Chile Propagation & Safe Handling

Resources for the propagation, harvesting, grading, safe handling, drying, preserving, and recipes containing New Mexico chile.

Bernalillo County
Cooperative Extension Service

1510 Menaul Blvd NW Ext
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Phone: 505- 243-1386
844-409-0562 (Toll Free)
Fax: 505-243-1545


  • Pioneer NMSU Horticulturist Named to National Agricultural Hall of Fame
    08/28/2019, Las Cruces, NM - Fabian Garcia will be the first New Mexican inducted into the National Agricultural Center Hall of Fame, Oct. 8 in Kansas. GarciĀ­a's chile pepper research and development not only influenced agriculture statewide but also nationwide. Read more about his accomplishments [here](

Growing, Harvesting, & Grading Chiles

Guide H-240: Growing Chile Peppers in New Mexico Gardens. Pod Types and Cultivars, Climatic Requirements, Soil Preparation, Fertilization, Planting, Mulches and Row Covers, Irrigation, Pest Control, and Harvesting. May 2019 rev. (Print friendly PDF).

Guide H-235: Postharvest Handling of Fresh Chiles. Quality Criteria And Maturity Indices, Harvest And Handling, Cooling And Storage. Nov., 2010. (Print friendly PDF)

Guide H-236: Postharvest Handling of Dehydrated Chiles. Discussion of Crop Management Practices for Improved Quality of Red Chile, Harvest Methods, Processing and Dehydration, and Color Retention during Storage. Jan. 2011. (Print friendly PDF)

Guide H-237: Measuring Chile Pepper Heat. Information on Genetics and Environment, Methods To Determine Chile Pepper Heat, Scoville Organoleptic Test, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography, and even some testing resources. Feb., 2010. (Print friendly PDF).

NMSU Horticulture Publications
Fruits, Horticulture - Plant Science, Landscaping, Lawns, Nuts, Ornamentals, Pests, Plant Diseases, and Vegetables

Other select information on Growing Chiles:

Circular 679: The Landrace Chiles of Northern New Mexico. Landrace Chile Pepper Seed, 'Santo Domingo Pueblo,' 'Jemez Pueblo,' 'Escondida,' 'Velarde,' 'Zia Pueblo,' and 'San Felipe Pueblo.' June 2016. (Print friendly PDF).

Safely Processing Chiles

Article: NMSU experts offer tips to safely store green chile
Green chile is everywhere, fresh from the farmers market or your favorite grocery store. Some stores are selling it by the 25-pound box and offer roasting as well. How do you make sure you can enjoy one of New Mexico's best products year round? September 7, 2016.

Video: How To Preserve Chile From Your Garden
Short segment covering how to safely freeze and can fresh chile. August 18, 2001, from the Southwest Yard & Garden series.

Guide E-324: Processing Fresh Chile Peppers
Covers proper preparation for chilling and storage to prolong chile shelf life. Includes chile selection, blistering, peeling, storage, and commercial roasting precautions. (Print friendly PDF). January 2016 Revision

Guide E-322: Drying Foods
General directions for preparing and drying foods, including instructions to safely make jerky and to dry fruits and vegetables. April 2016 revision. (Print friendly PDF).

Guide E-311: Freezing Green Chile
Includes a section on freezer food safety, as well as instructions for packaging, freezing, and storing.
January 2017 Revision. (Print friendly PDF).

Guide E-308: Canning Green Chile
Intended for individuals with a basic understanding of pressure canning procedures, follow these steps to can your green chile. November 2015 revision. (Print friendly PDF).

Chile Recipes

Video: How To Bake A Green Chile Quince Pie
Learn how to bake a green chile-quince pie Oct 16, 2009 video posting, from the Southwest Yard & Garden series

Guide E-323: Salsa Recipes for Canning
CAUTION: Most salsa recipes contain a mixture of low-acid foods, such as onions and chiles. Acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, must be added to prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria. These salsa recipes have been tested to ensure that they contain enough acid to be processed safely in a boiling-water canner. August 2015 rev. (Print friendly PDF).

Guide E-326: Home Canned Sweet Spreads Made with Green Chile
General Directions and Recipes: Apple Green Chile Butter, Pineapple Green Chile Marmalade, Tomato Green Chile Pineapple Preserves, Raspberry Green Chile Jam, and Sweet and Sour Pork with Tomato Green Chile Pineapple Preserves. June 2015 Rev. (Print friendly PDF).

Guide E-327: Using Chile to Make Ristras and Chile Sauce
When green chile turns deep red, you too can create your own ristra using these handy instructions. Includes a bonus Red Chile Enchilada Sauce Recipe. July 2015 rev. (Print friendly PDF).

Chile Relleno Casserole
Non-traditional baked chile relleno recipe that does not require frying.