I know that to be really safe, especially with really hot peppers or large quantities, gloves are the way to go. But often I don't really need gloves: I have a small quantity of something not too hot (jalapeños or serranos), and I have a reasonable tolerance. How should I chop or mince them, minimizing the amount of capsaicin I get on my hands?
I won't claim that this is universal, and I probably wouldn't try it with scotch bonnets or ghost peppers, but this is what I do with poblanos, seranos, jalapenos, and the like:
Here is how I would dice a jalapeno (I like the red ones the best) or similar small pepper. For this, I would use a paring knife. For a larger pepper, like a poblano, I would use chef knife or a santuko:
If you want a hotter product, and a more rustic one, with a small pepper, you can simply:
If you want very hot dice, you can then:
I have used this method with Scotch Bonnets and Habaneros. Jalapenos are tame in comparison. All bets are off with Ghost Peppers. Those are weapons grade.:
Besides that, the simple ways you can minimize burn:
p.s. don't even think of taking a bio-break in the middle of dealing with peppers.
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Just use a scrap of paper to hold the chile with
A 100 mm square-ish piece would suffice to hold most chiles. Just lay the paper over it on the cutting board, and pinch it gently
If the paper gets wet or oily, grab another piece
Any scrap paper would do, but glossy "junk mail" types would tend to be more water proof, and free. Discard paper after use