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Squashed red pepper is a staple in our house, and we use it on everything! It’s incredibly simple to make your own organic red pepper flakes using fresh peppers from your garden or the store. In this post, I will give you ideas for how to dry hot peppers, and show you exactly how to make crushed red pepper flakes step-by-step.

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Hot red pepper flakes can be used to spice up just about any dish, and taste great with everything. You can add it to dishes using crushed red pepper flakes, or merely sprayed it over the top to provide your favorite food some extra kick.

It’s very simple to make your own natural crushed red pepper, and a terrific way to use up all those hot peppers from your garden. We like it and utilize everything the time!


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Generally, dried crushed red pepper is made using cayenne peppers. Cayenne peppers are not only the best peppers for crushed red pepper, they are one of the simplest, most respected peppers to grow in the veggie garden. I usually use cayenne peppers to make my dried red pepper flakes, similar to the things you see at your regional Italian dining establishment or pizza joint.

We’ve mixed in other hot peppers before too, and it works great. You might use any type of hot pepper you grow in your garden to make crushed pepper flakes, it’s really as much as you. If you want to make extra hot crushed red pepper, attempt blending in some habanero or ghost peppers!

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The extremely primary step you have to take in order to make your own crushed red pepper is to completely dry the peppers. Ensure the peppers are totally dry prior to crushing them.

If they’re too damp, they will not crush well. They likewise will not keep well, and could mold pretty rapidly if there’s excessive moisture left in the peppers. So be sure to give them lots of time to dry prior to you crush them.

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There are a couple of methods to dry cayenne peppers to use for making pepper flakes:.

You can air dry your hot peppers by hanging them from string.
You can use your oven to dry the cayenne peppers.
Or you can dry cayenne peppers in a dehydrator.


Cayenne peppers can be excluded to dry on their own. Lots of people like to do this by putting the peppers on a string, and hanging them till they’re dry. The peppers will take several days to entirely dry by doing this, so this is absolutely the slowest of the 3 approaches. If you choose to utilize this approach, make sure to cut the complete and cut the peppers in half, otherwise they could mold inside.

This works best if you live in a dry environment. However, if you reside in a humid environment like I do, then it can be challenging to dry peppers this way. So, I would recommend either drying them in the oven, or using a food dehydrator instead of air-drying them.


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Drying cayenne peppers in the oven is simple, and I use the exact same technique to make sun dried tomatoes. This is the fastest method to dry peppers for making crushed red pepper, and it’s my favored method.

All you have to do is cut the complement of the peppers, and spread them out on an ungreased cookie sheet. Then put them into a preheated oven on it’s most affordable temperature level setting (I utilize 200 degrees F for mine) up until they are dry.

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It takes a couple of hours for the peppers to entirely dry out in the oven. Keep an eye on them and take care that you don’t overdo it though. Last year we burned a batch a bit, once they were squashed, they tasted fine.

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When the peppers are entirely dried, they will be breakable and break apart easily. If they’re still soft, then put them back into the oven. You wish to make certain that all the moisture runs out the peppers, otherwise they won’t squash very well, and they might mold.


Utilizing a food dehydrator is another excellent way to dry peppers. It takes a few days for the peppers to dry out entirely using this method, but it’s still faster than air-drying them. Prior to dehydrating cayenne peppers, cut the complement and slice them in half. Then set your dehydrator on the “veggies” setting to for drying peppers.

If yours is like mine and the racks have holes in them, then I advise using dehydrator sheets. Otherwise, the pepper seeds will end up making a mess at the bottom. Naturally, it’s not that difficult to clean them up, but the sheets will make your life a little much easier. Besides, the seeds make the cayenne pepper flakes even hotter so you do not want to lose those.


As soon as the cayenne peppers are completely dried out, use a tiny food chopper to crush them into red pepper flakes, seeds and all. A bigger food mill would work great too, particularly if you have a huge batch of peppers to grind. But don’t try to utilize a coffee grinder as your crushed red pepper flake grinder, or you’ll wind up with red chili powder rather.

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After the cayenne peppers are crushed, it doesn’t look like you get very much out of the deal … but you don’t require to use much crushed cayenne pepper to include lots of spice to a dish. So you will discover that a little will go a long way!

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You can use your ground red pepper flakes right now, or you can a shop them for later on use. I store mine right in my crushed red pepper shaker, similar to they do at the restaurant. Crushed pepper flakes can be stored in the refrigerator for numerous months, or you can freeze them for longer term storage.

We store ours in the refrigerator, and it normally lasts us through the winter quickly. As soon as we begin gathering cayenne peppers again in the summer season, we toss any left over dried pepper flakes into the garden compost bin, and replace it with a fresh batch.

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If you don’t know what to do with all those hot peppers you grow in your garden, attempt making your own crushed red pepper. It’s easy to do, and a great technique of maintaining cayenne peppers too.

Keep in mind, you might do this with other peppers too. This year, we dried a mix of different types of red peppers we had left over from the harvest in addition to the cayenne peppers. Just remember– the thicker the pepper, the longer it will take to dry.