How to Handle Chiles

Get tips for cooking with and preparing fresh and dried chiles.

Add Some Heat

Chile peppers add heat and flavor to dishes, but you need to know how to handle them, fresh or dried.

Some Like It Hot

If you like your chiles hot, slice up a serrano chile, seeds and all.

Just the Flavor

If you want the flavor of chiles without the burn, hold a jalapeno by the stem and slice off the sides as you rotate. If you remove the membrane and the seeds, you'll also remove a lot of the heat.

Safety

Keep the chiles away from your eyes and always wash your hands when finished.

Dried Chiles

One way to prepare dried chiles is to toast, rehydrate and puree them. Start by stemming and seeding them.

Toasting

Next, toast the peppers. They're done when you see light brown spots and smell a roasty aroma.

The Puree

Next, submerge them in hot water and soak until they're soft. Then puree in the blender or food processor with a little stock or water. Use it to infuse great chile flavor into your recipes.

Using Fresh Chiles

Use fresh chiles raw in salsas or to spice up your favorite dishes.

Using Dried Chiles

Dried chiles can be used in longer cooking dishes like stews, but they also work well in marinades and dry rubs.