Store bought chili powder is no match for the intensity of the freshly ground stuff. Good news – making your own chili powder using dried chiles is ridiculously easy.
There’s two main reasons you should be motivated to make your own fresh chile powders. Actually, make that three.
Firstly – it’s easier than you think. Yes, it requires a spice/coffee grinder, but they are extremely affordable and you’ll find yourself using it often. A word of caution though; if you choose to use your grinder for chiles, it’s generally not recommended to then use it for coffee (and vice versa), as the flavor can carry from the oils even after washing. Clearly, you do not need to worry about this if you like spicy coffee.
Secondly – unless you’re lucky enough to live close to the Mexican border, or even IN Mexico for that matter, the range of chile powders you can access is pretty limited. At the very least, you may be able to get generic “chili powder”, and maybe a chipotle powder too. But dried chiles are actually easier to come by, and knowing how to grind into powder them throws your ingredient options wide open. Instead of being limited to a single generic chili, you can start to explore and harness the world of individual chile peppers and their smokey, earthy, fiery or fruity characteristics.
Thirdly – much as with coffee, freshly ground chile powder is WILDLY superior to the shelf stable counterparts. The oils are still pungent, and carry a more vivid aroma and flavor.
Now that you are motivated to DIY chile powder, here’s how easy it is:
Remove the seeds and stems from the dried chiles, then place them on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 mins at 250f.
Place the super-dehyrated chiles in your grinder (you may need to work in batches).
Blitz until they turn into a fine powder.
And that’s it! Just store any excess chile powder in an airtight container.
I recommend doing small batches so you can have it fresh each time. Remember, if you’re working with larger chiles like Ancho, you may only need to use one or two. If you’re working with tiny fiery chiles like Arbol, you will probably use 5-6 peppers.Print