When to Pick Pequin Chili Pepper? (Best Time to pick)

Whether you are searching for a spicy cooking pepper or enjoy growing potted hot chilies for their exquisiteness, pequin chili pepper is the best choice. This type of hot pepper has a smoky note and registers 60,000 Scoville heat units, which makes it a bit spicier than the cayenne. If you want to know more about pequin chili pepper, including when the right time to pick them, continue reading. 

So, when to pick chili pequin? Chili pequin peppers are ready to harvest when they become deep brown and dry. It’s best to harvest the seeds before pods become wrinkled or burst open, as that signifies they have lost their taste or flavor.

What is a Pequin Chili Pepper?

There are many chili peppers, but they differ in many ways. So, if you like me and want to figure out what pequin chili pepper is, this is for you. The only chili pepper indigenous to the US, the chili pequin pepper, can be found growing wild in different areas of Texas. It is simple to cultivate as a grown pepper in almost any garden soil. It keeps a compact size, and it is relatively productive, which makes it ideal for growing in a container. 

Related and for a while confused with the chiltepin, the pequin chile pepper is believed to have a bit fruitier taste. The form of their fruits can differentiate Pequin and chiltepin. The two are dispersed by bird droppings and share the exact names of turkey or bird pepper. 

Is it Easy to Cultivate Pequin Chili Peppers?

This chile pepper can be cultivated in northern weather as a backyard or garden annual. Like other types of chili peppers, the seeds can be started inside your house 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost period. The seedling must be hardened off before planting. Pick a sunny to a partially sunny location and transfer after the menace of frost. 

In southern weather, where frost temperatures seldom dip below freezing, this pepper can be cultivated year-round as a permanent. The leaves and the pods can experience sunburn, so offering shade from strong sunlight is suggested. 

Fertilizing periodically with a bone meal can give the additional phosphorus and calcium your plant will require. As a container-cultivated pepper, pequin chili can be grown as recurrent in weathers where it is not chill-hardy. 

The sufficient size for the compact peppers is a three-gallon pot. Using a broad planter over a tall one is highly advisable because these peppers aren’t deep-rooted. Aphids are likely to be an issue when overwintering the plants indoors. Utilizing insecticidal soap or compost tea spray helps a lot in managing them. 

Extra care must be practiced when picking these pequin chili peppers in order to avoid harming the plants. When harvested, this can be put in enough heat to cooking dishes. You can also dry and crush this pepper to use as a dash of hot pepper flakes for food seasoning. 

What is the Flavor Profile of Pequin Chili Pepper? 

One of my pepper-fanatic friends describes the taste or flavor of this chili pepper as citrus, fruity and nutty when used or consumed fresh. Once smoked, the smoke tastes stand out. The less matured or greener peppers are usually utilized for making salsa and other culinary dishes. These peppers ripen to deep red and get spicier, they are usually smoked or dried and sold or ground for powders or chili flakes. 

How Spicy are Pequin Chili Peppers? 

Dry pequin

The pequin peppers are considered upper-medium heat chili peppers with a SHU rating of 40,000 to 60,000. According to our reference point, a jalapeno has 2,500 to 8,000 SHU; pequin chili peppers will run from 5 to 24 times spicier than a jalapeno. This is almost in line with cayenne pepper with 30,000 to 50,000 SHU. However, pequin chili peppers will always be spicier than the mildest cayenne pepper and have the possibility for more at the peak of the range too. 

How Can I Maximize the Full Potential of these Chili Peppers?

As with other dried chilies, it is always ideal to wake them up with an explosion of heat before utilizing them. You will acquire a bump in taste because some of the latent oils will return to life.

Also, you can flash roast your pepper on a dry wok for fifteen to thirty seconds per side over medium heat or until fragrant and warm. Just ensure not to char your chilies, as this will make them bitter.

Usually, I reconstitute dried chiles to soften the chilies and make them agreeable to being ground up. Usually, I skip that process with these chilies as they are minimal, but you can saturate or drench them in warm or hot water before using them if you want. 

What can I make with Pequin Peppers? 

You can make a lot with this kind of pepper, including: 

  • Grind up to make real-deal chili powder 
  • Pair them with other types of chilies for extra heat
  • Make wicked hot salsa for your spaghetti, meat, tacos, etc. 
  • Roast 3 to 4 tomatoes in the oven for twenty minutes, then put 1/8 cup of chili in the pan for the last few minutes of the roast. 

Put the peppers and tomatoes into a blender together with: 

  • 2tbps onion
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 3 chipotles in adobo
  • Vinegar 
  • Salt 
  • Water 

Mix well and ready yourself for serious heat!

I add chipotles to this mixture for some extra taste and utilize it as a topper sauce, only a couple of drops at a time, which is very tasty. 

Cooking With Chili Pequin Peppers

Chipotle Salsa

I love incorporating this chili pepper into my daily cuisine. I usually put pequin peppers when making hot sauces and salsa as of the combination of heat and fruitiness they offer. I also put this chili in stews or pots of soup, with only one or two of these small peppers, sliced or punctured, putting a good kick of hotness to my whole pot of food. I also dry and ground this to make chili flakes. You can also powder or pickle them to make the most of their flavor.

This pepper provides a superb taste with heat that isn’t overpowering when made into a spicy sauce. The renowned brand of hot sauce, Cholula, utilizes this type of chili in their hot sauce. Cooking with this chili presents a big challenge because they are relatively small, and you want to utilize many of them for a considerable amount of sauce. However, they’re worth cooking with for the flavor alone.

Dried chili pequin pepper is a massive commodity in Mexico and extremely famous for seasoning a lot of cuisines. These are sold in both red and green forms for different uses.

Where can I purchase pequin chiles? 

If you have a Hispanic market in the area, you will surely find this. Sometimes you will find this chili in the goods sections of the big supermarket or grocery stores. However, if you are striking out, never forget that you can always purchase them over the net. 

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Bill Kalkumnerd
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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