56 votes
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Confused about cayenne pepper, chili powder and paprika

Cayenne pepper powder comes from the cayenne pepper. It is hot/spicy, registering 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. Chilli powder, depending where you live, can mean anything between pure powdered ...
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  • 63.9k
52 votes
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Does chilli get milder with cooking?

You'll sometimes hear television cooking show hosts describe what they're doing as "cooking out" the paste. What they're actually doing is altering the flavor of the chili itself, not manipulating the ...
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  • 4,056
38 votes
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Mold on homemade sriracha

Do NOT eat this. You figured out right that the stuff on top is mold. The thing that makes mold dangerous is the mycotoxins produced by it and these will likely remain in the sauce even if you scrape ...
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  • 1,694
35 votes

Is there a Scoville scale for "coldness" (e.g. mint)?

There are thermal sensation scales, and they are applied in food research too, although their primary use tends to be focused on clothing or environment. They tend to be categorical rather than ratio ...
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  • 124k
23 votes

Confused about cayenne pepper, chili powder and paprika

They give a similar range of flavours, but in quite different proportions. They’re all made from ground roasted or dried red peppers of some kind, so all of them involve some amounts of spiciness (...
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  • 1,004
22 votes
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Could you smoke a sauce?

What you're describing isn't all that different from how they make various products like Liquid Smoke (make smoke along with steam, then condense that steam). You will need to make sure that some ...
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  • 5,449
21 votes
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How to tell if preserved chillis are still good?

Alcohol is a disinfectant, so any bacteria sitting around for a month in vodka have been thoroughly killed... The only thing to worry about is that if some of the chillies were not completely ...
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  • 5,771
18 votes

How to tell if preserved chillis are still good?

As Fabby notes in their answer, alcohol is an excellent preservative. As long as your peppers are fully submerged, it's extremely unlikely that they could rot or spoil in any way. (If they aren't, ...
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17 votes
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Do fresh chilli peppers have properties that ground chilli peppers do not?

The main property that is different is that fresh chili peppers contain water. That means a significant difference in the kinds of flavors that are perceived when you consume them. Probably, most ...
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  • 63.9k
17 votes
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Mild chili powder?

As you have found, often the generic chili powders that are sold in the US by the major brands like Schwarz aren't pure chili powder, they have other additives like oregano, salt and garlic. The best ...
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  • 66.6k
16 votes

Is there a way to experience pepper's endorphins effects without the burning sensation?

According to my research, the effect of capsaicin that causes the burning sensation is indirectly responsible for the pleasurable release of endorphins, which are the brain's way of counter-acting the ...
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  • 14.7k
16 votes

What was Indian food like before the arrival of the chili pepper from the Americas?

Hardly - pepper was exported from India before chillis were introduced. Some linguistic subgroups still use it in preference to chillis, and certain dishes use it in preference to (or in addition to) ...
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15 votes
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Does peppers (capsaicin) actually burn?

The "heat" associated with capsaicin isn't something that would show up in thermal imaging. Spicy foods will not be warmer on your plate or in your mouth than a non-spicy item exposed to the ...
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  • 8,066
14 votes
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is Doubanjiang (sezhuan hot bean paste) an acceptable substitute in recipes calling for gochujang (Korean hot sauce)?

Both are mildly spicy, but the similarities end there. Gochujang is tangy and slightly sweet, whereas doubanjiang is more salty, savory and fermented-tasting. Even the textures don't match up: ...
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  • 20.1k
14 votes
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Do dried poblano/ancho chili have an expiration date?

Dried hot peppers lose flavor and heat over time. At ten years old, your poblano peppers are probably fairly bland. Smell them. If they don't smell bad, taste them. (Taste them cautiously; they may ...
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  • 3,098
13 votes

Roasting smaller, thinly skinned peppers - removing peel

I've been slacking! Here are my (very overdue) experiment results. The blowtorch worked like a charm for almost all of the smaller peppers. I skewered the peppers, charred the skins with the ...
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  • 58k
12 votes

Mild chili powder?

You could look for chili powders online. Alternatively, you can buy (mild) dried chillies and grind them to a powder yourself, using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. This way, you can even ...
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  • 4,811
12 votes

Adding chili powder to a dish makes it dark black

I make my own chili powder by drying (already dried) chilies in the oven till crispy. I then add them to a food processor and grind them to a rough powder. The result is a very dark chili powder that ...
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11 votes

Are chillies hotter when they're ripe?

I know this is an old post, but had to reply. I grew jalapenos this year, and the heat difference between green and fully-ripened red is astounding. The green jalapenos had a very, well, green ...
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  • 111
11 votes
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Why do we eat unripened chili peppers?

You can get red jalapeños at some markets, but you're right, most places sell them when they're still green. They sell them for the same reasons they sell green bell peppers, which includes: some ...
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  • 75.3k
10 votes
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What is the world's hottest pepper?

The world record holder is currently the Carolina Reaper according to Guinness (as of AUG 2013). This pepper began its family tree as a crossbreed between a Ghost Chili pepper and a Red Habanero. ...
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  • 3,790
10 votes

What was Indian food like before the arrival of the chili pepper from the Americas?

The recipe 'thevasam' in the link is authentic ( but regional ) pre-columbian exchange cuisine, made with ingredients from species largely native to the indo-malayan ecoregion, and is pretty much ...
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10 votes

Does chilli get milder with cooking?

From long cooking, the capsaicin could distribute throughout the food in a way that will make it more palatable, but the capsaicin content will not drastically change. If this does not suffice: In a ...
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9 votes

Can I use 3 jalapenos in place of 1 habanero?

Yes, you can usually make that substitution without a problem. The key thing in substituting peppers is that you like the substitution. So, experimentation is necessary to find what is ideal for you. ...
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  • 58k
9 votes
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Can I rehydrate dried chillies in bulk?

You can refrigerate your paste, however your quality will degrade and it won't last more than a few days in the fridge. When I make pastes I usually blend 4 times what I need and freeze the leftover ...
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  • 66.6k
8 votes

Cure for burns from hot peppers / capsicum oil?

Capsaicin, the active ingredient that makes chili peppers hot, is not soluble in water, but it does dissolve in fat or alcohol. BTW, it is not an acid, but is a complex chemical similar to the main ...
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  • 72.3k
8 votes

Chili and bell pepper substitute due to allergies?

I share your allergy and have for some time. First - I'm very sorry, it's not a fun one to have. Second - there are a lot of spices you can use that give color and flavor without going into the ...
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8 votes
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Identify this unusual spicy appetizer

It sounds like it could be Shishito peppers, which about 10% are spicy, and "even experts may not be able to distinguish relative hotness on the same plant.".
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  • 208
8 votes

Can I use 3 jalapenos in place of 1 habanero?

My general advice is just to taste your food as you cook it. Start with a little hot pepper and figure out the "heat level" you like, with whatever peppers you use, and then you can add more to ...
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  • 31.5k
8 votes
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What is the difference between red pepper and cayenne pepper?

The entire world is confused by what type of 'pepper' anything generally called a chilli actually is. Farmers may know exactly what cultivar they are growing; supermarket or food production/...
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