How to Add a Smoked Flavor to Your Foods with Chipotle Peppers

How to Add a Smoked Flavor to Your Foods with Chipotle Peppers

Posted on: January 18, 2023

One of the most popular ways to add a smoky flavor to your food is by using a food smoker. This gives the meat an extra rich smoky flavor, as most of the time, the food is smoked directly over wood. However, that is not the only method you can use. Sometimes you might be in a hurry and don’t have the patience to wait for your meat to cook in the food smoker, or you just don’t have money to buy a food smoker, which drives us to options B and C. In this article, we look at how to add a smoky flavor to your food with chipotle peppers.

What are chipotle peppers?

These are smoke-dried ripe jalapeño chili peppers used for seasoning, producing a great smoky flavor. Chipotle peppers are available in powdered, whole, and flaked forms.

Why use chipotle peppers

When dried and smoked, chipotle peppers are mainly used to add a smoky flavor to food, redefining the overall taste of the meal. However, the results depend on the type of chipotle pepper you use, powder form, whole, or flakes, and what you want to achieve.

How to make chipotle peppers

It is important to note that you can buy chipotle peppers, and you do not necessarily have to make them yourself.

What you need:

  • Ripe red jalapenos – If you don’t have them growing in your kitchen garden, you can buy them from the store or local farmers and allow them to ripen.
  • Food smoker
  • Wood chips – There are various flavors, including hickory, pecan, or oak

Smoking chipotle peppers

  • Wash and dry your jalapenos
  • Set your smoker to a temperature of 200 °F (93 °C). You can also use a grill and preheat it to a similar temperature.
  • Place the dried ripe jalapenos on the food smoker and smoke until very dry.
  • Remove the dried chipotles from the food smoker and crush them into a fine powder.

How to use chipotle peppers

Chipotle peppers can be used to create many unique dishes, including grilled chipotle shrimp, chipotle shredded beef, honey-chipotle ribs, smoked salmon quesadillas with a creamy chipotle sauce, and chipotle black bean chili.

We’ll now look at how to prepare honey-chipotle ribs.

Adding smoked flavor to your ribs with chipotle peppers


  • 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 pounds of baby back pork ribs
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped chipotle peppers (added in adobo sauce)
  • 4 teaspoons ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Foil paper
  • Large bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Barbeque sauce

What you will need for the barbeque sauce:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 2 bottles (11.2 ounces each) of Guinness beer
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 cups barbeque sauce


  • Wrap your ribs in aluminum foil and seal the edges of the foil.
  • Grill your pork ribs over indirect medium heat for about one hour.
  • Combine your barbeque sauce ingredients and other seasonings in a large bowl, then transfer them to your saucepan.
  • Bring the mixture to the boil, cooking on low heat for about 45 minutes or until thickened (remember to stir occasionally for best results)
  • Remove your ribs from the foil and baste both sides with the sauce.
  • Place them back on your grill cooking over medium heat for around 30 minutes or until browned.
  • Let them cool and serve.

Bradley tips and tricks

Adding a smoky flavor to your food with chipotle pepper is not very complicated, and depending on the type of wood chips you use, you can get different flavors.

Here are some tips to elevate your cooking experience as you cook with chipotle peppers:

  • When smoking the pepper on your own, for best results, we recommend waiting until they are fully dried before smoking.
  • Only use chipotle peppers that are free from decay or any spots.
  • If you are adding the chipotles to adobo, as we did in our case, add them after the initial smoking. This helps prevent dehydration. However, if your chipotles have already dried up, you do not have to worry. You can rehydrate them and add them to the sauce.
  • If you store your chipotle pepper in the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature before you start smoking.
  • To avoid mold and ruining the results, make sure your pepper is fully dried and crispy.

Final thoughts

No doubt, adding some chipotle powder to a dish can spice up your cooking and add the smoked flavor.

Their bold flavor makes the food not too sour or too sweet, creating a finger-licking meal. However, if you do not like pepper, you should be careful of how much you add. Other than that, chipotle peppers are one of the ways that you can still get that smoky flavor in your meals without using a food smoker.

Here are a few recipes with chipotle that you can try at home:
How to make Chipotle Maple Venison Smoked Sausage
Mango Chipotle Smoked Wings
Smoked Chipotle BBQ Riblets Recipe