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Remove the Heat of a Pepper (not simply de-seeding!)

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Picture of Remove the Heat of a Pepper (not simply de-seeding!)
My method of removing 100% of the "hotness" of a pepper, or if you like, just minimalize it.
All you need is a knife, a thumb, some rubber gloves, olive oil, and a strong potable alcohol of your choice (tequila goes best with the flavor, in my opinion).

Many people, even the great Food Network, believe that the best way to reduce the heat of a pepper is to remove the seeds. While that is quick and effective, the theory is several decades old and outdated.

Most hot peppers on the market belong to the Capsicum genus. That burning sensation is caused by capsaicin, the lipophilic substance located in the seed pod and in "blisters" lining the pepper's inner walls.

This method first dilutes and loosens the capsaicin, then dissolves it away, leaving you with strictly the pepper's flavor.


To start, you will need:
- chili pepper of your choice
- sharp paring knife
- cutting board
- olive oil
- a strong alcoholic beverage (at least 80 proof)
- latex gloves (or synthetic, whatever)
- a shot glass
- a rocks glass or "lowball" glass
 
 
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Step 1: Cutting the Beast

Be sure to have both gloves on before any of the following steps!
I slipped up at the end and took one off, and that kinda ruined my day. lol

With the knife, cut the top of the pepper to remove the stem.

Next, slice one side from top to bottom to open it up.

To remove the placenta (seed pod), cut the connective tissues between it and the inner wall.
l8nite7 months ago
Any attempts made so far to flash-fry with the tequilla after it's taken in the habanero juices? Habanero infused tequilla chicken HAS to be tasty. I'm going to try this fairly soon. I've faved it. I make a mean gazpacho and I've always wanted to get that citrusy bite of habaneros without making the stuff inedible. The real test though, can you eat the habaneros raw after you do this? It really removes ALL of the heat? My gazpacho is mild and cool, and while I have a spicy gazpacho I don't want to add heat to my signature version.
DeLorean4905 (author)  I Am An Evil Taco5 years ago
Thanks! You can eat the whole thing raw afterward, but it still has a little heat unless it was soaked for 3-4 hours. One thing I found with this though, is that they really dont have much in the way of flavor besides the heat. They taste a lot like an orange bell pepper. lol I guess need to add a video of me eating the before and after cuts.
I eat the whole thing plain fresh off the bush, Shrugs... Evil Taco, I use habanero and ghost pepper infused vodka for cooking all the time
l8nite7 months ago
I have never asked this question before on instructables but... WHY?? I have used alcohol for years to make a habanero or ghost pepper infused vodka, not only do they make a great bloody mary but I also use them in cooking, the alcohol cooks off quickly leaving just the heat behind
dergills1 year ago
Okay, I was pretty skeptical about this process, but I tried it anyway. I worked on three jalapenos (1 fresh, and 2 slightly wrinkled). Amazingly this works (yes, I truly had doubts). I did not use gloves and with the olive oil and tequila rinses, I did not experience burning. The control piece was pretty damned hot. The rinsed piece was smooth...as is my jalapeno tequila I am sipping now. Thanks for a GREAT tip!!
matwood692 years ago
Has anyone fire roasted these deheated peppers after they are dried out?
talonts4 years ago
Thanks for a great idea for "excess" habaneros!

Rather than use this to strip the peppers to make them mild (i.e. useless ;-), it sounds like a great use for kicking up some major heat in a drink using 190 proof grain for the soaking.

Hmmm, I had some spare habaneros a few months back, and no time to get other ingredients for salsa, so I just cleaned them and blended them with white vinegar, then added grain for the final blend for storage.  Well, either the vinegar or the grain has separated at the top of the jar......I'm wondering how that will taste ;-)
Brings a new definition to "flaming shot."
DeLorean4905 (author)  Cat on my Lap6 years ago
definitely. lol. The kind I made last week (about 3 habaneros soaked in the amount in a minibar bottle) has a pretty nice level of heat to it. I would say it's about the level of a weak serrano. -but the burn is different; it doesnt stay as long as biting a pepper would. also the kind I made tastes like crap since i used cheap tequila for it. I don't remember the name of it, but it wasn't the Patron that's in the picture. I didnt even use that for the pictured experiment, but the bottle just looked better than the cheap stuff lol.
don't bother with patron, use sauza's top-shelf, tres generaciones. it's cheaper and smoother than patron.
lol!!!!  tequila connoisseur eh??
bustedit5 years ago
you use patron for this??? you must be Richy Rich, thats a $50 bottle in my parts. i wont drink anything less, but personally im too cheap to use it for cleaning peppers.
DeLorean4905 (author)  bustedit5 years ago
haha! no, i used moctezuma to test the method. But I used maybe 2 jiggers of patron for a final sample to keep. Moctezuma is just plain nasty...
tabi5 years ago
THANK YOU, I am mexican (a fake one I guess, or so my family tell me) but I do not like hot food! so this instructable will save my life next September when I make chiles en nogada (a very mexican dish made with poblanos filled w/mincemeat and covered in a green walnut sauce) :D If anyone is interested I can post the recipe/instructable here, but I must warn you, it´s time consuming and labor heavy ;)
canida6 years ago
While I'm not likely to bother de-heating chiles except once or twice to test it out, I love the idea of using them to spike alcohol.

Our next party will have some... unexpected beverages. ;)
Patrik canida6 years ago
Habanero caffeine jello shots? :-D
holy crap i so have to make those... lemon or lime jello would probably work really well for that.
yeah, umm dont wear gloves, chop some peppers and go to the bathroom, see what happens........
I've done that many times.. Interesting sensation....
DeLorean4905 (author)  Yerboogieman5 years ago
lol, or drive.
HAHAHAHA
once i chopped jalapeños, and like 4 hours later i rubbed my eye and couldn't open my eye for aboot an hour
people are like slinkeys, not really good for anything but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs, lol, jk jk
lol
heydavis5 years ago
Steps 2 & 3 missed a very important point: It is imperative to remove every trace of white flesh , the ribs that connected the seed core to the outer pepper shell! This is easily done by flattening the pepper and using a very sharp paring knife to slice parallel to the flesh and slightly into it under the white membranes. It is likely that the scraping technique in Step three might remove it too, but some folks might interpret it wrongly and just scrape between the white ribs (which can be extremely firery!).
One can imagine some surprising cocktails made from Step 6 liquors!
DeLorean4905 (author)  heydavis5 years ago
shoot, yeah i need to go change that- thanks! Although that was kinda the point, showing that not ALL the heat is in the seed pod... but there is a good portion of it there.
Tester50005 years ago
*LOL* I read this and fell over laughing... I´ve been doing this to make hot tequila shots for years. Great party favorite!
jtobako6 years ago
Another way is to choose carefully-young, bright green, crisp, fresh peppers are hotter than older, darker, softer ones.
yah, like the broads around here
a way to tell if a jalapeño is hot or not is to look for vertical stretch marks on it. the more lines, the hotter it will be.
i know the whole thing of the be nice policy but wouldnt it be easier to just use bell peppers instead if you want pepper in ur dish or use a less spicy pepper cause i know there pretty big ones that are really low in c
DeLorean4905 (author)  nightninja876 years ago
and also to show up the food network stars, who continually claim that removing the seed pod is the best way to take the heat out. Habaneros turned out not to be a very good example though, as the capsaicin is stored more in the flesh (instead of mostly in blisters like a jalapeno or serrano).
DeLorean4905 (author)  nightninja876 years ago
Well first off, they have completely different flavors. Secondly, this was mostly a challenge to see how effective the scrape-flush method was. If you do this without the soak at the end, you can use several in a dish instead of just 1... so you can get a much stronger flavor.
DeLorean4905 (author) 6 years ago
I use this for making pico de gallo, to get alot of jalapeno flavor in there withjust a touch of heat -instead of overwhelming hot. I think peppers that are bred to be mild are sometimes inherently mild flavored as well.
Patrik6 years ago
Since you're doing this with a strain of peppers which have been selected and bred explicitly for their capsaicin content, that raises the question:

Which peppers actually taste better after you remove the capsaicin?
DeLorean4905 (author)  Patrik6 years ago
I was really surprised, the habaneros actually did have an ok flavor. It wasn't anything near as good as a jalapeno though, but it wasn't terrible. I do this to isolate the flavor to see what will go with it in my own perspective. Everclear would probably work much better, especially since it wouldnt impart fits own flavors into the pepper, but I never have that stuff sitting around the house. I do enjoy some heat in peppers, but not more than about 30,000 SHU's. I just chose habaneros as an example to see how effective the process without the soaking would be, as they are the hottest pepper available in my area.
Ah, purely experimental then.

Of course, the next step would be to figure out which pepper you like best for its taste, and then infuse the desired amount of capsaicin into it! I bet you could boil off most of the alcohol to purify the capasicin, and soak some sweet peppers into that...
DeLorean4905 (author)  Patrik6 years ago
i was thinking it would be cool to get straight capsaicin out of it, but didnt consider everclear at the time.
but yeah, with (what is it- 195 proof?) everclear, no other flavor would be left after it's boiled off.

I want a vacuum chamber / heating unit. ethanol boils off at just under 80* celsius in normal pressure. if you can get the pressure low enough, it will even boil below room tempurature. they usually dont get that powerful, but you can boil off water and such without denaturing proteins or burning the other stuff in whatever you're cooking.
This might help:

make a manual vacuum pump for under $20 by converting a bicycle pump

Then again, capsaicin is a fatty compound, with a boiling temperature of 210 - 220 C, so you should just be able to boil off the alcohol without the need for a vacuum chamber.
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