Greetings & thank you for the faboulous help you've given me. For 3 years we've grown hot peppers--banana and jalepeno. But they are sooooo dangerously HOT! Too hot to eat & everyone I give them too says the same thing. I dried a bunch & mixed with sweet peppers this time--today I ground them into pepper flakes but I'm coughing like crazy because just the smell is too much. Why are they so hot!!
Haileydee from SE Massachusetts Zone 6A
Hopefully Pepperhead will respond because he is the hot pepper expert here but I have noticed that peppers are always hotter when grown in dry conditions.
However, I think that if you pick your peppers after some rain or maybe give them additional water while growing that they should not be as hot.
Zone 7b Southeastern PA
Peppers are hotter when grown in dry conditions, but fresh peppers are hotter than aged ones. After my dried pepper sits in a bottle for a while, it becomes milder. It might have something to do with the breakdown of the oils that carry the capsaicin, the "heat" chemical in hot peppers. You might try growing a milder variety. Also, when using peppers, remove the seeds and the interlocular septum- the whitish part the seeds are attached to, where capsaicin is made.
If you like the flavor of jalapenos but not the heat, you can grow the heatless variety, Fooled You, which I love. There is a similar heatless cayenne, but I found it too thin walled for my tastes.
Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!
Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York
I can't imagine banana peppers or jalapeños being too hot for anything; in fact, I think the jalapeños were the mildest pepper in my garden this season! LOL I grew a jalapeños variety that was about 10,000 heat units one season, and that was the hottest so far, but it was a hybrid, so the flavor was not there. They are usually around 4-6,000 heat units. Banana peppers vary greatly, though when they get hot, they are usually called wax peppers. One year I grew a variety that was 45,000 heat units, but unless you grow them from seeds, and order those specifically, I doubt you got anything like that. And where you are, I doubt there was a very hot and dry summer, which would increase the heat some, but different growing conditions won't increase the heat of milder peppers that much!
As Abigail suggested, remove the seeds and pith from the peppers, to reduce the heat, while using fresh, or before drying them. Take a paring knife (a curved bird's beak works great here) to cut at the base of the veins without bursting the cells as much as you can, and remove them, and much of the heat will be gone. In fact, when recipes say to seed and devein the peppers, I never do, since I want the heat.
And those Fooled You peppers are delicious! I grew them one season for somebody I knew that could not eat hot foods (at least when I first met her! LOL). Funny thing was, I would make a hot and non-hot version of the same things, for her and others that didn't like the heat, yet the hot stuff would be the one gone at the end of the evening. Go figure...
Dave in Woodbury, NJ zone 6B
I should have gotten my facts straight before posting so here's the update. These were the peppers I grew: From seed--Hungarian Hot Peppers and Cayenne Hot Chili Peppers. I bought a Sweet Banana Pepper plant also and grew that in my garden. I planted them in container pots and my garden. I gave them to people who LOVE HOT PEPPERS and wow even they thought the peppers were way too hot. Same problem last year but a few years back the banana peppers were great!
I checked my garden everyday and kept it watered so the soil didn't get dry for long. July was very humid and hot. August was beautiful.
I do most definately remove the seeds and white pith, when using fresh and prior to drying them.
I think I have to check out the heat units--great tip thank you!
I need to do more research on peppers, for sure.
You all are the BEST!!
You take time to help--thank you so much!!
Just saw this terrific article on FB, from Organic Gardening: http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/peppers-mild-to-wild?page=0,1&cm_mmc=facebook-_-OrganicGardening-_-Content-LearnGrow-_-peppers
That article pretty much encompasses all of my favorites - the ones I grow (& buy) regularly.
Poblano is a must-have for stuffing. It's also one of the few peppers I've grown where the heat level can differ widely between peppers grown on the same plant!
Anaheim is a favorite for roasting, peeling, chopping, & adding to recipes.
Cherry Peppers (& Jalapenos) are my favorite for pickling.
While I do usually grow some Cayennes, I can't be without "Thai Dragon" - love it dried & also fresh for thinly slicing into Asian dishes.
While I do adore spicy food, the ultra-hots like the Waxes, Ghosts, etc., don't appeal to me at all. And since I only need 1 or 2 Habaneros or Scotch Bonnets when I cook something Caribbean, it's not worth it to me to grow them myself when I can easily buy the 1 or 2 I need for a few pennies.
"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."
"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."
Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia
thank you everyone for your wonderful help!
you are the BEST
BreezyGardener--that's good info you gave! TX!!
isn't it so that growing peppers next to ea other: i.e. scotch bonnet next to Anaheim make the Anaheim more hot?? I thot I have heard this on this forum.
Willemette Valley Oregon, 7A? Member since 2005
Have never heard that before, & don't believe it works that way. I've always grown my sweet & hot peppers very close together - much closer than recommended - & have never had heat "cross" like that.
Nice to hear that you've hit on something good ?
How many acres have you planted ?
Maybe you could manufacture some hot sauce.
Manufacturer several blends of hot sauce and market them.
There's a guy that is making a mint,
manufacturing hot sauce.
He went all over the country,
looking for different kinds of hot peppers.
Look into this kind of hot sauces,
you might make a mint.