Does chili powder belong in authentic BBQ sauce recipes? What is the actual definition of "chili powder"? Chili powder would, I suppose, literally mean powdered chili peppers. However, most commercially available products that are labeled as "chili powder" contain other things as well. Most notably cumin. In fact generally speaking, cumin is the prominent flavor in most "chili powders" that we have seen. We feel that cumin is better used in other ways than Q sauce unless you're going for that "southwest" flavor. As to pure powdered chili peppers, we haven't experimented enough to have an opinion. Have you? And what is your opinion?