Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Trip to the Spice Store

As I prepare for my first chili cook-off in a few weeks, I made a trip to the local Penzey's spices store this morning. Here's some of the chili specific spices that I purchased:

I have never cooked a chili contest sanctioned by the International Chili Society (ICS). To help promote chili cooking, contests, and in support of prospective new contestants like me, the ICS publishes winning recipes on Last weekend I cooked Jim Weller's Macktown Chili recipe to establish a base to build from. The plan is to make adjustments here and there to eventually develop my own recipe.

I'm a chili novice and I'm a little fearful of making my entry too hot, if that is possible. Most of the past winning recipes look pretty hot to me, so I am sticking to a recipe that is on the milder side of things. I chose some ground chipotle, some guajillo chili peppers, and ancho chili powder for my recipe. All three are the on milder side of the Scoville heat scale.

Chipotle: 5,000 - 10,000 Scoville heat units
Guajillo: 2,500 - 5,000 Scoville heat units
Ancho: 1,000 - 2,000 Scoville heat units

For a comparison, Cayenne pepper is 30,000 - 50,000 Scoville heat units; and a Scotch Bonnet or Habanero pepper yield between 100,000 - 350,000 Scoville heat units.

I plan to enter the "red" and "green" chili categories. From what I've seen on the web, sometimes the green chili recipes are even a little hotter than the red ones.

I'm not expecting spectacular results in my first event, but I do expect to have a lot of fun preparing and competing. Perhaps best of all...the event I'm cooking is in it's 17th year. The event typically raises a lot of money for local charities. The grand total over the lifespan of the event is more than $265,000 in donations.

Look for a new post tomorrow when I put these new spices to use.


Chris said...

I like having dried peppers like that, they last forever and then you can keep them fresh ground as you need them. Good luck, Brian!

Negi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dan said...

I am impressed you were able to walk away with so small a selection of spices. I could spend my whole paycheck in that store no problem!

The BBQ Guy said...

Ha. Ha.

We have a nice stock of spices on hand, so it was a little easier. There were also other products that we purchased that I didn't put in the picture :-)