Chilli Powder vs. Chilli Powder

Like so many others, when I started out in BBQ, I spent my time scanning US BBQ sites for recipes I thought I could accomplish.

I still clearly remember the first night I cooked ribs. I’d followed the recipe to the letter, my timing was pretty fair and they certainly looked the goods. The family gathered around to taste the magnificence that I had created and………… THEY. WERE. NUCLEAR. Not just spicy, not hot, not even a chilli challenge, these things took your head off and promised you an even more challenging digestive event. I had successfully cooked three racks of perfectly inedible ribs. I was left red faced in more way than one and couldn’t understand what had gone wrong.

It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I stumbled across the root of the issue. US Chilli Powder is not the same as Australian Chilli Powder. In fact it is a weak, poor imitation, comprising a lot of different ingredients, most of which are far from being even remotely chilli like.

Some more research turned up a recipe to make up US chilli powder. We’ve tweaked it once or twice to suit our tastes. It’s not perfect, but has certainly pulled us out of a hole more than once.

Here it is

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons  garlic powder
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoon  chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon  onion powder

If you have any refinements or suggestions, please feel free to share in the comments.


Author: AJ

Complete BBQ tragic and committed collector of BBQs, particularly Webers. Even known to talk BBQ recipes in his sleep, AJ’s years of cooking triumphs and failures have left him completely convinced that BBQ is overthought.

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