This jalapeno powder makes food spicy and flavorful instantly with just a sprinkle. Let's utilize all those fresh jalapeños from your recent farmers market visit or the homegrown jalapeños.
This jalapeño powder works like magic, bringing out the best spicy seasoning flavors- soup, pasta, or barbecue meat. Or use it as a dry rub for the taco meat.
Choosing jalapeno peppers
Jalapeño peppers belong to the capsicum annuum family. They are generally considered moderately hot peppers, with a heat level ranging from 5,000 to 7,500 Scoville heat units.
It's interesting to note that the spiciness can vary from one plant to another and between peppers from the same plant. Several factors influence the heat level of a jalapeño, including the weather, amount of sunlight, and watering conditions.
Generally, large green jalapeños with a well-rounded tip are usually milder in heat.
I always go for jalapeños that look fresh and don't have any blemishes. Since we will store this jalapeno powder in an air-tight container for a while, it's essential to ensure the jalapeños don't have any issues.
Why do we love this jalapeno powder?
Long Shelf Life: It stays good even when left on the kitchen counter.
Portion Control: Since it's in fine powder form, adding just the amount you want is easy. Sprinkle a little or add a tablespoon—everything is possible here.
No Added Fat: We're just dehydrating the jalapeño chile, so there's no need for fats to preserve it.
Space-Saving: A pound of jalapeños converts to about a quarter cup of jalapeño powder. With very little space, you can store a lot of spicy goodness.
Versatile: Whether you're cooking Mexican, Indian, Italian, or American dishes, this jalapeño powder blends seamlessly into various cuisines. It's highly adaptable.
Consistent Heat: Once you taste-test your jalapeño powder, you can always gauge the spice level it brings. When you add it to your recipes, you don't have to worry about mild or super-hot jalapeños affecting the spiciness.
Essential Things to Note When Handling Jalapeños
Safety First: Remember to wear gloves to avoid jalapeno hands since we're dealing with hot peppers. Also, avoid touching your face or sensitive skin after handling the jalapeños.
Slicing Tips: Slice the green jalapeños thinly. This makes it easier to dehydrate them, even at room temperature. Also, remove the seeds and the pith to make the jalapeño powder less spicy(this how-to-cut jalapeno has detailed instructions).
Spice Level: I wanted my jalapeño powder with medium heat. So, I divided the jalapeños into two parts. For the first part, I slice the jalapeños with its seeds and pith. For the other part, I cut the jalapeños in half, removed the seeds and the white membrane, and then sliced them into half-circles. This way, I can cut down half of the heat.
4 Methods for dehydrating jalapenos
You can dehydrate jalapeños in three different ways:
Sun-Drying: First, spread the sliced jalapeños on a baking sheet or a large tray and let them dry in the sun. This method works best in hot summer weather with plenty of sunshine. It'll take 2-3 days to dry the jalapeños thoroughly.
Air-Drying: This method is easy but takes a longer duration. Slice the jalapeno thinly and spread it evenly on a large tray. Place them in a warm, dry, and well-ventilated area. Allow it to sit at room temperature, and flip occasionally. Depending on the weather, 4-5 days to dry completely.
Oven-Drying: This is my favorite; I can rely on something other than the weather forecast. Let’s see the process in detail.
Dehydrator: This is convenient if you have a dehydrator at home. Let's see the procedure below.
How to make the best jalapeno powder
Cleaning: Wash the jalapeños under running water and drain them. Spread them out on the kitchen counter and pat them dry. This step is super important to prevent any dirt or contamination.
Dryness is Key: Dry the jalapeno in the oven or the dehydrator. Since we're making jalapeño powder from fresh jalapeños, the slices must be dehydrated. They should have no moisture content. If not perfectly dried with moisture inside, they can spoil and won't last long in storage.
How to dehydrate in the oven: Set your oven to 170°F. Choose a nonstick baking sheet or line one with parchment paper. Spread the jalapeño slices evenly on the sheet, ensuring not to overcrowd them.
Set your oven timer for two hours, place the backing sheet on a medium rack, and let them dry for about two hours. Then, let them stay in the oven until they return to room temperature(this will take another two hours).
Once cooled, set the oven temperature to 170°F and let the jalapeño slices dry until they turn brittle. Repeat this process if the jalapeno slices are still moist.
This drying for 2 hours, cooling for 2 hours, and repeating the same is a proven method I rely on. I have tried it with great success with many other delicate ingredients. Have you tried this? Let us know your feedback, too.
Blending: Transfer all the dehydrated jalapenos to a blender or food processor. Pulse until it turns into a powder. I like my jalapeño powder to be coarse, so it blends well with other dishes.
How to dehydrate with a Dehydrator?
Set your dehydrator to 125°F. Arrange the jalapeño slices in the dehydrator.
Let them dry for 12 to 24 hours or until the pieces are completely dehydrated.
Kitchen Counter: The powder can be stored on the counter if it's well-sealed.
Refrigerator: Storing the powder in the fridge can keep the flavors intact for longer.
Freezer: Choose a freeze-safe bag or container. This way, jalapeno powder is good for up to 6 months.
Best Foods to Serve with Jalapeño Powder
Mexican Delicacies: If you're whipping up tacos, enchiladas, or burritos, this jalapeño powder works like a charm to boost the flavors instantly.
Pasta or Pizza: Hosting a party or just looking to shake things up? Sprinkle some green jalapeno powder over your pasta(spicy penne pasta or sweet potato pasta sauce) or pizza, and watch the flavors transform.
Meats and Veggies: Whether you're grilling meat, barbecuing steaks, or roasting veggies(did you try these spicy roasted vegetables?), a dusting of green jalapeño powder before cooking blends the flavors beautifully. It's like adding a touch of magic to your dish.
Bell Peppers: For milder heat and bold flavors, replace half the jalapeño with bell peppers. Use a mandolin for thin strips since green peppers are moist.
Herbs: Experiment with oregano, basil, and thyme.
Aromatic Powders: Adding depth with garlic or onion powder. It also increases the quantity and reduces little heat.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Super Dry is Best: Ensure the green jalapeños are dry before blending. The drier they are, the longer your jalapeño powder will last, and the safer it will be.
Red jalapeño peppers: Follow the same grinding process for the ripened red peppers. This yields a reddish-colored spice mix with fruity flavors and mild heat.
Switch Drying Methods: If you're using the sun-drying method and the weather isn't cooperating, switch to another drying process, like the oven or dehydrator.
Small Quantities: If you have only a tiny amount of jalapeños, you can dry them on the kitchen counter, especially during the summer when the indoor temperature is warm.
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
Food Processor: Investing in a good quality food processor or blender is smart. It won't just help you with this recipe but will also improve your kitchen experience.
Sharp Knife: A precise, sharp knife is essential when handling jalapeños. If you're using an older knife, sharpen it regularly for the best results.
Gloves: Don't learn the lessons in a hard way like I did! Always wear gloves when handling hot pepper varieties like jalapeños.