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Jalapenos and How to Handle Them

Updated on October 5, 2013

Hotter Than They Look

Use Caution When Handling Jalapeno Peppers
Use Caution When Handling Jalapeno Peppers | Source

Jalapeno Origin

Jalapenos are a spicy pepper named after the Mexican town of Xalapa, sometimes spelled as Jalapa. This hotness of this pepper is linked to its cultivation and preparation. Jalapenos are versatile and can be served in everything from drinks to jellies. They can be stuffed or wrapped. They add a spicy enhancement to any dish.

Dangers of Jalapenos

Jalapenos and other spicy peppers differ from the more mild bell peppers because the human eyes and nasal membranes are particularly vulnerable to them. The pepper spray used by many law enforcement agencies as well as consumer pepper spray canisters often is derived from jalapenos. If proper safety procedures are not used when handling jalapenos, the juice will stay on human hands for days. If the juice comes into contact with eyes or the nasal membranes, an intense burning and pain sensation may follow.

Use Eye Protection

Protective Goggles or an Eye Shield Helps Keep Eyes From Getting Irritated When Handling Jalapenos
Protective Goggles or an Eye Shield Helps Keep Eyes From Getting Irritated When Handling Jalapenos | Source

Proper Precautions

The best way to handle jalapenos is to use latex gloves and wear long sleeves to keep the jalapeno juice from irritating your skin or remaining on your skin and later contaminating your eyes and face. Eye protection, such as an eye shield, should also be used to keep any juice from burning your eyes.

If you want to read what happened to me when I ignored my wife and mother-in-law's advice when I helped them make salsa read my blog post here.

What to Do if Contaminated

If jalapeno juice does come into contact with your skin or eyes, water is not effective in removing it. Simply washing hands with soap and water after handling jalapenos will often not remove the contaminating pepper. Skin irritation or contamination of your eyes, may follow. The best way to remove the jalapeno juice is by using milk to wash your hands.

Milk can also be used to rinse eyes after you have accidentally contaminated them with the jalapeno. Use extreme caution using anything other than water to rinse your eyes.

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Preparation Ideas

  • If you want an easy appetizer cut jalapenos open and place cheese sticks inside. Then wrap the jalapenos in crescent rolls and bake the stuffed wrapped crescent rolls according to the crescent roll package directions. The result is a unique zesty side dish that only takes a few minutes to prepare.
  • Jalapenos also great on a grill. Slice the peppers and place a cheese stick inside and grill for 3 to 5 minutes. Watch the Jalapenos carefully on the grill as they burn easily. Stuffed, grilled Jalapenos are a great companion for steaks.

Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

Fast and Delicious Side Dish
Fast and Delicious Side Dish | Source

How to Make Jalapeno Jelly

© 2013 Jason McBride


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    • Jason McBride profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason McBride 

      5 years ago from Salem, Oregon

      Thanks for the comment! A surprise pepper sounds like a good way to ruin a pleasant dinner!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      5 years ago

      Interesting. I've been very successful at growing jalapenos, but they do have to be handled very carefully! One time I went to a restaurant and ate a fish dish with a hot cherry pepper on top. I didn't know it was a hot pepper. It burned somewhat fierce. The manager said it was one of the hottest peppers he had ever used. The restaurant was dark so it looked like a tomato. LOL


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