Author Topic: Smoked Chili Peppers  (Read 1713 times)

FunkedOut

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Smoked Chili Peppers
« on: September 12, 2015, 07:57:37 PM »
The Story
I love the taste of chipotle peppers.  they are nothing more than smoked, ripe jalapeņos.
From a young age, my love of heat has taken me on a journey seeking more heat than can be provided by the modest jalapeņo .
On that journey, I found that I like the taste of habanero peppers much more than jalapeņos.
So I thought, why not make my own habanero "chipotle?"

Fast forward to today, where I am making a batch of smoked peppers with a crop of Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers.  The taste is very similar to a habanero, even through they physically resemble a Bhut Jolokia, aka Naga Jolodia or Ghost pepper .
It seems hot peppers record breaking levels are advancing at a rate that is hard for me to keep up with.  My crops are usually a year to two behind in terms of what is currently listed in the Guiness book of world records.  I was reading about the Trinidad while growing Red Savina Habaneros, and now that my Trinidad plants are thriving, a new record holder has assumed the throne, the Carolina Reaper.
At any rate, these Trinidad peppers pack quite a punch and have a wonderful flavor and aroma.

The Smoke
Today also marks my first use of a new AMNPS 5x8 (https://www.amazenproducts.com).  I just received this unit and wanted to give it a go.  I used the pitmasters choice pellets included with the smoker tray, as I had read reviews on this board that these they are starved for oxygen in our smokers due to lack of airflow.  I was not sure if it would work and wanted to minimize my risk on investment.  I am happy to say, that it worked perfectly in my smoker, blown with the 23cfm fan.  One row of the MAZE lasted 4 hours, producing plentiful smoke from beginning to end.

The Setup
The fan was blowing into the bottom rear of the smoker.
I put the SI smokebox in place, but it was empty.
I placed the AMNPS on the floor, at the front of the smoker, to the right of the SI smoke box.
I inserted the SI cold smoke plate in the lowest position.
I positioned the meat probe below the cold smoke plate, on the left of the SI smoke box.
I used the Auber to monitor temps, but did not power the SI element.
I used the Q-MATZ from amazonproducts to keep the peppers from falling through the grates.  I've had these for a few years and they have held up great.  They are just like new, although I only use them for this purpose; cold smoking.

The Experience
I filled two grates with peppers and placed them the top two positions.
About 2/3rds of the peppers were frozen, as I harvest and freeze until I have enough for a batch.
This made the top, cold smoke chamber drop quickly to 55F, while the ambient temp was 88F.
4 hours later, the top chamber was at 104F while the lower chamber with the AMNPS hit 116F.
I can see this setup working perfectly in the winter, but may need ice bottles up top for cheese any other time around here.

The Recipe
I take the peppers (smoke is optional), rough chop them and fill quart size mason jars.  Each jar gets 2 tablespoons of sea salt.  Then I snug brand new lids and boil the jars for 20 minutes to sterilize the contents.  Upon removing the jars from the boiling water, I tighten the lids and label them with pepper variety, smoke? and date.  They then go into those two cabinet doors above the fridge for at least a year to ferment.  This really develops the flavor and unfortunately lowers the heat.  This is the main reason  I go to great lengths to start with the hottest pepper I can.  The last batch of hot sauce I made fermented for 8 years; Red Savina Habanero.
When the time is right, I crack open a jar, and mix with 5% acidity white vinegar.  Liquify, strain and bottle.
3 Ingredients: peppers, vinegar, salt.  Delicious and requires no refrigeration.

The Pictures
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 08:01:34 PM by FunkedOut »
Joe, in FL
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gregbooras

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Re: Smoked Chili Peppers
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2015, 08:06:39 PM »
Joe,

I love chipotle peppers and had no idea the were just smoked jalapenos.....

Also, thanks for the recipe and the detail in the process of making the peppers.

Like you I like to post a recipe that others can duplicate and even sometimes improve on.

Looking forward to the pictures.

Thanks Greg

FunkedOut

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Re: Smoked Chili Peppers
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2015, 11:17:03 AM »
Good deal, Greg.  Glad I could share something of interest.
Joe, in FL
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DivotMaker

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Re: Smoked Chili Peppers
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2015, 08:04:39 PM »
Whoa, Joe!  I started sweating while reading your description, but had a melt down when I saw the pics!  I have a friend I thought of, when I read your text.  He was the same way, and started a garden with every level of pepper, in order to "train" his taste buds!  He made it to Habanero, but never past that.  I was still in awe... :o
Tony from NW Arkansas
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FunkedOut

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Re: Smoked Chili Peppers
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2015, 10:00:48 PM »
I usually wait until the house is empty to chop these peppers.
If I chop them while anyone else is home, the coughing starts as soon as I open the lid on food processor.
I've been known to make due in the garage, but it's been real hot lately.
No matter what, gloves are a must!

Here's a short scale off the top of my head for reference:

Scoville UnitsPepper Variety
          500Bell
       1,000Poblano
       5,000Jalapeņo
   100,000Cayenne
   250,000Average Habanero
   577,000Red Savina Habanero
1,000,000Bhut Jolokia
1,200,000Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
2,200,000Carolina Reaper
Joe, in FL
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DivotMaker

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Re: Smoked Chili Peppers
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2015, 08:40:33 PM »
I like you, Joe, but there may be something very wrong with you. :o   LOL!   ;D ;D ;D
Tony from NW Arkansas
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jcboxlot

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Re: Smoked Chili Peppers
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2015, 09:04:52 PM »
+1  haha
Smokin It #2.  Weber Genesis. Old Smokey charcoal.  Work from home antique tool dealer and living the dream.  Dad, Husband, Cook.  John~York PA

AlinMA

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Re: Smoked Chili Peppers
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2015, 09:51:11 AM »
Joe,

I love chipotle peppers and had no idea the were just smoked jalapenos.....


Thanks Greg
Hi Greg, Seeing that you like Chipotle peppers....you might want to give this a shot! Good flavor especially if you marinade over night.

Al
 
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Durangosmoker

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Re: Smoked Chili Peppers
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2015, 12:13:14 PM »
Joe,

I've made hot sauce in a similar way, but have one question for you:  you say that you "boil the jars for 20 minutes to sterilize the contents.  Upon removing the jars from the boiling water, I tighten the lids and label them with pepper variety, smoke? and date.  They then go into those two cabinet doors above the fridge for at least a year to ferment." 

I"m just curious how you get the fermentation started once the contents have been sterilized?  When I did it, I just chopped the peppers (assorted varieties), added salt and some spices, and let them ferment on the counter for a month in a jar with an airlock to let out the carbon dioxide.  When done, I added some white vinegar, and put into the fridge.  Turned out great. Ill have to try it with smoked peppers once I'm done with this batch.
Eric in New York's Hudson Valley, unless I can get out to Durango.
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FunkedOut

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Re: Smoked Chili Peppers
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2015, 09:19:43 PM »
It's a passive process, once the boiling is done.  Perhaps not all the bacteria dies, only the harmful ones?  Not really sure on the biology here, I just took a lead from Tabasco's process.  They place their mash in oak barrels and seal off the air with salt.  I believe they use a 3 year process.
All I know is that when I do open it up for making the sauce, at first, there is a whiff of cheese-like smell that quickly dissipates.  Then the peppers aroma is all that is left.
I don't bother refrigerating my sauce when I'm done.  Use the 5% acid vinegar and you'll be good.

Wait until you try the smoked pepper sauce.  It's not for everything, but you'll put it on everything for the first few weeks!
Joe, in FL
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