Hardcore fans will always claim that there is no real substitute for cayenne pepper. That might be true, at least to some extent. However, there are situations in which when we are out of cayenne pepper and a quick reaction is needed.
Substitute For Cayenne Pepper
In those cases, there are few replacements that will act as substitutes. Each of them has its own advantages as well as its own flaws.
Even the smallest grocery stores in the United States are regular stock on the chili powder. Unlike the three flames of cayenne peppers, it carries only one flame on the Scoville heat scale. Most chili powders combine several spices such as garlic, cumin, or even in some cases cayenne.
Regardless, using chili powder instead of cayenne pepper will change the flavor of the food. It won’t be a radical change, but nonetheless, it will be different.
Red Pepper Flakes
Red Pepper flakes are considered to be the best substitute for cayenne pepper as they also come from the same pepper. As a result, they taste the same and bring the same health benefits. When used as a replacement, use bit more than the amount you would use if you had cayenne pepper at hand. Also, pepper flakes need a bit more time to bring the heat.
Chipotles are made with roasting jalapeno peppers. The end process is a spicy and smoky flavor that is very distinctive. They are sold ground into powder or whole. Chipotle powder is commonly found in Hispanic markets or within most larger grocery stores. The heat of jalapenos can vary.
Because of that, when you cook, you need to start with half of what you would usually use if you had cayenne pepper. Add more only after tasting the dish.
Using hot sauce as a replacement for cayenne pepper is recommended only for recipes in which the cayenne powder needs to be mixed with liquid ingredients. Four drops of hot sauce can replace a ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne.
On the other hand, hot sauce doesn’t go well with recipes in which the cayenne is required to be mixed with dry ingredients.
Red Chile Powder
Red chili powder is also a quite good replacement for cayenne pepper. Not all red chile powder is the same and it can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. There are sorts of complex tastes featuring all sorts of ingredients.
Make Your Own
In case nothing from the above is available, you can go old school and try to make something on your own. Assuming that you have some dry peppers lying around.
First of all, you need to cut out the stems of the peppers. To that end, you can use scissors. Afterward, you need to cut the pepper lengthwise and remove all the seeds. The last steps include grinding the peppers in a spice grinder, food processor, or blender.
This is far from the perfect substitute for cayenne pepper, but it will do the job just fine.
See also: Substitute For Chilli Powder