Smoking Green Jalapenos?

HeatMiserJuly 30, 2012

I'm new to smoking peppers. I've got a bumper crop of Jalapenos I had planned on pickling, but I don't have that sort of time at the moment. I was thinking of smoking them, then drying them. Obviously it'll still take a good amount of time, but I can get other stuff done while the smoker is doing it's thing. My question is, has anyone smoked green jalapenos before? I know chipotles are smoked when the peppers are red so I imagine that these would have a completely different flavor, but I'd prefer not to just let them go to waste.

Also, if anyone has done this before, do they have suggestions for smoking them? Temp, time, do they need to be sitting on foil or something, what type of wood to use, etc.

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ottawapepper

I have smoked green Jalapenos and do not find anything wrong with their flavor, slightly different that the red but good none the less.

Cold smoking is the traditional method but hot (warm) smoking works well. Before I offer any suggestions what kind of smoking setup do you have? A true smoker or a pouch of chips on a gas grill or a ...?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:17AM
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HeatMiser

I just have a metal box insert for my propane grill.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:34AM
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ottawapepper

OK, hopefully you have more than one burner. The trick for you is going to be keeping the temperature low enough so you don't cook/roast the peppers.

Assuming you have at least two burners (left and right) you'll need to light one side and place your smoker box on that burner. You will use the non-lit side to sort of indirectly warm smoke your Jalapenos.

I recommend you top and slice your pods in half length wise. This will speed up the smoke absorption. Whether you de-seed or not is up to you, I don't bother removing them.

I've read Pecan is the traditional wood used but Hickory works really well. I smoke anywhere between 1 - 3 hours depending on how strong I want the finished product. Given your ability to maintain a steady smoke at a temp of 100 - 140 F on a gas grill, you may want to try a test batch pulling them after an hour.

So to sum up in bullet form:

-soak your Pecan or Hickory wood chips for a couple of hours
-top and slice your pods in half
-arrange pods on unlit side of your grill
-put your loaded smoker box on the side you're going to light
-light you smoker box side and reduce the flame to the lowest level possible
-close the lid
-reload smoker box as required
-check pods after an hour and decide if you want to smoke longer
-pull pods when done and load into you dehydrator

I think that covers it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 12:05PM
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HeatMiser

Thank you. That's very thorough.

My only concern is with keeping the temp that low. That'll be difficult when it's already 100 degrees outside and I'm wondering if the chips will start smoking when it's that low. I'll keep it as low as I can though. Also, is a dehydrator essential or can I air dry these like I do a lot of my other peppers?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 1:01PM
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ottawapepper

Your chips should smoke if they're on the burner. I don't suggest you try it but if you were to put your finger over that little blue flame you'd agree it's hotter than 100F ;-0

Unlike, say Cayenne, jalapenos are a thick skinned pepper. They tend to rot before they dry.

The story goes that the Aztecs dried jalapenos over a low smoking fire to dry them so they could be preserved. They were a pretty smart bunch so I'm sure they tried to split them open and dry them that way as well. I haven't tried air drying halved jalapenos but I assume you'll loose more than you successfully dry.

You should be able to find a cheap dehydrator at your local big box/small business killer. Your choice.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 2:19PM
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HeatMiser

Ok, sounds good. I think I'll just have to be patient and give them some time to start smoking.

Sounds like I'll be making a trip to my local "small business killer" then. :)

I really appreciate your help. I'll let you know when I'm finished making a delicious powder or destroying a perfectly fine batch of jalapenos.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 3:06PM
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tsheets(5)

Just to make sure it's clear, you put the box of chips under the grates, down where the burners / heat shield (hopefully perforated / holes drilled) are. The real trick is to not have the chips directly on the flame, or they will burn much more quickly rather than just smolder/smoke.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 3:30PM
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ottawapepper

Oh you gas grill guys... always complicating things ;-))

Love my lump charcoal!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 3:41PM
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HeatMiser

Ok, sounds good. I think I'll just have to be patient and give them some time to start smoking.

Sounds like I'll be making a trip to my local "small business killer" then. :)

I really appreciate your help. I'll let you know when I'm finished making a delicious powder or destroying a perfectly fine batch of jalapenos.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 3:47PM
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HeatMiser

Hmmm, not sure why it posted that again. My work computer isn't the greatest in the world.

Ottowa - I don't have the patience for lump charcoal and I'm not comfortable with my ability of maintaining a constant temperature. I'd much prefer to use charcoal, if only I had talent... :D

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 5:03PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Dude, just a suggestion, but maybe you should stick to cigarettes. I know they're bad for you, but they gotta be less dangerous than smoking a jalapeno!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 8:02PM
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HeatMiser

Edymnion, I'm a bit of a rebel. I once smoked a whole chicken. I swear I didn't enhale though.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Dude is hardcore!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 8:54PM
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