Smoked Red Serrano Chiles

Smoked Red Serrano Chiles
Smoked Red Serrano Chiles
100677 003
Net Weight:
1 oz
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What Are Dried Serrano Peppers

Dried Serrano Pepper (pronounced “sr-aa-noo”), Capsicum annuum, is also called smoked Serrano peppers, dried Serrano, or red serrano pepper.

There are approximately 11 chiles per ounce.

Dried Serrano Peppers are also known in Mexico as "balin, chico, tipico and largo" and in this country as smoked Serrano peppers or dried Serrano.  You'll find some who refer to the dried Serrano as "chile seco", but that really translates to the ubiquitous term "smoked chiles".

Serrano peppers are the second most commonly grown chile in Mexico after jalapeños. Most often used fresh, Serranos may also be canned as “serranos en escabeche” (packed in vinegar, onions, carrots and herbs) which is used as a popular relish in Mexico that is sometimes added to sauces.

Serrano peppers have been genetically linked to wild Chiltepin Chiles and Jalapeno Chiles were mainly bred from Serrano chile gene pools, thus the closeness.


What do Dried Serrano Peppers Taste Like

Dried Serrano peppers have an earthy, fruity, mildly smokey flavor with acidic undertones. The heat is sharp, hits quickly, and then lingers.


How Hot Are Dried Serrano Peppers

These chiles are considered a medium heat chile and come it at 8,000 to 18,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).


How Do You Use Dried Serrano Peppers

Wildly popular in Mexican cuisine, we like to use Smoked Serrano Chiles in spicy authentic Mexican sauces and in chili, marinades pico de gallo, salsas, and soups as well. This is also a great substitution chile. While the cayenne chile is used in numerous cuisines, it's really just for the clean heat that it provides as it has virtually no real flavor so we'll use the smoky Serrano instead. We'll also use them in place of Guajillo Chiles (2500 - 5000 SHU) when we're in search of a bit more heat, and because these are smoked chiles they give a nice unexpected flavor.

Red Serrano Chiles pair well with black beans, guacamole, mangos, pineapples, tomatillos and Queso Fresco.

To get the most intense flavor from our Serrano Chiles, we like to roast them in a dry skillet or in the oven.

To rehydrate your Thai Chiles , rinse them off with warm water and then soak in hot water for 10 minutes. Once rehydrated, dice or puree and add to a recipe.


Red Serrano Pepper Substitution

A good substitute for the Serrano Peppers (8,000 – 18,000 SHU) is Costeno Rojo Chiles (5,000 – 15,000 SHU) although this is a slightly milder chile.


History of Serrano Peppers

The Serrano chile is believed to be indigenous to the foothills of northern Puebla and Hildago Mexico, with its name derived from the Spanish word serranias, meaning foothills1. Puebla is located in East-Central Mexico and is bordered by the states of Veracruz to the north and east, Hidalgo, Tlaxcala and Morelos to the west, and Guerrero and Oaxaca to the south.

Chiles are native to Mexico and Central America. Evidence of chiles in the diet of indigenous groups in Puebla’s Tehuacán Valley dates back at least as far as 6500 BC and by 4100 BC, the chile plant was already domesticated in the area of Mexico that spans across southern Puebla and northern Oaxaca to southeastern Veracruz.

By the time that Columbus arrived in the Americas, the Azetcs were cultivating chilaca (known as pasilla when dried), de arbol, jalapeno, mirasol (known as guajillo when dried), poblano (when dried called ancho), and serrano chiles. Bernardino de Sahagun, a Franciscan friar, missionary priest and early ethnographer (one who conducts the systematic study of people and cultures), arrived in New Spain (modern day Mexico) in 1529. He quickly learned the Nahualt (pronounced "nä-wätl") language and spent the next 60 years studying the Aztecs and their culture. He described the typical Aztec market as having "hot green chiles, smoked chiles, water chiles, tree chiles, flea chiles and sharp-pointed red chiles. The Aztecs placed such great importance on chiles that they further classified them into 6 categories based not only on their level of pungency (low to high), but also on type of pungency (broad to sharp)”2.

The ancient Mayan (2000 BC – 1542 AD), Aztec (1428 – 1521 AD), and western South America’s Inca (1438 – 1572 AD) civilizations held chiles in such high regard that they withheld them from their diets during religious fasting periods3.

Sriracha sauce is a hot sauce made by Huy Fong Foods, California, in 1980 by Chinese-Vietnamese founder David Tran. Sriracha chile sauces are made from ripe red jalapeño chile pepper. The company initially used serrano chiles but found them difficult to harvest4. As the hot sauce burst on the scene in the United States in 2008, many craft hot sauce makers started making homemade versions using Red Serrano and Red Jalapeno peppers.


Serrano Chile Cultivation

Mexico has approximately 37,500 acres devoted to growing serranos with the states of Veracruz, Sinaloa, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas being the largest producers5. Over 90 percent of the serrano crop is used fresh in homemade salsas such as pico de gallo6.

Serrano chiles do best in soil that is rich, fertile, well-drained, and neutral to slightly acidic and the plant varies in size, from one and a half to five feet tall, and shape, from compact to erect. The plant has an intermediate number of stems, the leaves vary from light to dark green, and measure between three and a half and five inches long. The flower corollas are white with no spots. The pods grow either erect or pendant (downward curve) and are bluntly pointed while measuring between one and four inches long and a half inch wide5. The outer skin is thin, while the flesh is thick, pale orange-red in color. Each Serrano chile plant produces between 30 and 50 peppers at a time, and over a season a serrano plant can yield upwards of 100 to 150 chiles7. The fruits take on average 70-80 days to reach full maturity. The pods mature from a dark green to an almost yellowish color and finally to a light red at full maturity at which point they are then harvested and smoked dried.


Where are Our Serrano Peppers From



Ingredients Serrano Chiles
Also Called Smoked Serrano peppers, dried Serrano, or red serrano pepper
Recommended Uses Chili, marinades pico de gallo, salsas, sauces, and soups
Flavor Profile A crisp, smoky, fruity flavor with citrus undertones and a heat that lingers
Scoville Heat Units 8,000 – 18,000 SHU
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Cuisine Mexican
How To Store Airtight container in a cool, dark place
Shelf Life 1-2 Years
Country of Origin Mexico
Dietary Preferences Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO



Hungry for More Information

The Ultimate Guide to Mexican Spices
Into to Authentic Mexican Cuisine
The Culinary Regions of Mexico
The Different Mexican Moles




1 Andrews, J. (1999). The Pepper Trail: History and Recipes from Around the World (Revised, Subsequent ed.). University of North Texas Press.

2 Sahagún, B. D. (2021). Historia general de las cosas de la Nueva España I (Spanish Edition). Linkgua Ediciones.

3 Bosland, P. W. (1999). Chiles: A Gift from a Fiery God. HortScience, 34(5), 809–811.

4 The Science behind hot sauces. (n.d.). Science of Cooking. Retrieved January 17, 2022.

5 Dewitt, D. (1999). The Chile Pepper Encyclopedia: Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know About Hot Peppers, With More Than 100 Recipes (1st ed.). William Morrow Cookbooks.

6 DeWitt, D. (2020). Chile Peppers: A Global History. University of New Mexico Press.

7 Bray, M. (2021, November 23). How Many Peppers Per Plant? Let’s Count Popular Types. PepperScale. Retrieved January 18, 2022.




Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 chile, 2.5g

Amount Per Serving


% Daily Value*

Total Fat0g0%

Saturated Fat0g0%

Trans Fat0g

Polyunsaturated Fat0g

Monounsaturated Fat0g



Total Carbohydrate1.8g1%

Dietary Fiber0.7g3%

Total Sugars1.0g

Added Sugars0g0%

Sugar Alcohol0.0g


Vitamin D0mcg0%




*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice. These values were calculated and therefore are approximate. For more accuracy, testing is advised.

5 out of 5
21 total ratings.

William B. (Verified buyer) 01/17/2022
Incredible products! Just really good, really high quality chilies. Thank you for the incredible work you do!!!

sheryl b. (Verified buyer) 07/01/2021
The best I have ever The best I have ever purchased. Delish Smokey heat

Justin L. (Verified buyer) 04/03/2021
Love em! I have been looking for these for awhile but ended up decided to order them online - have to say that I will definitely be buying another batch! Used these to make curry paste and it was delicious!

Hok H. (Verified buyer) 03/02/2021
Awesome We make a dried chili hot sauce with these chilies and the smokiness comes out really nicely!

Peter H. (Verified buyer) 01/28/2021
Excellent company and product .... Tough to chew (which is okay) - very spicy, flavorful. Should be good w/ pineapple or mango; will try.

Maria L. (Verified buyer) 01/12/2021
Heat 5 Quality 5 Flavor Heat 5 Quality 5 Flavor 5 Good Chile, good color too

Marla E. (Verified buyer) 05/22/2020
A new staple These chiles are a wonderful new addition to my kitchen cupboard. The smoky heat is just perfect for spicing up any dish. It also happens to make a beautiful chili oil!

jerry s. (Verified buyer) 01/15/2020
smoke sauce Serranos make a nice smoke base with scorpions providing the heat, and boy do they. As always Spices Inc comes through. Only wish they were both available organic.

Mark K. (Verified buyer) 01/13/2020
A great alternative to chipotle chiles I love chiles but I have always found jalapeños to be too bitter. I imagine this may be a genetic predisposition (like people who find epazote or cilantro to have a soapy taste) but that also means (1) I am not the only person who dislikes the bitterness of jalapeños and (2) the perceived bitterness will never change (no getting used to it). But the extraordinary smoky quality of chipotles makes substitution challenging....until recently. Pasilla de Oaxaca chiles are a wonderful alternative and now come these outstandinh smoked red serrano chiles In my kitchen, I depend on poblano, serrano and Hatch (when available) fresh chiles. Serranos are my workhorse; I always have a molcajete full of ripening serranos (the taste changes with the color from green to orange to red). Now I can purge chipotle chiles in my cooking iand rely on these wonderful smoked red serranos. I could not be more pleased

Rebecca M. (Verified buyer) 01/11/2020
GREAT product! Excellent product and prompt, secure delivery. Even though I live in a pretty diverse city, for some reason smoked serranos are difficult to find. I use these to make salsa macha. I also ordered chiltepin peppers. Everything was well-packaged and smelled amazing. I will definitely order from Spices Inc again and will recommend to friends and family!
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