Ghost peppers pack an intense punch of heat with their unique fruity, floral flavors. While you can buy ghost pepper powder, making your own allows you to control the freshness and heat level.
With just a few simple ingredients and tools, you can easily dehydrate and grind ghost peppers into a fine powder. This powder adds instant heat and amazing flavor to dishes like chili, sauces, marinades, and more.
Read on to learn the complete process for making your own ghost pepper powder at home!
Gather Your Ghost Peppers and Supplies
The first step in making your own ghost pepper powder is to gather your ingredients and supplies. You'll need about 4 ounces of fresh ghost peppers. Make sure to select only the freshest peppers with no signs of rot or damage. It's also important to have a good pair of gloves, as ghost peppers can irritate the skin.
You'll also need a dehydrator and a spice grinder. A food dehydrator like the Nesco FD-75A is perfect for drying the peppers. For grinding them down, a small spice grinder like the Magic Bullet works well. These are essential supplies for making homemade powders and dried peppers.
Once you have your ghost peppers and equipment, it's time to get started!
Prep the Peppers for Dehydrating
Before dehydrating the peppers, you'll need to prep them. Start by washing the peppers thoroughly and patting them completely dry. This removes any dirt or debris.
Next, while wearing gloves, remove the stems from the peppers. The stems can be bitter, so it's best to remove them. Be very careful when handling the peppers at this stage, as the oils can burn skin.
After removing the stems, slice each pepper in half lengthwise. Cutting them open allows moisture to escape during dehydration. For larger peppers, you may want to quarter them instead of halving them for faster drying.
Dehydrate the Peppers
Now you're ready to dehydrate the peppers. Place them cut-side down on the dehydrator trays, leaving space between each one.
Dehydrate at 135°F for around 8 hours, checking periodically. They are fully dehydrated when the peppers are dried through and crisp, cracking when bent.
You may need to dehydrate for longer than 8 hours if the peppers are thick or you have a large batch. Just keep dehydrating them until they are fully dried and brittle.
Grind the Peppers into Powder
Once the ghost peppers are completely dehydrated, you can grind them into powder. Use a dedicated coffee or spice grinder, as the oils can linger.
Add the dried peppers and grind them into a fine powder, about 1-2 minutes. You may need to work in batches if your grinder is small.
Sift out any remaining chunks and continue grinding until only a super fine powder remains. Discard any remnants that don't powderize.
Store and Use Your Ghost Pepper Powder
Your homemade ghost pepper powder is now ready! Transfer the powder to an airtight container like a jar or spice bottle. Stored in a cool, dark place, the powder will remain fresh for up to a year.
You can use ghost pepper powder to add intense heat to any dish. Start with a tiny pinch and add more as desired. It also makes a great addition to spice rubs and homemade hot sauces.
Just remember that ghost peppers are incredibly spicy, so use caution and start with small amounts. Enjoy your homemade powder!
Ghost Pepper Powder Recipe
- 4 ounces fresh ghost peppers
- Food dehydrator (like Nesco FD-75A)
- Spice grinder (like Magic Bullet)
- Airtight container for storage
- Put on gloves and wash ghost peppers thoroughly. Pat is completely dry.
- Remove stems from peppers and slice peppers lengthwise. For larger peppers, quarter them.
- Place pepper slices cut side down on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 135°F for 8-12 hours until completely dried and brittle.
- Add dried peppers to a spice grinder. Grind into a fine powder, for about 1-2 minutes. Work in small batches if needed.
- Sift out any remaining chunks. Continue grinding until only the powder remains.
- Transfer the finished ghost pepper powder to an airtight container. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
- Use powder to add heat to dishes. Start with a tiny amount and add more as desired. Enjoy your fresh homemade ghost pepper powder!
Safety Tips When Working With Ghost Peppers
Ghost peppers are one of the world's hottest peppers, reaching over 1 million Scoville Heat Units! When working with these intense peppers, be sure to take precautions:
- Always wear gloves when handling ghost peppers. The oils can burn the skin.
- Work in a well-ventilated area. Peppers release irritating fumes when heated.
- Avoid touching your face and eyes after handling peppers. Wash hands very thoroughly afterward.
- Consider wearing a mask and goggles for grinding. The fine powder disperses into the air.
- Label your powder clearly and store it safely away from children.
- Start with a tiny amount of powder when cooking until you know your tolerance.
Use common sense when handling this intensely hot pepper. Take precautions and you'll be able to enjoy your homemade ghost pepper powder!
Enjoy Experimenting with Ghost Pepper Powder
Part of the fun of making your own powder is experimenting with it! Here are some ways to enjoy using up your ghost pepper powder:
- Make a unique ghost pepper seasoning blend by mixing it with other dried peppers and spices.
- Add it to rubs and marinades for spicy grilled meats like chicken, beef, and pork.
- Mix a pinch into dips and sauces for an extra kick of heat.
- Make a fiery table sauce by blending it into vinegar or olive oil.
- Coat nuts and snacks with a bit of ghost pepper powder for spicy roasted treats.
- Stir a small amount into chili, curry dishes, and soups for more heat.
- Blend with fruits like mango or pineapple to make hot jams or salsas.
Just remember to start slowly and add more powder as you gauge the heat level. Have fun cooking with your fresh ghost pepper powder!
What's the best way to soften the heat level of ghost pepper powder?
You can soften the intensity by mixing it with a milder powder like paprika or ancho chili powder. Start with a ratio of 1 part ghost pepper powder to 4 parts milder powder. Slowly increase the ghost pepper ratio for more heat.
Can you substitute ghost pepper powder for cayenne or chili powder?
Yes, but you'll need to use much less ghost pepper powder, starting with just a pinch. Ghost peppers are around 400x hotter than a jalapeño, so a little goes a long way. Slowly add more for heat.
What dishes pair well with ghost pepper powder?
The fruity notes pair great with coconut, mango, and pineapple dishes. Use it in curries, stir-fries, chilies, and even desserts. Start with a small amount mixed into dips and sauces.
Is it better to use fresh or dried ghost peppers?
Dried ghost peppers have an intensified flavor and heat. The dehydration process concentrates the compounds, so dried pepper powder packs more punch. Fresh peppers impart a brighter, fresher taste.
Can you freeze leftover fresh ghost peppers?
Yes, freeze extras whole or prepped. Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute before freezing. Transfer to freezer bags and freeze for up to 6 months. Great for future powders and cooking.
Creating your own homemade ghost pepper powder opens up a world of flavor possibilities. Experiment with using small amounts to add intense heat and fruitiness to everything from snacks to entrees.
Just remember to take precautions when handling these extremely hot peppers. With the proper care and technique, you can make and enjoy your own custom ghost pepper powder.
Spice up your cooking with this fresh, flavorful homemade blend!