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Does roasting jalapenos make them milder?

Jalapeños are one of the most popular types of chili peppers, known for their unique flavour and moderate heat. But what happens when you roast them? Does roasting jalapeños make them milder? This is a question that has divided chili lovers for years, and in this blog post, we’re going to take a deep dive into the science of jalapeño roasting to find out if this popular cooking technique really does affect the heat level of these beloved peppers.

What happens when you roast jalapeños?

Roasting jalapeños involves cooking them over direct heat until the skin blisters and turns black. This technique can be done on a grill or in the oven under the broiler. Once the jalapeños are roasted, they are often used in a variety of recipes such as salsa, sauces, or as a side dish.

When you roast a jalapeño, you are breaking down the structural integrity of the pepper. As the skin blisters and the flesh softens, the chemical structure of the jalapeño changes. Capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat in jalapeños, can be broken down by heat, causing the pepper to mellow out.

But the extent to which the heat is mellowed out is up for debate. Some chili aficionados claim that roasting jalapeños doesn’t make them any milder, while others swear by the technique, insisting that it does. Let’s take a closer look at the science to find out.

Does roasting jalapeños make them milder?

The answer to this question is not straightforward. Several factors can impact the heat level of roasted jalapeños, including their initial spice level and the roasting technique used. Some jalapeño peppers may have a higher capsaicin content than others, which will affect how much heat is lost during cooking.

Additionally, the heat level of roasted jalapeños can vary depending on the roasting technique used. For example, placing jalapeños on a grill and exposing them to higher temperatures for longer periods of time will break down more of the capsaicin, ultimately making them milder. However, roasting jalapeños in an oven may not achieve the same effect, as the temperature and exposure time may not be high enough to break down as much of the capsaicin.

The impact of removing seeds and membranes

Another factor that can impact the heat level of jalapeños is whether or not the seeds and membranes have been removed. Many recipes suggest removing the seeds and membranes of jalapeños before roasting, as these parts contain the highest concentration of capsaicin. Removing these parts of the jalapeño can make them milder overall, regardless of whether or not they have been roasted.


So, does roasting jalapeños make them milder? The answer is both yes and no. Roasting jalapeños can mellow out their heat, but the extent to which this occurs depends on several factors. The initial spice level of the jalapeños, the roasting technique used, and whether or not the seeds and membranes have been removed will all impact the final heat level.

If you want to experiment with roasted jalapeños, try using them in a recipe where the heat level can be adjusted to your liking. This way, you can enjoy the unique flavour of these beloved peppers without having to worry about whether or not they will be too spicy.


Are roasted jalapenos hotter?

When it comes to the spiciness of jalapeños, the heat level actually comes from a compound called capsaicin, which is found in the white membranes and seeds of the pepper. While it’s true that roasting jalapeños can sometimes enhance their flavor, it’s not necessarily true that they’ll become hotter.

In fact, the opposite can actually happen. High heat, such as that from roasting or grilling, can break down the capsaicin in jalapeños, which can actually result in a milder overall taste. On the other hand, some people might notice that certain roasted jalapeños have a more intense heat level, but this can often be attributed to other factors, such as the ripeness of the pepper, its growing conditions, or even its variety.

It’s worth noting that even with the variance in heat levels between different jalapeños, there is still no true way to predict the spiciness of a specific pepper. Some jalapeños may be spicier than others due to differences in growing conditions, whereas others may be milder or hotter based on factors like their maturity level or environmental conditions.

While some people might notice a spicier taste in roasted jalapeños, there is no definitive evidence to suggest that roasting makes the peppers consistently hotter. Instead, it’s best to enjoy jalapeños for their unique flavor profile, and to experiment with different cooking techniques to find the preparation method that yields your preferred level of heat and flavor.