How to Prevent Jalapeno Hands

1/10/20242 min read

avocado, tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms, spring onions, and leaves
avocado, tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms, spring onions, and leaves

If you have ever worked with jalapeno peppers, you know how uncomfortable it can be to have "jalapeno hands". The capsaicin oils in jalapenos can cause a burning sensation that can last for hours, even after washing your hands. However, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent this unpleasant experience.

1. Use Food Preparation Gloves

If you have food preparation gloves available, it is highly recommended to wear them when working with spicy foods. These gloves provide a barrier between your hands and the capsaicin oils, preventing them from coming into contact with your skin. This is the most effective way to avoid jalapeno hands.

2. Wash Your Hands Frequently

If you don't have food preparation gloves on hand, washing your hands frequently can help prevent a large heat buildup. Use soap and warm water to wash your hands thoroughly. The soap will help bring the capsaicin oils to the surface of your skin, allowing them to be washed away by the water. It is important to use soap, as it is the most effective at removing the oils.

3. Avoid Touching Juicy Parts

When working with jalapenos or other spicy peppers, try to avoid touching the juicy parts of the pepper. The capsaicin oils are most concentrated in the seeds and the white pith inside the pepper. By avoiding contact with these parts, you can minimize the chances of getting the oils on your hands.

4. Consider Using Tools

If you are working with fresh, unblemished peppers, using tools like a knife or a spoon can help prevent direct contact with the pepper. This can be especially helpful when cutting or deseeding jalapenos. By using tools instead of your hands, you can further reduce the risk of getting the capsaicin oils on your skin.

5. Be Mindful of Touching Your Face

One common mistake people make when working with jalapenos is touching their face, particularly their eyes or nose, with jalapeno-contaminated hands. This can lead to a painful burning sensation in sensitive areas. It is important to be mindful of this and avoid touching your face until you have thoroughly washed your hands.

By following these tips, you can greatly reduce the chances of experiencing jalapeno hands. Remember to take precautions and be mindful of your actions when working with spicy peppers. Stay safe and enjoy your culinary adventures!