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Hot Pepper Spice Mix 14 Years In the Making (W / Pics)

tx smoker

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This has been mentioned a few times in different threads and a couple people have gotten to experience the results of a many-year project. This one goes out to my friends Steve ( Steve H Steve H ) and Joe ( xray xray ). As stated, this has been mentioned a few times but I was encouraged to post it in it's own thread to share the concept with other folks here.

So quite a few years ago we planted a bunch of hot pepper plants in the garden. Turned out we got a much bigger yield than anticipated. As the growing season was winding down I couldn't think of what to do with all the peppers we were getting. It was WAY more than I'd ever use just for cooking. Decided to dry them all, grind them up, and mix it all together in a bottle. Turned out to be a great idea!! Well, as the years went by I kept doing this. Every year we'd plant different pepper plants and whatever the garden yielded was added to the bottle. It changed every year, which added a bit of intrigue to the project. You just never knew what you were going to wind up with. Unfortunately this year we got absolutely nothing from the garden except a few arbol peppers. Spring and into Summer we saw more rain that we'd ever seen in this area. Then it turned blazing hot and not a drop of rain for months. The plants grew but no matter how much we watered (or didn't water) them, no peppers grew. Oh well...time to improvise. I managed to procure a huge bag of fresh cayenne peppers from our friends up the lake last Saturday when we went up to hang out on their dock. They managed to get cayenne peppers but that's all. Last week I went to a local farmer's market and grabbed a few other peppers so I could at least get something into the jar. It was getting dangerously low.

The bag of fresh cayenne peppers
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Here is the bottle with what's left after 14 years of adding stuff
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Got the peppers laid out.Jalapenos, serranos, habaneros, cayenne, and the arbol peppers which were previously dried
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Now it's time to cut off the stems and get them onto the dehydrator. Jalapenos
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Habaneros
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Serranos
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Cayennes
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In the past when I'd have a lot of peppers I'd grind them in the blender. Didn't have so many this time so I just used the little spice grinder and did several small batches. Here it is all dried and run through the spice grinder.
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It didn't do a very good job grinding up the peppers so I got out the grain strainer I use for making beer and ran the spice mix through it to get out all the bigger chunks. Here's what sifted through
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I used my fingers to grind the remaining larger chunks through the strainer. After about 20 minutes it was getting old. My fingers were rubbed raw and turning bright orange but I salvaged almost all of the peppers.
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Here is the plate of new stuff beside the jar. You can see the color difference I mentioned earlier
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Here is the new stuff added to the bottle but not mixed in yet. Again, this is to show how much it can vary from year to year
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All mixed up and ready for use. I didn't net much out of my efforts but with this stuff, a little bit goes a long way.
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A couple of recommendations if you decide to try this:
-If possible set the dehydrator on the stove top and turn on the hood vent. It gets quite aromatic
-Wear gloves when prepping the peppers.
-Wear gloves and a respirator when grinding the peppers
-Do not rub your eyes or touch your private parts with anything that's been in contact with the peppers. You'll be hating life :emoji_wink:
-If you're not a registered, certified pepper head, I'd recommend staying away from this one or at least use in strict moderation until you get used to it

This has been a lot of fun for a long time. The blend of peppers has a very deep, rich, aromatic flavor as well as a nice spice glow: ie: it'll set you on fire if you're not careful!! I love spicy stiff but it has to have flavor also. Being hot just for the sake of being hot is pointless, and this definitely packs the flavor!! Now, last year I did manage to get some ghost peppers to grow but they are in a separate container and not added to this. That just gets insanely hot for most people. To give an idea of what this is capable of, last year I substituted this for the cayenne in my rib rub which I make. The same amount of this was used as is called for with the cayenne but it was WAY too much. I tossed 3 racks of ribs I'd done for friends because they couldn't eat them. Ok, to tell the truth, I tossed what I didn't eat. Personally I was fine with it but not so much for the other folks.

Thanks for dropping in,
Robert
 

chopsaw

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Robert , looks awesome . I did this last year with all the peppers I grew . I used a combo of sweet , mild and hot . I agree , a mix of peppers makes great flavor . You got great color on that .
 

xray

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Thanks for showing the process, Robert that looks really good. I could only imagine how it tastes. I like hot with flavor but not hot for the sake of being hot like you said.

I have a big bag of whole anchos plus some pasillas and quajillos in my freezer. When I need chili powder, I usually toast them and then grind them up instead of using store bought chili powder.

I have a 9 tray excalibur dehydrator, it’s a beast. I should buy fresh peppers and dehydrate myself or smoke and dehydrate.

Thanks again!
 

Steve H

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I will tell you all this. The blend of spices that Robert mixed up is beyond words. It will light you up. But in a way that isn't just stupid heat. And no flavor. It has a great blend of both heat. And flavor. At my age. I'm no exhibitionist looking for a quick 5 minutes of fame by eating a rattle snacks ass and saying it's great. Robert should go in business with this.
 

xray

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No higher praise than that my friend!

Quick Hijack here. A friend gifted me these for xmas last year, I really enjoy them and use them quite a bit. Even my younger brothers ended up buying some.
12959AA9-2BFA-4443-8B2D-E92625B0DC88.jpeg


They might be worth trying for those who might be interested or have a hard time getting access to dried chiles.
 

Steve H

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No higher praise than that my friend!

Quick Hijack here. A friend gifted me these for xmas last year, I really enjoy them and use them quite a bit. Even my younger brothers ended up buying some.
View attachment 406435

They might be worth trying for those who might be interested or have a hard time getting access to dried chiles.
I've seen those spice sets around. I might get that too.
 

xray

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I've seen those spice sets around. I might get that too.
I think they’re $20 ordered from their website. I still have plenty left and they’re almost a year old, unless I don’t use enough, lol.

My only complaint is the flakes in the smoky bottle are kinda big, so they could be a little bit toothy when paired with a softer eating food...to remedy that, I just throw some in my grinder and make them a little bit finer.

My favorite one is the hatch valley green. One of my favorite uses is to add some flakes to a cup of chicken broth, which i like to do when cold or under the weather.
 

tx smoker

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Robert , looks awesome . I did this last year with all the peppers I grew . I used a combo of sweet , mild and hot . I agree , a mix of peppers makes great flavor . You got great color on that .
Wow!! Love the idea. Now you have me thinking about doing a batch of mild and sweet peppers mixed. That might be REALLY good and would probably have endless uses in cooking. Thank you for the idea and the kind words!!

Robert
 
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tx smoker

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I will tell you all this. The blend of spices that Robert mixed up is beyond words. It will light you up. But in a way that isn't just stupid heat. And no flavor. It has a great blend of both heat. And flavor. At my age. I'm no exhibitionist looking for a quick 5 minutes of fame by eating a rattle snacks ass and saying it's great. Robert should go in business with this.
Damn Steve....I love the stuff and figured you really liked it but had never thought about it in the terms you just described :emoji_laughing: Truth be told though, I want absolutely nothing to do with any food or food related products on a commercial scale, both from a restaurant standpoint or a production standpoint....but the praise is very much appreciated my friend. I just don't want something I enjoy doing turning into a job. When that happens, it's not fun any more :emoji_wink:

Robert
 

tx smoker

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Quick Hijack here. A friend gifted me these for xmas last year, I really enjoy them and use them quite a bit. Even my younger brothers ended up buying some.
Joe....as I've done with several of your threads, there's no hijacking :emoji_laughing: I love it when somebody expands a thread and it starts to go a different direction. This whole forum is about spawning new ideas and sharing other ideas. One thing you may want to consider for the coarser spices is to use a spice grinder. I've bought several things that come with a disposable grinder but I save them when the spices are gone. They get used for any number of things....ie: I took one that came with an Italian herb and spice mix and applied it for a completely different spice. I'd heard a rumor that Montreal Steak Seasoning is fantastic when ground into a much finer form and used on steaks. The flavors break down when ground and it adheres better to the steaks. Well guess what....it works!! It's become my go-to for steak seasoning now and it really makes a difference in the flavor.

Robert
 

chopsaw

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Montreal Steak Seasoning is fantastic when ground into a much finer form and used on steaks.
That's a great idea . I just bought another set of grinders . I know what's going in one of them .
The only plants I have producing this year are 3 green bells . After planting , a rabbit ate them down to nubs , 3 inch tall sticks . As a test I potted them with soil mixed with spent coffee grounds . They came back , and now are in the ground and almost 5 ' tall . Loaded with peppers . The rest are suffering .
I also leave some whole . Still have a gallon bag from last year .
 

xray

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Joe....as I've done with several of your threads, there's no hijacking :emoji_laughing: I love it when somebody expands a thread and it starts to go a different direction. This whole forum is about spawning new ideas and sharing other ideas. One thing you may want to consider for the coarser spices is to use a spice grinder. I've bought several things that come with a disposable grinder but I save them when the spices are gone. They get used for any number of things....ie: I took one that came with an Italian herb and spice mix and applied it for a completely different spice. I'd heard a rumor that Montreal Steak Seasoning is fantastic when ground into a much finer form and used on steaks. The flavors break down when ground and it adheres better to the steaks. Well guess what....it works!! It's become my go-to for steak seasoning now and it really makes a difference in the flavor.

Robert
I figured you wouldn’t mind! You just reminded me that I have a few of those McCormick disposable salt grinders laying in my spice cabinet. The plastic top comes off with a little hot water and elbow grease. Just don’t hold the grinder underneath you as you pull the top off or you could hit yourself in the face when the top pops. Been there, done that.

Now that I think of it, I’m going to combine a little of each of those 3 bottles of pepper flakes with some dried oregano, thyme, basil and rosemary, plus some dried minced onion and garlic.

Throw it all in a grinder for some spicy seasoning. Especially since all my fresh peppers went into vinegar.
 

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