The final product, ready to grind into a fine powder; I use a Krups grinder as well as this Japanese mortar.
Smoked Hatch chiles in the smoker - after
about 60 hours total (between smoking and drying).
A second batch of Hatch green chiles sits above another batch that is nearly done.
I have spent the last several days making a about 2 pounds of hand smoked Hatch green chiles. I started out with about 15 pounds of fresh chiles and smoked them at about 150° for a total of about 72 hours until the chiles turned a dark golden color and were completely dried.
This is the first time that I have smoked chiles and I am very pleased with the result that I have achieved. The process was certainly time consuming - but the ultimate results are well worth the wait.
Chipotle chiles (smoked Jalapenos) are the most common smoked chile - - though morita chiles are also a commonly smoked chile. I have not personally had any smoked Hatch chiles - either red or green (chipotle chiles are made from red japapenos), but I can say now that there is no reason not to smoke them.
The flavor of the finished chiles was surprising even to me. After the extended smoking, I let the chiles sit in a loose canvas bag for several days and "air out". The chiles have a strong smoke aroma that is followed with a wonderful sweet chile sent that is unmistakable. The chiles smoked from green to a light reddish orange when fresh to a wonderful golden color that ranges from a light yellow to a darker golden brown.
The flavor of these chiles is fantastic - the smoke is right up front but not bitter of over done - I was considering cutting these chiles open to shorten the drying time of the chiles and I am very glad that I did not - yes the chiles took MUCH longer to smoke and dry, however I strongly suspect that had I cut the chiles open that the smoke flavor would have been overpowering but the finished product was just perfect.
I used these chiles for the first time the other night to make the red chile listed below. The same chile sauce could be made with chipotle powder though it would likely be much hotter than it turned out with smoked hatch chiles. To overcome this issue you could swap out some of the New Mexico Chimayo chile for a smoked paprika for a good - and less spicy version that tastes similar to the recipe using smoked green Hatch chiles.
I smoked the chiles with pecan and mesquite woods - skipping the Bradley biscuits and instead using my two can hack on the Bradley's smoke generator. This is a very useful addition to the Bradley that makes for a much more versatile smoker - the Bradley biscuits are great for some applications, but I find that ordering my wood from Bradley leads to my not having the wood I need when I want it. The two can hack allows me to use any kind of wood I would like (small chips work best) and I can purchase it from local stores. The downside is that I have tend the smoker more often (roughly once an hour), but I prefer the finished product as well - as I find that I can better control my heat and smoke production using the two can hack, while still getting the advantages of the "cool smoke" that is a unique trait of the Bradley line of smokers.