If you’re someone who likes things spicy—like set-your-mouth-on-fire spicy—then you’ve come to the right place. Adding peppers or chiles to a recipe amps up the flavor and cranks up the heat in all types of dishes, from appetizers and mains to desserts and drinks. Cooking with these ingredients can be exciting but also challenging, and knowing what you’re doing will help you achieve the most delicious results.
How to Cook with Extremely Hot Peppers
Before we get ahead of ourselves, we should first discuss the proper way to handle superhot peppers and chiles. The most dangerous part is the seeds, so it’s important to wear protective gloves when working with them. You should avoid touching any part of your body, especially your face, and always wash your hands after handling, since the oils can stay on your skin and cause irritation.
Prior to incorporating hot peppers into a recipe, it’s essential to understand their heat level. For example, a cayenne pepper measures between 30,000 and 50,000 Scoville heat units (SHU) compared to a jalapeño, which is only 2,500 to 8,000 SHU. A little goes a long way, so it’s better to under-spice a dish until you know just exactly how much heat your pepper is packing.