The Hot Pepper List: Know Your Spice

| Last Updated: December 24, 2020 |

One hot pepper list to rule them all…

Just like grapes grown for wine, hot peppers are incredibly complex. There are multiple varieties that come in unique shapes, flavors, and, of course, heat. It’s our goal to help you traverse this wide world of spiciness, and it all starts with the Scoville scale through which the heat is measured. Our hot pepper list brings that famous pepper scale to life in many ways.

It allows you to see the heat from mild to hot, as well as get an idea of what that heat is like via our jalapeño reference point. We show you how much hotter (or milder) a hot pepper could be from the jalapeño – a chili most everyone has tried. We find it to be a great way to bring the big numbers on the Scoville scale into perspective. 

To read more about a chili pepper: Click on the row to open our Fast Facts or click on the pepper’s name to view PepperScale’s full profile on the chili.

Scroll to the bottom of our hot pepper list to view a glossary of key terms.


Hot PepperImageHeatMin SHUMax SHUMedian SHUJalRPJalRP Times Hotter/MilderTypeOriginUseFlavor
Bell PepperBell Pepper SubstituteMild0000.00-8,000 to -2,500annuumMexicoCulinaryBright, Sweet
Gypsy PepperGypsy PepperMild0000.00-8,000 to -2,500annuumUSACulinarySweet, Floral
Purple Beauty PepperPurple Beauty PepperMild0000.00-8,000 to -2,500annuumSouth AmericaCulinarySweet
Melrose Peppermelrose pepperMild0000.00-8,000 to -2,500annuumUSACulinarySweet
Carmen Peppercarmen pepperMild0000.00-8,000 to -2,500annuumItalyCulinarySweet
California Wonder PepperCalifornia Wonder PepperMild0000.00-8,000 to -2,500annuumUSACulinaryBitter, Sweet
Peperone di Senisepeperone di seniseMild0000.00-8,000 to -2,500annuumItalyCulinarySweet, Nutty, Smoky
Fushimi PepperFushimi PepperMild0000.00-8,000 to -2,500AnnuumJapanCulinarySweet
Tangerine Dream PepperTangerine Dream PepperMild0100500.01-8,000 to -250annuumUSAOrnamentalSweet
Chilly ChiliChilly ChiliMild1100510.01-8,000 to -2annuumUSAOrnamentalNeutral
Shishito PepperShishito pepper substituteMild502001250.02-160 to -13annuumJapanCulinarySweet, Grassy, Citrusy, Smoky
Trinidad PerfumeTrinidad PerfumeMild05002500.05-8,000 to -5chinenseCaribbeanCulinarySweet, Fruity, Citrusy, Tropical
Banana PepperBanana Pepper PlantingMild05002500.05-8,000 to -5annuumSouth AmericaCulinarySweet, Tangy
PepperoncinipepperonciniMild1005003000.06-80 to -5annuumItalyCulinarySweet, Tangy
Pimento PepperPimento PepperMild1005003000.06-80 to -5annuumUnknownCulinarySweet
Mariachi PepperMariachi pepperMild5006005500.10-13 to -5annuumUSACulinarySweet
Santa Fe Grande PepperSanta Fe Grande PepperMild5007006000.11-16 to -3annuumUSACulinarySweet, Smoky
Holy Mole PepperHoly Mole PepperMild7008007500.14-10 to -3annuumUSACulinaryNutty, Tangy
Aji DulceAji DulceMild01,0005000.10-8,000 to -3chinenseCaribbeanCulinarySweet, Smoky, Peppery
Medusa PepperMedusa PepperMild11,0005010.10-8000 to -3annuumMexicoOrnamentalSweet
Mexibell PepperMexibell PepperMild1001,0005500.10-80 to -3annuumUSACulinarySweet
Italian Long Hot PepperItalian Long Hot PeppersMild1001,0005500.10-80 to -3annuumItalyCulinarySweet
Cubanelle PepperCubanelle pepper substituteMild1001,0005500.10-80 to -3annuumItalyCulinarySweet
Piquillo PepperPiquillo PeppersMild5001,0007500.14-16 to -3annuumSpainCulinarySweet, Smoky, Tart
Beaver Dam PepperBeaver Dam PepperMild5001,0007500.14-16 to -3annuumUSACulinarySweet
Peppadew PepperPeppadew PepperMild1,1001,2001,1500.22-7 to -2baccatumAfricaCulinarySweet
Aji PancaAji PancaMild1,0001,5001,2500.24-8 to -2baccatumPeruCulinarySweet, Fruity, Smoky
Ancho PepperAncho-PepperMild1,0001,5001,2500.24-8 to -2annuumMexicoCulinarySweet, Smoky, Earthy
Poblano PepperPoblano Pepper NutritionMild1,0001,5001,2500.24-8 to -2annuumMexicoCulinaryEarthy
Kashmiri ChiliKashmiri ChiliMild1,0002,0001,5000.29-8 to 0annuumIndiaCulinarySweet, Fruity
Guindilla PepperGuindilla PepperMild1,0002,0001,5000.29-8 to 0annuumSpainCulinarySweet
Padron PepperPadron PepperMild5002,5001,5000.29-16 to 0annuumSpainCulinaryEarthy, Nutty, Sweet
Anaheim PepperAnaheim Pepper vs Jalapeno PepperMild5002,5001,5000.29-16 to 0annuumMexicoCulinaryFruity, Sweet
Chilaca PepperChilaca PepperMild1,0002,5001,7500.33-8 to 0annuumMexicoCulinarySweet, Floral
Pasilla PepperPasilla pepperMild1,0002,5001,7500.33-8 to 0annuumMexicoCulinarySweet, Fruity, Earthy
Rocotillo PepperRocotillo PepperMild1,5002,5002,0000.38-5 to 0baccatumPeruCulinarySweet, Tropical
Cascabel PepperCascabel pepperMild1,0003,0002,0000.38-8 to 0annuumMexicoCulinaryEarthy, Nutty
Mulato PepperMulato PepperMedium2,5003,0002,7500.52-3 to 0annuumMexicoCulinarySmoky, Sweet, Earthy
NuMex Big JimNuMex Big JimMedium2,5003,0002,7500.52-3 to 0annuumUSACulinaryBright, Sweet
Cajun Belle PepperCajun belle pepperMedium5004,0002,2500.43-16 to 0annuumUSACulinarySweet
Espelette PepperEspelette PepperMedium5004,0002,2500.43-16 to 0annuumFranceCulinarySweet, Fruity, Smoky
NuMex CentennialNumex CentennialMedium1,0005,0003,0000.57-5 to 0annuumUSAOrnamentalBitter, Bright
Sangria Peppersangria pepperMedium1,0005,0003,0000.57-5 to 0annuumUnknownOrnamentalNeutral
Cherry Bomb PepperCherry Bomb PepperMedium2,5005,0003,7500.710annuumUSACulinarySweet
Cowhorn PepperCowhorn PepperMedium2,5005,0003,7500.710annuumSouth AmericaCulinarySweet
Guajillo PepperGuajillo Pepper SubstituteMedium2,5005,0003,7500.710annuumMexicoCulinaryTangy, Crisp, Smoky
Jalafuego PepperJalafuego pepperMedium4,0006,0005,0000.950annuumMexicoCulinaryBright, Grassy
Chimayo PepperChimayo PepperMedium4,0006,0005,0000.950annuumUSACulinarySmoky, Earthy
Sandia PepperSandia PepperMedium5,0007,0006,0001.140annuumUSACulinarySweet
Hatch PepperHatch pepperMedium1,0008,0004,5000.86-3 to 0annuumUSACulinaryButtery, Earthy
Jalapeño Pepperjalapeno pepperMedium2,5008,0005,2501.000annuumMexicoCulinaryBright, Grassy
Purple Jalapeño PepperPurple Jalapeno PepperMedium2,5008,0005,2501.000annuumMexicoCulinaryBright, Sweet
Chipotle Pepperchipotle pepperMedium2,5008,0005,2501.000annuumMexicoCulinarySmoky, Earthy
Puya PepperPuya PepperMedium5,0008,0006,5001.240annuumMexicoCulinarySweet, Fruity, Bitter
Pretty in Purple PepperPretty in Purple pepperMedium4,0008,0006,0001.140annuumUSAOrnamentalNeutral
Fresno PepperFresno PepperMedium2,50010,0006,2501.190annuumUSACulinarySweet, Fruity, Smoky
Hungarian Wax PepperHungarian wax pepperMedium5,00010,0007,5001.430 to 4annuumHungaryCulinarySweet, Tangy
Black Hungarian PepperBlack Hungarian PepperMedium5,00010,0007,5001.430 to 4annuumHungaryCulinarySweet
Aleppo PepperAleppo pepperMedium10,00010,00010,0001.900 to 4annuumSyriaCulinaryBright, Tart, Earthy, Salty
Peter Pepperpeter pepperMedium10,00023,00016,5003.140 to 9annuumUSACulinaryBright, Sweet
Serrano PepperSerrano PepperMedium10,00023,00016,5003.140 to 9annuumMexicoCulinaryBright, Grassy
Sport PepperSport PeppersMedium10,00023,00016,5003.140 to 9annuumUSACulinaryNeutral, Tangy
Bishop's Crown PepperBishops Crown PepperMedium5,00030,00017,5003.330 to 12baccatumSouth AmericaCulinarySweet, Fruity
Hinkelhatz PepperHinkelhatz PepperMedium5,00030,00017,5003.330 to 12annuumUSACulinaryNeutral
Royal Black PepperRoyal Black pepperMedium5,00030,00017,5003.330 to 12annuumUnknownOrnamentalNeutral
Black Prince PepperBlack Prince pepperMedium5,00030,00017,5003.330 to 12annuumMexicoOrnamentalNeutral
Count Dracula PepperCount Dracula pepperMedium5,00030,00017,5003.330 to 12annuumUnknownOrnamentalNeutral
Bulgarian Carrot PepperBulgarian carrot pepperMedium5,00030,00017,5003.330 to 12annuumBulgariaCulinarySweet, Fruity, Crisp
Fish PepperFish pepperMedium5,00030,00017,5003.330 to 12annuumUSACulinaryBright
Bolivian Rainbow PepperBolivian Rainbow PepperMedium10,00030,00020,0003.814 to 12annuumBoliviaOrnamentalNeutral
Black Pearl Pepperblack pearl pepperMedium10,00030,00020,0003.814 to 12annuumUSAOrnamentalCitrusy
Manzano PepperManzano PepperMedium12,00030,00021,0004.002 to 12pubescensSouth AmericaCulinarySweet, Citrusy
Japones PepperJapones PepperMedium15,00030,00022,5004.292 to 12annuumJapanCulinaryNeutral
Lemon Drop PepperLemon drop pepperMedium15,00030,00022,5004.292 to 12baccatumPeruCulinarySweet, Fruity, Citrusy
Chile De ArbolChile de ArbolMedium15,00030,00022,5004.292 to 12annuumMexicoCulinaryNutty, Smoky
Jwala PepperJwala PepperMedium20,00030,00025,0004.763 to 12annuumIndiaCulinarySweet, Fruity
Inca Red Drop PepperInca Red Drop pepperMedium10,00030,00020,0003.812 to 12baccatumPeruOrnamentalFruity, Sweet
Aji Coloradoaji coloradoMedium20,00030,00025,0004.763 to 12baccatumPeruCulinaryFruity, Sweet
Aji Pineappleaji pineappleMedium20,00030,00025,0004.763 to 12baccatumPeruCulinaryFruity, Sweet, Tropical
Little Elf PepperLittle Elf pepperMedium20,00030,00025,0004.763 to 12annuumHungaryOrnamentalEarthy
Bod'e PepperBod'e PepperMedium30,00032,00031,0005.904 to 13chinenseBrazilCulinaryFruity, Sweet, Smoky
Black Cobra PepperBlack Cobra PepperMedium20,00040,00030,0005.713 to 16annuumSouth AmericaOrnamentalNeutral, Bitter
NuMex Twilightnumex twilightMedium30,00050,00040,0007.624 to 20annuumUSAOrnamentalSalty, Bitter, Bright
Rooster Spur Pepperrooster spur pepperMedium30,00050,00040,0007.624 to 20annuumUSAOrnamentalPeppery
Explosive Ember PepperExplosive Ember pepperMedium30,00050,00040,0007.624 to 20annuumUnknownOrnamentalSweet
Filius Blue Pepperfilius blue pepperMedium30,00050,00040,0007.624 to 20annuumMexicoOrnamentalNeutral
Aurora Pepperaurora pepperMedium30,00050,00040,0007.624 to 20annuumMexicoOrnamentalNeutral
Aji Amarilloaji amarilloMedium30,00050,00040,0007.624 to 20baccatumPeruCulinarySweet, Fruity, Tropical, Bright
Aji CharapitaAji CharapitaMedium30,00050,00040,0007.624 to 20chinensePeruCulinarySweet, Fruity
Aji OmnicolorAji OmnicolorMedium30,00050,00040,0007.624 to 20baccatumPeruOrnamentalFruity, Sweet
Tabasco Peppertabasco pepperMedium30,00050,00040,0007.624 to 20frutescensCosta RicaCulinarySmoky
Cayenne PepperCayenne PepperMedium30,00050,00040,0007.624 to 20annuumFrench GuyanaCulinaryNeutral
Super Chili PepperSuper Chili PepperMedium40,00050,00045,0008.575 to 20annuumUSAOrnamentalNeutral
Satan's Kiss PepperSatan’s Kiss PepperMedium40,00050,00045,0008.575 to 25annuumItalyCulinaryNeutral
Buena Mulata PepperBuena Mulata PeppersMedium30,00050,00040,0007.624 to 20AnnuumUnited StatesOrnamentalSweet
Black Cuban PepperBlack Cuban pepperMedium40,00058,00049,0009.335 to 23annuumCubaOrnamentalNeutral
Pequin PepperPequin pepperMedium40,00060,00050,0009.525 to 24annuumMexicoCulinarySmoky, Fruity
Dundicut PepperDried Dundicut PepperExtra Hot55,00065,00060,00011.437 to 26annuumPakistanCulinaryFruity, Earthy
Calico PepperCalico pepperExtra Hot50,00070,00060,00011.436 to 28annuumMexicoOrnamentalNeutral
Tien Tsin PepperTien Tsin PepperExtra Hot50,00075,00062,50011.906 to 30annuumChinaCulinaryNeutral
Cheiro RoxaCheiro RoxaExtra Hot60,00080,00070,00013.338 to 32chinenseBrazilCulinaryFruity, Sweet, Bitter
Prairie Fire PepperPrairie Fire PepperExtra Hot70,00080,00075,00014.299 to 32annuumMexicoOrnamentalFruity, Tangy
Rocoto PepperCapsicum Pubescens (Rocoto Pepper)Extra Hot30,000100,00065,00012.384 to 40pubescensSouth AmericaCulinarySweet, Fruity, Grassy
Malagueta PepperMalagueta pepperExtra Hot50,000100,00075,00014.296 to 40frutescensBrazilCulinarySweet, Tangy
Byadgi Chilibyadgi chiliExtra Hot50,000100,00075,00014.296 to 40annuumIndiaCulinarySweet
Chiltepin PepperChiltepin pepperExtra Hot50,000100,00075,00014.296 to 40annuumUSACulinarySmoky, Earthy
Thai PepperThai PeppersExtra Hot50,000100,00075,00014.296 to 40annuumThailandCulinaryFruity
Charleston Hot PepperCharleston Hot PepperExtra Hot70,000100,00085,00016.199 to 40annuumUSACulinaryNeutral
Siling Labuyosiling labuyoExtra Hot80,000100,00090,00017.1410 to 40frutescensPhillipinesCulinaryNeutral
Apache PepperApache pepperExtra Hot80,000100,00090,00017.1410 to 40annuumUnknownCulinarySweet
Peri-Peri PepperPeri-Peri-PepperExtra Hot50,000100,00075,00014.296 to 40FrutescensAfricaCulinarySmoky, Sweet
Datil Pepperdatil pepperExtra Hot100,000300,000200,00038.1012 to 120chinenseUSACulinarySweet, Fruity, Tropical
Cumari do Paracumari do paraExtra Hot50,000300,000175,00033.336 to 120chinenseBrazilCulinaryFruity, Sweet, Tropical
Madame Jeanette PepperMadame Jeanette PepperExtra Hot125,000325,000225,00042.8615 to 130chinenseSouth AmericaCulinarySweet, Tropical
Aji ChomboAji ChomboExtra Hot125,000325,000225,00042.8615 to 130chinensePanamaCulinarySweet, Fruity, Tropical
Devil's Tongue Pepperdevils tongue pepperExtra Hot125,000325,000225,00042.8615 to 130chinenseUSACulinarySweet, Fruity, Citrusy
Wiri Wiri Pepperwiri wiri pepperExtra Hot100,000350,000225,00042.8612 to 140chinenseSouth AmericaCulinaryFruity, Tangy
Scotch Bonnet Pepperscotch bonnet substituteExtra Hot100,000350,000225,00042.8612 to 140chinenseCaribbeanCulinarySweet, Fruity, Tropical, Earthy
Habanero PepperHabanero-Pepper-Plant-Very-Very-Hot-0Extra Hot100,000350,000225,00042.8612 to 140chinenseSouth AmericaCulinarySweet, Fruity, Tropical, Smoky
Peruvian White HabaneroPeruvian White HabaneroExtra Hot100,000350,000225,00042.8612 to 140chinensePeruCulinarySweet, Fruity
Goat PepperGoat pepperExtra Hot100,000350,000225,00042.8612 to 140chinenseCaribbeanCulinarySweet, Tropical
Peach Habanerohabanero peachExtra Hot150,000350,000250,00047.6218 to 140ChinenseCaribbeanCulinarySweet, Fruity
Fatalii PepperFatalii pepperExtra Hot125,000400,000262,50050.0014 to 160chinenseAfricaCulinarySweet, Fruity, Citrusy
Hot Paper LanternHot Paper LanternExtra Hot150,000400,000275,00052.3819 to 160chinensePeruCulinarySweet, Smoky
Caribbean Red HabaneroCaribbean Red HabaneroSuper Hot300,000445,000372,50070.9535 to 178chinenseMexicoCulinarySweet, Fruity, Tropical, Smoky
Roatan Pumpkin HabaneroRoatan pumpkin habaneroSuper Hot100,000500,000300,00057.1412 to 200chinenseCaribbeanCulinarySweet, Fruity, Citrusy
Red Savina Habanerored savina habaneroSuper Hot350,000577,000463,50088.2944 to 231chinenseUSACulinarySweet, Fruity
Chocolate Habanerochocolate habaneroSuper Hot425,000577,000501,00095.4353 to 231chinenseJamaicaCulinarySweet, Fruity, Earthy, Smoky
7 Pot Bubblegum7 Pot BubblegumSuper Hot800,0001,000,000900,000171.43106 to 400chinenseUnited KingdomCulinarySweet, Fruity
7 Pot Jonah7 Pot JonahSuper Hot800,0001,000,000900,000171.43100 to 480chinenseTrinidadCulinarySweet, Fruity
Bhut Jolokia Chocolatebhut jolokia chocolateSuper Hot800,0001,001,304900,652171.55100 to 400chinenseIndiaCulinarySweet, Fruity, Earthy, Smoky
Ghost Pepperghost pepperSuper Hot855,0001,041,427948,214180.61107 to 417chinenseIndiaCulinarySweet, Fruity, Earthy
Trinidad 7 Pot PepperTrinidad 7 pot pepperSuper Hot1,000,0001,200,0001,100,000209.52125 to 480chinenseTrinidadCulinarySweet, Fruity, Nutty
Infinity PepperInfinity PepperSuper Hot1,067,2861,250,0001,158,643220.69133 to 500chinenseUnited KingdomCulinarySweet, Fruity
7 Pot Primo7 Pot PrimoSuper Hot800,0001,268,2501,034,125196.98100 to 507chinenseUSACulinarySweet, Fruity, Citrusy, Floral
7 Pot Barrackpore7 Pot BarrackporeSuper Hot1,000,0001,300,0001,150,000219.05125 to 520chinenseTrinidadCulinarySweet, Fruity, Bright, Bitter
7 Pot Brain Strain7 Pot Brain StrainSuper Hot1,000,0001,350,0001,175,000223.81125 to 540chinenseTrinidadCulinarySweet, Fruity
Naga ViperNaga ViperSuper Hot900,0001,382,1181,141,059217.34113 to 553chinenseIndiaCulinarySweet, Fruity, Tangy
Trinidad Scorpion "Butch-T"trinidad scorpion butch tSuper Hot800,0001,463,7001,131,850215.59100 to 585chinenseAustraliaCulinarySweet, Fruity
Naga MorichNaga MorichSuper Hot1,000,0001,500,0001,250,000238.10125 to 600chinenseUnited KingdomCulinarySweet, Fruity
Dorset NagaDorset Naga PepperSuper Hot1,000,0001,598,2271,299,114247.45125 to 639chinenseUnited KingdomCulinarySweet, Fruity, Floral
7 Pot Douglah7 pot douglahSuper Hot923,8891,853,9861,388,938264.56109 to 742chinenseTrinidadCulinarySweet, Fruity, Earthy, Nutty
Trinidad Moruga ScorpionTrinidad moruga scorpionSuper Hot1,200,0002,000,0001,600,000304.76150 to 800chinenseTrinidadCulinarySweet, Fruity
Trinidad Scorpion ChocolateTrinidad Scorpion ChocolateSuper Hot1,200,0002,000,0001,600,000304.76150 to 800chinenseTrinidadCulinarySweet, Fruity, Earthy, Smoky
Carolina ReaperCarolina ReaperSuper Hot1,400,0002,200,0001,800,000342.86175 to 880chinenseUSACulinarySweet, Fruity
Komodo Dragon PepperKomodo Dragon PepperSuper Hot1,400,0002,200,0001,800,000342.86175 to 880chinenseUnited KingdomCulinarySweet, Fruity
Dragon’s Breath Pepperdragons breath pepperSuper Hot2,480,0002,480,0002,480,000472.38310 to 992chinenseUnited KingdomCulinarySweet, Fruity
Pepper XPepper XSuper Hot3,180,0003,180,0003,180,000605.71? - 1272chinenseUSACulinarySweet, Fruity
Pepper SprayPepper spraySuper Hot2,000,0005,300,0003,650,000695.24250 to 2,120N/AN/ACulinary
CapsaicincapsaicinSuper Hot15,000,00016,000,00015,500,0002,952.381,875 to 6,400N/AN/ACulinary
Elephant Ears PepperMild0000.00-8,000 to -2,500AnnuumBalkan PeninsulaCulinarySweet, Fruity
Calabrian PepperCalabrian peppers on a plateMedium2500040000325006.193 to 16AnnuumItalyCulinarySweet, Fruity, Smoky, Salty
Mad Hatter PepperMad Hatter peppersMild5001,000750.14-16 to -3BaccatumUnited StatesCulinary, OrnamentalSweet, Fruity, Citrusy, Floral

Glossary:

Heat: Mild, Medium, Hot, or Scorching-Hot. You get the picture. We break them down by color (green, yellow, orange, red). This is the simplest way to explore our hot pepper list and get an idea of where things sit. Note – “Medium” is plenty hot here. It contains the likes of jalapeños and cayenne peppers which many with milder tastes find very spicy.

SHU: Scoville heat units. The units by which the Scoville scale is measured (read more about them here). It is the key numerical value of our (or any) hot pepper list.

Min/Max SHU: Even individual hot peppers have a range of heat, depending on where they are grown, how long they’ve matured, and even the amount of sun they’ve received. The minimum SHU is the mildest a pepper could be, the maximum SHU is the hottest possible for the variety.

Median SHU: The number exactly in the middle between the minimum and maximum Scoville heat units of the pepper. This gives us one number by which to compare our jalapeño reference point.

JalRP: Jalapeño reference point. Our hot pepper list gives you a perspective of how hot these peppers really are by comparing them against a reference point most everyone has tried. We offer this data in two ways:

  • Decimal: Based on the median heat of the peppers. The jalapeno is “1” and the other peppers are either less than one (less spicy) or above one (hotter). As you’ll see some peppers are much, much hotter than a jalapeño. You can read the hotter pepper numbers as “X times hotter than a jalapeño”. For instance, the median heat of a habanero (at 42.86) is nearly 43 times hotter than the median heat of a jalapeño.
  • Range: Based on the minimum and maximum SHUs of the pepper. We offer this option in the Fast Facts pop-up. It shows how the range of potential times hotter/milder given each chili has a range of heat.

Origin: Where the chili pepper has its roots. Try typing an origin into the search filter to see all chilies from that region. All chili peppers are native to South and Central America, but here we consider “origin” as the place where the pepper is now regionally connected or primarily cultivated.

Use: We reference the typical use case: culinary or ornamental. Note, all ornamental peppers are also edible, so consider that when exploring the list. Many, though, are not as flavorful (and often surprisingly spicy) as they are grown for looks, instead of flavor or mildness.

Flavor: Our hot pepper list breaks down the overall basic flavor of each chili pepper, using a common glossary of terms: sweet, fruity, citrusy, tropical, smoky, earthy, crisp, floral, nutty, bright, grassy, salty, peppery (as in black peppery), and tangy. This is a simplified description to give you a starting point to considering flavor. We highly recommend clicking through to our pepper profile for more detail on the overall heat and flavor profile of each pepper. As the heat rises on the Scoville scale it becomes harder to detect the nuances of flavor, but they are still there.

Note: we do use the term “neutral” in flavor. By neutral here we mean simply a standard fresh pepper taste without any distinct flavor nuance.

25 thoughts on “The Hot Pepper List: Know Your Spice”

  1. My husband brought home some roasted “hot pueblo” chiles from the store the other day, and I’ve been unable to find any information about them. They are from Pueblo CO, which I’m guessing is where the name came from. Also, what does roasting chiles do to their flavor/heat profile? I make gallons (literally) of salsa each year, with a mix of fire-roasted and fresh chiles, but am wondering if I’d be better off using just fresh ones.

    Reply
    • The first year I could get some I ordered the no heat Hab. You couldn’t get seeds, but could buy the plant. All went well with the order, arrival, transplant. They grew, and looked good, but were small plants. The end result was NOBODY liked them…they had a very off taste. In retrospect, I think the weather had a lot to do with it; I live in WA along the coast and it is cool and soils are even slow to heat up (if they ever do). I also may have over watered them. Note; I grew some regular habs that were hot, but not very hot. Not as hot as those grown in warmer parts of the state or my friends in the mid-west. Again, I think the cooler climate reduced some heat and changes the taste of many peppers.

      Reply
  2. I searched this website and others, but I cant find a consistent answer: What peppers/cultivars are even used to make hungarian paprika? Chili pepper isn’t too specific, especially since there are so many paprika varieties. My parents always told me it’s the paprika pepper, but it’s obviously not, it’s clearly a bunch of different cultivars of the chili pepper. Sadly, this list didn’t compare the heat level of the different paprika varieties. Is there any way you could add this sort of info to the list, as far as adding paprika names next to the corresponding peppers on this list? The Chili powder and cayenne powder are easy to find the peppers associated with those spices for obvious reasons, haha! I wish the name-creation of paprika was less biased, dagnabbit those mischievous Hungarians! 😉 As proud as I am being lucky enough to be 1%-3.5% Hungarian (according to ancestry.com) and share such an interesting and flavorful heritage, I am so confused about all this!

    Reply
    • Good question! And the topic is very confusing given that peppers originated in South America; not Africa, Europe, or Asia! And in Hungry, “paprika” is not only a type of pepper, but is also a name used for peppers in general! And, other peppers may be used there to make Paprika. BUT….look up ‘Kalocsa’. It is a famous “paprika” pepper from Hungry. I don’t know that it is known when or how the pepper from South America reached Hungry, but it thrived there. Again, there are other peppers used to make “paprika”, but this one is well known and popular there!

      Reply
  3. This one of the best and comprehensive list I have found so far. It has everything in a very easy to read and understand format. Thank you for putting so much time and effort on our behalf.
    Juanita

    Reply
      • I too thank you. I do not tolerate heat well; I like peppers, they don’t seem to care for me. So, I am on the lookout for the low end numbers, and this list gives me far more choices than I’ve ever found.

        Reply
        • That’s great to hear! A lot of hot pepper sites tend to underplay the mild. Not us – there’s a lot to love at that end of the scale.

          Reply
  4. I had about 4 to 5 different types of peppers growing in one small area this year. White Ghost Peppers, Tabasco Peppers, Jalapeno, Cowhorn, Dragon Cayenne and some Bell Peppers as well. I’m hoping next year that I can use the seeds from the Wite Ghost, Dragon Cayenne and the Tabasco Peppers and POSSIBLY plant them together in one small area. Hopefully to MAYBE have a MONSTEROURS little pepper with a big bite… but I can only hope. I’m going to try to put a little stress on the plants as they grow next year. I’ve heard that if the plants are more stressed ( lack of water, not going without completely, but holding back, and sometimes more direct heat ) causes the pepper to be hotter. Not sure of the truth behind that, but it’s just what I read.😎😎😎👨‍🚒👨‍🚒👨‍🚒👨‍🚒

    Reply
  5. Thank you very much for answering my question. I am going to try another cross pollination with a xtra hot or super hot jalapeno and planting felicity instead of tam this time and adding one more row of the mild peppers to the mix. I have read where the cross pollination could also go in the reverse and tame a hot pepper some degree.

    JC

    Reply
  6. I like to experiment cross pollenating with jalapeno peppers. I have planted a row of hot jalapenos and then planted a row of tams about 10 – 12 inches away and another row of tams 6 – 8 inches away from the first row of tams. Result was hot, medium and mild. Great for making salsas with varying degrees of heat. What degree of SHU pepper do you think would make the most efficient hot pepper to use and would it change spacing between the rows ? Thanks !

    JC

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    • That’s an interesting question – assuming you are grabbing the seeds and replanting the next year? Cross-pollination won’t affect the current generation of plants. So if you plant a habanero next to a jalapeno, the current plants will be exactly as planted – with varying degrees of hotness dependent on the seed, soil, temperature, water accessibility, etc. The seeds of those plants, though, may take on new characteristics because of the cross-pollination. Just want to make sure we are talking the same thing?

      Peppers are self-pollinating, but bees and other insects can move from plant to plant (along with air currents, etc) – so as long as the plants are relatively close-by, there’s a very good chance of cross-pollination of two different types. Wouldn’t be too concerned over the spacing if you have one row of one pepper type right next to another type.

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