The Q&A Archives: Crushed Red Pepper

Question: I want to make my own crushed red pepper pizza topping. What type of chili pepper is grown for this purpose? How do I harvest and dry it? Thanks for any help.

Answer: The choice of peppers for seasoning depends upon your own tastes. If you like it really hot, choose peppers with heat. If you like a little less zip, choose milder tasting peppers. A good choice would include both moderate and low heat chili peppers. Anaheim, Jalepeno and Ancho are on the low end of the scale; Cayenne, Serrano and Cascabella are moderately hot peppers. When these peppers are ready to harvest you can pick them and then string them together and hang to dry. When they're completely dry you can crush them with a rolling pin and combine to form your own mixture. Dried peppers will keep for months in an airtight container stored in a cool, dark location.

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