Yum -

Preserving chilies – “pepper, pepper, pepper, salt”

chili pepper salt | infinebalance.com

Fish and chips and vinegar, vinegar.
Fish and chips and vinegar, pepper, pepper, pepper, salt

Every time I see the jar sitting on my kitchen counter my daughters 4th grade class starts singing in my head…

It’s cold in the winter, it’s cold in the fall.
It’s cold in the summer, but it doesn’t matter at all.

It does matter actually, but that is besides the point.

So here is the thing. I have chilli peppers, lots of chilli peppers. Which seems incredible considering I bought 2 tiny little plants at the beginning of this summer and stuck them in a pot. And despite the weather – which was ironically a bit cold for summer – I have an abundance of chillies. I cooked with some, but I still have a bunch on the plants and I just hate watching them go to waste. Frost is coming.


Preserving Hot Chillis

Preserving chilies is easy.

We dried some. Having my own dried chillies in the cupboard – chillies I grew – feels very self-sufficient. Dying them is simple and just requires tying them together with some scrap string and hanging them in the kitchen, preferably in a sunny window. We wrapped the string around the little green stems, securing with knots. Once dried, they will last forever. It will take a couple of weeks, but once completely dry and brittle you can take them down and store them in an open jar in the cupboard almost indefinitely. If left whole they keep their flavour and heat for a long time.

But still, dried peppers don’t have the same flavour as fresh chillies.

So when I saw this, I thought it was the best thing ever.

Fresh chillies have a brighter and more crisp flavour. Preserving them in salt like this keeps some of that freshness.

Use this as a spice. Where you would use salt, and reduce or eliminate the use of other salt in a recipe. It adds a nice bit of heat to sauces and roasted vegetables. Add it to sautéing onions and garlic and marvel at how wonderful it smells. Also marvel at how you just saved yourself a few minutes of chopping a fresh chilli. The chillies almost melt into the food. If you are really heat sensitive, go easy and use sparingly, at least until you have figured out how much you can handle. There is definitely some heat in here.

Chilli Pepper Salt: Preserving Chillis

Chili Pepper Salt


Here’s the ratio I used:

  • 1-1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup fresh chillies (I used Thai chillies), green stems removed, left whole. you can remove the seeds if you wish, but that means handling the cut chillies and that could be just too much work not to mention hard on your hands


Add chillies to small bowl of food processor and pulse several times until very finely minced. You don’t want a paste, so I wouldn’t use a blender for this. Add the salt. Pulse several more times so that everything is  a pretty orange-pinky-red colour. Store in an airtight container. You can use this right away, but storing for a week or so will distribute the flavour of the chillies more quickly.





  1. Love, love love this idea! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks

  2. What a great idea! I already have a bunch of chilies from my garden that I have dried. And sea salt!

  3. How long will the pepper salt keep? I’d like to make it as a gift from my dad but don’t want it ot go bad before he has a chance to use it all.

    By the wya, this a great idea. Thank you for sharing.

    • The salt will dry out the peppers and so you are left with salt and dried chili flakes. Essentially you could keep this forever. Perhaps overtime you will lose some of the flavour? I’ve had mine for about 2 months and it’s only gotten better. Would it still taste great in a year or two – I’m not sure. I’ll let you know if I still have some sitting around at that time :)
      But remember salt is a natural preservative and you are using quite a bit here. Don’t skimp on the salt.

  4. Your salt looks great! These are one of my most favourite things; thanks for the shoutout and sharing the love! Like you I believe they could essentially keep forever though I’ve never made enough to last beyond a year (and it tastes great even then)….

    Smiles and thanks!

    Joel recently posted…The Easiest Way to Label Preserves (10 second tip)

    • Thanks for the inspiration!! I’m head over heals in love with this stuff. Thanks for stopping by

  5. Do you measure the peppers after you have put them in the food processor?

    • Hi – no I measured before putting them in the food processor. Just a rough chop and then measure.

      • Thank you so much! I am making this today. Can’t wait to try it.

          • This stuff is great. Mine is not dry yet though. I mean it’s not sticking together it just doesn’t look like salt yet. How long does it take.

          • When I made this it was fairly dry from the start. Your peppers may have had more moisture in them. If you find it is still too wet, add more salt and give the mix another buzz in the food processor.

  6. I will have to try that. I have already used it in my salsa. Yummo!

  7. As of today. I have made this three different ways. 1. I used 1 cup ceyanne. 2. I used 1/4 cup Thai peppers. 3. I used 1/4 cup Orange habanero (seeds removed) EXCELLENT!

  8. I love homemade food gift ideas that keeps on giving. Do you spread this out to dry before putting it into a container? Do you keep this in the refrigerator or pantry?

    Thank you for sharing.

    • I store mine in the pantry in a closed container. The mixture should be very dry when you are done, if it seems too wet, add more salt. So I put mine right in the jar, closed the lid and put in the pantry. That’s it!

  9. Thanks so much! I’m making these as Christmas presents for the in-laws!



  1. Homemade/DIY Gift Ideas: 18 Spices, Seasonings and Extracts | Boulder Locavore - […] Chile Pepper Salt {In Fine Balance}  […]
  2. Skillet Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes | infinebalance | infinebalance - […] tell the kids, but I still added a bit of spice. I’m addicted to this chili salt. You could …
  3. Fava Bean Hummus (Bissara) | infinebalance - […] This is a savoury and so soft and creamy spread. The beans combined with a generous amount of cumin …

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers