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Chili Powder

After searching the shelves for what I thought would be a good Texas Chili Powder without all the “natural flavors” etc., I decided it is time I started making my own chili powder. I grabbed a bunch of different dried chilies, and now I need a good recipe. Anyone want to share theirs?

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  1. I just posted my recipe on another thread. Searching for chili powder gets at least 5 recent threads. Could be useful for you to see the wide variation of options available to you.


    1. Thanks smtucker. I actually did a search for Chili Powder before I posted. I was surprised nothing showed up. Maybe I don't know how to use the search feature properly.

      1 Reply
      1. re: KeepOurFreedoms

        Maybe this can help? Sometimes that search engine is just plain ornery.


      2. What kinds of dried chiles to you have? How are you going to grind them?

        The basic chili powder is: a lot of a mild ground chile like ancho or dried new mexico, ground cumin, oregano (Mexican), a now chile to taste. Salt and garlic powder are common additions.

        But, why make up a mix before hand? Dried Mexican oregano comes as a coarse dried herb that releases a lovely aroma when crushed. I prefer to add that directly to the stew, rather than crush it days before. Dried chiles like ancho can broken up (deseeded), toasted, hydrated and pureed. That's as good, if not better, than using a ground powder (though I do stock the powder).

        1. Have you looked at competition chili recipes?

          1. It would be helpful if you told us what the names are of the dried chiles you acquired. Some dried chiles are easier to work with than others. Dried guajillos, dried pasillas, dried chipotles and dried anchos are more difficult to work with than Thai chiles and Chiles de Arbol. The latter 2 are smaller and have a thinner skin that the former 3. If you could mention the names of the chiles that you bought, we could concoct a mixture according to the processing of each variety.

            When I process dried chiles I use an electric coffee grinder that is used only for processing herbs and spices.

            A source of a variety of ground chile powders that can be combined is Pendery's of Fort Worth, TX. Pendery's has a website of their catalog, and also a hardcopy catalog that can be acquired by US mail.

            1. I have dried Arbol, New Mexico, Cascavel, and Ancho. I also have some Mexican Oregano, and Cumin Seeds. I plan to use my Vitamix to grind everything, although I do have a coffee grinder I use for spices. I read somewhere about roasting everything in the oven or in a skillet. I’m not planning on using garlic or onion powder, nor cinnamon and the like.

              6 Replies
              1. re: KeepOurFreedoms

                Roasting in a skillet is a great thing. I don't agree with Mr. Chili that anchos, etc are difficult. I don't own a vitamix so have no idea how they grind chills. I use my spice grinder which is an old coffee grinder with a new life.

                The thing about chili blends? Man anything you make at home is going to be superior to store bought. Mix stuff up. Taste it. Make adjustments and enjoy the results!

                1. re: KeepOurFreedoms

                  Ancho is mild. I think of it as providing the 'base notes', complexity, color and bulk without a lot of heat.

                  New Mexico may be similar, a little brighter red, and depending on the exact variety might be as mild or hotter.

                  I know Cascbel by sight (like a jingle bell), but haven't used it much.

                  Arbol (tree) is a small hot bright red. Use it sparingly for heat. I believe Cholula hot sauce is based on this.

                  1. re: paulj

                    I just read the ingredients of my Cholula - arbol and piquin peppers. I'm surprised as Cholula is one of my most mild chile sauces and de arbols can be scorching.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      And piquins are reputed to be even hotter.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Cholula is one of my favorite sauces. I haven't looked at the label on the bottle for a long time to see which chile variety(ies) was(were) included in the sauce. I have both de Arbol and Piquin dried chiles in the kitchen cabinet. The latter one is small and incendiary.

                    2. re: KeepOurFreedoms

                      Looks good to me now that I know what varieties of chiles you have. I think you're on the right track as to what you are about to do. Supermarket chili powder is something that I avoid because of the mixture includes salt.

                      Let us know how your creativity turns out. It's always nice to learn some new combinations.

                    3. Thank you all very much. Do you recommend any other peppers that would be good? Chipotles? but maybe that is too smoky for chili.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: KeepOurFreedoms

                        People do use chipotles in their chili, but not necessarily in their prepared powder. Obviously chipotles en adobo have to be added during cooking. Dried could ground and included in your mix, but what if you wanted to make a batch that didn't have that hot smoky quality?

                        There's a lot to be said for keeping the basic mix simple, and tweaking each batch to suit your evolving tastes. I wouldn't want to standardize my recipe until I've refined it, and need to consistently reproduce it at each competition.

                      2. I like to add a few ground cacao nibs to my blends.