Peppers, Hot, or Chiles

Appears in

Professional Cooking

Professional Cooking

By Wayne Gisslen

Published 2014

  • About
  • Identification: Relatives of sweet peppers, but containing a compound called capsaicin, which makes them spicy hot. (Chile is the original Spanish spelling; also spelled chili and chilli.)
  • Related Varieties: Many varieties are available worldwide. The heat of any particular pepper is determined by how much capsaicin it contains and is measured in Scoville units. A mildly hot jalapeño averages 2,500–3,000 units, while the intensely hot habanero averages around 200,000 units. Commonly used fresh chiles include the jalapeño, serrano, poblano, California, New Mexico, Thai green, and cayenne.
  • Evaluation: See Peppers, Sweet.
  • Preparation: Larger fresh chile peppers, such as poblano, mulato, New Mexico, and Anaheim, are usually roasted and prepared like sweet peppers. Small peppers, such as cayenne, jalapeño, and serrano, are usually chopped or sliced and used as seasoning. Remove core, veins, and seeds carefully; wear rubber gloves if you are sensitive to the hot oils, and avoid touching the eyes or any sensitive part of the skin after working with chiles.
  • Percentage Yield: 80–90%