Chili Powder

Milder than its cousin cayenne, chili powder is a commercial blend of mild to medium-hot dried red chiles. The red New Mexican chile and/or ancho peppers are usually the main components of unspecified chili powder (versus “chipotle chile powder,” “habanero chili powder,” etc.).

Other herbs and spices are commonly added to commercial chili powder, so check the label if you’re curious. Popular additions include oregano, cumin, onion or garlic powder, and paprika. These additions are often included because of chili powder’s common usage in chili con carne.

Because most commercial chili powders include more than just ground chiles, don’t substitute generic chili powder when a recipe calls for “ancho chile powder,” even though ancho is a common component. The added ingredients actually make the flavor quite different.



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