Habanero Pepper Cooking Tips
Handling Habanero Peppers
It is always a good practice to wear rubber gloves when handling chili peppers, especially habaneros. Chili peppers contain oils that make them hot and can burn your skin and eyes.
I personally do not have trouble with burning on the skin, but many times have rubbed my eye and received quite the wake up call. Ouch!
In short, it’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves.
Working with Dried Habanero Peppers
Dried habanero or other dried chili peppers are great to have around because they store for a very long time. If you don't have fresh ingredients on hand, you can always count on your dried chilies for a quick and easy salsa.
Typically, you'll want to rehydrate your chili peppers. Do so by soaking them in a bowl with hot water, about 10 minutes, until they soften. The water can be reserved to include in some recipes so do not immediately discard it. You can also lightly boil the dried chilies about 5 minutes or so.
Cut off the stems and remove the seeds by slitting open the peppers and scooping them out. You can then chop them and use as needed.
As always, if you have sensitive skin, use rubber gloves when handling hot peppers.
Reducing the Habanero Heat
If you love the flavor of habanero peppers but have a hard time with the heat, try removing the seeds and innards of the habaneros. Slice the pepper flesh accordingly and add to the your recipe, without the seeds and innards. The majority of the heat resides within. This will not remove all of the heat, but it will reduce it considerably.