How to Use Chili Powder Instead of Pepper


Chili powder is any variety or blend of dried chilies and spices such as paprika, cumin and oregano. There are countless chili powders available in stores, and you can even make your own unique blend. Chili powder is often used in as an ingredient in stews and as a rub for grilled meats. But you can also use chili powder as a substitution for a plain, unblended pepper to enhance the flavors and heat of your recipe.

Things You'll Need

  • Chili powder
  • Measuring spoon
  • Chose a chili powder that will complement your recipe. There are an extensive variety of chili powders available on the market; pay close attention to the heat of the chili powder. Some chili powders are mild, but some powders utilize very hot peppers, such as scotch bonnet or Thai, and could add a considerable amount of heat to your dish. If your recipe calls for a mild dried pepper, then do not select a chili powder that is very hot unless it suits your taste.

  • Examine your recipe carefully and check the quantity of pepper that is required. For example, the quantity of pepper required may be as little as a pinch or 1/4 teaspoon. Knowing this measurement will be necessary when substituting the chili powder for the pepper.

  • Measure out the required amount of chili powder and add it to your dish at the same time you should have added the pepper. If your purpose of adding chili powder is to enhance the flavor of the dish, considering adding slightly more chili powder than the required amount of pepper.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure that you read the chili powder container carefully. Chili powder is a blend of spices and peppers, but it is easily confused with chile powder, which is the powdered form of one type of pepper.

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