I'm looking for something I can sprinkle on my food to add heat, but not change the flavor. I typically add salt to just about everything I eat anyway, so I am considering a spicy salt, however, if there is some other spicy "powder", that would be perfect. I have started using crushed red pepper flake, but it takes a fair amount to get the desired heat. When I do that, the flavor is still normally fine, but the pepper flakes make the food gritty, and I can feel the dried bits as I chew... it ruins the texture of the food. I've looked into pure capsaicin from an eye dropper, but that will be hard to spread over my wife's prepared dinners without adding too much heat. Any idea's?

  • To reduce the amount of 'grit', you can use crushed habañero flakes. Then you only need a small shake to get the heat that would require significantly more 'normal' crushed red pepper. But you typically want to mix them in and let it sit for a minute, then stir again so the heat isn't all in one place.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 18:30
  • You might like this: spicesinc.com/p-1576-habanero-hot-salt.aspx
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 12:32

3 Answers 3


Try mixing up some salt and cayenne powder into an old spice shaker. That should make life easier. Start with a low amount of salt and adjust up to your level of heat. If you end up putting it in a paprika container you may want to label it!

  • Thanks for the suggestion. I tried adding cayenne to a portion of my wife's orange chicken last night, and it worked well. I wish it was a little more flavorless, and had a bit of a quicker/faster burning heat, but I think if I mess with it, it's going to work well. Thanks for everyone's help! Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 17:13

Sprinkling powders or flakes made from hotter types of dried chili pepper (which you need to use if you dont want the end result tasting of paprika) directly over food will end up giving you a rather harsh type of heat.

Consider using a chili-infused oil, or actually cooking a finer ground dried chili in oil for a moment before adding the mixture to the food (be careful with the fumes). Capsaicin is oil soluble and tastes much better to most people if solute in oil.

Be careful experimenting with pure capsaicin (or >>100000 scoville peppers or preparations), it is actually considered a hazardous substance for a reason.


There are plenty of hot sauces that really don't taste like much but heat. That won't really have a noticeable texture at all, unless you're putting it on something dry.

Or, you can just get a hot chili powder and either use it by itself or mix it with salt. You might not want it too hot, since it's hard to sprinkle perfectly evenly, but in any case you can find a level of heat that works for you. You could also mix it with salt yourself if you like the spicy salt idea, and find a good ratio of salt and heat. Cayenne is probably the most common in the US, but there are plenty of other peppers out there, especially if you start looking at Indian stores.

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