New! Chipotle Chili powder

I’ve been experimenting with Chipotle Chili powder blends for many years. Now you can buy some for yourself from our store. Use it to make chili con carne, season taco fillings, create a taco sauce, grill meats and much more.

Our Chipotle Chili powder is blended from the finest ingredients, including our own Hot Smokey Chipotle we make ourselves from Ontario jalapenos. We marry that with imported ancho, guajillo and cascabel chilies and top quality Mexican oregano, cumin and garlic. Each batch is processed and blended by hand, then sealed in a convenient 30g zip-lock packet to preserve freshness.

In Mexican cuisine, a myriad of different types of chilies are used to make all types of regional dishes. Ripened chilies are dried and often smoked, developing complex flavours you won’t find anywhere else. Furthermore, every type of chili has a distinct flavour and heat profile, some mild and others fiery hot. To use them they are typically toasted a bit, then ground into spice powder or re-hydrated to make adobos. marinades and dressings.

Unfortunately, it’s rare to find quality chilies in Canadian supermarkets, but a high quality chili powder is the next best thing. Few of us have the time or ingredients to start from scratch anyhow. When cooking with Chili powder, you’ll extract maximum flavour by heating it in a little oil or on browning meat before adding any liquid ingredients. Make the aroma bloom!

Chipotle chili powder closeup
Bluewater Pepper Farm Chipotle chili powder

Our Chipotle Chili powder produces mild heat, but you can kick it up with more chipotle, hot sauce, cayenne, etc. There’s no salt added, so you control the seasoning.

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Try Chipotles in Adobo for big Mexican flavour

You haven’t really tried Mexican food until you’ve used the fiery condiment, Chipotles in Adobo. In this post, I’ll show you how you can make a very nice version using my Bluewater Pepper Farm Hot Smokey Chipotle.

What exactly are chipotles in adobo? In an earlier post, What is Chipotle?, I explained the transformation from ripe jalapeños to smoked and dried chipotles. To make this adobo, whole chipotles are re-hydrated and simmered long and low in a tomato, vinegar, garlic and onion sauce. The result is a tangy, sweet and smoky condiment that can be added to many of your favourite dishes.

There are canned chipotles in adobo that are very good, but they’re not widely available in Canadian supermarkets. This adobo recipe uses my chipotle powder in place of whole chipotles which are also hard to find. I’ve made this using both whole and ground chipotles to compare the flavour. It’s hard to tell the difference when I use it in other dishes or sauces.

While I prefer to use canned tomato purée, ketchup makes a decent substitute.

There are many different ways to use this versatile dressing, whether in marinades, sauces, braises or on it’s own as a condiment. Keep reading for 5 ideas that follow the recipe.

Easy Chipotles in Adobo

Make this versatile Mexican ingredient using my Hot Smokey Chipotle powder instead of whole chipotles which can be difficult to find here in Ontario. This recipe yields about a cup. Most recipes that use chipotles in adobo as an ingredient only call for a few tablespoons so a cup will go a long way. With the vinegar content and being free of oil, it will last in the fridge for a month or more.
Course condiment
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chipotle in adobo, Hot Smokey Chipotle powder
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 1 cup


  • 1 cup canned tomato purée Substitute 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or another sweetener Omit this if you're starting with ketchup.
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar While cider vinegar is the classic Mexican ingredient, just substitute white vinegar if you don't have it on hand.
  • 1 tbsp Bluewater Pepper Farm Hot Smokey Chipotle powder If you have them, use 6-8 whole chipotles, soaked in hot water for 15 – 30 minutes.
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced very thin Use a mandolin for perfectly uniform, thin slices fast (just be careful!)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped Use cloves whole or crushed if you prefer.
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water You'll need to add more water if you use ketchup.


  • Whisk the tomato, vinegar, chipotle powder and a little water together in a small saucepan and bring up to a boil. Use about 1/2 cup water if you're starting out with ketchup.
  • Stir in the sliced onions, garlic and peppercorns, return to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer for 60 minutes or so. Stir often and add water to keep it from getting to thick. Since we are using chipotle powder, you could reduce the cooking time if you need to, but it really does benefit from a long slow cook.
  • You'll want to end up with a consistency a bit thicker than ketchup, so keep that in mind and add water accordingly as it cooks.
  • Once it's simmered a while and reached the right thickness, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
  • Use some right away and store the rest in a container in the fridge for a month or more.


The aroma alone is enough reason to make this staple of every Mexican kitchen! 
Chipotles in adobo are usually made using whole chipotle chilies that are re-hydrated and slow simmered with tomato, vinegar, garlic, onion and black peppercorns.  This recipe is essentially the same thing but using ground chipotle powder instead.

Here are 5 simple ways to enjoy Chipotles in Adobo . . .

Adobo translates to English as “dressing”, and as that word implies it’s something you combine with other ingredients or add to dishes.

  1. Make a BBQ sauce. Combine 1/3 cup chipotles in adobo with 2/3 cup of ketchup then add mustard and maple syrup (my favourite) and a little more vinegar to taste. You can be creative with BBQ sauce as long as you maintain a nice balance of sweet, acid and spices. Add garlic and ginger (fresh grated or powdered), honey, lime or lemon juice. This will taste great on anything grilled – slather it on as you finish grilling to get a little caramelization.
  2. Taco sauce. Combine roughly equal parts chipotles in adobo and mayo and add a little sour cream or yogurt. Plop a spoonful on a taco or a burger, but be careful, you might just eat the sauce by itself.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of chipotles in adobo to a batch of chili con carne to lend awesome barbecue flavour.
  4. Stir-fry sauce. Combine chipotles in adobo and water. Saute seasoned, cubed chicken breast, shrimp, beef strips, pork, tofu or any protein you like. When nearly finished, toss in the sauce to finish cooking. Make it
  5. Add a few tablespoons of chipotles in adobo to your marinades. I like to add some to my marinade for oxtail pieces when I make the Jamaican standard, oxtail stew.

One more thing, I highly recommend the cookbook Everyday Mexican by renowned chef and student of Mexican cuisine, Rick Bayless as a starting point for cooking with Mexican ingredients (of course chipotle, but so much more). In fact, pick up any of his cookbooks, and you’ll be inspired to cook more Mexican!

Spice up your vegan burger

Just the other night, I tried this recipe for Black Bean Veggie Burgers and we really enjoyed the result. That was the second attempt at it as in my first attempt the mixture didn’t stick together very well. I ended up adding an egg (not so vegan). However, the flavour was fantastic and I felt it was worth another try.

The recipe calls for 1 tbsp of chili powder. I added 1/2 tsp of my Bluewater Pepper Farm Hot Smokey Chipotle and reduced the chili powder accordingly. I used my own chili powder blend, but you can use any good quality, fresh chili powder.

I prefer Instant Pot beans in place of using canned beans. One cup of cooked black beans is roughly 1/2 cup of dry beans. For dried black beans (pre-soaked), pressure on high for 10 minutes. If not soaked, set for 30 minutes – a bit overcooked is fine for this recipe since you need to mash them up. Either way, use the natural release (wait for the pressure lock on your Instant Pot to drop by itself).

Another tweak is to add a bit of water to the mix if it’s not holding together well. I added maybe 1/4 cup, so save a little cooking liquid (plain water is fine too). When it get to the right consistency, it should stick together nicely.

Cook the quinoa in the Instant Pot too – it’s dead simple. Just rinse 1/2 cup of quinoa, add 1/2 cup of water, salt to taste and pressure on high for 1 minute. You need to let it slow release, so it takes about 15 minutes overall, but it will be perfect and you don’t need to mind the pot.

More ideas:

  • Try using my Jerk Chipotle Seasoning instead of chili powder
  • Make into ‘meatballs’ serve with a tomato pasta sauce
  • Freeze any extras you have – they hold up well and make a quick and nutritious meal. Just thaw and re-heat in a pan or microwave. Add frozen to a meatless pasta sauce

Mexican Chilies (or chiles or chillies)

Chilies are a cornerstone ingredient in Mexican cuisine. There’s a vast array of different Mexican chilies, each with distinctive flavour and heat signatures. In this post, I’ll introduce you to some of the main types of dried chilies.

Mexican chilies. clockwise from top – Guajillo, Ancho, US penny for scale, Morita, Cascabel, Arbol

Anywhere one travels throughout Mexico, you find shops that sell chilies by the sackful. This gives a sense of the importance of the humble chili pepper in everyday cooking. The photo above shows some from the collection I picked up this past February in Puerto Vallarta.

Chili store
The chile store!

Before diving in, a note on spelling. As this post’s title indicates, there’s more than one way to spell it and they’re all correct. In Mexico, the generally used spelling is “chile”. It’s also the name of the South American country which can cause confusion (ironically Chileans – the people – are not lovers of spicy foods). In the US, the spelling “chili” is most common, while in the UK, it’s spelled “chilli”. The plural form of each is “chiles”, “chilies” and “chillies” respectively. In this post, I’ll stick with Webster’s and use the American form “chili/ chilies”.

Chipotle or Morita

chipotle or morita chilies
Chipotle or Morita chilis are made with ripe red jalapeños.

Moritas are more commonly known as chipotles in Canada and the Unites States. They’re ripe jalapeños smoked and dried. They deliver a wonderful combination of sweet and smoke. The heat level varies, but I count them as medium at between 5,000 and 8,000 Scovilles. “Chipotle in adobo” is a sauce made by slowly simmering these whole with onions, tomatoes, vinegar and garlic. It’s the base for my homemade BBQ sauce. The chipotle flavour inspired me to make my own Bluewater Pepper Farm Hot Smokey Chipotle. Ground into powder, this is a spice you can use in so many creative ways.


arbol chilies
Chiles de arbol

“De arbol” means “of the tree” in Spanish. this little red pepper is fiery hot with a Scoville rating between 30,000 and 50,000. They’re similar in appearance, taste and heat to red Thai chilies. Use sparingly wherever you want a blast of extra heat.


The guajillo chili has a mild to medium heat with a Scoville rating between 2,500 and 5,000. They are used in many dishes, but perhaps the best known is carne adobada. Guajillo peppers are re-hydrated and combined with vinegar, garlic, and other spices and herbs. Ground into a paste, it can be used to marinate and slow cook meat or as a delicious taco sauce.

guajillo chili

Guajillos are thin-skinned with a fruity flavour. They are the dried form of the Mirasol (looking at the sun) pepper. The name is derived from the way these peppers grow with their tips pointed up to the sky.


ancho chili
Good dried chilies should be pliable like this Ancho

The Ancho chili is one of the most versatile of the Mexican chilies. They are dried from ripe Poblano peppers which are a large heart-shaped green pepper with mild heat and a lovely fruity flavour. Ripening turns them red and they become even sweeter. Anchos are a thick-walled variety and the essential ingredient in the famous Oaxacan molé sauce.

These big peppers are great for stuffing either as Anchos (rehydrated) or in their fresh green Poblano form.


The sound of loose seeds in dried cascabels gives them their nick-name – the “rattle chili”. Cascabels have a distinctive nutty flavour. This thin walled, mild chili is a versatile addition to sauces, soups and stews. I use cascabels as an ingredient in my chili powder. With rating from 1,500 to 2,500 Scovilles, these are mild by comparison with moritas and arbol.

cascabel chili

Hot Smokey Chipotle from the Bluewater Pepper Farm

Bluewater Pepper Farm Hot Smokey Chipotle bpf001-30
Our signature Hot Smokey Chipotle packs a real punch. Buy it direct here.

My signature Hot Smokey Chipotle powder is made from fresh ripe red jalapeños grown in Huron County, Ontario by our partner, Masse Fruit and Vegetable Farm.

Use this powder to add a kick of smoke and spice to whatever you’re cooking. Make your own spice blends or just add a bit to liven up the mixes already on your spice rack. The uniquely rich flavour profile of my chipotle is achieved through slow-smoking over charcoal with apple wood chips.

One other thing – this product has only 1 ingredient – the smoked jalapeños you want! Every 40 g bottle concentrates the flavour from more than 1 pound of peppers. A little goes a long way. You can buy other chipotle products, but be sure to read the label – in many cases, you’ll be paying for salt and other common ingredients you already have.

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I really value your feedback, so if you’ve tried any of my samples leave a review. Good, bad or indifferent, let me know your honest opinion. I’m especially keen to hear about any creative (and delicious) uses you’ve found for my Bluewater Pepper Farm Hot Smokey Chipotle powder.

What is Chipotle?

Chipotle is a traditional Mexican method to preserve jalapeño peppers using slow-smoking and drying.

In a nutshell, chipotle is a ripe red jalapeño pepper that’s smoked and dried. Hardwood smoke added to the natural sweet and heat from the pepper produces a truly amazing flavour.

This whole project started as a hobby. I’m a keen vegetable gardener. My husband and I love spicy food. Every winter we visit Mexico, the homeland of chilies where I like nothing more than exploring the local food markets.

ripe jalapenos
Ripe chipotles just started smoking

Put all that together and I’m growing a lot of peppers in my modest set of raised beds. What to do with a bumper crop? Make chipotle of course!

To be honest, if you’d asked me 10 years ago “what’s chipotle?”, you would have gotten a pretty vague answer. Now, I’m a believer (maybe even a bit obsessed).

dried chipotle chilies
. . . and here they are after I dehydrate them

As for pronunciation, check out this Youtube clip. The ‘t’ is almost silent, but not quite.

I grind mine into a powder that I use in meat rubs, fish seasoning, hummus, soups, stews and bbq sauces. Look for Bluewater Pepper Farm Hot Smokey Chipotle. A little goes a long way! You’d think the food was on the smoker for hours.