Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

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Fighting fire with oil


As I’m sure you know, hot peppers like jalapeƱos can vary considerably in strength. There are times when I find they’re not spicy at all and other times when I feel them burning my eyeballs while I’m cooking them. You may also notice that sometimes you can be left with burning fingers for hours after chopping hot peppers.

You could wear gloves to protect your fingers from the fire when chopping hot peppers but who keeps gloves in their home kitchen? Not me.

I recently learned this great trick to protect your digits: either coat your hands with oil before handling the cut peppers or, if you’re concerned about your dexterity with greasy hands, rub them with oil and then wash them with warm water and soap after handling them.

“Why does this work?” my fellow cooking nerds might wonder. The oil in the capsaicin will dissolve in oil but not in water.