Smoked Chipotle Chiles

This is a recipe for homemade chipotle peppers, smoked in a smoker and either cooked with sauce and frozen or dried and stored with no sauce. Red jalapeno peppers are best for this recipe, but green ones can be used as well.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Smoking Time: 2 hours 30 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours



Prepare a smoker according to the manufacturer's directions, using the wood chunks and achieving a steady temperature of 275 to 300 F. Place the chiles directly on the smoker rack (or use a shallow disposable foil pan) at the cooler end of the smoking chamber or on the upper rack if your smoker has one. Lower the cover and smoke the chiles for 2 1/2 hours, or until they are soft, brown, and slightly shriveled.

Remove the chipotles from the smoker. In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine them with the chile puree, water, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and salt. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the sauce is very thick, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Transfer the chipotles to a covered storage container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before using. They can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 2 months.

Dried Chipotle Peppers: After removing the chiles from the smoker, place them on a rack and leave them, loosely covered, at room temperature, until crisp, light, and dry, 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the humidity. Store airtight at room temperature.

NOTES : Green jalapenos can be used, but red ones are more beautiful and have a deeper, sweeter flavor. Grow your own, or select chiles that are beginning to turn red; they will eventually ripen. (Those picked without any red at all in their peels will always remain green.)

Makes about 3 cups.

Recipe adapted from "Burning Desires" - W. Park Kerr


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