I would like to make some chipotle (smoked red jalapeno peppers) at home. Currently I am building a smoker in my garden, where I also I grow a few jalapeno plants.

My problem is that the peppers are turning red already, but the smoker is not finished yet. All the chipotle recipes that I found put fresh red jalapenos in the smoker.

Can I preserve the peppers somehow before I finish the smoker? I believe it should take me about a month to finish. I was thinking about either freezing them or dehydrating them -- which way is better? Or is there some better way?

I found this question that says that it is certainly possible to smoke dried peppers, but the result does not have the smoky aroma as intense as if you make it out of fresh peppers.

I've read that you can substitute the smoker with a grill, but I'm not sure I'll have access to any, so that's not really an option for me.


1 Answer 1


Freezing is definitely the way to go. It’ll soften the peppers, but smoking softens them anyway. Dehydrating them will allow them to burn before they’re smoked through, since the water in the peppers’ flesh is needed to keep the interior temperature under control during long smoking.

  • 1
    After a month and a half I finally finished the smoker. I froze the peppers the day after you answered and smoked them this weekend. I must say that it worked perfectly and now I have a box of really tasty chipotle spice. The peppers kept their moisture nicely and even after ~6 hrs of hot smoke (70-100 °C) I had to finish them in my dehydrator. Thank you very much for your answer. Oct 5, 2020 at 15:45

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