The more you know about the world of hot peppers, the less you will tolerate insipid meals. Your taste buds will thank you.
Whether you like hot to roast peppers or roasted long hot peppers, you can turn just about any meal into a spicy adventure with their flavor.
Learn how to cook with hot peppers and get tips on which type to choose based on how hot you want your dish to be.
Types of Hot Peppers
Peppers come in various shapes, colors, and sizes and can be either mild or spicy. There are both fresh and dried varieties. Look for firm peppers without blemishes or soft spots. In general, small chili peppers are hotter than large ones.
Additionally, thinner chili peppers tend to be spicier than thicker ones. If you’re using raw peppers in your recipe, consider looking for one of these varieties:
- Bell pepper (sweet)
- Chipotleor habanero
How to Pick the Right Type
Be it hot peppers to roast or boil, for the best cooking, you need to consider the sheer number of peppers you need along with your time frame and some other things. They are no rules on how you can choose your hot peppers. You must use your judgment and dig in. However, a few tips may make things easier for you.
- Choose hot peppers based on their shape
- Consider the color of the pepper
- Consider the number of seeds per pepper
- Pick one with a balance of heat and flavor
- Go for bright colors
The Right Ways to Cook
The best cooking techniques for hot peppers include sautéing, boiling, roasting, or grilling them over direct heat. Before choosing your pepper recipe, you need to consider whether it will be mild or spicy. This can often depend on its level of maturity when harvested; younger fruit will tend to be hotter than older fruit.
This is an excellent technique if you’re looking to spice up something like chicken or pork. The roasting process helps remove most of a pepper’s seeds and heat. But it will still leave behind plenty of flavors.
Whether you plan for roasted long hot peppers or sliced peppers, try placing them under broiling elements for about five minutes or until their skins look wrinkly and slightly charred. You may need more time than that, depending on how many peppers you’re roasting at once.
Best Hot Pepper for Roasting
Selecting hot to roast pepper is easy if your know-how. Look for firm, glossy, evenly colored peppers without any blemishes or damage on their skin. The ideal size is about three inches long for smaller peppers or four inches long for larger ones. Below are some of the best ones to pick to prepare roasted long hot peppers.
- Ghost Pepper
Hot peppers that are good for grilling have thinner skin and flesh, making them easier to prepare. Jalapenos are some of the most demanded ones for grilling.
Remove seeds and rinse under water before putting them on a grill pan or in a foil packet. They’re ideal for making your jalapeno poppers, add cheese, or putting them into an omelet after they’ve finished cooking.
You can even chop them up and add them into grilled vegetable kebabs—with corn, green bell pepper, zucchini, summer squash, and serve them alongside quinoa for a delicious vegetarian meal that’s packed with flavor.
Stir-frying is a great way to use hot peppers because it maximizes their flavor without having them take over your dish.
Chop or slice peppers in small pieces, brown them in hot oil over medium heat, then add any veggies and seasonings you like.
For something on the sweeter side, try stir-frying peppers with onions, garlic, and corn kernels for a mild yet satisfying dinner side.
When choosing your pepper for stir-frying, choose one that’s not too spicy but has lots of flavors, much like hot to roast peppers. If you don’t have an Asian-style wok for stir-frying, use a deep skillet or sauté́ pan instead.
Cooking hot peppers in boiling water softens their skin and makes it easier to remove. It also removes some of their heat. So, if you’re cooking them for kids or adults who aren’t used to spicy food, simmering will be less painful.
For a subtle kick, sautéing whole hot peppers add heat and flavor without making you cry. Saute on medium-low heat to not burn (which would take away much of their flavor) but are thoroughly heated through. You can also throw peppers into soups or stews towards the end of cooking for added warmth.
Since you can consume hot peppers in various ways, you must understand how each form will affect your body. To better your health while maximizing your taste buds, make sure you choose hot peppers wisely.