Author Topic: Homemade chipotle powder  (Read 4670 times)

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Homemade chipotle powder
« on: March 28, 2012, 10:34:24 PM »
There don't appear to be any threads on this subject, so I thought I'd share my latest attempt to make use of my usual bumper crop of jalapeno peppers. This was my first attempt, and my results tell me it's a no-brainer. I'll keep this simple enough even I can follow it.

Chipotle "chili" powder can be made with any reasonably hot pepper. Jalapeno is traditional, but pablano, Serrano, probably even hot wax peppers will work. The thing that makes it chipotle is the smoke.

Note of caution: I thought I was going to be cool and use a barrier skin cream to protect my hands. Conclusion: wear gloves!

The first thing, of course, is to pick and wash your peppers. With jalapenos, it doesn't seem to matter if they are green, orange or red, as long as they are no overly ripe, or rotting (duh!). A little weather checking doesn't hurt anything.



Next step is to remove the stem ends and split them lengthwise. I removed the seeds and membrane to reduce (I thought) the heat, and make the powder more versatile. If you don't clean them out, I would suggest reducing any recipe calling for the powder to 1/4 what's called for!

I loaded the cleaned peppers onto the racks in my portable smoker. I won't go into the whole "how to smoke" dissertation...I'm assuming anyone attempting this has smoked other stuff before. But this is going to be a looong smoke, so I'll suggest using smoking pellets. The "sawdust" sold for use in small smokers is meant to be used dry, and might last 45 minutes per pan, if you're lucky. Smoking pellets are made like pellet stove pellets, highly compressed. I used Lil' Devil pellets because I have about 200 pounds left over from when I was a distributor, but feel free to use Traeger, or any other hardwood pellet made for smoking. Here's the racks, ready for business.


To get the desired result, you need to smoke the peppers somewhere between 12 and 20 hours. I got good results with only two loads of pellets. The first tray lasted about 4 1/2 hours, and I reloaded it about midnight. By 9:00 am the next morning, the peppers were thoroughly smoked.


Now you have your smoke flavor, but it's doubtful the peppers are dry enough to grind. Any that are the least bit pliable need to be dried further. You can put them on racks in a 150 degree oven (not on a cookie sheet) and leave them over night. I used my dehydrator, set on 150 degrees, and it took another 12 hours to turn them crisp.

Then it was just a matter of grinding them into powder. Unless you don't breathe very often, or can hold your breath a really, really long time, I'd suggest wearing a dust mask, as a minimum. You're dealing with pepper spray in powder form! The air borne capsicum will clear out sinuses you didn't know you had.

Presto! The resulting chipotle power ready for spicing up any dish you want.


Yeah...that 3 pounds of peppers yielded 4.8 oz of powder. Since 1/4 to 1 teaspoon goes in each recipe, this will last me through the winter, for sure.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 10:56:04 PM by Old Philosopher »
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 10:41:37 PM »
I suspected this might involve a dehydrator.

I've got a little smoker with an offset fire box that is just awful at temperature regulation. It's either woefully inadequate, or way too hot. I'm hoping to get a little canister smoker one day. I could have used some of that powder yesterday when I made a batch of "beef carnitas" since the store had no pork roasts. I used canned chipotles in adobo instead.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 10:51:23 PM »
The dehydrator was not a necessity. Like I said, if the smoker didn't dry them enough, you could use your oven. If I had continued to dry them in the smoker, which I certainly could have done, it just would have taken 3x longer. Juicy lil' buggers! However it's done, they obviously need to be crisp dry to grind into a powder.

If it were possible to have fine screens in a smoker, the peppers could be diced before smoking and greatly speed up the process.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 10:53:26 PM by Old Philosopher »
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 01:38:36 AM »
Do you use a coffee grinder or food processor to grind them? I have a coffee grinder that is the blade type. I'm considering getting a burr grinder for the coffee and re-purposing the blade grinder as a spice grinder.

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 09:41:05 AM »
A regular coffee grinder might not work, but worth a try. I have three grinders. One is a Bunn spice grinder that will chew up just about anything, including nutmeg nuts! The other is a Magic Bullet with interchangeable blades. When all else fails, I break out the VitaMix blender which is also the one I use to grind whole grain into flour.
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Offline Gryphon

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 11:01:53 AM »
Nice!

What kind of smoker is that?  Really like the setup with the racks.  I smoke in my Weber kettle for now.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 11:09:04 AM »
Nice!

What kind of smoker is that?  Really like the setup with the racks.  I smoke in my Weber kettle for now.
It's a Big Chief top-loader. I like the top load model, because I can cold smoke cheese with it. Can't do that with a front loader, as far as I know. It's good for just about anything. All the racks are removable, of course, and you can even hang medium sized sausages from the top rack frame.
With fish, you can use the racks for filets, or hang the whole fish.
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Offline Smokewalker

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 12:44:40 PM »
Nice!

What kind of smoker is that?  Really like the setup with the racks.  I smoke in my Weber kettle for now.
It's a Big Chief top-loader. I like the top load model, because I can cold smoke cheese with it. Can't do that with a front loader, as far as I know. It's good for just about anything. All the racks are removable, of course, and you can even hang medium sized sausages from the top rack frame.
With fish, you can use the racks for filets, or hang the whole fish.
I can Cold Smoke in just about anything from a Weber Kettle to my Stick burner I smoke Cheese, Salt, I've even done Butter. Not trying to Hijack your thread OP that is a good way to preserve a large harvest. the grinding is best done outside too. :'(
"Theres allot of learnin under this hat son." "Boy use what ya kin see and quit tryin a see what ya kin use." Grand pa Jesse- A real Cowboy

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 12:59:56 PM »
I can Cold Smoke in just about anything from a Weber Kettle to my Stick burner I smoke Cheese, Salt, I've even done Butter. Not trying to Hijack your thread OP that is a good way to preserve a large harvest. the grinding is best done outside too. :'(
Roger on the outdoor grinding!
No hijack going on! I throw these things out for discussion.
I'd love to know how you smoke butter. <staring in wide-eyed bewilderment>
I've added a couple drops of Liquid Smoke to clarified butter before, but that's as adventurous as I get.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 01:09:18 PM »
Bumped for new members, since we seem to be discussing peppers in several other threads.
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Offline zammer

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2014, 08:37:20 AM »
I'm only two yr's late to this party...lol

Anyhoo, this is a cool little tutorial OP...thanks for the warnings as well  :cheers:
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2014, 09:30:56 AM »
I'm only two yr's late to this party...lol

Anyhoo, this is a cool little tutorial OP...thanks for the warnings as well  :cheers:
Thanks, Zammer. Glad you enjoyed it.
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Offline Dano

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Re: Homemade chipotle powder
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2014, 01:53:48 PM »
I can't believe how much they shrunk!  Holy cow, that's a lot of moisture content that I never realized was there!!