The Basics: Ground Red Pepper


Cooking Essentials

The Profile

Ground Red Pepper

Ground red pepper is a spice consisting of several different types of chili varieties that are found in the Solanaceae family within the Capsicum genus. It may be identified by it’s brightly colored hue & finely ground texture. It is often used interchangeably in recipes that call for cayenne pepper which in comparison is a specific chili style. Cayenne is typically one of the peppers along with others in which the fruit pod is dried & ground in order to create the spice. If you are growing your own peppers, it’s simple to replicate. Just a small amount of ground red pepper may be used to add zesty heat to homemade mayonnaisecustom seasoning blends, appetizers, vinaigrettes, pimiento cheese & chili. Cayenne peppers are typically hotter than crushed red pepper flakes in comparison with capsaicinoids providing the burning sensation when consumed. Learn how to store & use ground red pepper in your favorite recipes.

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How To Store & Use Ground Red Pepper

Red peppers originated in South & Central America thriving in those specific locations due to the consistently warm climate. Optimum growing conditions require loamy soil & temperatures that range between 70 & 84 degrees. The pepper plants typically produce small self-pollinating white flowers before fruiting begins. Today, red peppers are grown in the United States, India, the Mediterranean & many other places globally. 


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Store ground red pepper in a container with a tight fitting lid in a cool, dark location in order to maintain it’s color & potency. Once open, it will last approximately 2 to 3 years. Since just a smattering of ground red pepper will season a variety of dishes, consider purchasing a small amount. As a general rule of thumb, begin with approximately 1/8 teaspoon for a recipe that yields four servings. Depending upon the quantity of fat in the formula, a bit more may be necessary in order to achieve the desired heat level. 

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