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Which types of chili powder do you use


Wade
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Some of us have been caught out when following American recipes to the letter and adding the required 2 tablespoons of chili powder - only to end up with something that resembles a small nuclear explosion going off in your moth with the first bite. When this has happened you quickly realise that, in general, the chili powder used in American cooking is a lot milder than the chili powders that we can usually buy over here in the UK. It was not until I took a short course at the Santa Fe school of cooking that I got to know the difference. In the US the chili is there for flavour as much as, if not more than, the heat. The range of chili powders (and fresh chilies) that are available over there is incredible. To the uninitiated it is like after drinking Teachers whiskey all your life, then being introduced to the finest single malt Islay whisky.
 
If you can, avoid using the "generic" UK chili powders in your rubs and recipes and switch to using a mix of specific chili types. I now stock and pretty much use only the following:
 

  • New Mexico Chili - This is mild and very versatile. It is what gives the South West US dishes their distinctive flavour
  • Ancho Chili - (I use this the most) It is mild and a little sweet, almost fruity and it has a deep smokey flavour. It will not overpower with heat any food it is used in.
  • Chipotle - Robust smoke and heat. I use this in moderation to add the heat into my rubs and dishes

 
All are readily available online here in the UK and in most supermarkets.

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Very useful info!  Having tasted the Ancho I may have to get some myself, it is a lovely flavour with a nice bit of heat but not overpowering.

At present I mainly use dried scotch bonnet from chillies I've grown myself, I find them to be a nice flavour and although it's got a good bit of heat it's a pleasant sort f heat that washes round your mouth and gives almost a warm hug as you eat. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love some Ancho!

I used to be a massive chilli head, all about the heat. These days it's much more about the flavour. When I make a chilli I use whole, dried chillies that I toast and then grind, usually a blend of Ancho, New Mex and chipotle with fresh jalapeno added for a bit of bite.

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Similar for me too. I now also go for flavour rather than raw heat. A few years ago I did a cookery course in Santa Fe and part of it was appreciating the different kinds of chilli and where to use them. It was a real eye opener which changed the way I cook with chilli.

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Most recipes call for chili powder, which is a mild blend of chiles, usually with a lot of paprika in it. Often garlic, onion and other spices added as well. 

If you're using a full strength ground chile powder, then it will definitely be a lot different than the "chili powder" called for. :)

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Jalapeno powder is a favorite of mine, I love the flavor, and you don't get too much heat with it.

Right now in my cabinet, I've got chiltepin, chipotle, jalapeno, New Mexico Hatch, chile colorado, chile verde, Trinidad Scorpion, African Bird's Eye (piri piri), habanero, and poblano. I'm also growing habaneros, ghost peppers, poblanos, Tabasco peppers, and "Coolapenos" this season, in the garden.

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Split them in half and decide whether you want to leave in the seeds. Several options for drying...

You can then spread them out on some baking parchment on baking trays and place them in the oven at about 70-80 C with the door slightly open. They will take several hours to dry out.

Place them in your smoker on trays. You do need to keep the temperature low though or they will cook. Make sure you have a good air flow.

You can also use a dehydrator. I have a Callow digital dehydrator which works well. It does not appear to be available at the moment but here is a similar type
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M4RB7YR/ref=dp_cerb_1

Dehydrator.thumb.jpg.c2a029b609a456404ebc26cd5a5d5beb.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

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