I like the jalapeno pepper with cream cheese and make with duck bites and a little cheese and cooked in the toaster oven, but no one else except my son can handle the heat of them and he’s moved out and only visits on some weekends. So I needed to find more uses of them and chipotle seemed to be the next thought I got. The rework on the smokehouse needed to be tested so I split so peppers in half and cleaned them out. After drying them, I wonder if I shouldn’t have worried about the seeds and just dried them whole.
So I heated the fire box for a while and threw the peppers into the smokehouse.
The peppers in the back 1/3 of this lower rack didn’t dry as well as the front 2/3rd’s. So my assumption is that I get the heat back there, but not as much airflow. When I was cooking all the goose breasts I didn’t have any trouble with uncooked meat in the back. So it seems I get heat to the back but not a lot of air flow.
They cooked Saturday during bypass failure, but mostly sat in the smokehouse without smoke or heat. I fired it back up Sunday and slow smoked them at 100° to 120° most of the morning and day. After 4pm I cranked it up and the top right pepper is where we were at with just shriveled and juicy still. I pulled it out as a comparison later on. I got the heat up to 200° and kept it for a few hours then settled back into the 160° range and let the fire work all night and drop slowly. They came out mostly dry in the morning with most that would snap and ones in the back that were not dry enough.
Above are the peppers as they came out of the smokehouse. The bottom peppers are the ones from the front 2/3rd’s and the top is that back ones that didn’t dry as much. The wetter ones went onto a plate to air dry for a few days in my office and the dry ones laid on the tray for a day to normalize and in an open bag for a few days. The wet ones finished drying in the house and they are all sealed in a bag.
I plan to grind some and chop some later on for use. My buddy and I talked about using some to make a hotter bologna batch. I snapped a piece off one of the harder ones to see how they turned out. At first all I tasted was smoke. Then it hydrated a bit and I got he back of the throat choke from the heat. Yup, even super dry they still held the heat and favor still. I kept chewing and it turned into really very hot piece of chewing gum.
Next time I will store these in the freezer and use chipotle as a side product when smoking and curing meat or bologna as I always have extra room in the smokehouse.