Hot Pepper Guide
Cooking & Using Hot Peppers
Hot Peppers, it’s what’s for dinner!
For some, the idea of cooking with Hot Peppers, especially SuperHot Peppers, has little appeal. But for those who enjoy some spice in their food and understand these Hot Peppers, it is an absolute joy. Using the right pepper in the correct amount is the answer for success.
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Hot Pepper Scoville Rating
The ‘Hotness’ of a pepper is indicated by its Scoville Rating which goes from 0 (zero) in the Bell Pepper to over 2 Million in the Carolina Reaper. You can use any pepper in your dish, just use the right amount. I make my Chili Recipe (1 lb burger, 2 cans tomatoes, 1 can beans, bell pepper, onion etc.) using 1 Bahamian Beast Pepper ( 500K Scoville) and it is just right for us; mildish for me and hot enough for Kathy. If I use a Dragon’s Breath (2 M Scoville) I can only use 1/4 of a pepper or it will be way too hot for Kathy. Once you learn your Scoville Tolerance you can try out different peppers without making your dish too hot or even too mild. All our fresh peppers are packaged separately and labeled with their Scoville Rating.
Hot Pepper Storage
Our peppers, like any fresh pepper, only last so long after they are picked. Refrigerated they last maybe a week or so before they get soft. The better option is to freeze them right away. It is highly likely you will dice super fine or even puree your peppers before adding to your dish. This ensures the flavor, and heat, is equally distributed throughout the dish. If you chop an extreme pepper, like the Reaper (2 M Scoville), and you get a big chunk in a bite, it will be like eating a raw pepper .. and most folks would never want to experience that.
When you freeze the peppers it also breaks down the tissue or fibers so when thawed it is very soft and purees really well. It is what I do for all my Hot Sauces, Salsas and BBQ Sauces. You can rinse them or not before freezing. You’ll want to rinse them before use either way.
The Heat is Not in the Seeds! Inside the pepper is a white substance called the pith or placenta where the seeds are formed. There is also an oily liquid there that is the Capsaicin, that is where the heat is. You can, and should in most cases, remove the seeds for mostly aesthetic reasons. You can scrape out the Pith to remove some of the heat though I see no reason to. If you want it milder, just use less pepper. The easiest way to remove seeds/pith is to cut peppers in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Make sure to use gloves when handling peppers. Getting that Capsaicin in your eyes or on other ‘sensitive’ areas can be extremely painful, though it should only last 10-15 min … but it can be a long 10 min.
Feel free to email me with any questions, and Enjoy!