Making Chipotles (Smoked Jalapenos)

Published

Introduction: Making Chipotles (Smoked Jalapenos)

About: I'm a writer, computer geek, photographer, game designer, foodie, glassblower, gemstone cutter, synth nerd, musician, woodworker and wannabe jeweler from Texas who has somehow ended up in frozen New England....

Chipotles (smoked jalapenos) are one of the best pieces of gear in a cook's arsenal. With them, you can deliver smokey heat with an undertone of pepper flavor, all in one spice. Unfortunately, your off-the-shelf options are chipotles in adobo sauce (good, but only if you are making something complimented by adobo sauce...), or really expensive spice jars.

If you have a smoker, however, you're a couple of dollars away from a superior spice that keeps forever in whole form, ready to be ground into powder or dropped whole into soups, stir-fries or braises. If you reconstitute a couple of them for an hour in warm chicken stock, you have a great base for tortilla soup. Powdered, they go into everything from taco filling to chili.

Step 1: Smoke!

Start with however many peppers fill up your smoker. I use a pound per shelf roughly (this batch included two poblano peppers that needed to be used up). If you want a sweeter pepper, use fully ripe (red) jalapenos. I prefer the green.

Set your smoker to 190 degrees F (88 C). While it comes up to temperature, soak your choice of hardwood chips (I like hickory and mesquite) in water.

This is an 18-24 hour process. I structure it so that I tend the smoker for the first 12-14 hours, then I add a bunch of wood and just let it sit overnight. If you don't want to leave your smoker going all night, transfer them to a sheet pan in an oven set to 190 degrees as well and let them dry in it overnight. They probably not absorbing a lot of flavor during the last 8 hours of the process anyway -- you're just getting rid of the last of the moisture.

Important: Do *not* let your smoker (or oven) get above 200 degrees. You do not want to *cook* the peppers, you want to *dry* the peppers.

The peppers are done when they've lost all their moisture.

Share

    Recommendations

    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest
    user

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.

    Tips

    Questions

    Comments