Skip to Content

7 Things to do With Dried Carolina Reaper Peppers

If you have lots of dried Carolina Reaper peppers, you probably wonder, what will I do with all of these? Lucky for you, there are many ways to use dried Carolina Reapers to create tasty spicy foods and condiments. Here’s a list of 7 ideas to help you use all your dried Carolina Reaper peppers.

Careful, though. It’s best practice to wear gloves when working with spicy peppers. Otherwise, your hands and anywhere your hand’s touch will burn from the high level of capsaicin in the Carolina Reaper pepper.

Jar full of red dried Carolina Reaper peppers
The smell that comes from my jar of dried Carolina Reaper peppers is incredible. If you smell it too many times, the inside of your nose will burn for around 30 minutes. Photo by Spicy Trio

Create super spicy hot sauces

My favorite way to use dried Carolina Reapers is to create homemade hot sauces. These peppers are so spicy that it only takes a few to turn up the heat a few notches. To use a dried Carolina Reaper for your hot sauce, it’s a good idea to rehydrate them first. To rehydrate your dried peppers, submerge them in a bowl of warm water for about 15 minutes. They tend to float to the top, so you can use a spoon or other implement to weigh them down.

The most recent Carolina Reaper hot sauce I made consisted of roasted onion and garlic, along with 2 rehydrated Carolina Reaper peppers, a red bell pepper, and apple cider vinegar. I added them all to a blender and blended the ingredients until smooth. I made sure to add a few pinches of salt to get the flavor just right.

Ground down into a powder

A great way to use extra dried Carolina Reaper peppers is to grind them into a fine powder. The Carolina Reaper powder can be used to substitute chili powder if you want your dishes to be extra spicy. But remember, Carolina Reapers are way spicier than your store-bought chili powder, so use with caution. Adding a little at a time and tasting is the safe way to go. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take away the heat!

To make Carolina Reaper powder from dried peppers, grind them down in an electric spice mill. Careful not to breathe in the fumes after pulverizing the peppers. Alternatively, if you don’t have a spice mill, a mortar and pestle will also work. Grab three to five Carolina Reaper peppers and grind them with the mortar until they are a fine powder.

Pro tip: If you want to cut down the spice levels, I recommend removing the seeds from the dried Carolina Reaper peppers before grinding them into a powder.

Pepper flakes with a punch

If you love adding chili flakes to pizza and pasta, guess what? You can make pepper flakes from dried Carolina Reaper peppers. In either your electric spice mill or mortar and pestle, grind your dried Carolina Reaper peppers until they are flake-like in texture. To reduce the spice levels, remove the pepper seeds before processing the Carolina Reaper peppers.

Pepper jelly, jams, or honey

Ever notice how delicious foods that are sweet and spicy are? Guess what? You can jar up this juxtaposed flavor combination by adding dried Carolina Reaper peppers to your jelly, jams, or honey. All you need to do is grind your dried Carolina Reapers into a powder or flakes as mentioned above and add them into your jams, jelly, or honey. It’s always a good idea to mix in a little, taste it, and add more if you feel the need for a bit more fire. You can add Carolina Reapers to either fresh homemade jams or jellies or add them to premade ones.

Spicy chili, soups, or stews

One of my favorite ways to use dried Carolina Reapers is to add them to chilis, soups, or stews. While cooking, you can add the whole dried Carolina Reaper pepper to your dish to add a punch of spice without making your food unbearably fiery hot. If you want to make it spicier, I recommend slicing the Carolina Reaper peppers up, and adding them to your chili, soups, or stews.

Rehydrating a dried Carolina Reaper pepper in a blue bowel full of warm water
I rehydrate my dried Carolina Reaper peppers in warm water before making a hot sauce out of them. Photo by Spicy Trio

Rehydrate them and use instead of fresh peppers

You can use your dehydrated Carolina Reaper peppers just like any other chili pepper. All you need to do is rehydrate them.

Rehydrating dried Carolina Reapers is easy and only takes five simple steps:

  1. Heat up some water in a kettle or saucepan until warm, not scalding hot, just warm
  2. Put the warm water in a bowl
  3. Add your dehydrated Carolina Reaper peppers to the warm water in the bowl
  4. Place a weight, like a spoon or metal lid on top of the dried Carolina Reapers to ensure they are submerged below the water
  5. Leave your Carolina Reapers submerged in the warm water for 15 minutes
  6. After 15 minutes, remove your rehydrated Carolina Reaper peppers and enjoy!

Extra hot chili pastes

Chili pastes are a great way to add flavor bombs to many dishes, including soups, stews, meatloaf, and meatballs. You can also use them to create marinades, spice rubs, or add them to mayo and sauces to make spicier versions of condiments. Creating a chili paste out of Carolina Reapers is a great way to make an extra spicy dipping sauce.

When using Carolina Reapers in a chili paste, I recommend heating the peppers in a skillet over medium-high heat for about two minutes on each side. This will help release some of the natural oils built up in the dried pepper pod. After you toast your dried Carolina Reaper, rehydrate them using the rehydration method described above. Once rehydrated, add them into the food processor or blender with your other chili paste ingredients and blend them into a smooth paste.