How do you dry jalapenos

Dry chilies with the smoker.Make Chipotle yourself.

It is currently harvest time for chilli and usually more fruits fall off than you could use directly. So how do you best preserve your own chilies and stock up on a tasty supply? One method is smoking the pods. For example, it is very easy to make jalapeño make Chipotle yourself.

This year I grew chilies myself for the first time, namely the two varieties jalapeño and habanero. Jalapeño usually have a tolerable heat and a strong aroma. They are versatile and a very good accompaniment to meat dishes, for example as stuffed chilli pods. However, to make them last longer, they have to be dried. Since jalapeño is a thick-walled variety of chilli, it cannot be air-dried. Instead, you have to use aids such as the oven, a dehydrator or a smoker ...

Make Chipotle yourself

Smoked jalapeños are known as chipotle. Traditionally, they come from Mexico, where jalapeños originate. There they are smoked with mesquite wood and dried. Chipotle are used in many Mexican dishes - there are different variants: The dried jalapeño pods are ground into powder, used just like that or in a spicy tomato sauce (Adobo) as a side dish.

To make my own chipotle, I smoked the jalapeño with the Weber Smokey Mountain. The procedure is quite simple and there are actually only a few things to consider: You don't use water in the bowl (after all, you want to dry the chillies) and the exhaust air valve in the lid must be completely open so that the moisture can escape easily. The smoker should be constant between 50 and 70 degrees cooking space temperature to run.

The jalapeño are simply freed from the approach and cut in half lengthways so that they can dry out better. Then they come to Smokey Mountain laid out on baking paper. I only use the upper grate, as the heat is a lot higher on the lower grate. The reason for this is that there is no water in the bowl. On my first try, the chillies on the lower grid were noticeably drier than those on the upper grid. If I have a particularly large number of chilies to dry, I now simply make do with a second floor in the upper area.

Experience has shown that drying takes time eight to ten hours - At the end of the day you should check more often whether the chillies are not getting too dry. The chillies should be dry, but still a bit elastic. Depending on your taste, you can smoke all the time. The dried chillies then have a distinct smoky note at the end. In addition to mesquite, you can of course also use other types of wood, for example I have also had good experiences with beech and cherry.

Processing of the dried chillies

As already mentioned, the dry chillies can be used in a variety of ways: I either keep them airtight so that they can be freshly ground to powder if necessary, or I put them in tomato sauce. You can also roast them on the grill for a short time and then use them as a spicy side dish. It is best to use a vegetable basket so that the pods do not fall through the grate. If you want to fill the dried pods, you soak them in warm water for half an hour. This makes them more elastic again and they can be filled with cream cheese, for example.

In one of the next posts I will describe how you can cook your own hot sauce with the Habanero :)