Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 12, 2009 11:54 AM

How much Ancho powder?

I'm planning on making a brisket-based chili recipe that ran in Bon Appetit about a year ago. The recipe calls for 6 ancho chiles to be soaked and then when softened blended with their liquid into a paste to create the chili base.

I've looked everywhere and can't find whole ancho chiles like I used the first time I made the recipe. However, I did stumble across ancho powder. Any estimations or recommendations on how much power would equal a large, whole chile? I'm hazarding a guess that a little more than a tablespoon of powder would be equal to about a whole chile.

I'd really like to make this over the weekend, and if ancho powder is all I can get my hands on, so be it. But I'd love to hear from some others who might have some experience here so that I don't inadvertently use too much or too little chile and wind up with a dish that's either lacking in flavor or inedible.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. for 6 ancho chilis, I would probably use 3-5 tablespoons of ancho chili powder. If you use less, you probably won't taste it. You also could also always just add 2 tablespoons or something at the beginning, and then taste and add ancho chili powder as you go.

    Unlike cayenne or something where adding too much will really destroy something, ancho chili powder is relatively mild so you really can't go too overboard with it.

    1. your guess is about right. it's typically around 1 Tbsp of powder per large chile.

      1. I appreciate the input; it's nice to have confirmation of what I was thinking. The ancho is a fabulous counterpoint to the butternut squash that is one of the other main ingredients in the dish, but you're absolutely right that it wouldn't have the same effect as too much cayenne or even chpotle.

        Thanks again for the help!

        1. I agree with the other posters; one tablespoon per ancho chile substitute. If you like it really smoky, feel free to add more as anchos (chile & powder) are not hot just a little spicy & smoky; it's my favorite chile