the powder, though much less heat then some of its pepper cousins (see chart below) getting a nose full of jalapeno pepper powder is not a pleasant experience (I did try this not too painful, though should have a nice little coughing fit).

5. Finally carefully pour powder into a airtight container and store for 6-12 months.


As I mentioned above you can use this in meat rubs and chili but also can be used anywhere you may use other pepper powders.  Some ideas I am thinking about is complement to Mexican foods, omelets, popcorn, and potatoes.

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  1. I have a greenhouse full of various peppers and chiles. Last year, we harvested a bunch of sweet peppers, jalapiños, and serranos at once, and then smoked & dried them at a low temperature. Later, we powdered/pulverized each type in the food processor, starting with the least hot.

    They made marvelous chipotle! We’re almost out now, but this year’s peppers will soon to be ready.

  2. As per kaspian’s comment: Dry and smoke over wood burning grill (hickory works well) at very low heat. Makes fantastic smoky rub and brings out natural sweetness in pepper.

  3. We do lots of things with our jalapenos. We pick them right between when they are green and ripe for just a bit of sweetness. We have spicy and “fooled you” jalapenos.

    Some are chopped and fresh frozen when I want a crunch in soups and tacos. Some are chopped and dehydrated to throw into any dish for a “zing”.

    My favorite is “chipotle powder”. Jalapenos are smoked with hickory wood. It gets up to 180 degrees, so there is very little dehydrating necessary afterwards. It is then ground in a coffee grinder and put in the freezer to keep the fresh flavor. It is my absolute favorite spice.

  4. So thrilled to find your blog.
    I am going to use several of your ideas to teach the children in our homeschool science.
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
    Peace and RAW Health,

  5. Pretty cool post. I love peppers of all types. Lately, my favorite hot variety has been the Long Red Cayenne. Thanks

  6. If you smoke really hot peppers (habaneros, red savinas, tobago scorpions, or bhut jolokia) run it through 2 smoking cycles. It will still impart a smoky flavor for as little as you have to use for a dish.

  7. Excellent idea! I am growing some Scotch Bonnet peppers in the greenhouse and it looks to be a good year!

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  9. Sur la Table makes a jalapeno deseeder. My cousin just showed me hers last night and I feel I must buy one before the weekend is over. I’ve read that you’re never supposed to own a uni-tasker in the kitchen, but I’m ignoring that rule for this one. And it looks like you deal with even more jalapenos than I do.

    BTW, reading through all these posts is getting me very excited for next year’s garden. I just built a bunch of raised beds and am so ready have a good gardening year.

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  11. I do not have a dehydrator…any suggestions on using an oven?

    • Funny you mention this, I have a draft of this exact topic I need to finish. Basic idea is it depends on your stove. You can use a meat thermometer to find your true temperature and prop open the oven a little if you want to get a lower temperature that your oven allows. You can also try turning the oven on then off until the temperature gets to low and repeat. Most ovens are pretty energy efficient and this amount of time should be pretty minimal.

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  13. I have also tried dehydrating the Jalapenos after reading your article. I used 6 lbs of chile and netted 8 Oz of the dried chiles. The taste is wonderful;try on quesadillas and chile rellenos. Thanks for your info.

  14. I used 6lbs of jalapenos and netted 8oz of the dehydrated chiles. We have found a new form of spice for cooking Mexican.Thanks

  15. Is it OK to dehydrate jalapenos inside your house? I’m concerned about fumes coming from my dehydrator and burning every ones eyes.

    • I normally do mine in my garage but when I have gone out there I haven’t had any sensations of being sprayed with pepper spray or anything. The heat on jalapenos should be low enough to not gas anyone in your family.

  16. dehydrating is great see if you can buy one at a thrift store I did for about $ 7.oo and I love it. I have 2 already that I bought. I dehydrate tomatoes and make powder for cooking the peppers are great too. Good luck

  17. Good article. The best jalapeño powder I’ve made mixes half ripe reds with half greens. A coffee bean grinder is the best device I’ve found to get a good powder consistency.