Picking Bhut Jolokias

esox07July 13, 2011

When picking super hots, does a guy need to wear gloves. Or is that advisable only when cutting into the fruit? I got some Bhuts that are just starting to turn and I want to know if I have to suit up just to pick them. Also, how long from the first changes in color until they are fully ripe?

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NICE!! cannot wait to see pics of them!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 4:12PM
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esox, I have heard it said that just touching the outside of the pods of the superhots can give you a reasonable amount of dicomfort in ur hands, though as I say I have only ever eaten and dealt w/ peppers as hot as red savinas, anything above that will be a new experience for me, but seems to me it wouldn't be a bad idea, I am envious of you, I am just getting my first flower starts on my bhuts, both yellow and the regular, as well as the other superhots, I did get my first 2 7-pot Jonah pods last night though, boy that was exciting, I love that sickly green color the superhots have b4 ripening, I have tons of jalapenos serranos, cayennes and thais ripening, as well as several of the paper lanterns(?)and today I noticed that one of the pods on the so called yellow chile I bought from the farmer's market is starting to ripen, it is a laming canary yellow, I have no idea what it is though, it is even more yellow than a bell, I will post a pic when it's finished ripening, but the superhots have a long way to go, however the are a full month and a half behind the first seeds I planted this year, didn't start them til april 15th, I got a very late start compared to most of you but what the hell its only july, iv'e still got some hardening off now, and still yet more germinating :) I am going to milk my growing season absolutely as much as I can this being my first year I am trying out tons of different soil mixtures and fertilizer combos, sun exposures etc, sorry tangent, as to your question most of my peppers, avg between 3-7 days btween red or orange tips till total ripeness, though admitedly, the hotter the pepper the longer it seems to take, but I would imagine, no more than 10 days even for a bhut(assuming you are getting sun and water to them) good luck!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 4:14PM
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Well, Chile Freak and SPongey, here are the proof positive pics. I can't wait to pick the first ones.

Here is the Long Red Slim:

Here is the Cayenne:

And here is the Badass Bhut:

I still haven't figured out what to do with that Bhut. I know I will not be "eating" it as I have seen too many fools do on YOUTUBE. I may slice off a piece the size of a "BB" and take that as my initiation. I will have to find some idiot to take the real taste test. hahaha

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 5:11PM
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NICE looking peppers! my first pepper was consumed last night. it was just a pinguita de mono, small tated like a serano but is suppsoed to be in the 70-80K range very juicy. when i finally get a super hot i dont know what i will be doing with mine either! i will prob eat a slice but now the whole thing! i am crazy but not retarded! LOL


    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 6:14PM
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mister_al(zone 7)

Most people that film themselves eating superhots eat the whole pepper at once. If you want to eat a Bhut you can, just eat it in small bites until you see how hot it's going to be to you. If it takes a couple of sittings before you finish one, that's ok.

The first Butch T. Scorpion I ate took me a week to finish. Now I can finish one in only three days.



    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 6:43PM
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Still have weeks to go. They will go from green to orange and if given enough time will get to a red color. Will be hottest if allowed to reach red.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 8:39PM
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Weeks??? Please dont say that. I want these puppies to go from green to ripe red quick. I am hoping that once I start picking a few, it will prompt the plants to start putting out more blooms. I only have 6-8 weeks of growing season left up here. Most of my plants are pretty full right now but I was hoping that I could get another round of peppers started and ripe before the season ends.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 9:14PM
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esox - I started growing Bhuts because of a sauce at one of the local Mexican restaurants. The owner actually makes three varieties:

Jalapeno - mild, almost mustard flavor.
Habanero - good heat, some fruity flavor.
Ghost pepper - extreme heat, smokey flavor, although that could be your tongue burning in your mouth. :)

I've re-created the sauce using Habaneros (they are all essentially the same, Habs were cheap and prolific at the local grocery). My version had less heat and more fruity flavor because I removed the seeds and veins, but otherwise it was spot on.

If you like hot sauce they are all really good on tacos, burritos, etc. If you really like hot sauce they are also quite tasty just on tortilla chips.

The basic recipe is:

Habanero Sauce Recipe (prototype, not final)

2 Tbsp garlic, minced
3 Tbsp Habanero pepper, minced (about 3 peppers) - more if preferred
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
1/2 c Canola oil (approximate)
Water (as needed to get desired consistency)

Mix all ingredients except oil and water in food processor or blender, pulse to blend.

Slowly add oil (very slowly at first) while continuously running food processor on high. If the oil is added too quickly the sauce will not emulsify properly.

After all the oil has been added check consistency. If too thick adjust with water a little at a time. Only add water while food processor is running on high speed and be sure to blend for a full minute before re-checking.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 9:36PM
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beautiful essox, the first ones do take the longest, I might pick one of the orange ones just to speed up the rest of them, just a thought, to give u a preview wont be quite as hot, but then probably wont matter, will sort of be like a teaser trailer ;)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 10:46PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Great pods, man!

Indeed, the first pod takes the longest....or so it seems.
Once I start plucking pods, the next pods ripen faster and a new wave of blooms starts to set.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:34PM
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Chile Freak and mbellot: appreciate both of your posts. I have been pondering exactly what to do with my peppers and now it seems I will be making some hot sauce. I know there are dozens/hundreds of recipes in the forums but since mbellot took the time to personally send me a recipe, I am going to use his with a few different varieties of peppers. MBELLOT, I have on question however: can you give an "approximate" amount of water for that recipe so that I know that I am not way under or over what is necessary. I understand that you add it to get the desired consistency but I just don't want to accidentally go too far and mess up a whole batch.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:43PM
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Thanks Josh. you have given me a whole lot of advice to get me to this point. You can take some personal pride in them as well... I may just go ahead and pluck that one pod along with one other. Seems I have a midget that is already turning too. I am hoping it gets some of the other mature sized fruits to start turning quick. My plants sure seem to be enjoying this seasonable weather. But in a couple days we are predicted to go back into the 90's for highs again. Hopefully is isn't like the last heat wave. It put my poor pepper plants into a slowdown that they just recently seem to have snapped out of.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:02AM
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kosherbaker(LA CA-10)

mbellot, have you by chance tried Apple Cider Vinegar instead of white distilled? I'm curious what you think about the flavor outcome.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:06AM
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esox07 - Not much in my (limited) experience. A little bit of water goes a long way.

The oil tends to thicken things up (like mayo), but the consistency I'm used to is thinner (Hershey's chocolate syrup, maybe just a bit thicker).

If you use the quantities above I would say look at it with no water (since peppers have some naturally and the amount will vary). If it's really thick start with a teaspoon or so (slowly) and check again. Repeat as needed. I have a tiny processor (2 cups I think) that works perfect for these small batches, I don't know how a bigger food processor might affect things.

The most important thing is to beat the snot out of it, otherwise you'll risk breaking the emulsion and end up with a nasty oil slick instead of sauce. I've had it happen several times, so you may want to practice on some less "important" peppers a couple times first.

If you want more flavor take the seeds and veins out. If pure heat is your goal, leave 'em in. :)

Here is what they look like at the restaurant. Left to right - Bhut, Hab, Jap

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:16AM
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kosherbaker - Nope. I did try with lemon juice once and ended up with an oil slick so I'm guessing it's not acidic enough.

Cider vinegar would probably work, but I doubt you would taste a difference in the Bhut sauce. It's about 2 seconds of flavor before the heat overtakes all other sensations. Simply marvelous.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:35AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Now I'm thinking about making sauces...

Esox, if you pull that pod, it'll ripen on the kitchen table in just a few days.
Once they have that much color, they'll go all the way.

I'm glad to help out!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 2:31AM
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Hi esox no need to suit up when picking, but be careful when you cut open, wear gloves if you need, the danger is when you break the skin of the pepper. The Bhut is my favorite to grow, I make into hotsauce, put it into my burgers, or slice it and put into a sandwich. Also great in chilli! You would be amazed by the reduction of heat when added to food don't get me wrong still hot but manageable. Nothing like just popping a fresh pod that's hot to the extream could barley swallow it down, LOL have to try it at least once!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 8:24AM
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I like to make my sauce Tabasco style.

Chop one pound of Ghosts while bringing 2 cups distilled white vinegar and one tablespoon kosher salt to a boil.

Add peppers to boil reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.

Let cool for a bit then put in Cuisinart. Blend it up.

Put in sealed jar and stick in fridge for two weeks.

Strain out pulp (save for tomato based sauces my girlfriend likes) and put in hot sauce bottles. You can get a case of them cheap from Freund Container

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 9:27AM
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Thanks again guys. Love the feedback. Gonna go pick a Bhut or two and a couple others this afternoon. QASREVENGE: Thanks for that tip on Freund containers. I searched the internet for a couple hours last week looking for a good deal on spice containers for my dried & ground up peppers. It looks like they have anything a guy could want and decent prices....better than I could find. Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:02AM
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You guys are making me hungry. And I agree about not needing gloves to pick them. Unless they have exsposed flesh you should bot worry about it. Now lets's see the video of you eating your first Bhut!LOL

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:06AM
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Romy6: if I do eat a Bhut, which is not my intention as of right now, it won't be filmed and it certainly won't make the internet. I may dice one up and taste a "smidgeon" of it, but I dont profess to be a pepper eater and I have a pretty good grasp of my limitations.
Here is a picture of the first one. I picked these early in hopes they stimulate the plants into speeding up the ripening process on the remaining fruit.
The top one is a Cayenne, the middle three are Bhuts (Two babies ripened up for some reason) and the bottom is a Long Red Slim.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 4:01PM
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If you want to speed up the ripening process in your picked peppers, put them in a paper bag with a ripe banana (yellow with brown spots all over it) in a warm place (warm, not hot). The ethylene gas released by the banana will make your peppers ripen much faster, as will the warm temperatures.

Makes me wonder if you can speed up ripening on the plant by sticking banana peels underneath it?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 1:26PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I've read that peppers don't respond to "ethylene ripening" the way other vegetables/fruits do.
If you want picked peppers to ripen, they must have already begun the ripening process.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 1:53PM
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Yah, I heard of the trick to ripen Avacados by putting them in a brown paper bag over night. It really works great. You can buy those ones that are hard as apples and put them in a brown lunch sack over night and by the next morning, they are perfect. Never used bananas though. I have a couple banana pepper bushes...think that will work??? :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 3:30PM
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Peppers will ripen in a bag in the house even without any fruit. I do this at the end of the season if there is danger of a hard frost. You'd be surprised how many green peppers will ripen. Don't overfill the bags and check them on a daily basis.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 10:21AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Peppers must already have begun ripening, even if they look green, otherwise they'll
develop a pale, half-ripened, half-browned look. I'm sure the paper bag helps dehydrate the pod,
but don't be surprised if green peppers mush out or turn to crap.

I ain't tryin' to rain on anyone's parade, I just don't want you to be disappointed.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 10:31AM
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