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Chipotle Peppers spread out on wooden cutting board

How To Make Chipotle Peppers

Steven Pennington
Instructions on making authentic smokey chipotle peppers from scratch
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 4 d
Course Appetizer/Main Course
Cuisine South American

Suggested Equipment

1 BBQ Smoker - The Chipotles will smoke for hours at low temp on the smoker


Type Of Wood

  • Pecan Wood (traditional) (If a lot of bark is present, peel back or remove a part of the bark.) 1 stack

Peppers To Use

  • Jalapenos (Use as much as you like to make a quality of your choosing. 10 to 1 ratio on volume.) 1 bag


The Jalapenos

  • 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 #1
    The 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 #2
    Another method to freshness is using a food saver machine to remove the excess air. This will give your chipotles a longer shelf life.
  • Method #3
    Allow 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
Keyword How To Make Chipotle Peppers, What Are Chipotle Peppers
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