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How to Tame Jalapeno Peppers and Make Them Cooler

Jalapeno peppers are easily the most loved hot or chili pepper in the world. It is flavorful and goes well with many foods. A large number of people would probably eat them but currently don’t because of the piquancy or heat of the peppers, though.

My own daughter and wife love the taste of jalapenos, but they can’t take the heat of the peppers. Believe me, it does absolutely no good to explain to either of them that jalapenos are the mildest chili peppers there are. That presented a problem. I love jalapenos and don’t mind the heat of the peppers, but in order to have them and keep everyone happy, I had to learn how to tame them. Thankfully, it is quite easy to do.

Many online sources recommend using vinegar to tame chili peppers. I definitely don’t use this approach, unless I’m specifically pickling the peppers. Mind you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with pickled peppers. However, vinegar changes the flavor of the peppers and the peppers are often still piquant.

The method I use is really quite simple. There are two steps. The first step is to slice the pepper in half, top to bottom if it is going to be stuffed. If it isn’t going to be stuffed, read on because the following applies to other uses of the peppers, except when they are used whole.

Note: When handling jalapenos or any other hot peppers, wear rubber gloves. Capsaicin, which is what makes peppers hot, adheres to skin and if you don’t wear disposable gloves and happen to touch your eyes, even hours later, you’ll get introduced to a far more severe form of pain than the peppers will give your tongue.

Once the peppers are sliced in half, remove the seeds and the white membrane that holds the seeds. These contain the majority of the capsaicin in the pepper. Just removing the seeds and membrane reduces the piquancy by over half.

The next step removes most of the rest of the capsaicin, without changing the flavor of the jalapenos.

Heat a pot of water to which salt has been added. The ratio of salt to water is about a tablespoon per quart. Bring this to a low boil.

Place the jalapeno peppers in the boiling water and boil for about two minutes. The longer they are in the water, the more capsaicin is neutralized. However, if the peppers are left in the boiling water too long, they’ll get mushy. You can experiment with the ideal length of time to leave them in the boiling salt water bath for your taste.

After they’ve boiled, remove the peppers and put them on towels to cool until they can be handled. The peppers can then be used any way you want to use them. They’ll still taste like jalapenos, but without the ‘hot’. 

Using this method of taming the jalapenos, we are able to have stuffed jalapeno peppers once every couple of months and both my wife and daughter can enjoy them because they are about as mild as bell peppers. Even after I started taming them in this way, for some time my daughter refused to even try them, for fear of the ‘bite’. That changed one night when I made 18 large cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped jalapeno peppers. My daughter was very hungry that night and the peppers smelled so good that she decided to be brave and take a tiny taste.

She was immediately amazed and ended up eating half of the stuffed jalapenos I’d made. This really does work, folks. It is a really simple way to tame jalapenos or any other chili pepper, should you want to.


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Written by Rex Trulove

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