To Easily De-Seed A Jalapeño, Just Give It A Roll

When you want to turn up the heat in your kitchen, adding some jalapeño peppers to your dishes is a quick and easy way to get a little extra spice in every bite. But if you're cooking for a crowd and want to turn down the spice-factor a bit, you might wish to remove the seeds from your jalapeños before adding them in — the seeds and surrounding membranes of these peppers are pretty spicy, and getting rid of them could cool things down somewhat.

It can be tedious to remove every individual seed with a knife, though. Fortunately, there's an easier way. First, take a whole jalapeño pepper, then lay it on its side over a cutting board. Then, place the palm of your hand on the pepper, and roll it back and forth rapidly to loosen up the seeds. Finally, slice off the top of your pepper and dump out its contents, leaving a small pile of seeds on the board.

Add an extra step to loosen things up

Rolling jalapeño peppers before cutting into them works because it helps to dislodge the seed pod inside. If that pod remains intact, it can easily be grabbed and pulled out. If you're still concerned about the seeds being too stubborn even after a roll, though, you can also add in the step of hitting the pepper against the cutting board before cutting its top off. This extra bit of force loosens things up a little more, making it even easier to dump out the seeds afterward.

As an added precaution, some chefs also cut peppers open and remove the inner veins by slicing them off with a knife; this area is generally the spiciest part of the pepper. Just remember to wear gloves when working with the insides of peppers — the inner oils could burn your skin, per Master Class. But even without that added effort, the rolling method alone will remove a majority of the seeds, making that final step a little easier.

Why the seeds aren't the spiciest part

It's actually a common misconception that seeds are the spiciest part of a pepper. The chemical capsaicin is what makes jalapeños spicy; it causes burning sensations when eaten. A lot of a jalapeño's capsaicin is concentrated in the lighter, fleshy areas around its seeds. Still, the seeds themselves may hold some capsaicin, too, so removing them can help cool things down somewhat. Just remember, you'll also want to cut out the lighter membrane or "ribs" of the pepper if you're looking to remove the majority of its spice.

Spiciness aside, though, those tiny seeds can make a bit of a mess in the kitchen, and plenty of people prefer to remove them entirely before cooking with the remainder of a pepper. So, the next time you're mixing up some homemade salsa or frying up an appetizer of jalapeño poppers, try this rolling trick for quick and easy seed-removal.