Is Chili Powder the same as Red Chili Pepper?

Chili Powder

Spicy food lovers did not bother the base of spices. People who want mild or low spicy food may prefer to select the less spicy species.

Chilies have a wide range of variety, but some are usable as a spice in dishes. They all vary in their taste and flavor. Chilli powder or cayenne powder and red chili pepper is different or not? Many of us are confused. So here I am to clear your confusion by discussing the fundamental difference between both of them.

Difference between cayenne powder and red chili powder

Cayenne powder is chili powder. Red chili powder has some addition of other spices, which compensate for its level of spice. Chili powders are commercially available in bottles. Both are red but have a difference in their flavors and astringency level. Chili powder mixed with other species is preferable by the fewer spice lovers as it has a mild spice level. Both give different colors to the dish but ranges in the tone of red.

Which is hotter in chili powder and red chili powder

Both have different levels of hotness. Many chili powders use hot powders in cayenne powder, and often some have a mixture of spices. If red chili powder used cayenne powder as the base and didn’t use any other ingredient, it will give extreme heat. However, the hotness level is more in cayenne powder between these two.

Can you substitute chili powder for cayenne pepper (and vice versa)?

If you are a spicy food lover, then you can easily substitute between both of them. But if you don’t want to have much hot and spicy food, then here are the few things you need to know before substitute both of them.

The difference in spiciness

Chili powder or cayenne powder is hotter than red chili powder. Scoville scale is used to measure chili’s spiciness, so cayenne chili powder ranks higher than the red chili powder, so if you replace or substitute red chili powder with cayenne powder, then your dish ends up with a hotter flavor.

Difference in taste

Every chili powder tastes differently and has variations in its hotness, spicy flavor, and many other factors. Cayenne or chili powder is hotter and intense in all of the species in the capsicum family. Commercially prepared chili powder is the mixture of many chilies, so they have an original cayenne chili flavor. At the same time, it is essential to keep in mind that red chili powder has many other spices.

Adjust your recipe

Both of them have significant differences, so you need to adjust your recipe ingredients accordingly. It also affects your dish’s taste, so you need to add other spices to compensate for the original flavor. Ensure that you use the correct amount to get the specific level of chili flavor in your dish.


Chili powder and red chili powder are both available in all grocery and online stores but make sure that you select according to your family’s taste. I hope now you understand the difference between chili powder and red chili powder.

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Linda DeCann is US based pursuing her career as brand ambassador. Previously she has helped hundreds of start-ups to build and retain customer’s base. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UT Austin in science and technology management. She has considerable research experience in food and nutrition’s, and enjoy writing food-nutrition’s articles for general readership. Linda’s passion is connecting with people through food and technology to help them to lead healthier, more balanced lives. Linda also loves cooking in her spare time, going out watching movies, reading books, staying active and writing fiction. Currently she is working with a new start-up Spicy Organic, they offer the best and high-quality organic spices and herbs sourced these ingredients directly from certified organic growers around the world.