Tip: Handling Hot Peppers
Hot peppers contain a nutrient in them called capsicum. Capsicum is what creates the burning sensation in your mouth when you eat something that’s made with hot peppers. It can also burn your skin. When you pick peppers with your bare hands, the capsicum can get on your skin and burn. If you touch your eyes or your mouth with the capsicum on your skin, you can actually get burns that need to be treated medically.
The best thing to do when handling peppers is to wear gloves. This will protect your skin from the capsicum. While you’re working with the peppers, even with gloves on, be careful of touching any exposed skin, your eyes, or your mouth at any time. Constantly be cautious that what you’re handling can physically hurt your skin.
I wear rubber gloves so that I don’t worry about getting them wet. But, I’ve used garden gloves to pick them in a pinch.
The whole time I’m touching the raw pepper, I wear gloves. And, when it’s time to take them off, I wash my hands with them on, using soap and hot water. Only then do I remove them, being careful not to touch the outside of them.
You might even want to wear a mask or a handkerchief over your mouth and nose while you’re cutting fresh peppers. Otherwise, the area around your cutting board can become toxic as if you’d sprayed pepper spray (which is made from — yep — capsicum.) The day I took these pictures I almost had to leave the kitchen once I had the peppers sliced. It was quite painful. My eyes watered, my nose started running, the back of my throat burned, and it started to hurt to take a breath making me cough uncontrollably. It was a terrible sensation, and the next time I go into cutting jalapenos or any hot pepper, I will make sure I don’t breathe in the fumes without some type of protection.
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Thanks for the tips. I usually let my hubby handle the peppers but I think I might try them next time. Thanks for all your wonderful post. Keep them coming! :)
They usually don’t bother me terribly unless I touch my face or I am cutting a bunch of different ones up for salsa. Jalapenos don’t usually bother me at all, it is the others. Great tip! :)
Humans are such strange creatures. I wonder how it is we decided to eat something that we know burns our skin.
Hubby cuts peppers most of the time and he doesn’t have problems unless he rubs his eye or his nose (because he forgets or thinks he’s washed well enough). Me on the other hand, I have to use gloves or it burns for days and it really hurts. And that’s just with jalapenos! Thanks for reminding me I need to get some gloves! :)
1. I StumbleUpon-ed this! 2. I’m so glad you showed yourself wearing rubber gloves for this recipe. I once made a hot sauce from scratch NOT using hand protection and got an amazingly bad chemical burn all over my hands. Gloves are essential when cutting and seeding lots of hot peppers!
Gee, handling hot peppers without proper gloves? These things appear to be harmless, but
they’re not, they do contain chemicals (i.e. Capsaicin), and can do a number on your skin.
Some guys simply don’t wear rubber gloves ’cause they wanna look tough, but you gotta be
very careful with handling that stuff, or you may end up burn your hands, and it applies to
both guys, and girls. I’ve already had issues with things like that, so I’d recommend gloves.
So wish I had seen this before! Christmas Day made bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeños for appetizers…had made them before without a problem…but that day everything you described happened, eyes watering, throat burning, coughing uncontrollably , literally gasping for air like I was having an asthma attack! hands started burning…will def use all the precautions you mentioned next time!