Grinding Peppers - SUPER HOT PEPPERS

KatoKato Registered User
edited August 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
My garden this year has done wonderful with the peppers. I have a lot of red chili peppers, jalapenos, banana peppers and habanero peppers. I am in the process of drying them out and so far, all is doing well. Many of them are dry and firm and probably ready to grind. I don't have a grinder though...

I think it is funny, but I have checked around my town and looked at Wal-Mart and Target and a few other stores and I simply can not find a pepper grinder. Finding a black pepper grinder is easy, but that is not what I am looking for. I am not afraid to give some elbow grease and grind them up if I have too...but please suggest me a grinder to use. If it's on Amazon (Prime is even better, but whatever) then that is even better, but I am open to any and all suggestions on good grinders and any useful techniques.

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  • iRevertiRevert Tactical Martha Stewart Registered User regular
    Have you considered a mortar and pestle?

  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    Using mortar/pestle to grind peppers ends you up with sambal which is quite nice in cooking if you get used to it, but the result is definitely a paste and not a powder.

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  • KatoKato Registered User
    A paste? I certainly don't want a paste. I want to grind my own cayenne and other spices with these peppers.

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  • Forbe!Forbe! Registered User regular
    You're probably looking for a spice mill or coffee grinder. A blender would probably work too, depending on how patient you are.

    Mortar and pestel works as well, the drier the pepper the better.

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  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    a coffee grinder would work perfectly for this, just don't get confused one morning and actually use it for coffee.

    I don't think I've ever seen a grinder designed specifically for hot peppers.

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  • Forbe!Forbe! Registered User regular
    Bit of a warning if you use a motorized grinding method. Allow the dust to settle fully in the container before removing the lid.

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  • AresProphetAresProphet I see a darkness in my fate I'll drive my car without the brakesRegistered User regular
    Foomy wrote: »
    a coffee grinder would work perfectly for this, just don't get confused one morning and actually use it for coffee.

    I don't think I've ever seen a grinder designed specifically for hot peppers.

    This, plus the warning against dust.

    Once they're sufficiently dried and you're looking to cayenne some peppers (because "cayenne pepper" just means "finely ground pepper") a coffee grinder set to its finest setting will get you there just fine.

    And yes if you grind your own coffee you'll need two grinders.

    My advice? Once dried, bag them in ziplocs whole. Break them out for grinding as necessary. This gives you some versatility in using them; if you want to add them to a spice packet, you don't want them super-finely ground, you want them chopped. Or when adding them to a marinade or barbecue mop, you don't want them powdered.

    Also there's not much point in turning milder peppers into cayenne pepper, use them roughly chopped in chilis, stews, salsas, etc. Or you could powder some as a component of homemade chili powder, which is another project you can look into.

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  • AtaxrxesAtaxrxes Cursed EarthRegistered User regular
    I would recommend grinding them up in a food processor or as others have suggested, a coffee grinder. If you can I would STRONGLY RECOMMEND doing this outside if at all possible. This s#it is like tear gas if it gets out in a confined area (like your house.) Trust me on this.

  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    Foomy wrote: »
    a coffee grinder would work perfectly for this, just don't get confused one morning and actually use it for coffee.

    I don't think I've ever seen a grinder designed specifically for hot peppers.

    This, plus the warning against dust.

    Once they're sufficiently dried and you're looking to cayenne some peppers (because "cayenne pepper" just means "finely ground pepper")
    I had to look this up, and yes, "cayenne" is certainly a cultivar of pepper. Maybe it also means (or once meant) any ground-up pepper, but it definitely refers to a specific type of pepper.

    In fact, I don't think I've ever heard "cayenne" used as a verb in English.

  • AresProphetAresProphet I see a darkness in my fate I'll drive my car without the brakesRegistered User regular
    I stand corrected. I didn't know that it was actually a specific variety, but in a culinary sense I've never seen it used to refer to anything except the finely-ground red stuff. Not even red "cayenne pepper" flakes are called anything but "red pepper flakes". Could be an American thing.

    Probably because the handling of dried peppers necessitates that they're going to be reduced to very small bits in any case.

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    you show me a signpost for where I should go
  • NoisymunkNoisymunk Registered User regular
    Use a 15-20 dollar electric coffee grinder from any department store.

    Wear a facemask.

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  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    An option instead of a coffee grinder is using a Mason Jar as a substitute blender pitcher:


    Edit: as the video states, make sure there's enough clearance for the blades or you could have a bit of a mess on your hands

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  • KatoKato Registered User
    Thanks guys. Looks like a coffee grinder will be just the solution..although I do have a blender and some mason jars...hhmmm....

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  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    A warning about coffee grinders. Don't grind for too long, because the heat can do bad things to any spice...typically makes it pasty.

    It'd also be a good idea to remove the seeds. Snipping the end off and shaking them out should do the trick.

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Naturally everyone has a burr grinder for coffee and a $15 blade grinder for spices.

    But yeah, monitor it closely as a grinder (or blender) can burn off the oils and/or pasty them.

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  • Mom2KatMom2Kat Registered User regular
    short pulses will be better than a long go with the grinder. Thats how I do my coffee with short pulses.

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