Weekly Recipes

Value Guide for Mail Order Chiles

An Overview of Cooking with Fresh Roasted Green Chiles all Year Round

Once you’ve tasted fresh roasted green chiles, you’ll never go back to canned! When it comes to taste, there is just no comparison. How do you get your supply for the year?

Here is the green chile supply situation:

  • Those who want fresh roasted green chiles all year round
    • buy fresh roasted bushels in season, then pack & freeze enough for the upcoming year themselves, or
    • buy frozen chiles locally after running out in the off season, or
    • mail order frozen chiles, shipped to their door
  • People usually mail order frozen roasted chiles, not fresh
    • Fresh chiles wilt and rot in under a week
    • Fresh chiles weigh more due to more water weight
    • Roasting chiles yourself is a pain, resulting in hard-to-peel chiles
  • Frozen chiles require special packaging to keep them frozen in shipment
    • The packaging as well as shipping is a major cost
    • Packaging for a larger amount of chiles costs little more than packaging for a small amount
    • Merchants who cut costs on packaging not only hurt product quality, but can also endanger your health

What are your options in ordering mail order frozen green chiles?

There are dozens of websites where you can order frozen green chiles. Pricing varies widely.

  • Most are farms in New Mexico; some are farms or distributors in Colorado.
  • New Mexico suppliers only sell 4 varieties: NuMex 6-4 (or #20)[mild], Big Jim , Sandia [hot], and Lumbre [x-hot].
  • Colorado suppliers sell the same 4 varieties plus several beloved by Coloradans, particularly Pueblo Hot (also known as Mirasol or Mosco) [hot], Chubby and Dynamite [xxx-hot]; some offer quite a wide variety.
  • Some bundle the shipping in with each unit quantity. For instance some sell in 5 lb or 10 lb units with shipping included. With this approach, there is no way to save money by ordering larger quantities. Hence, these tend to be extremely expensive.
  • Shipping and handling also varies. Some use Ziploc bags which do not seal as well as vacuum packed bags; the vacuum packed bags will last far longer in the freezer, typically at least 2 years.

Is it worth the cost to have frozen chiles shipped?

I’ve seen forums where people say they’ll never pay the high price of shipping. But, if you shop wisely, you can have your favorite varieties of the best chiles in the world at your fingertips for the next 2 years for about $5/pound. Not bad!