How to: Smoked Jalapeno Peppers


Chipotles are smoked jalapeno peppers, which are jalapenos dried in a smoker. While you can use your backyard smoker to make chipotles, you must first remove any traces of meat previously cooked in the smoker, or use a new smoker. It takes about 10 lbs. of fresh jalapeno peppers to make 1 lb. of chipotles. It also takes about two days to dry the jalapenos, and during this time you must keep your smoker stoked. The type of wood you use while smoking, as well as the smoking temperature, time and the quality of the original jalapenos, influence the final product.

Things You'll Need

  • Smoker
  • Charcoal and/or wood chips
  • Match
  • Vegetable brush
  • Paring knife
  • Wash the grill of your smoker or lidded kettle barbecue to remove any traces of meat. If not removed, the meat residue will impart an unpleasant flavor to the smoked jalapenos.

  • Prepare your smoker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Recommended woods include fruit and hardwoods, such as oak, pecan or hickory. If using a lidded kettle barbecue, build a fire on opposing sides of the grill. Place the peppers in the center of the grill, not directly over the heat.

  • Wash the peppers using running water and a stiff vegetable brush. Cut off the stems. Discard any soft or blemished jalapenos.

  • Place the jalapenos on the grill, in a single layer, not over a direct fire.

  • Cover the smoker, and keep the heat low, smoking slowly so the peppers don't burn. Allow a small amount of air to ventilate the smoker.

  • Maintain a low heat for about 48 hours, drying and smoking the peppers slowly. Move the peppers if they are over a direct fire. Allow the peppers to cool before storing. Freeze the cooled peppers if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Soak your wood chips in water before adding them to the charcoal.

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  • Photo Credit chilis image by Freeze Frame Photography from
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