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Chipotle 101

Chipotle 101

We love to use chipotle in our recipes. Our chipotle raspberry bacon and chipotle bratwursts are definitely popular items.  Chipotle delivers a spicy kick that can take any dish to a new level. Here is your rundown of what chipotle actually is and how you can use and enjoy it!

What It Is:

A chipotle is a smoke-dried jalapeño chili used primarily in Mexican, Mexican-American, Tex-Mex, and Mexican-inspired cuisine.

There are many varieties of jalapeños which vary in size and heat. When jalapeños are left on the vine for a long time they turn a deep red and have lost much of their moisture, these are selected to be made into chipotles. In a closed smoking chamber, they are spread out on metal grills. The jalapeños already have an underlying heat and this process helps add in a smoky taste as well. Chipotles are about 5,000 to 10,000 Scoville Units, which is considered a “medium” heat.

How To Use It

Chipotles have a relatively mild, yet earthy spiciness. The chiles are used in soups, stews, sauces, and various salsas. Chipotle chiles can also be ground up and combined with other spices to make a meat marinade known as an adobo. Chipotles are available dried whole, powdered, canned in “adobo sauce,” or pickled. 

How To Make Your Own Dried Chipotle Peppers:

  • Heat smoker to 275 to 300 degrees.
  • Remove the stems and place the peppers 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.  
  • 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. It should be 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the humidity.
  • Store airtight at room temperature.


When shopping for chipotles, try to find dried whole ones because you can do so much more with them than just the adobo sauce. If you need them hydrated, simply place a chili or two in hot water for about an hour then remove the stems. Keep the seeds if you want more heat in your pepper, or simply remove seeds to tone it down a bit.

If you have a recipe that uses hot peppers, definitely try swapping in chipotles.The smoky flavor and the pepper’s heat will add a lot to what you cook though, so be careful and don’t over do it. Be sure to taste test before you cook or season.

Don’t let a fear of the heat keep you away though. Most products made with chipotle are toned down, so if you’re not a big fan of HOT – you may still enjoy chipotle-flavored things. Check out our  Raspberry Chipotle Marinated Chicken Breast, Raspberry Chipotle Bacon, Raspberry Chipotle Brats, Chipotle Pepper Bacon, and Chipotle Pork Loin.