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smoked jalapenos

Discussion in 'Fruit, Nuts & Vegetables' started by sweenner, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. sweenner

    sweenner Fire Starter

    I was hoping that someone could help me with a question I have. I have a large quantity of red and green jalapenos that we just harvested yesterday. I would like to make chipotles with them, but have come across some conflicting methods. I was just wondering if anyone has done this before, and if so are you cold smoking/dehyrdating them? or are you just running them in a smoker (if so, at what temperature)

    I was also wondering if there is a difference in smoking green versus red peppers .. and if there is, is it possible to ripen a picked green to red? I have seen layered on newspaper, or in a paper bag, but have never tried it. I am hoping that with the wealth of knowledge amongst the members here, someone either has done it before .. or can point me to a thread that might answer some questions I have.

    Thanks in advance everyone!
  2. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've done some in the past and the best way I found to get them dry enough was to do one of the following

    Make a slit on the side of the pepper or cut off the stem cap.  the moisture needs to escape

    Lay them in the smoker and smoke them at 120 or so until they reach the desired dryness you want.  Keep in mind, you won't be able to tell how dry the pepper really is until it is completely cooled off.  This could be 24-36 hours depending upon the peppers and atmospheric conditions.  Also, no water in the "water pan", you want a dry atmosphere in the pit.

    Another option is to cold smoke(<100 degrees) for 24 hours or so and then dehydrate in a dehydrator, slit in the side or cap cut off here as well..  

    A word of caution, DO NOT dehydrate them inside of your house!  You'll run everyone out of the place...
  3. smoking4fun

    smoking4fun Smoke Blower

    I've smoked them a few times - for different plans.  My first idea was to make some smoked jalapenos to replace the pickled jalapenos that I could use in recipes (such as meatloaf, salsa,, on top of nachos, etc.).  For these, I smoked at about 180* for 2-3 hours, depending on how soft I wanted them.  I also wanted to make smoked jalapeno powder - so I smoked them at 140* for 3-6 hours to make sure that I got plenty of smoke on them before drying them out in a dehydrator (then using a burr grinder or spice grinder to grind them into a powder).  Keep in mind that most dehydrators also use heat to help remove the moisture, and it may be higher heat than your smoke temp.  Also, I'd recommend putting the dehydrator in the garage, because if you keep it in the kitchen, the combination of smoke particles (not in a good way - caused us lots of allergy sneezes) as well as "airborne capsasin" (you know, that burning when you sniff hot peppers when cutting them) makes for alot of unconfortableness.  For both of these, types of smokes, I wanted the heat to be enough to soften them without cooking them (or cooking them quickly so they don't get any smoke).  The lower the temp, the longer you can keep them in the smoke...but the longer it takes for them to soften up.

    I'm not sure about ripening them up in a bag from green to red - that's not quite my area of expertise.
  4. sweenner

    sweenner Fire Starter

    Thanks for info. Will an MES generate smoke at 120°?

    And I learned the hard way about pepper spraying the house ... I have both dehydrated inside, and after drying ghost chilies, taken a face full of powder while opening the grinder. Needless to say, I am much more cautious these days when processing peppers of any kind (and my wife insists that I do it in the garage now).
  5. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use one of these in the kitchen now and then when grinding the peppers.  The wife goes shopping.

    sweenner likes this.
  6. sweenner

    sweenner Fire Starter

    So I guess, from what I am gathering, if I keep this VERY low and slow (120°ish) I should be running about 24 hours to do a batch of peppers.

    My only concern is keeping smoke going at that temp in my MES.
  7. smoking4fun

    smoking4fun Smoke Blower

    If you've got an AMNPS (or other Amazen product), smoke generation for such an extended period should not be a problem.  Smoke from the MES smoke box probably won't happen.
  8. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nope, the MES won't do it.  The Amazen smoke tube or tray would be the best route IMO.
  9. sweenner,

    I have grown jalapenos for several years and have smoked them hot and cold.

    In July I smoked them for 2-3 hours in the Lang with pulled pork at 250* slit open like CrankyBuzzard said to do used hickory for smoke.  Dried them in the sun, put them in a coffee grinder...BINGO...the beginnings of Teddy's Diablo Dust.

  10. sweenner

    sweenner Fire Starter

    So to give an update. I was gifted a cold smoker for my MES, and so far really like it. After a good seasoning/trial run, I sealed up all the spots where the precious smoke was getting out. Just did 4 racks of ribs this past weekend with a nice cherry apple chip blend. Filled the cold smoker a bit below half way, and got about 3 hours of TBS.

    I am planning on using it tonight and doing a bunch of peppers I have...I am thinking 240-250 for a few hours. And using hickory wood chips.

    I have dried peppers in a dehydrator, is I am guessing I am looking for the same consistency. Will post some pics as the adventure unfolds.
  11. jd4jc

    jd4jc Newbie

    I have been making jalapeño and habañero powder for years, but never tried smoking either. We have just harvested a modest crop of jalapeños, and I plan to smoke them with our MB cold smoke accessory. The plan is to coarsely chop them and hickory smoke them for 2-3 hours on a silicone cooking grid sheet in the MES with no heat, then to dehydrate them to grinding consistency and finish them in our flour mill and enjoy chipotle powder along with the other pepper powders.

    Also, I'm going to dehydrate and mill eight ghost peppers, although I'm somewhat wary of their potency, ~1,000,000 Scoville Units vs. ~8,000 for jalapeños! (see Wikipedia). The first time I dehydrated jalapeños, I left three trays of halved peppers in the dehydrator overnight in our kitchen. When I came down to check on them the next morning, the airborne capsaicins literally dropped me to my knees, just like (I suppose) being "Maced"! Learning to take all this processing outdoors, I then decided to use our flour mill to make powder of the dried peppers, after mincing them up in a food processor. As luck would have it, a gust of wind gave me a facefull of the fine jalapeño powder!

    I'm now much more cognizant of the wind conditions, and plan to use a face shield when the ghost peppers are being milled!
  12. sweenner

    sweenner Fire Starter

    So I have to say that the first run was overall a success. I uploaded a couple of pictures, before and after. What I ended up doing was a hickory smoke for about 5 hours, and then let my MES do its thing low and slow for the next 19. I ran at about 200F for the duration, and apart from a couple of smaller peppers that were a bit more done...everything came out quite well.

    The cold smoke box from MB works great, once you seal it all up. I am still working on a couple small spots, but it's leaps and bounds better than when if came out of the box.

    I will say that if you have the room to run a dryer vent or something between the two, do it. When it first gets going the smoke is pretty heavy, and it takes a bit for the TBS to get going. But once it does...it holds it for the duration.
  13. scottma

    scottma Smoke Blower

    Any pictures of the final results? I have a bunch of jalapenos that will need to be picked soon before it gets too cold.  I have a bunch of fresh ones vac sealed and in the freezer but wanted to try something else.
  14. sweenner

    sweenner Fire Starter

    Sorry about that, thought they had been uploaded. I am actually doing my second batch this weekend. My boss was so impressed he gave me a bag full out of his garden to do for him.

    Overall I am quite happy, and look forward to trying some cheese soon. One thin I will note, I won't slit the whole pepper on future smokes, a slit from the stem half way down the pepper should be more than enough.
  15. sweenner

    sweenner Fire Starter


    What peppers do you use for your Diablo Dust? I was given a variety of peppers today from a coworker that includes ghost, habenaro, cayenne, thai, some little guys that he says are "crazy hot".....and a couple Carolina reapers.

    Not sure what I'm going to do with them, but I'm thinking that drying them first is a must (and probably best done outside).
  16. Sweenner,

    Just jalapeno's and cayenne hot enough for my taste,