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Food & Drink Capsaicin in cooking

Discussion in 'General' started by Corky42, 25 Mar 2018.

  1. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    What am i doing wrong with my chillies?

    I cook up a batch of Chilli Con Carne for the freezer every few months and have recently been trying to move away from using dried spices but when i used fresh chillies in the last two batches they've lacked that runny nose, eye watering, lip tingling heat so what am i doing wrong.

    First time i used fresh chillies it was 40 odd grams of Sainsbury's unnamed red chillies finely chopped and added to the onions when sweating them down followed by the usual 4-5 hours slow cooking with the other ingredients in a pot, next time it was 100g of scotch bonnet added to the 4-5 hour slow cooking pot.

    I thought I'd cracked the lack of heat with the scotch bonnets as there were more of them and when washing up i could feel the capsaicin heat on my hands, but now it's come eating time it still seems to lack heat. :(
     
  2. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Put your chillies in much later in the cooking process. Or you can put some in early if you want them to impart some flavour and then add some more later. I think cooking chillies tends to reduce the heat. Re-heating will reduce the heat as well. That's my anecdotal experience.
     
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  3. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Speaking as someone who once melted a blender making hot sauce, some observations re: chillies...

    Common knowledge but - most of the capsacin is in the seeds and membranes so if you scooped all the seeds out you automatically dial back how hot the end result is.
    Chillies can we wildly variable, occasionally you will get ones that just aren't that hot, even from a 'hot' variety.
    ...there's nothing wrong with using dried chillies [or chilli powder], if it's decent quality have at it, especially for stews and chilli type dishes.

    The acidity of the tomatoes can and will knock the heat back, [as can sugary/sweet things, so again - the tomatos or cocoa if you're following a recipe that calls for it], so using cheapy shitty acidic tomatoes [or doing it on purpose with sour tomatillo-like things] won't help you, 4-5 hours in a slow cooker probably isn't helping either tbh, i find slow cookers tend to reduce everything to bland mulch.

    also... not everything needs to melt your face off.
     
    Last edited: 25 Mar 2018
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  4. Big_malc

    Big_malc Minimodder

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    might seem odd thing to say but do you taste your raw chili before adding them ?
     
  5. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    True but when i fancy Chilli Con Carne i want chillieees.

    I didn't know tomatoes and sweet things knock back the heat so thanks for those tips. :)

    No, after the way the scotch bonnet felt on my hands i was pretty nervous, at first i thought it would so hot I'd have to bin the whole batch but it ended up being rather mild.

    I think next time I'll try doing what theshadow suggests and put them in later along with the kidney beans as i find the slow cooking develops a good flavor but from what you guys say it seems the slow cooking along with tomatoes is probably breaking down the capsaicin.

    Thanks everyone. :)
     
  6. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Not just tomatos, anything acidic... Think of Chilli and Lemon/Lime as a combo, and hot and sour as a recurring theme in asian cooking...

    If you want something that literally makes your face go numb after a while, try something heavy in sichuan peppercorns... like the dubiously named and/or translated 'Saliva Chicken'.
     
    Last edited: 25 Mar 2018
  7. Tichinde

    Tichinde Minimodder

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    What recipe are you using?

    Never worked with weights for adding chillis to my Chilli Con Carne, but the last one I made that gave me sweats had 6 scotch bonnets in it (1kg of mince batch).
    Noting I do mine in a slow cooker (throw in in everything, turn on, come back to it 8 hours later), just chopped them up, and throw them in, seeds and all.

    Also, use chocolate instead of sugar and up the spices. I like to be generous with the paprika and hot chilli powder.
     
  8. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I don't use a recipe, at least not in the written down sense, like you I'm not a stickler for weights but the rough outline i use is to sweat of 3 onions while around 6 teaspoons of paprika, 6 of cayenne pepper, 6 dried chillies, 3 cumin and as much black pepper as i can grind until my arms feel like they're about to fall off warm through in a pot.

    Once the onions have sweated down they get added to the spices in the pot along with two tins of chopped tomatoes, half a small bottle of worcester sauce and three beef OXO cubes, while that's being done i brown 1kg of mince and chuck that in, then slow cook it for around 4 hours, add 3 tins of kidney beans and 4 blocks of +70% dark chocolate, taste and maybe add salt and cook for another hour.

    The chillies get finely chopped seeds and all, and i only used 100g because this time around because that's what came in the packet. :)

    I've probably insulted someone with that Frankenstein recipe
     
  9. veato

    veato I should be working

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    It's a common myth that the seeds contain a lot of the heat (capsaicin). They themselves do not have any capsaicin *in* them although they may have some *on* them due to being into contact with the membrane.

    I also read that cooking can reduce the heat of the chilli but not until you reach temperatures of 200C+ as capsaincin is thermostable.

    I used to grow my own Infinity Chillies (1m+ SHU) and used them sparingly - chocolate chilli cookies for example, but once stuck a couple in a curry and had to give up after three mouthfuls. I do like heat but it gets rather pointless when the food becomes inedible.
     
  10. Tichinde

    Tichinde Minimodder

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    Agreed on flavour > heat. Habaneros are my happy middle ground.
    Tasty and spicy enough (although Naga's are usually worth a pop for a grin).

    Corky, I should clarify, I don't weigh and measure chillis, or spices :)
    What I do is follow this for the ingredients (chocolate instead of sugar as per the tip at the bottom of the recipe, scaled up for how big a batch I'm rocking):
    https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3228/chilli-con-carne

    Give it a go, get a little liberal with the spice measurements (I tend to double them ¬¬), throw in your extra heat based chillis (fresh over dried, I've never had much luck with dried chillis for heat) and hope for the best :)
    Can't comment on the method, as I say, slow cooker, apply everything to it, turn on, walk away.

    I wonder if you're adding too much chocolate for the size of your batch....
     
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