If you want to add some heat to your dishes, hot peppers are a great way to do it. There’s a wide variety of different peppers available, ranging from mild to medium, and even extra-hot varieties.
To help you find the perfect pepper for your recipe, we’ve created a simple hot pepper chart showing the relative levels of spiciness for each type of pepper. We’ve also included a handy chart to help you recover if you’ve pushed your taste buds past their tolerance point.
With this chart, you can easily choose the perfect pepper from mild bell peppers to fiery habaneros. You’ll be cooking with heat in no time.
What is the Scoville Scale?
Wilbur Scoville, a scientist in 1912, developed the Scoville scale to measure the heat of chile peppers. The calculation is based on how much sugar water it would take to neutralize the spiciness of a pepper. For example, bell peppers have a low level of 0-500 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) while habaneros have a significantly higher Scoville units rating of 100,000-350,000 SHU.
So if you’re looking for the perfect amount of heat for your recipes, use this chart as a helpful guide. With this helpful hot pepper scale, you can easily choose from mild to extra-spicy peppers to add a little, or a lot of heat to your next meal!
Scoville Organoleptic Test
The organoleptic test is a method that evaluates the spiciness of a pepper by tasting it. The peppers are blended with sugar water and tasted by panels of trained tasters. Depending on how much sugar water is required to balance out the heat, the pepper can be classified into its corresponding Scoville scale levels.
So, any taste testers out there?
Pepper Hotness Level
Using a Scoville units chart is simple and straightforward. Just look for the name of the pepper and compare its spiciness to another pepper.
The higher it is on the chart, the hotter it will be in your dish. Keep in mind that some peppers are very spicy, so it’s important to adjust the amount according to how much flavor you want.
For milder flavors, go with lower-scaled peppers like bell peppers or Anaheim chiles. For more zest, increase the heat with jalapenos or serranos.
To get the maximum level of spiciness, try habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers. Regardless of which type you choose, always use caution when handling hot peppers!
Chili Pepper Varieties
In addition to the peppers listed above, there are many more varieties available. Some of these include Anaheim chiles, Pasilla peppers, Poblano peppers, and ancho peppers. Each one has its own unique flavor and is used in different types of recipes.
Whatever your heat preference may be, using a Scoville pepper heat chart can help you choose the right pepper for your dish. With this helpful guide, you’ll be able to easily navigate through a wide variety of peppers and get cooking with heat!
Most Popular Peppers
With so many different types of peppers available, it’s hard to decide which one is the best for your recipe. No matter what type of pepper you choose for your recipe, always use caution when handling hot peppers and adjust the amount according to how much heat you want.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular peppers used in cooking, according to their spice level:
- Bell Peppers – Mild and sweet flavor with a Scoville rating of 0-500 SHU, these are perfect for salads and sandwiches, like this Keto Pasta Salad.
- Pepperoncini Peppers – Mild peppers with a rating of 100-500 SHU; usually used in salads and sandwiches.
- Anaheim Peppers – Mild to medium peppers with a rating of 500-2,500 SHU; great for Mexican dishes.
- Poblano Peppers – Mild peppers with a rating of 1,000-2,000 SHU; popular for chiles rellenos.
- Chipotle Pepper – Smoky, medium-hot pepper with a rating of 5,000-10,000 SHU; mainly used in Mexican dishes and salsas.
- Jalapeno Peppers – Medium heat with a Scoville rating of 2,500-8,000 SHU; the jalapeño pepper is great for salsa and other Mexican dishes, or this Instant Pot Corn Chowder.
- Hungarian Peppers –Medium heat with a rating of 3,500-10,000 SHU; commonly used for pickling.
- Serranos – Hotter than jalapeños, the Serrano pepper has a rating of 10,000-23,000 SHU; usually used in sauces or pickling.
- Tabasco Pepper – Medium to hot with a rating of 30,000-50,000 SHU; perfect for adding heat to salads and sandwiches.
- Thai Peppers – Very hot peppers with a rating of 50,000-100,000 SHU; best used in curries and stir fries.
Hot Chili Peppers
Hot chili peppers are the hottest peppers, with a rating of 500,000-1,500,000 SHU; these should be used with caution as they can be very spicy.
- Cayenne Peppers – This pepper is one of the hotter peppers, with a rating of 30,000-50,000 SHU; it’s used in many dishes for extra heat and flavor.
- Scotch Bonnet Peppers – With a rating of 100,000-350,000 SHU, these are some of the hottest peppers; typically used in Caribbean dishes.
- Ghost Peppers – Also known as Bhut Jolokia, these hot peppers have a Scoville rating of 1 million SHU or more; use caution when using these.
- Fatoli Peppers – These are very hot peppers with a rating of 250,000-500,000 SHU; perfect for adding heat to sauces and other dishes.
- Habanero Peppers – Spiciest of all the peppers with a rating of 100,000-350,000 SHU; can be found in hot sauces and other spicy dishes.
Hottest Chili Peppers
- Red Savina Habanero – Hottest habanero pepper with a rating of 350,000-575,000 SHU; perfect for making your own hot sauce.
- Chocolate Habanero – One of the hottest peppers with a rating of 425,000-577,000 SHU; great for making salsas and sauces.
- Ghost Pepper – With a rating of up to 2 million SHU, this is one of the hottest peppers; usually found in specialty hot sauces, salsas and other spicy recipes.
- Trinidad Scorpion Butch T – Hottest pepper in the world with a rating of 1.2 million to 2.0 million SHU; used to make extremely hot sauces and salsas.
World’s Hottest Chili Pepper
- Carolina Reaper – The hottest pepper in the world and a Guinness World Record holder with a rating of up to 2.2 million SHU; this one is not for the faint of heart!
With this helpful hot pepper scale, you can quickly find the perfect amount of heat for your recipe. Whether you like it mild or spicy, there’s a pepper out there that will suit your taste buds. So go ahead and spice up your dishes with the right kind of peppers!
Now that you know the different types of peppers available, you can easily choose the perfect pepper for your recipes. Whether it’s a mild bell pepper or a fiery habanero, you’ll have an unforgettable meal with just the right amount of heat.
So get cooking and start spicing things up with chili peppers!
And don’t forget to print out our guide of remedies to beat the heat so you can quickly recover if you spice things up a little too much.
Free Printable Hot Pepper Chart and Remedy Sheet
To download a free copy of the Scoville pepper heat chart and the remedies for spicy food, simply fill in the form below. A PDF copy of the file will be sent directly to your inbox.