Smoked jalapeño (chipotle) sauce

Smoked jalapeño (chipotle) sauce

A Year of Practiculture
2 litres
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

So if you smoke fresh jalapeño it then turns into chipotle? Wow! This was an actual revelation to me. I even think, with regard to my cooking, it was life-changing. I’ve bought those massive cans of chipotle in adobo sauce and spooned the chilli on top of every second meal. It’s addictive, but after a while everything just tastes like chipotle so you have to find some self-restraint. With a half-decent crop of jalapeños in the poly tunnel, I decided to try my hand at smoking these chillies and making my own chipotle. I fired up the cold-smoker and smoked those chillies for ages, 10 hours at least. In the morning I went out to check the smokehouse and the chillies sure smelt smoky, but they were still coloured and moist, whereas they were supposed to be totally dried out. Fail. So the next step was to try to hot-smoke them. I used my converted 44-gallon-drum smoke generator from my cold-smoker. I simply took the lid off and placed a wire grill over the top with the chillies secured on top. I smoked them for about 5 hours, continually turning them and checking the coals for smoke. Success! They ended up dried and smoky like bought ones. Victory! I made this little sauce, which is a simple base from which to start. I think every jalapeño season the hot-smoker will get fired up and most of my crop will end up being smoked.


Quantity Ingredient
2kg jalapeno chillies, seeds in
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
5 onions, chopped
1 garlic bulb, cloves separated, peeled and chopped
725g tomato passata
1/4 cup smoked pimenton
60ml white vinegar, plus extra to taste
50g brown sugar, plus extra to taste
large pinch salt


  1. Hot-smoke the chillies and watch them magically turn into chipotle. Remove the stems.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over low heat, then gently sweat the onion and garlic for 30 minutes. Add the passata, pimentón and chipotle. Increase the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, then blitz to a fine purée using a hand-held blender. Strain to remove the pulp and seeds, then return to the saucepan and to the stove top. Add the vinegar and sugar, then simmer to reduce and thicken. Season with salt.
  4. You might like to add more vinegar or sugar to suit your taste.
  5. Pour into sterilised bottles or jars. They will keep for a few months in the larder. Refrigerate after opening.
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