A Complete Guide to What Are Chipotle Peppers? Learn how to use chipotle pepper, control the spice level, and how to make your own chipotle peppers.
It is made from the Morita pepper from the city of Chihuahua, Mexico. The word Morita translates to the Spanish word "small mulberry." The chipotle Morita chiles are darker in color with a reddish-purple exterior.
The next type of pepper, the chipotle Meco chiles, is used all over South America. Also referred to as the ahumado chili, or tipico, and is grayish tan in color. Once the chipotle Meco chiles are smoked and dried, they have the appearance of a dusty-looking surface, looking like a cigar butt once smoked.
⬇️ Table of Contents
- 🌶️ What Are Chipotle Peppers?
- 👨🍳 What Do Chipotle Peppers Taste Like?
- 🌶️ Are Chipotle Peppers Spicy Hot?
- 🌶️ How Spicy Are Jalapeno Peppers?
- What's the Difference Between Jalapeño and Chipotle Peppers?
- What’s the Difference Between Green Jalapeño and Red Jalapeños?
- Where To Buy Dried Chipotle Peppers
- 🥗 Ways To Use
- 📖 Recipe Card
🌶️ What Are Chipotle Peppers?
Chipotle chile is jalapeño peppers that are slow-smoked until they become dried peppers.
Jalapenos are green during the growing season and turn red in the fall. In Mexico, red jalapenos are sold at a premium price.
They are used to make chipotle peppers and need to stay on the vine until they turn a deep red color and begin to dry out. An essential step to making homemade chipotle.
Producing Chipotles 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.
The peppers 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 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.
The traditional Mexican wood used for smoking jalapenos into delicious chipotles is mesquite. The slow, smoldering smoke from this wood gives chipotles their signature smoky flavor and makes them an essential ingredient in many Mexican dishes. For a richer smoke, you can also mix mesquite with other woods such as hickory or oak.
If you're interested in making your own homemade chipotle pepper, check out the how-to card at the end of this post.
👨🍳 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 whole chipotle pepper. And there are ways to control the spice level. One thing is for sure; they are not sweet bell peppers.
In the dried ground powder form, I find it to be spice-forward, and I would suggest being careful how much you add to a recipe. Take a small taste before using.
Recipe To Try: Homemade Chipotles In Adobo Sauce is an excellent and easy way to make chipotle peppers in adobo sauce at home. A classic ingredient of Mexican dishes, so good!
🌶️ Are Chipotle Peppers Spicy Hot?
Cooking with chipotle chile can be a chef's secret ingredient. The type of recipe that leaves your guests wondering, "What is the secret ingredient?" The concept that chipotles are always hot and spicy isn't completely true.
Cooking with these peppers, controlling the spice level lands on the cook's decisions before they begin.
On the Scoville Scale, chipotle peppers measure at 10,000–50,000 heat units, putting them on the low end of medium heat. This means that chipotle peppers are relatively mild compared to other chili peppers, making them an ideal option for those who want to add just a bit of spice and flavor.
Chipotle Pepper Tips:
- Decide on the recipe goal, examples: 1)-add a deeper depth of flavor, OR, 2)-increase the spice level.
- Remove the seeds and ribs if you want more flavor without the spicy heat.
- Working with dried peppers, you need to rehydrate them. Soak the dried peppers in hot water until soft. Wait 10 minutes, then remove the seeds, rib, and stem.
Tip: You can grind dried chipotle into a chipotle powder or paste. Warning: I suggest wearing a mask when grinding dried peppers; the mask helps you not to breathe in the spicy 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.
- Scoville Heat index: 2,500–10,000 (SHU)
- The most widely used chile pepper, the Jalapeno, is a medium-sized chili pepper. When mature, 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's the Difference Between Jalapeño and Chipotle Peppers?
Jalapeno peppers are chili pepper typically used fresh in salsa and other international cuisine dishes. They have a sharp, spicy flavor ranging from mild to very hot. Chipotle peppers are a type of smoked jalapeno pepper. They have a rich, smoky flavor and are often used in sauces, marinades, and spice rubs.
What’s the Difference Between Green Jalapeño and Red Jalapeños?
The difference between green jalapeño and red jalapeño lies mainly in their maturity. Green jalapeños are picked before they’ve fully matured and thus have a milder flavor and less heat than the red variety.
Red jalapeños are left on the plant longer and therefore tend to be hotter and more flavorful than the green ones. Chipotles, however, can be made from either type of pepper as long as it is smoked correctly.
Where To Buy Dried Chipotle Peppers
You can find dried chipotle peppers at most Mexican markets or online through retailers specializing in Latin American ingredients. When choosing peppers, look for deep red ones with smooth, shiny skin. Avoid peppers that are dull in color or have wrinkled skin, as these are signs of age and will result in a less flavorful product.
🥗 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
- 45 Types of Peppers | A to Z | Defined| Photos
- Traditional Texas Chili Recipe
- Instant Pot Chili
- King Ranch Chicken Casserole
- "Masters" Pimento Cheese
- Texas Sweet & Spicy Meatballs
📖 Recipe Card
How To Make Chipotle Peppers
Types Of Smoking Wood
- 1 stack Pecan Wood Pecan Wood (traditional) (If a lot of bark is present, peel back or remove a part of the bark.)
- 20 chips wood chips Wood chips can be used to add additional flavor. Experiment and see what you enjoy best. Ideas include, cherry wood, apple wood, oak wood, peach wood, hickory wood.
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°f to 200°f degrees.Place the red jalapenos peppers in the smoker 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 whole 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 State Mexico.
- Check Out Butter N Thyme's Adobo Sauce Recipe