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If I'm chopping fresh chillis to use as an ingredient, does how fine I chop them affect the heat of the dish in any way?

Logically, smaller pieces would expose a greater surface area, however, I have experienced greater heat from a dish when using larger pieces.

  • How are you planning to use them? Are you adding chopped as a garnish or to raw food, or cooking them? – GdD Oct 24 '19 at 9:41
  • @GdD I was thinking of a garnish to raw food specifically, but would be interested if it makes a difference in either case. – Robin Salih Oct 24 '19 at 16:34
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It really does depend how you're cooking them.

Logically, smaller pieces would expose a greater surface area, however, I have experienced greater heat from a dish when using larger pieces.

The small pieces give an even heat that permeates the dish, but the big pieces give a burst of heat when you encounter them. Even using both wouldn't be unreasonable.

The difference will be reduced in long slow cooking, especially with some fat in the sauce, as the capsaicin (i.e. the heat) will have more chance of dissolving and spreading into the rest of the food.

  • Thanks for the edit @AlexM; I seem completely incapable of typing today – Chris H Oct 24 '19 at 19:29
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    No worries, thanks for approving the edit. It's a good answer – Alex M Oct 24 '19 at 19:40

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