Preparation, uses, and tips
Use caution when handling these chiles: cayenne peppers are so hot that they can instantly
irritate the skin on the hands and it can be excruciating if they come in contact with the
eyes. Wear thin disposable surgical gloves while working with hot chiles, and don’t
touch your face until the gloves are removed. The seeds and membranes in chile peppers contain most of the capsaicin, the
compound that lends them their mouth-searing qualities. Cayennes are mostly used without their
seeds and veins. Finely chopped fresh cayenne imparts intense heat to sauces and stews,
particularly in Cajun and Indian cooking.
Cayenne chile peppers are extremely hot and provide the heat for many spicy dishes. When
fresh, cayenne peppers appear wrinkly and may be either deep green or bright red (when
mature). They can range between 5 and 10 inches (12.5–25.5cm) long and are generally
about 1/2 to 1 inch (1.2–2.5cm) across. The red, mature pepper is hotter than the green.
Cayenne peppers tend to be long and hooked and they terminate in a sharp point.
Cayennes are pungent peppers with heat scores that measure between 30,000 and 50,000
Scoville heat units. How high a chile pepper scores on the heat scale is determined by
high-performance liquid chromatography measurement of how many parts per million capsaicin it
contains. This figure is then converted into the historic Scoville heat units that signify how
much dilution is necessary to drown out the chile’s heat. The heat level of a chile is
given as a range because it varies with how and where the pepper was grown and how mature it
Red chile pepper (dried), 1 pepper (0.54g)
Total Fat: 0.0g