How to Cut a Chile Pepper

Some like it hot, and some like it scalding, but learning the right way to cut a chile will ensure you maintain your cool.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Rinse pepper Quickly rinse the chile pepper under cold running water or use a damp paper towel to wipe any dirt from the chile.
  • TIP: To avoid painful or harmful irritation, do not touch your eyes, nose, or mucus membranes while handling hot chiles. If the chiles are particularly hot, wear rubber gloves.
  • Step 2: Cut off stem Place the chile in the center of a cutting board and cut off the stem just below the curve.
  • Step 3: Cut lengthwise Slice the chile in half lengthwise from stem to end.
  • Step 4: Cut away insides With the paring knife, cut away the seeds and the thin whitish ribs (also called ‘membranes’).
  • TIP: If you want as much heat as possible, leave the membranes and seeds intact, but the pepper is usually plenty hot—and more aesthetically pleasing—with membranes and seeds removed.
  • Step 5: Cut chile Your chile is now prepped for cutting however you like: slice it, dice it, chop it, or drop it…into a food processor.
  • Step 6: Wash Wash your hands and utensils thoroughly.
  • FACT: The Scoville scale ranks the heat of chiles by measuring their chemical compound capsaicin; while sweet bell peppers are a zero, habaneros can measure up to 300,000 units.

You Will Need

  • Water
  • A fresh chile pepper
  • A paring knife
  • A cutting board
  • And some soap
  • A pair of rubber gloves

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