Too Hot To Handle: What To Do With Ghost Peppers

The ghost pepper is widely accepted as the king of chilis worldwide. Spice lovers prefer ghost peppers over any other chili pepper. The ghost pepper is one of the hottest chili peppers available. Ghost pepper adds flavor, provides nutrition, and increases metabolism.  

In this article, we discuss what to do with ghost peppers, the characteristics of chili peppers, how to use ghost peppers, ghost pepper storage essentials, ghost pepper uses, cooking with ghost peppers, and what you can make with ghost peppers.

What To Do With Ghost Peppers

Ghost pepper or Bhut Jolokia is one of the hottest peppers available worldwide. These peppers have a heat rating of more than 1 Million SHU(Scoville Heat Units). Ghost peppers originated from the northeastern states of India. Currently, ghost peppers are grown worldwide in areas with perennial climatic conditions. In 2007, Guinness World Records certified that ‘Ghost Pepper’ was the hottest pepper in the world. Currently, the record has been broken by the Carolina Reaper chili pepper. 

The Characteristics of Ghost Peppers

Ripe ghost peppers mostly measure between 60 mm to 85 mm in length. The plants have a height of two to four feet. Ghost peppers are 160 to 170 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. Ghost peppers grow in regions with temperatures between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity. They need four to five months to harvest. 

When you eat ghost peppers, for the first 30 seconds, you will experience a fruity and sweet chili flavor. After 30 to 40 seconds, the heat kicks in. It is followed by dizziness, hiccups, watery eyes, shortness of breath. Then, you will experience intense burning, which intensifies in 10 to 15 minutes and reduces in 30 to 40 minutes.

How To Use Ghost Peppers

You can use ghost peppers in various dishes. The intense heat of ghost pepper makes it ideal for sauces. You can dehydrate it into chili powder and chili flakes. You can also chop ghost peppers into large meals like pots of stew and chili. Additionally, you can spice up your grilled chicken, steak, and fish with ghost peppers.

Ghost Pepper Storage Essentials

You can use ghost peppers for various dishes, but you need to store them properly. 

Room Temperature: You can store ghost pepper at room temperatures for 1 to 2 weeks. The shelflife will depend on the date of purchase and the thickness of the ghost pepper. Thick-walled ghost peppers can last longer than thin-walled ghost peppers. 

Refrigerate Ghost Peppers: Ghost peppers can be stored at 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the refrigerator. Restaurants, salad bars, and institutions use commercial walk-in units to store large ghost peppers for extended periods. Dry peppers are perfect for storage, as water and moisture can increase the rotting process. Dry ghost peppers can last in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks. Whole ghost peppers will last longer than sliced and diced peppers. 

Freeze Ghost Pepper: You can pre-cook ghost pepper dishes and store them in airtight freezer bags. Pre-cooked frozen ghost peppers can last more than six months. 

Ghost Pepper Brine: Additionally, you can store peppers in brine. Slice ghost peppers and place half of the contents in a sealable jar. Add water and salt to the jar. Stir it continuously for some time. Seal the jar and refrigerate it. You can remove the ghost pepper from the brine and rinse the salt before usage. 

What Are Ghost Peppers Used For?

There are various uses for ghost peppers other than cooking. Here we list the top ghost pepper uses:

  1. Medicine: Ghost peppers are used for the treatment of various health conditions. Ghost peppers contain capsaicin which has a range of health benefits. Research has shown that capsaicin can prevent and treat cancer. It can also increase the body's metabolism, which makes it perfect for weight loss treatments. The chemical compounds present in ghost peppers can kill bacteria that cause stomach ulcers. Additionally, ghost pepper treats abdominal pain, diarrhea, and discomfort. They are ideal for hot weather, as it increases perspiration during the summer months. 

  2. Security: Ghost peppers are used in non-lethal hand grenades, smoke bombs, and pepper sprays. They are perfect for self-defense. Across the world, ghost peppers are smeared on fences to keep animals at bay from crops. 

Cooking With Ghost Peppers

ghost pepper uses

If you are planning to cook with ghost pepper, there are some essential rules you should follow:

  1. Handle It Carefully: Ghost peppers are highly potent. It is more than 400 times hotter than a regular jalapeno pepper. Handle ghost pepper carefully while cooking and eating. 

  2. Wear Protective Gear: Always wear protective gear while handling chili pepper. Wear a mask, kitchen goggles, and long-sleeved clothing to protect yourself from accidental exposure to ghost peppers. Ghost peppers near the eye can cause irritation. 

  3. Learn About Ghost Peppers: Research various chili peppers and ghost peppers. Ghost peppers can cause intense chili burn. Milk is the perfect way to treat chili burn; it neutralizes the heat quickly. 

  4. Label The Dish: Label your dish as “Extremely Hot” to prevent people from consuming it without their knowledge. Many people are allergic to peppers, and consumption can be lethal for them.

  5. Quantity: While cooking any dish with ghost peppers, use it less than regular peppers. A teaspoon of ghost pepper is enough for most dishes. It is better to under-spice than over-spice a dish with ghost peppers. 

What To Make With Ghost Peppers

You can cook soups, entrees, and main dishes with ghost peppers. Most ghost pepper food recipes are perfect for all weather conditions:

  1. Ghost Pepper Chicken Curry: Chicken curry is a delicacy that enthralls all your senses. The dish is a blend of spices, and you can spice up your chicken curry with ghost peppers and chili peppers. With ghost peppers, chicken curry turns into an extremely hot dish that should ideally be served with sweetened beverages. 

  2. Ghost Pepper Chicken Wings: Chicken wings are blended with ghost pepper sauce and baked to perfection. It is additionally served with crumbled blue cheese and buffalo-blue cheese sauce. Ghost pepper chicken wing rub is made with garlic powder, ghost pepper powder, salt, and baking powder. 

  3. Ghost Pepper Chips: Fry tortilla chips in canola oil and drain the excess oil with a paper towel. Then you can mix them with salt and ghost pepper powder. 

  4. Ghost Pepper Candied Bacon: The ghost pepper bacon recipe is sweet and spicy. The dish is made from pepper chili flakes, brown sugar, sriracha sauce, and maple syrup. Candied bacon overwhelms all the senses and forces the brain to focus only on the taste buds. You can serve candied bacon with tequila and various cocktails. Candied bacon is perfect for outdoor parties, events, and fast food joints. 

Ghost peppers can make dishes spicy and delicious. Commercial food service establishments need high-quality restaurant equipment to serve various ghost pepper dishes. With durable and efficient commercial freezers, you can store ghost peppers for longer. Ghost peppers are perfect for all weather conditions. In dry and hot summer afternoons, ghost pepper dishes can increase perspiration. You can use it to make salsa, pizza, chicken wings, and sauces. With super-hot ghost peppers, proceed with caution!

Posted by Damon Shrauner on