Alton Brown’s Chili Powder Recipe: Mastering the Art of Spicing Up Your Dishes

Alton Brown’s Chili Powder Recipe is a renowned culinary science and innovative recipe, he has shared his secret to creating the perfect homemade chili powder. This article delves into the details of his recipe, guiding you through the process of making your own flavorful blend that will elevate your cooking to new heights.

Understanding the Essence of Homemade Chili Powder

Chili powder is not just a seasoning but a cornerstone of many dishes, adding depth, heat, and complexity. Alton Brown’s recipe focuses on balancing different types of chilies and complementary spices to achieve a robust flavor profile that enhances a wide range of cuisines.

Essential Ingredients for Alton Brown’s Chili Powder

To replicate Alton Brown’s chili powder at home, gather the following ingredients:

  • Ancho chilies
  • Guajillo chilies
  • New Mexico chilies
  • Cumin seeds
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Alton Brown’s Chili Powder

1. Selecting and Preparing the Chilies

Begin by choosing high-quality dried chilies such as ancho, guajillo, and New Mexico chilies. Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies, then toast them lightly in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. This toasting step enhances their natural flavors.

2. Grinding the Chilies and Spices

Once toasted, transfer the chilies to a spice grinder or blender along with the cumin seeds. Grind them into a fine powder. Ensure the texture is consistent to achieve a smooth blend of flavors.

3. Adding the Remaining Spices

To the ground chilies and cumin, add garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, dried oregano, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Adjust the quantities according to your taste preferences, keeping in mind the balance of heat, smokiness, and earthiness.

4. Blending to Perfection

Blend all the spices together thoroughly until they are well incorporated. The combination of different spices should create a vibrant chili powder that is aromatic and full of complexity.

5. Storing and Using Alton Brown’s Chili Powder

Store your homemade chili powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use it to season chili con carne, tacos, enchiladas, soups, stews, or any dish that calls for a punch of Tex-Mex flavor.


Alton Brown’s homemade chili powder recipe is a testament to the artistry of blending spices. By following his method, you can create a versatile seasoning that not only adds heat but enhances the overall flavor profile of your culinary creations. Experiment with different dishes and enjoy the transformative power of homemade spice blends in your kitchen.

For more ideas, recipes, and cooking tips and tricks, please visit us at Knights Inn Nashville.

FAQs about Alton Brown’s Chili Powder Recipe

How spicy is Alton Brown’s chili powder?

Alton Brown’s recipe allows you to control the spiciness based on the types and quantities of chilies used. Adjust the ratio of mild to hot chilies to suit your preference.

Can I substitute fresh chilies for dried ones in this recipe?

For the authentic flavor profile, it’s recommended to use dried chilies as specified in the recipe. Dried chilies provide a concentrated flavor that fresh chilies may not replicate.

How long can I store Alton Brown’s chili powder?

Stored properly in an airtight container, Alton Brown’s chili powder can maintain its quality for up to 6 months. After this period, the potency of the spices may diminish.

What dishes can I use Alton Brown’s chili powder in?

You can use Alton Brown’s chili powder in a variety of dishes, including chili con carne, tacos, fajitas, marinades, and even as a seasoning for roasted vegetables or popcorn.

Is Alton Brown’s chili powder gluten-free?

Yes, Alton Brown’s chili powder recipe is naturally gluten-free, as long as all individual spices used are certified gluten-free. Always check labels for any hidden sources of gluten.

Mastering the art of making Alton Brown’s chili powder opens up a world of culinary possibilities, allowing you to infuse your dishes with authentic Tex-Mex flavors. Enjoy experimenting with this homemade spice blend and delight your taste buds with every bite!