Gardening

How to Handle & Use Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper®

Scorching in at a palate-singeing 1.5 million plus Scoville Heat Units (SHU), Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® is designed for high-heat connoisseurs. In other words, just because you enjoy munching jalapeno poppers during football season doesn’t necessarily mean you can handle the world’s hottest chili pepper! So, harvesting, handling, and cooking with this fiery fruit isn’t something to be done casually. But never fear—we’ve got the tips you need to enjoy Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® safely, plus some creative suggestions for how to use it in the kitchen and (bonus!) a peek into how that heat may actually do more for your body than just set your tongue on fire.

More Heat, More Health Benefits

Capsaicin, an odorless and colorless capsaicinoid found in the fleshy membranes that hold a hot pepper’s seeds, has a long history when it comes to healing. It’s been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to provide relief from symptoms caused by arthritis, mild muscle injuries, and even itchy skin—and many products use capsaicin as an ingredient to create heat that soothes aches and pains. But wait, there’s more: Some medical studies have shown that capsaicin may also help treat high cholesterol, hypertension, and more. In fact, researchers at the Mayo Clinic recently said that hot peppers may even have the potential to help fight heart disease by reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system.

Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper®’s off-the-chart Scoville rating of 1,569,300 SHU—and the capsaicin levels that come with it—may cause the biggest burn, but they may also pack the biggest punch when it comes to your health.

Tomato Salsa for Puckerbutt

Too Hot to Handle … Literally

If you’ve ever tasted or cooked with super-hot peppers, you already know that all chilis have the potential to irritate your skin, eyes, and lungs. But you’ve never experienced anything as potent as Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper®. This is a pepper that demands respect!

When harvesting and preparing Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper®—fresh or dried—please handle with care:

  • Wear disposable gloves, eye protection, and respiratory protection (like a scarf or mask that covers your nose and mouth).
  • Work in a well-ventilated area. Do not inhale pepper fumes or get them in your eyes.
  • Handle the peppers as little as possible during preparation.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or face. If your bare skin comes in contact with the peppers, rinse with soap and water until any burning sensation goes away.
  • Wash all food preparation surfaces and utensils thoroughly after use.
  • Keep hot peppers away from children and pets.
Puckerbutt Flames Single Plant Middle
Bonnie Peppers Scoville Heat Index

Spice Up Your Recipes with the Carolina Reaper

Smokin’ Ed loves to eat peppers right off the plant, but most mortals can’t handle that kind of heat. Add warmth and kick to any favorite recipe, or boost the flavor in your favorite Thai, Mexican, Ethiopian, Caribbean, or Indian dishes, with small amounts of Carolina Reaper. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® peppers in the kitchen. (Just be sure to proceed with caution—just a small part of one pod can flavor an entire pot of chili!)

  • Preserve Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® peppers the same way you would other chilis, using your favorite recipe for spicy jelly or jam. Scale back the amount of pepper usually called for and taste-test along the way.
  • Combine honey and some chopped Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® peppers (with seeds) in a pot. Simmer for five minutes over low heat. Cool to room temperature, strain, and refrigerate honey in an airtight container. Snack on the leftover honey-coated pepper … if you dare.
  • Flakes or powder. Dehydrate Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® peppers in a well-ventilated area (preferably outdoors), then grind or crush to desired consistency. Use sparingly in hot cocoa or cocktails, add small amounts to brownies and cookies, or create your own hot pepper flakes or spice blends. Store in an airtight bag or container. Makes a great gift for the die-hard pepperheads on your list!
  • Heat white vinegar to a simmer (don’t let it boil). Cut a slit in one or more whole Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® peppers and add to a clean glass bottle, along with some smashed garlic, if desired. Pour warm vinegar into the bottle, cover, and store on countertop. Experiment with ingredients to invent new flavors.

One final word of caution: Don’t gift just any friend with any of these raging hot recipes. After all, just because you can handle the heat doesn’t mean they can.

Want to learn more about Smokin’ Ed and the company behind his crazy hot peppers? Check out the PuckerButt Pepper Company®. Now go forth and enjoy—carefully!