Updated: Feb 11, 2021
If you ask me what's the best way to store chilies I will always tell you it is powder. Chili powder is just superior in any aspect:
Stays good for years
Make sauce from it
Make chili oil from it
Put it directly on top of portions
Use in cooking as spice
Makes great sneezes if inhaled
There are hardly any downsides to having chili powder!
You can make chili powder many ways. Here are two methods that I am using.
Air dryer or dehydrator method
Sun drying method
I short, the idea is to first dry the chilies crispy and then grind them to powder. Simple as that! 🤙
Keep on reading!
Dehydrators and air dryers
This is the fastest way to make powder. First we need some peppers.
Here's my harvest of spicy peppers. Reapers and other cross bred super hot peppers.
It's best to cut them open to speed up the drying. You can use a dehydrator, air dryer or oven that has air circulation feature.
Here is my air dryer with the previous peppers cut open.
It is best to use low temperature to dry the peppers. I recommend 80C. You don't want to roast the peppers. If you use oven to dry them open the hatch a few times to let the steam out.
This little air frying thingie is very cheap and does the trick just great! Peppers lose a lot of weight when drying. They have about 85-90% moisture content.
After drying the 288g turned to 42g of dried peppers.
Crushing the dried peppers a bit manually makes it easier to fit them into a blender. They don't get stuck so easily either. Pretty colours!
After drying use a spoon to stuff the peppers into a blender. Use a blender that is airtight! This dust is going to be HOT.
Then just grind to fine dust.
There we go, fine dust of superhot chilies. Beware. Do not open it indoors!
You don't want that fine dust of superhot peppers in the air indoors. People will have to exit the room if you do that.
So. Go out. Wear a mask and do the operation there. Gloves will be a good idea if you have sensitive skin in your hands.
Fine powder is easiest to use on foods. Some people prefer flakes. But fine powder has largest surface area and will give it's flavours more easily. Up to you how you like it.
Final stage. Label the bottles. You don't want kids fiddling with your chilies or wife putting this stuff into her dish.
Powders really fit into a small space. These tiny 12ml bottles here contain 3.2kg of dried superhot peppers! Great way to preserve even large amounts of chilies!
Sun drying method
You can also dry the peppers like people have done it forever. Just use sun.
I bought 700 grams of padi chilies from super market. These are nice for cooking.
Remove stems and cut the peppers to small pieces. Spread them on a large tray evenly and place to a well ventilated and sunny place.
Here is the same 700g on a tray.
It will take a few days until peppers are dry enough.
This is the key! You need to wait until they are all evenly crispy. When you crush them with your fingers they should crack into smaller pieces. Dry them long enough.
When the chilies are dry enough put them to a blender and run it until the powder is very fine.
And finally you have the product! Here is the same 700g of chilies condensed into a 100g jar of dry powder. This will last for a long time!
Here are some ideas for powders, oils and sauces! Note that the powders here can be easily made to any other chili treat and it will taste as good as fresh chili!
Small bottles save a lot of space because you can fill them up all the way. You can have a nice collection of hot powders in very small space! Labeling is easy with sticky notes and a piece of tape.
This is 800g of fresh chilies condensed into 4 bottles 20g each. Really portable!