Chipotle seasoning goes with everything! You’ve got a steak? Rub it with chipotle. Chicken? Marinate in chipotle. Making soup? Bang some chipotle in there.
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It has such a wonderfully smokey and peppery taste. It’s an amazing way to add a bit of heat to a dish without completely overpowering the rest of the flavors.
In this article, we’re going to show you how to make chipotle seasoning and give you a bit of context on the dish itself.
What are Chipotle Peppers?
Chipotle is commonly used in Mexican or Mexican inspired dishes. It is a hugely popular seasoning made from smoked and dried jalapeno peppers.
Jalapenos stay green for most of the growing season. For chipotles, the peppers are left on the vine until the fall when they turn red. Red peppers are fully ripened and are drier than their green counterparts.
The smoking process is carried out in an open smoker using pecan firewood. The peppers are smoked for about 6 days to completely dry them out.
The smoker needs to be maintained at a temperature of about 150°F -167°F this takes an awful lot of firewood!
After this, the peppers are placed in a closed smoker and spread on metal grills. More recently, gas dryers have been used to try and streamline the process.
In the closed smokers, the peppers are reduced to 6% of their original moisture content by the smoke and prolonged heat. This process can also take several days.
By the time the peppers are ready, they weigh a tenth of what they originally did. However, they now have a wonderfully rich and deep smokey flavor.
After the smoking and drying processes, the peppers are shriveled and blackened. They can be crushed or added to dishes to release their flavors.
Using Chipotle Seasoning
Once you’ve made your seasoning you can use it straight away. It is mostly a case of mixing dried ingredients so there is no cook time for the seasoning itself.
The seasoning is a dry seasoning meaning it can be rubbed into the skin of meat or combined with liquids to make a marinade.
The recipe below makes enough for a good few meals. You can scale the recipe up to make a batch of seasoning.
The great thing about the seasoning is that the ingredients are all dried. This means that you can store it for months. If you pop it in a jar you can have chipotle seasoning on hand for up to 4 months.
If you really grind the ingredients to a fine dust, you can sprinkle it on a huge range of things from popcorn, soft cheeses, crackers, and other sundries.
You can also use chipotle seasoning to create an adobo sauce which you can then marinate your meat in. The chipotle seasoning gives a delicious smoky, earthen flavor to the adobo which goes so well with pork, beef, and poultry.
Storing Your Seasoning
Once you’ve made the seasoning you’ll want to keep it in an airtight container. This could be an old seasoning jar, a mason jar, or a zip lock bag.
You should keep the seasoning somewhere dry to avoid it clumping together. If your kitchen is really humid, try keeping it away from the stove.
Pestle and mortar
- ½ tbsp Crushed Chipotle Pepper
- 1 tbsp Chipotle Chili Powder Note: Any chili powder will do.
- 1 tbsp Paprika Powder
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- ½ teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
Use a pestle and mortar to grind up your chipotle pepper. You want to get it somewhere between a powder and small flakes.
If you’ve bought crushed chipotle peppers you can skip this step.
Add your dried ingredients to a bowl. It doesn’t matter what order you do this in.
Mix the ingredients thoroughly with a spoon.
Store in an airtight jar or sealable bag. The seasoning will keep for up to 4 months.