Jalapeños add spice to your cooking, but when dicing them caution should be taken to avoid having this hot chile pepper bite back.
A compound called capsaicin is what gives jalapeños their heat. Most of that heat resides in the interior white part of the pepper and its seeds. So, when dicing a jalapeño you may want to wear food safe gloves to prevent getting any of the capsaicin on your hands. Also, be sure to wash your hands after cutting a jalapeño and whatever you do, avoid touching your eyes until you do.
The knife recommended for dicing a jalapeño is a paring knife with a length that is in line with the size of the pepper you’re cutting. For example, a 4" Paring Knife is a nice size for cutting medium to large jalapeños, while a paring knife with a shorter blade may work better for dicing small jalapeños.
Believe it or not, a jalapeño pepper is actually a fruit. While it is a hot pepper, it’s not the hottest on the Scoville Heat Scale. It hits somewhere in the middle, but the heat can vary pepper to pepper and falls somewhere between 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
When selecting a jalapeño, know that older peppers tend to be hotter than younger ones. As they mature, they grow a deeper green and develop stretch marks running the length of the pepper. If the jalapeño skin is lighter and smoother, it’s likely a younger, milder pepper.
Now that you’re armed with your hot pepper knowledge, learn how to easily dice a jalapeño from this quick video.
How to Dice a Jalapeño
*Consider using food safe gloves while cutting to protect your hands from the heat of the jalapeño.