Complete Guide To What Are Chipotle Peppers? Learn how to use chipotle peppers, control the spice level, and how to make homemade chipotles. Made from the Morita pepper from the city of Chihuahua, Mexico.
The word Morita translates to the Spanish word "small mulberry". The Morita pepper is darker in color with a reddish-purple exterior.
The next type of chipotle pepper, the Meco pepper, is used all over South America. Also referred to as the ahumado chili, or tipico, and is grayish tan in color. Once smoked, they have the appearance of a dusty-looking surface, looking like a cigar butt once smoked.
⬇️ Table of Contents
🌶️ Chipotle Peppers
Chipotle peppers are jalapenos that are slow-smoked until they become dried.
Jalapenos are green during the growing season and turn red in the fall. In Mexico, red jalapenos are sold at a premium price.
Jalapeno peppers used to make chipotle peppers need to stay on the vine until they turn to a deep red color and begin to dry out. An important step to making homemade chipotles.
Producing Chipotle peppers takes a few days to complete. When making chipotles, the rule is to work on a 10-to-1 scale.
Every 10 pounds of smoked dried jalapenos will amount to 1 pound of smoked chipotle peppers.
The jalapenos smoke for days until the moisture has been removed. Over the first 3 days, the red jalapenos will decrease 88% to 81% in size.
When the chipotle peppers are completed, the moisture level will reach a value of around 6%.
The process of smoking chipotle peppers dates back to the Aztecs. Aztecs invented the process of preserving chili peppers/chile peppers.
If you're interested in making your own homemade chipotle peppers, check out the how-to card at the end of this post.
🌶️ Are Chipotle Peppers Spicy Hot?
Cooking with chipotle peppers can be a chef's secret ingredient. The type of recipe that leaves your guests wondering, "what is the secret ingredient"? The concept that chipotle peppers are always hot/spicy, isn't completely true.
Cooking with chipotles peppers, controlling the spice level, lands on the decisions the cook makes before they begin.
Chipotle Pepper Tips:
- Decide on the recipe goal, exampes: 1)- add deeper-depth of flavor, OR, 2)- increasing the spice level.
- If you want more flavor without the spicy heat, remove the seeds and rib from the chipotle pepper.
- Working with dried chipotle peppers, you need to rehydrate them. Soaking the dried chipotle peppers in hot water until soft. Wait 10 minutes, then remove the seeds, rib, and stem.
Tip: You can grind dried chipotle peppers into a powder, or paste. Warning: I suggest wearing a mask when grinding dried peppers, the mask helps you not to breathe in the chipotle pepper air particles.
🌶️ How Spicy Are Jalapeno Peppers?
The method to determine the spice level of pepper or chile is done using the Scoville scale. The jalapeno isn't super spicy and is considered medium-low in the way of spiciness.
- heat index 2,500–10,000 Scoville Units
- most widely used chile pepper the Jalapeno is a medium-sized chili pepper, mature it is 2–3½ inches long and is commonly picked and consumed while still green, occasionally it is allowed to fully ripen and turn a beautiful crimson red. One of the most, if not the most common chiles in the United States, it is a staple of many tailgates.
Want to learn more about Jalapeno Peppers?
Visit our post: How Hot Are Jalapeno Peppers
👨🍳 What Do Chipotle Peppers Taste Like?
Smokey, fruity, and bold with a peppery finish. When using dried chipotle in its whole form, the smell is going to remind you of BBQ and grilling out. The pleasant smokiness is the key characteristic of the chipotle pepper. And there are ways to control the spice level.
In the dried ground powder form, I find it to be spice forward and I would suggest being careful how much you add a recipe. Take a small taste before using.
Recipe To Try: Homemade Chipotles In Adobo Sauce
🥗 Ways To Use
- Remoulade/flavored mayo
- Blood mary drink (award-winning concept)
- Hollandaise sauce
- Tomato/Roma sauce
- Soup bases
- BBQ dry rubs
Baked good like bread or cornbread recipes
📋 Recipes To Try
- Homemade Adobo Sauce
- Traditional Texas Chili Recipe
- Instant Pot Chili
- King Ranch Chicken Casserole
- "Masters" Pimento Cheese
- Texas Sweet & Spicy Meatballs
📖 Recipe Card
Type Of Wood
- 1 stack Pecan Wood (traditional) If a lot of bark is present, peel back or remove a part of the bark.
Peppers To Use
- 1 bag Jalapenos Use as much as you like to make a quality of your choosing. 10 to 1 ratio on volume.
- The jalapenos need to completely ripen before beginning the process.The jalapenos need to ripen to the point they have turned red in color. If you grow your own jalapenos, you can ripen them on the vine for max favor.If using store-bought jalapeno peppers. To ripen them further, place them on the counter in the open air to allow the denaturing process to continue. The jalapenos will change in color to orange and red. Have you ever noticed this at the grocery store? Looking at the jalapenos, a few already turned orange/red.
Smoking The Jalapenos
- The process takes days to complete. The goal is to smoke the jalapenos at a low enough temperature to remove the moisture. Around 180 to 200 degrees.Place the red jalapenos on a flat surface inside the smoker. Make sure the surface allows smoke to penetrate, like a grill grate. The jalapenos will smoke for days until most of the moisture is removed. Over the first 3 days, the red jalapenos will decrease from 88% to 81% in size. By the end, and how you'll know you're done, the moisture level will reach a value of around 6%. Once to 6% remaining moisture, you will have Chipotles.Key Tip: Every few hours the red jalapenos need to be turned over in the smoker.Time-Saving Tip: you can speed up the process by beginning with smoking the jalapenos for a few hours to impart the smokey flavor. Then finish using a food dehydrator to remove the excess moisture.
How To Store Chipotles
- Method #1The classic method of preserving chipotles is using adobo sauce. The sauce has the perfect ingredients to keep the flavor and stop spoilage. Below within the Note section, you can find our amazing adobo sauce recipe.
- Method #2Another method to freshness is using a food saver machine to remove the excess air. This will give your chipotles a longer shelf life.
- Method #3Allow the chipotles to rehydrate in water. You can then puree them and store them in glass jars in the refrigerator.
- There are over a hundred types of jalapenos in the world.
- Classic chipotle pepper originated in Chihuahua Mexico.
- Chipotle Morita is the name given to the peppers produced in Chihuahua Mexico.
- Check Out Butter N Thyme's Adobo Sauce Recipe