Chipotle peppers are a type of chili pepper that is hotter than cayenne peppers. They are named after the city of Chipotle, Mexico.
Most people do not know that Chipotle peppers are basically ripened jalapeño chiles that have been smoked and dried.
Jalapeño’s are typically purchased green. But if left on the vine they continue to ripen to a red color.
Freshly picked red and green jalapeño peppers
These red Jalapeños are harvested and processed into chipotle peppers by smoking and drying them.
The chipotle is either ground into flakes or a powder form or processed as whole dried peppers in a rich, smokey flavored adobo sauce.
Chipotle’s are used in many Mexican and Tex Mex recipes. But are also used in other non Latino foods. Like this Chicken Chipotle Mac and Cheese.
Instant Pot Chicken Chipotle Mac and Cheese
The distinctive flavor of a chipotle is smokiness, but underneath the smoke and heat, chipotles are also sweet.
It’s the smoky flavor that makes chipotle’s very appealing for cooking with. It makes for a great dipping sauce as well. Like with this Loaded Vegetable & Meat Quesadillas With A Chipotle Dipping Sauce.
Loaded Vegetable & Meat Quesadillas With A Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Allowing the chiles to ripen on the vine to a deep red makes them much sweeter than their green counterpart.
Cooking With Chipotle Peppers
Chipotle peppers can be used fresh (though fresh they are actually red Jalapeños) or dried.
When using the peppers fresh, remove the stem and seeds before using. If using dried chipotles from a can that where processed in Adobo sauce, you will also want to remove the seeds and veins. *See Cooks Notes
Packaged Dried Chipotles
When using dried chipotle peppers, first remove seeds, then reconstitute them by rehydrating them in hot water for 10 minutes.
Capsaicin is the substance in a chili that actually makes it spicy or hot. Capsaicin is concentrated in a chile pepper’s seeds, veins, and pith.
If you can remove these, you will cook up a milder dish. If you can scrape off the innermost layer of flesh inside the chili, you will remove even more of the capsaicin.
Always wear gloves while working with hot chilies, and never touch your eyes while doing so.
If using dried smoked chipotle peppers, start by rinsing them under cold water to remove any debris.
If using canned peppers in adobo sauce remove the seeds and wipe off the sauce if recipe request so. The adobo sauce is often used as a marinade or a condiment.
If using ground chipotle pepper, simply add to your recipe as directed.
How Many Chilis To Use
When cooking with chipotles, you may ask, how many should I use?
Many recipes will call for one or two chipotles.
- One chipotle chile if diced is equivalent to approximately 1½ or 2 teaspoons
- 1 or 2 teaspoons puree chipotle is equivalent to 1 chile pepper in adobo sauce
No matter which way you use chipotle peppers when cooking, that is flakes, powdered, or chipotle in adobo, the flavor always will remain the same.
Many of us will typically reach for fresh chiles, a chili salsa or other condiments like sriracha or Tabasco to add heat to a cooked dish.
Chipotles In Adobo
But now you know about another chili or condiment you can add to your assortment: chipotles in adobo.
Recipes To Try With Chipotles
More Deliciously Yummy Recipes