How Spicy is Chipotle’s Steak?

As far as restaurant chains go, Chipotle is really popular and serves a variety of delicious Mexican dishes. The steak, which comes in a variety of cuts and is grilled to achieve a charred outside and medium-rare inside, is a great protein option. However, in order to make an informed decision about what to order, one must first determine whether or not the chipotle steak is spicy and why. 

Chipotle Steak can be spicy depending on your level of tolerance and preference. The Adobo marinated grilled steak is the spiciest the menu has to offer compared to the other meat options at Chipotle. A chipotle pepper is a smoked and dried jalapeno pepper. On the Scoville scale, it has between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU, which means that it has a medium level of heat. 

Everybody has a different spice tolerance. Jalapenos may be rated as medium on the Scoville scale, but the next person may find them extremely hot. Read on to find out more about how spicy Steak at Chipotle is!

What Makes Chipotle’s Steak Spicy?

The chipotle peppers and adobo sauce in which the steak is marinated overnight contribute to its spiciness. This combination is mostly used in cooking Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes, and it adds a distinct spicy kick to these dishes. It  is basically dried and smoked jalapenos mixed into tomato sauce, but this description does not do justice to its complexity. Let us examine each component in greater detail. 

What is Chipotle, Anyway?

Chipotle peppers are simply ripe jalapeno peppers that have been smoked to preserve them. It was discovered that smoking is far superior to drying because it completely eliminates moisture that would otherwise be retained if dried alone, which can lead to rotting. The smoking method also gives the chipotle an incredible smoky and earthy flavor.

As we’ve already said, chipotle peppers are ripe, smoked jalapenos with a medium level of heat ranging from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Chipotle peppers have a higher heat level than jalapenos because they stay on the vine longer and are picked when ripe and red. As a result, Chipotle contains more capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat of chilies, than unripe, fresh, or green Jalapeno peppers.

Chipotle has a milder and more edible heat level than cayenne pepper, which has a Scoville scale rating of 30,000–50,000 SHU. It also falls short in overall spiciness when compared to other peppers such as habanero peppers or ghost peppers.

The preparation of chipotle from jalapeno is similar to that of fried meats. The ripe red  jalapeno peppers are kept in an enclosed smoking chamber for days before being flipped at regular intervals to allow the smoke to penetrate all sides of the chillies. This process reduces the weight of the chillies significantly, imparting a smoky, earthy flavor to the sweetness of their prolonged stay on the vine.

Chipotle In Adobo Sauce

Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce are sold in a can at supermarkets worldwide, usually located in the international foods section. It is also available online.

What Is Adobo Sauce?

It is a type of hot sauce commonly found in Mexican and southwestern cuisines.The term “adobo” is derived from the Spanish word “adobar,” which means “marinade or sauce.” Tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, salt, paprika, bay leaves, onions, black pepper, oregano, and other spices are commonly used. It tastes tangy, slightly sweet, and earthy.

Paprika is made with dried and ground red peppers. When pimento powder or a hotter chili, such as  cayenne pepper, is used as a base, it can be mildly spicy. Along with the black pepper, it adds a little heat to the adobo sauce. Adobo sauce is a great way to keep food fresh for a long time because it contains so much capsaicin. It has been a wonderful preserving agent for generations. 

Chipotle’s Spicy Meat Options and Their Spiciness Rankings

Rank #1: Adobo marinated grilled steak

This is beef that has been cooked sous vide and heated at a low temperature for an extended period of time to seal in moisture and achieve tenderness. Before grilling, the meat is marinated overnight in a spicy and smoky chipotle pepper adobo sauce. The steak comes from all over: bottom rounds, top rounds, eye of rounds, inside round, outside round, sirloin, knuckle, ball tip, and sirloin.

Rank #2 : Barbacoa

The Barbacao is the menu’s second spiciest meat. It’s made in the same way as adobo marinated grilled steak, but without the grilling. Barbacoa is made from shoulder cuts, and the fat aids in moisture retention. It contains a smoky, flavorful blend of spices such as oregano, cloves, and bay leaves. After braising over low heat, the meat is hand cut into smaller pieces.

Rank #3: Adobo-marinated and Grilled chicken

Chipotle’s Adobo-marinated and grilled chicken is the second least spicy meat on the menu. It is also their most popular protein. It is tender and juicy, with a flavor that compliments the smoky and spicy flavor. The flavor comes from dried ancho chiles and adobo sauce. It is said to have a slight kick, but it is not at all spicy. 

Rank #4: Braised Carnitas

The braised Carnitas are the least spicy meat option at Chipotle, with a more savory flavor. Carnitas at Chipotle are made from spiced pork that has been marinated overnight and slowly cooked until tender and able to be shredded into smaller pieces. The spices include: bay leaf, sea salt flakes, black pepper, thyme, and juniper berries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chipotle really that hot?

Yes, compared to other kinds of chili on the Scoville scale, it is not too spicy.

What kind of meat is Chipotle steak?

It is beef with steak from all over: bottom rounds, top rounds, eye of rounds, inside and outside rounds, sirloin, knuckle, ball tip, and sirloin.

What is the best protein at Chipotle?

Chipotle’s chicken has been voted the customer favorite, especially when mixed with burritos or tacos, because of its super-flavorful taste.

Final Thoughts

Because of its main ingredient’s association with jalapeno peppers, the spiciness of Chipotle’s steak is generally classified as medium on the Scoville scale. The level of spiciness, however, cannot be determined for every person who bites into a piece of steak. Additionally, anyone who is sensitive to spiciness can substitute other protein options. So, is the Chipotle steak spicy? It is, indeed. 

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Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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