Chili Flakes Vs. Red Pepper Flakes: Which One’s The Best?

For spicy addicts out there, this question must be quite daunting. Am I right? Truth to be told, there are so many varieties of chilis and peppers that we couldn’t even quite name all of them. All we care about is, “Does it give the right spice that we craved for?”

Still, we’re going to clear up the air by differentiating Chili Flakes between Red Pepper Flakes. The difference between the two is that Chili Flakes is made up of only one type of pepper while Red Pepper Flakes is a combination of more than one type of pepper.

We will highlight each of their characteristics, differences, and uses in different cuisines. Are you ready to satisfy your spice curiosity? Let’s begin!

What’s the Difference Between Chili Flakes and Red Pepper Flakes?

Below are the following differences that each of these spice contenders has. Let’s take a look and familiarize both of them.

Chili Flakes

Chili Flakes

ORIGIN: Chili flakes are normally made out of one type of pepper. Using just one type of pepper highlights the pepper’s taste and qualities as soon as you taste it. It usually uses the following types like chipotle chili flakes, Aleppo chili flakes, and Urfa Biber chili flakes.

COLOR: The majority of its color is just red since during the process the seeds are taken out from the chilis before it’s packaged and sealed. It actually varies from dark piping red to light hazy red. Depending on the chili that’s used the color will also differ.

TASTE: Surely there’s a heat to it. It’s just more on the milder side. It’s more mellow and sometimes sweet depending on the kind of chili that was used. Chili flakes are perfect for beginners who are trying to transition to eating spicy food without surprising their system.

USES: This can be used for everything that you could ever think of. If you want your salad dressing to have some kick, just add some chili flakes. Or you can also add it to sauces and a topping for pizzas and some savory dishes. A mellow kick is sometimes what a dish needs.

Red Pepper Flakes

Red Pepper Flakes

ORIGIN: Red pepper flakes are more complex since it’s mostly a mixture of more than one type of peppers. It could go from bell peppers, Fresno peppers, anaheim peppers, and even jalapeño peppers.

But by far the most in-demand in the market is the cayenne red pepper flakes. It’s totally a whole family of chilies packed in one go for this one.

COLOR: The color is different compared to Chili flakes. Red pepper flakes are a mixture of white and different hues of red. Consider that these are a mix of different kinds of pepper so the colors are more mixed.

Plus, the red pepper flakes retain the seeds after the drying process. Unlike the chili flakes where the seeds are thrown out.

TASTE: It could go from hot to hottest. The flavor and heat especially can get really intense because of the pepper seeds that are present in it. The seeds bring the heat from the peppers. The more seeds you have the spicier and hotter it gets.

To be on the safer side, you can always check the label when purchasing on how hot the red pepper flakes can get. If you like it light, pick the mellow ones and if you wanna go all out, then pick the hottest combo.

USES: first-timers, handle red pepper flakes with proper caution since the heat can be intolerable at times. Just like chili flakes, you can use this for any type of food or sauces.

Some pizzerias have red pepper flakes as a pizza and pasta topping. It’s also best when used for Chili Con Carne to add more heat to the dish. Try it as well with dips or glazes for chicken barbecue and buffalo chicken wings.

chili flakes


Can you substitute Chili Flakes and Red Pepper Flakes from one another?

Yes, you can. For example, if you’re making some buffalo chicken wings sauce, you would need 5 tablespoons of chili flakes to replace 3 tbsps of red pepper flakes.

When substituting red pepper flakes over chili flakes, you would need to double or triple the amount since chili flakes are less spicy than red pepper flakes. Or if you want the dish to be less spicy, opt for chili flakes and mix it with any dish you’d like.

When replacing chili flakes, you would only need a few red pepper flakes.

For example, if you only need 2 tbsps of chili flakes for your salad dressing, just substitute it with 1 teaspoon or a tablespoon of red pepper flakes.

To be safe, you can start with half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes then start from there. If you like some more heat, then that’s the time you’ll add more. Instead of ending up with a really spicy sauce or dressing.

Which one is Cheaper?

Both of them actually have cheap and expensive options. There’s not much difference when it comes to the price range.

It all depends on the brand, to be honest. Also, quality plays an important role in how chili flakes or pepper flakes are priced.

It all depends on you. When you shop, you can always opt for a cheaper brand without compromising the quality and confusing yourself whether or not you’re picking chili or red pepper flakes.’

Which one is the BEST?

As a fan of extremely spicy food, I would definitely go for red pepper flakes. My personal favorites are the Gochugaru Flakes or Korean Red Chili Pepper Flakes and Sonoran Spice Ghost Pepper Flakes. It’s a good investment if you’re constantly cooking and eating really spicy foods.

Just a teaspoon of these red pepper flakes can already make you feel like you’re in the pit of a volcano pit.

Aside from the fact that it’s really spicy, it also has a savory feel to it that adds more flavor to the dish. That’s the reason why I’m really hooked with it. You should try it, too.

Chilli flakes are actually not bad especially if you can’t tolerate heat that much. It’s perfect for a little kick to the food so it has some spice feel to it. But whatever your choice, always remember that moderation is still the key.

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