Smoking Some Garden Jalapeños

For some reason, my husband expanded the garden to include jalapeño peppers this year, so I’ve been thinking of different ways to use them. Sometimes the raw ones are just a little too zippy for my old stomach, but I do like what they add to a fresh salsa. The old standby is to roast, peel, seed, and freeze them, like I do with other peppers and some tomatoes. That left smoking.

Day 1

He’s been picking them green instead of waiting for them to turn red, but you can smoke the green ones. I don’t have a true smoker, but you can do some smoking on a grill, if you can keep the heat low. Too much heat and you are really cooking with smoke. I’m using a snake of charcoal, but not too wide or high. When I cook a roast or ribs or whole chicken with a snake, I usually make it 2 briquettes wide by 2 briquettes high, and that keeps the heat somewhere between 350° and 400° at any given time over 6 hours. This snake is just 1 x 1 with some applewood chips scattered along the length. It’s keeping the temperature at around 200° or below, with the chips lighting up and smoking as that part of the snake is reached. Usually you soak wood chips, but in this kind of slow burn, they would be dry by the time the fire reaches them. So, we’ll see how the peppers turn out and how long the snake will last.

The snake lasted about 9 hours, sending out billows of smoke every few minutes, and now there is a bowl of the smoky peppers in the fridge, waiting for me to figure out what to do with them.

Day 2

Fishing. We didn’t catch a darned thing, which is common when casting for muskies, but we saw one big one.

Day 3

I decided to make some adobo sauce, that slightly sweet, tangy sauce that you get in the canned variety of chipotles. I looked at a lot of recipes for adobo and was surprised that so many of them use dried ancho peppers in the sauce. I was looking for something that highlighted the smoky jalapeños without the interference of another pepper flavor. I found what I was looking for at Old World Garden Farms, where the adobo sauce is made with a few of the smoked peppers pureed in a blender, and the rest are cooked in the sauce, before being packed for freezing. Please visit the link site, which has nice photos in the instructions; here are mine:

Smoked Jalapeños in Adobo Sauce

  • Servings: enough for about 12-16 peppers
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from Old World Farms recipe:

  • 12-16 smoked jalapeño peppers—I had 14—stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste plus enough water to make 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons garlic paste
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
  1. Cover the peppers in boiling water for 20 minutes to soften them.
  2. Remove 4 of the soaked peppers to a blender with the tomato paste mixture, teaspoon of sugar, and half cup water. Blend until smooth.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the blended mixture, the remaining soaked peppers (without the soaking liquid), the onions, garlic, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour 45 minutes.
  5. Divide the peppers among 3-4 small freezer containers with 3-4 peppers per container, topping them off with sauce. Extra adobo sauce can be frozen in a container as well.

See this article for ideas of what to do with your gems: “Everything You Can Do with a Can of Chipotles in Adobo

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