Our Hot Pepper Powder, Hot Pepper Flakes, Dried Chipotle Peppers and Hot Pepper Ketchup made from all of our summer peppers

What to do with all of those peppers in the garden?

Here is a simple and easy method to use up all of those hot peppers – make fresh hot pepper flakes.   We love them on pizza, eggs, or any other dish we want to spice up with a little heat and flavor.

We even make different kinds of pepper flakes depending on the peppers that are ready to pick.  We have made cayenne, jalapeno, Cajun Belle and even Habanero (very hot!!!) flakes from all of our extra peppers.   Many times we will use them all and make a mix.

Much like you would do when canning – you want to select the nicest and best looking of your peppers for drying.  Wash and rinse the peppers off, cut off the stem and then dry them off with a towel and place on cookie sheets.  Make sure you line the cookie sheets with aluminum foil before placing the peppers on them – we learned the hard way that drying peppers on unprotected cookie sheets can leave an everlasting heat to anything you bake on them afterwards πŸ™‚

Here – four trays of Habanero go into the oven for roasting!

We can fit 4 loaded cookie sheets of peppers on the two racks in our oven – and then we just simply turn on the heat to a very low setting (usually 160 to 170 degrees on ours )

We will let them roast on low for about 8 to 10 hours.  If you have to leave – no worries –  just turn off the oven and resume again when you come home – no harm done at all to the drying peppers.  We will often dry them in the evening – and then turn off before bed – and finish drying the next morning or evening.

Grind the peppers in a food processor

When your peppers have turned crisp and dry (usually 8 to 10 hours – but it can be a few more or less depending on the dryness of the peppers) – take them out and let them cool completely.  Then place into your food processor or food chopper – and in a matter of seconds you have fresh home-made pepper flakes.  If you want to make hot pepper powder (like cayenne) – just simply take your flakes and run them through a food mill to remove the seeds – and your left with  a fine powder that can be used in dishes, soups, and sauces.

We keep some on the counter year round to use in everything from soups to eggs to pizza.

One last great use for the hot pepper grind  – mix up a few teaspoons of hot pepper flakes or powder in a gallon jug of water.  Let it stand for a day or two and then use a mister to apply to plants where bunnies or other critters can be a problem.  One taste of the hot pepper on the leaves and they tend to leave it alone.  Just remember to re-apply after any rain that might wash off the hot spray.

Last but not least – a few cautions when working with hot peppers:

Always wear rubber gloves to prevent your hands from absorbing the heat from the peppers – from experience – I can tell you that it’s no fun to have your hands hurt for days from handling raw peppers.

When heating in your oven – you will definitley notice the smell and a little heat in the air from the peppers as they dry – we always keep a window or two open to help keep it from bothering us too much.

When grinding up in your food processor – we actually take ours to the porch back screened in porch to grind – just to avoid the sneezing dust that can come with the grind.

**If you would like to receive our Recipe Of The Week each Friday – be sure to sign up to follow the blog via email in the right had column, β€œlike” us on  the Facebook, or follow us onTwitter

– Mary and Jim

39 thoughts on “Making Your Own Hot Pepper Flakes

  • October 24, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Would this work with tabasco peppers? I have a huge yield of them I need to use up. Thanks!

    • October 24, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      Sure will!

  • August 31, 2016 at 10:13 am

    what is the best use for the multi-colored Chinese peppers. They are so small & hard to work with to take seeds out.

  • July 25, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I use a dehydrator and put it out on the front porch to avoid the hot pepper smell that WILL permeate the whole house. I also do all my grinding outside as well. The fine particles WILL burn if they get in your eyes (found out the hard way). Jalapenos don’t seem to grind as well due to the thicker skin on them, but Cayenne really grind up nicely.

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Found a LG. bowl of assorted pepers that had been forgotten about 2 years ago , peppers seam to be dryed and in good shape ,to late to grind ,or are they ok for consumption

  • October 16, 2014 at 3:58 am

    A year and a bit, now, since any new stuff?? You have a nice site, and what looks like a wonderful operation…a bit of jealousy here! But let me chime in with pepper stuff: In making the pepper flakes, I cut off the “butts” of the peppers–the stem end plus a 1/4″ or so, then split the pepper with a sharp knife, and with a dull knife I “vein” it, which is remove seeds and interior white stuff.

    Cayennes (both red and green) get butt-cut, and with gloved hands (in this WHOLE process!) roll them between thumb and index and fling out the seeds, leaving cones.

    Then dry till crisp, then crunch (food processors or blenders make dust at this point, and remember–I want flakes, not powder.) A pyrex bowl and a tall glass tumbler with a very flat bottom make up my “mortar and pestle.” Labor-intensive? Yup. Or, you can just go buy somebody a necktie or a CD for Christmas….Onward, chileros!

    • October 16, 2014 at 6:49 am

      Joel – Thanks for the email and great info on the Cayennes. Not quite sure what you mean by a year and a bit since any new stuff? We post new articles 3x’s a week always – have you not been receiving them? Thanks – Jim and Mary

    • October 26, 2014 at 10:45 am

      I thought it was the seeds that that made the pepper hot

  • August 4, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    I dehydrate mine and store them whole in glass jars they keep well and we grind as we need them πŸ™‚

  • October 1, 2013 at 10:40 am

    How long will the flakes stay fresh? Can you leave them in the pantry in a jar or do they need to be kept in the refridgerator? I am planning on using my bumper crop of tabasco peppers for this!

    • October 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      We keep ours in our pantry and they stay fresh for well up to a year or more as long as the lids are closed. Good luck on your peppers!

  • September 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    You have so many nice comments and replies to people on your peppers page, I commented on August 3rd and 8th, with no reply. Why?

    • September 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Kay – and so sorry!! I just looked back and I think somehow the question you asked was missed! We get so many replies and try to answer as many as we can – but we do sometimes miss some.

      I will go back now and reply to it! And thanks so much for following along with our blog and commenting! Jim and Mary

  • September 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Can’t wait to try this, my daughter can go through a full container of red pepper flakes in a week or two – by herself !!!

    • September 12, 2013 at 5:45 am

      You will have to let us know how they turn out for you – we love the taste of our own fresh flakes so much better than the store bought.

  • August 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I don’t grow anywhere near the amount of peppers you have in your garden. I did have enough for a tray and dried them 2 days ago. The majority of the peppers were jalapeno, but I did have a few hot and sweet cherry. The cherry peppers are nice and dry, and they look exactly like I would expect them to look after being in the oven for 10 hours. After 13 hours, the jalapenos are still soft to the touch and the bottoms are almost black. Did I do something wrong with the jalapenos? Any suggestions on what to do next time?

    Love your page! I’ve picked up so many great tips.

    • August 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Kathy – Sometimes if the peppers are really fresh and have a lot of water content – we will slice in half to help speed up the drying. Or – we will dry in the oven for about 6 hours and then let them sit out for a day or two and then dry again. It may be that you just really had fresh and more moist jalapenos. Hope that helps and so glad you love the website! Jim and Mary

      • August 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm

        Thanks so much for the quick reply! The peppers were very fresh. I picked, washed and stuck them in the oven. The next time I will let them sit for a day or two and try again.

        Thanks again!

  • August 3, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Do you ever “cut” the heat with something? I don’t want to really change the flavor, but it’s hard to get a small enough amount unless I’m making a gumbo. What would I use? I have very hot peppers, just too hot. 3 pepper flakes and whew!

    • August 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      ??? Bell peppers which are not hot and could “cut the heat” but they have such a distinct flavor…And I don’t really think that’s where I want to go but I welcome suggestions of nice light flavor that could cut the heat and make it easier to spread. Like mixing your lettuce seeds with sand to make it easier to plant…:)

    • September 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Kay – You can use a red, yellow or orange sweet bell to help cut the heat. You are right- the green bell has a really distinct flavor and sometimes not so good as a flake. But the sweet peppers do well and you could blend them in with a hot pepper or two to make a less hot version. Hope that helps and happy gardening! Jim and Mary

  • July 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Just wanted to tell you a story about what happened at a firehouse where one of the firefighters was drying his peppers during his shift that day and when they left for a run it lasted several hours (he left them on very very low). The first two people through the door to the living area went down to the floor immediately, then the next two in also had problems. It took donning the SCBA and removing the offending peppers and airing out the station to make it safe again!!!

    We laugh a lot about it now but the first in went home for the rest of the shift! The guy doing it makes his own insanely hot sauces (now sells them and has a huge business) and they were really HOT HOT peppers.

    These peppers are what mace is made of and they can fill your home so making sure to ventilate is so important!

    Thank you for all of your great recipes here! I am going to try many of them this year, they are exactly what I was looking for. LOVE your site and will add it to those I follow. Have a great harvest season!!

  • May 25, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I use dehydrators bought at Walmart. Have always dried them in the garage to keep the smell out of the house!. Always use rubber gloves when handling. When grinding (I use a food blender) I wear a dust mask and let the dust settle in the blender before opening the lid. Takes a little longer but you don’t get as much dust in the air.

  • May 24, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Wow I didn’t know making my own peper flakes could be so easy. I always use the store bought type in my cooking and in my garden for pest. Last year we had so many peppers that we were giving everyone we knew peppers. This year I am going to be making pepper flakes. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  • April 17, 2013 at 10:26 am

    If you need to line your cookie sheets with foil to prevent everything in the future from being hot, does that mean you have a separate bowl and blade you use on your food processor?

    • April 17, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Hi Kathy – we have never had a problem with the blades and bowls becoming hot – I think the problem with the pans were that they baked on there and became really hot.

  • March 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Great idea that I can’t wait to try. Do you make hot sauce? I would love a good recipe. I tried a recipe from Mother that called to ferment them first with salt and they got a white scummy layer on top that scared me so I had to throw it all out. Any recipes would be most appreciated..I am a hot sauce addict

    • March 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      The pepper flakes are so good Becky – you will have to let us know how they turn out when you try it! Mary made some sauce last year and we do have a great recipe for hot and spicy ketchup on the canning tab of our blog. We love hot sauce too!

  • February 24, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Oh wow, this is totally going to revolutionize my red pepper flake buying. I love red pepper flakes and at this point, I’m buying them (or using the packets we get from the pizza guy). We use red pepper flakes on our pizza, in soups, teriyaki sauce, and other things, and I would so love to have our own from our very own garden. Great post–I’m pinning it!

    I’d love it if you shared this post and up to two others at Farm Girl Blog Fest #21, which is live right now. You would be a great addition to the wonderful posts that are shared!
    Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest #21
    Hope to see you there!
    ~Kristi@Let This Mind Be in You

  • February 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Been doing this for years and love it!!! Adds a great flavor to almost anything! We also made “cowboy candy” with jalapenos (and added a few habaneros to some to add more heat) that we’ll run out of before next year’s harvest. Can’t have too much of it over cream cheese and crackers or used in veggie dip!!!

  • January 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I never knew how easy that could be…although I would need a better pepper crop than last year to be able to do it!

  • September 1, 2012 at 6:27 am

    What a great idea! The peppers are usually too hot for us to use in recipes, but I use pepper flakes a lot in my cooking for flavor. Thanks for the idea!

  • August 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    We have peppers galore and I have canned all the jalepenos we will ever need but I never thought about doing that for the rest of them! Great thinking! This is right up my alley πŸ™‚

  • August 10, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    We have strung them up the nice thing about it is you can forget about them….however your process gets it out of the way….by the way your peppers are beautiful and I have a bunch to process but knowing me and the fact I don’t want to add any more to do’s right now as I am going back to work full time in a week I think we will string ours up for now ….and process over Winter Break…..thanks so much Jim & Mary for linking up each week and for the birthday wishes! Ya’ll are awesome!

  • August 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Great information. I never thought about doing this when too many peppers were ready at once. I will definitely do this instead of giving them all away! Thanks so much!

  • August 10, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Thank you for sharing this post! It is so informative! I can hardly wait to get my hands on some hot peppers! Who knew making your own pepper flakes or powder could be so easy! Blessings from Bama!

  • August 10, 2012 at 9:06 am

    There is a lazier way that works as well. Just allow the peppers to dry on their own, perhaps strung up on a string as a decoration for a couple months.

    • August 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      That’s a great point and a great way to dry them as well. We have so much humidity in the summer months here – it is sometimes hard to get them to dry out that way.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join Our Mailing List To Get Our Free Gardening Tips, Recipes and DIY Tips Delivered Straight To Your Inbox!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: