How to Find, Choose, and Use Chipotle Chilies

If you’re curious to know the difference between different kinds of Chipotle Chilies, and would like to learn how to find, choose, and prepare these delicious dried chilies - then keep on reading! We’ll tell you everything you need to know, before using them for your next Mexican dish.

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How to Find, Choose, and Use Chipotle Chilies

At Vera Mexicana, we have dried Chipotle varieties in stock from the southern coastal state Oaxaca. We sell both the Mecos and Moritas. If you are looking elsewhere, Mexican markets in the US or specialty shops in the EU will be your best bet. Go for places that will have a high turnover or dedication to the food category, as that will typically give the best results.

Finding and Choosing the Meco

When choosing Chipotle Mecos you will want them to be as intact as possible.

They will be stiff to the touch and look somewhat like a cigar butt, because of their wrinkly appearance and light brown color. The Mecos are also usually larger and longer compared to the Moritas.

When choosing the Mecos, you want to long in between the crevices of the fruit and pick those that are the cleanest.

Finally, when opening the bag of chilies or browsing through the market, you will want to experience a heavy smoky aroma.

How to use the Chipotle Meco Chili?

There is a reason why the Meco chili has been dubbed the bacon of spices – it can impart a lot of great things when used, but should not be overused. A little goes a long way with these fellas.

Their mix of sweetness, smoke, and heat makes them a preferred partner for beans, perfectly adding to the bland canvass the legumes often are. When combined with some acidity, the adobo sauce springs to mind here, it is ideal to bite through the fattiness of pork cuts. For this reason, it is a welcome addition to any stew, braise or even barbeque sauce.

Finding and Choosing the Morita

When searching for the Morita variety you will want to find examples that are still flexible enough that you can bend them between your hands. Often you find produce that are too dry and brittle, which will significantly lower your ability to work with the fruits and get the right flavors.

The second thing to look for is a nice even shine on the outer skin of the fruit. If you have spots of white fruit mold on the skin, it is generally a bad sign and something to avoid for its potential to negatively affect the taste of your dishes.

Finally, when opening the bag of chilies or browsing through the market, you will want to experience a fruity and smoky aroma.

How to use Chipotle Morita Chili?

Given that the Morita shares some of the positive properties of both the smoky and fruity chilies it’s a great all-round chili to have in the kitchen. It blends well into cooking sauces or salsas after rehydration, shows impeccable strength as an infuser of taste to oil-based chili sauces like the Salsa Macha, and can be used as an aromatic when cooking vegetables or legumes.

Blended in an adobo sauce it is able to transfer some of the flavors of Mexican food into other areas. It adds well to a pot of chili or any classic braising of meat.

Preparation and Use of the Chilies

Despite their differences, the preparation for use of the Meco and Morita chilies is the same. Here are the steps that you will need in order to prepare and use these dried chilies.


  • Unless your skin is used to deal with chilies, put on gloves.
  • Remove the stem either with a pair of scissors or a knife.
  • Butterfly the chili by cutting it open lengthwise.
  • Run your fingers on the inside removing the seeds and as much of inner membrane as possible.


  1. On a very hot pan, griddle, press down the prepared chilies, a few at a time, on the hot surface.
  2. If you are preparing larger amounts you can toast them in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 165 °C (325 °F)
  3. Be aware of not over-toasting, as this will give an acrid flavor. Toast until fragrant, avoid black spots.


  • After the toasting of the chilies, put them in a container and cover them with hot water – slightly below boiling will do great in an open container.
  • Leave them for 20-30 minutes

Storage & Substitutions

Store the chilies in an airtight container, ideally in a dark cool location. A cupboard will do fine, but by freezing them you can extend their usability and decrease the chances of mold.


The Morita Chili can be substituted by Chipotle Meco/Típico when its primary role is to impart smokiness to the food. For use that highlights its fruity aromas, we recommend substituting with an Oaxacan Pasilla (Pasilla Mixe).