You are probably wondering if microwaving jalapeños makes them spicier or less spicy. We've researched how to best prepare jalapeños, including whether to serve them raw, and have some answers for you here.
Absolutely do NOT microwave jalapeños. Microwaving jalapeños is not recommended due to the fact that if you try to microwave jalapenos or hot peppers, the capsaicin inside of them will turn into an aerosol which is then likened to pepper spray. The steam that comes out as a result of microwaving jalapeños will burn your eyes and skin as soon as you open the door of your microwave.
There is a lot more to know about cooking with jalapeños, so keep reading! If you must microwave them, we've got tips for that. Plus, general preparation and cooking methods to help you maximize the spicy flavor and minimize any skin or eye irritations that peppers can induce.
Cooking with Capsaicin
Capsaicin is what makes peppers spicy. Chopping jalapeños will make the skin on your fingers burn, so it is suggested that you wear gloves when cutting them. By gloves, we propose you use rubber gloves like the ones you would use to wash dishes rather than latex. Capsaicin can seep through latex even when the latex is thick. The reason you are advised to wear rubber gloves is because of the oil inside or on jalapeños. When the oil makes contact with your skin, it causes an unpleasant burning sensation.
If you still want to try microwaving jalapeños anyway, cut them in half, remove the seeds and membrane first, and then microwave them on half power for short spurts of time.
Since most of the capsaicin in jalapeños is in the membrane and seeds, removing those will help you prevent the jalapeños from turning into an aerosol when microwaved. To choose the safer route, there are several alternatives to microwaving when it comes to cooking jalapeños. You can boil, broil, grill, sauté, smoke, or bake them.
Jalapeño Health Benefits
Cutting off the end of the pepper and soaking your jalapeños in water before chopping them is one way to dilute the capsaicin and help with the problem of them burning your skin. Try not to breathe in deeply when chopping your jalapeños because you can accidentally breathe in capsaicin molecules which will likely result in a coughing fit.
Jalapeños encompass health benefits from the vitamins inside. They have folate in them, which can treat certain kinds of anemia. Folate is also important for pregnant women or women who plan to become pregnant. This is because folate helps your body produce healthy red blood cells. In essence, folate is essential for everyone.
Jalapeños are full of potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. They contain an antioxidant called carotene as well. Capsaicin is also understood to be an anti-inflammatory.
Whether you like your jalapeños spicier or less hot, it is always helpful to feel good about what you are eating. It is best to cook jalapeños on your stovetop, in your oven, or on a grill.
How Do You Make Jalapeños Hotter?
In order to make jalapeños hotter, keep the membrane and seeds in place. When you grill jalapeños, the membrane breaks down during the cooking process. When the membrane breaks down, it then soaks into the outer shell of the jalapeño, which results in it tasting hotter than it would have otherwise. If you want to make your jalapeños hotter, this is a good technique to use.
Because broiling exposes direct heat to whatever you are broiling, this method will also result in hotter jalapeños. Red jalapeños tend to be sweeter, but can also be hotter because they have had longer to ripen on the plant. If you want your jalapeños to be as hot as possible, allow them to ripen for an extended period of time.
If you happen to grow your own jalapeños, it is beneficial to know that it results in hotter peppers when the plant is stressed. You can add Epsom salt to the soil you are using to grow your jalapeño plant, and this will also cause hotter peppers to grow.
What Is The Hottest Part Of A Jalapeño?
The hottest part of jalapeños is the membrane inside of it and the seeds. This membrane has the most capsaicin in it. Surprisingly, capsaicin has qualities that make it the healthiest part of the jalapeño. This is where most of the nutrients are stored. Jalapeños that have remained on the vine for a longer period of time tend to be hotter.
If you forget to wear gloves during the process of cutting your jalapeños and end up with burning hands, also known as jalapeño hands, create a paste by using baking soda and water to immerse your hands. Alternatively, if you find yourself lacking baking soda in your kitchen, soaking your jalapeno hands in a mixture of water and vinegar will help ease the burn.
How Do You Make Jalapeños Not Hot?
First, to make jalapeños less spicy, cut the stem off, slice your jalapeño in half, and scoop out the seeds. As a reminder, do not forget to wear gloves during this procedure to help safeguard from your skin burning. Cook your jalapeño longer to continue to break down the capsaicin and let it dissolve over time.
Another option to make your peppers less hot is to pickle them. For this method, you will need to soak cooked jalapeños in a mixture of water and vinegar. It is best to use sliced jalapeños in this case. The reason you should use cooked peppers for this process is to further ensure they are able to soak up the mixture. After an hour of soaking, do a taste test of the jalapeños. If they are still too spicy for your liking, make a new mixture and let them soak longer.
Soaking jalapeños in whole fat milk is another choice for making them less hot. This is because milk breaks down the capsaicin and oil that make the peppers so hot. By somewhat neutralizing the intensity, the result will be that your jalapeños are less hot. In addition to whole fat milk, sour cream, heavy cream, cottage cheese, coconut milk, and yogurt are supplementary resources to use for dissolving the capsaicin in jalapeños.
As odd as it may seem, you can soak jalapeños in Sprite to reduce the heat too. It is suggested that you use diet Sprite so that your jalapeños do not become sugary. Soaking them dilutes the capsaicin, which then results in jalapeños that are not quite as hot.
Does Boiling Peppers Reduce Heat?
Boiling jalapeños does make peppers less hot. When they are cooked in this manner, they lose about half of their capsaicin. Red jalapeños do not lose as much capsaicin as green jalapeños, though. This is because red jalapeños have had more time to grow, which means they have had more time to absorb the oil from the capsaicin inside. The longer you boil them, the less hot they will be.
Typically, when you boil fruits or vegetables, they lose a lot of their flavor. This happens because the jalapeños, in this case, absorb water which in turn makes them less spicy.
Are Jalapeños Better Cooked Or Raw?
Most people enjoy jalapeños cooked, although a case can be made for eating them cooked or raw. This is truly a personal preference. Either way, slicing them before you cook them is the best way to go. Sometimes eating them raw can sort of make them taste plant-like, so most people like to cook them first.
Cooking jalapeños also makes them more tender. If you prefer to eat them raw, you can try them on salad, in smoothies, or pickled. If you like them better cooked, bake them in cornbread, omelets, or mix them in nacho cheese for a spicy cheese dip.
Overall, it is not recommended to microwave jalapeños or any hot pepper for that matter. Your safest option is to choose a different cooking method other than microwaving when preparing jalapeños the way you like. Whether you chop them or cook them whole, keep in mind the membrane and seeds hold the most capsaicin in them, which means that is the spiciest part.
Before you go, if you would like to learn more about your options in regards to cooking with vegetables, check out the following links:
Can You Dice Vegetables In A Food Processor?
How To Shred Vegetables In A Food Processor In 4 Easy Steps