Does Cooking Jalapenos Make Them Less Spicy?

Last Updated on April 29, 2023 by Lauren Beck

Jalapenos are a popular chili pepper that adds a kick of heat to many dishes. However, their spiciness can be overwhelming for some people. 

In this article, we’ll answer the question, “Does cooking jalapenos make them less spicy?” and explore some tips for making jalapenos less hot.

Does Cooking Jalapenos Make Them Less Spicy?

Cooking jalapenos can make them less spicy, but it depends on how they are cooked. For example, roasting or grilling jalapenos can mellow their heat, while boiling or frying them can increase their spiciness.

Why Are Jalapenos Hot?

Jalapenos get their heat from a compound called capsaicin. This compound is found in the membrane and seeds of the pepper, and it stimulates the nerve endings in our mouths that detect heat.

What Does Heat Do to Jalapenos?

Heat can affect the spiciness of jalapenos in different ways. Here are a few examples:

  • Cooking methods that use high heat, like frying or boiling, can make jalapenos spicier.
  • Cooking methods that use low heat, like roasting or grilling, can make jalapenos less spicy.
  • Adding heat to jalapenos, like by cooking them with other spicy ingredients or adding hot sauce, can make them even hotter.

Are Jalapenos More Spicy Cooked or Raw?

Jalapenos can be either more or less spicy when cooked, depending on the cooking method. 

In general, cooking methods that use high heat, like frying or boiling, can make jalapenos spicier, while cooking methods that use low heat, like roasting or grilling, can make them less spicy.

How To Check For The Hotness Of Jalapeños?

Green Jalapenos

The heat of jalapenos can vary depending on factors like their ripeness and how they were grown. To check the heat of jalapenos, try these methods:

  • Look for the white lines on the pepper’s skin. These are called “stress marks” and are a sign that the jalapeno is mature and likely to be hotter.
  • Smell the jalapeno. If it has a strong, spicy aroma, it’s likely to be hotter.
  • Taste a small piece of the jalapeno. This can give you an idea of how spicy it is.

6 Ways to Make Jalapenos Less Hot

If you find jalapenos too spicy, here are six ways to make them less hot:

  1. Remove the seeds and membrane: This is where most of the heat is found in jalapenos, so removing them can make the pepper less spicy.
  2. Soak in cold water: Soaking jalapenos in cold water for 30 minutes to an hour can help reduce their spiciness.
  3. Roast or grill: Cooking jalapenos over low heat, like roasting or grilling, can mellow their heat.
  4. Add dairy: Eating or cooking jalapenos with dairy products like sour cream or cheese can help neutralize their spiciness.
  5. Add sugar: Adding sugar to a dish with jalapenos can help balance their heat.
  6. Use milder peppers: If jalapenos are too spicy for you, try using milder peppers like poblanos or bell peppers instead.

How to Maintain the Heat of Jalapenos?

If you want to maintain the heat of jalapenos, here are some tips:

  • Cook them with other spicy ingredients: Cooking jalapenos with other spicy ingredients, like other chili peppers or hot sauce, can enhance their heat.
  • Keep the seeds and membrane: The seeds and membrane are where most of the heat is found in jalapenos, so keeping them can maintain the pepper’s spiciness.
  • Use fresh jalapenos: Fresh jalapenos tend to be spicier than canned or pickled ones, so if you want to maintain their heat, use fresh peppers.
  • Cook them quickly: Cooking jalapenos quickly, like in a stir-fry, can help maintain their spiciness.

Why Do Jalapenos Make You Cough When You Cook Them?

Jalapenos can release capsaicin into the air when they are cooked, which can irritate the throat and cause coughing.

Is It Safe to Eat Raw Jalapenos?

Raw jalapenos are safe to eat [1], but they can be very spicy. If you’re not used to spicy food, you may want to start with a small amount and gradually increase it as you get used to the heat.

Ways To Use Jalapenos

Jalapenos are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add them to guacamole or salsa for extra heat.
  • Slice them thinly and add them to sandwiches or wraps.
  • Stuff them with cheese or other fillings and bake them for a tasty appetizer.
  • Chop them up and add them to chili or soup for extra flavor.
  • Use them as a topping for nachos or tacos.


To summarize, cooking jalapenos can make them less spicy or more, depending on the cooking method. Removing the seeds and membrane, soaking in cold water, or adding dairy or sugar can make them less hot. Jalapenos can be used in many dishes, from guacamole to chili, and they are safe to eat raw but can be very spicy.


Lauren Beck
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