Top tips for safely handling hot peppers

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Hot peppers are a great way to spice up any meal.

It’s not a great idea to start slicing into them with your bare hands. These peppers are packed with heat! Some peppers rank so high on the Scoville scale they can actually burn your skin. Luckily, it’s easy to dodge the burn with a few easy tips.

Put on gloves!

The best tip of all is to put on a pair of gloves. Sure, it seems a little overboard, but believe us you’ll be glad you did! When the capsaicin from hot peppers gets on our skin it’s hard to get rid of it. Even washing your hands doesn’t always do the trick. That’s why if you’re using Scoville scale peppers even as mild as jalapenos, you’re better off wearing some rubber gloves.

Don’t use hot water!

Usually, we’re told to use hot water and soap to keep our hands clean, but in the case of hot peppers, you may want to turn down the tap. Hot steam can actually spread capsaicin, potentially up to your nose and eyes. That’s definitely something you don’t want to happen! Instead, use cold water to wash hot peppers, utensils and your cutting board. In this case, you’re also better off using cold water and soap on your hands when you’re finished.

Don’t spread the heat!

Finally, be sure you’re not unintentionally passing on the heat to others. If you’re handling hot peppers, don’t touch anything else. That means don’t try to look up a quick recipe on your phone, either. Even if you’re wearing gloves, you could end up unintentionally spreading the capsaicin to other surfaces, and potentially exposing other people to the heat later on. The same goes with pepper products, including extracts. Sure, they’re worth the extra flavor, just be smart about how you use them.


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