There’s a Right Way to Cut Chili Peppers

If you’re a chili head, you may find it difficult to believe that there are homes that don’t keep a variety of fresh chili peppers alongside a small gallery of hot sauces in the fridge.

We also find it difficult to believe. You know, we have pastes, dried peppers, extracts, chili oils, and more next to our fresh chilies and hot sauces. But maybe we take it to the extreme. Maybe.

Still, our day-in and day-out exposure to chili peppers mean we’ve seen too many people handling them badly. (Perhaps it’s actually all the food videos posted on Facebook throughout the day.)

Removing the Seeds from Chili Peppers

We don’t see any merit in removing the seeds from our chili peppers; we love the heat they deliver. But, we do find this the ideal time to mention that chili pepper seeds do not produce any heat themselves. They will carry some capsaicin as a coating as they’re pushed up against the membrane which is where the heat is.

You will reduce the heat slightly if you cut out the seeds of your chili peppers. But, and this is a big but, we only recommend taking the time to do this if you’re just beginning your journey to full chili head status. Otherwise, just use a little less of the chili. It’s not bad to know how to deseed a chili; it’s just that it creates an extra step in the food process – and an unnecessary one at that.

If you really must, there are two ways to deseed a chili pepper. Either slice it open lengthwise and push the seeds out with the edge of a spoon from the bottom to the top of the chili.

Alternatively, you can cut off the head of a chili pepper and gently dislodge the seeds inside with a knife. It takes a bit more practice to manage. And, you may have to resort to shaking your pepper violently or running it under the faucet to remove the seeds.

And, as we say, it’s unnecessary. You can just reduce the amount of pepper you use.

The Easiest Way to Cut a Chili Pepper

Let’s imagine that you have a long, green chili pepper with a bit of stem still left on. Do you grab your sharpest knife, a cutting board, and a pair of gloves?

You could, but it’s easier to grab a bowl and a pair of kitchen shears. Hold the stem of the chili pepper and cut small rings off the tip of the chili pepper into the bowl. When the rings become too wide for your liking, simply add a few cuts lengthwise into the chili, and you will have crescent-shaped or diced peppers. No mess. No gloves. No fuss.

You don’t even need a bowl; you can cut your chili peppers right into the frying pan if you like. Not only will you save a hell of a lot of time and your hands, but you will also avoid bruising the delicious flesh of the chili pepper.

We are going to add a quick warning, though. There are mild chili peppers that you can hold in your hands, and then there are chili peppers with extreme Scoville levels. If you’re dealing with one of those chilies, be smart and wear gloves. Really.

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