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 its name to view PepperScale’s full profile on the pepper. Use the advanced search to filter chilies by name (for instance, type “habanero” to see a list of habaneros currently covered by PepperScale.) You can also filter by region to see where chilies hail from (it’s literally around the globe.)
Scroll to the bottom of our hot pepper list to view a glossary of key terms. Note: Due to space constraints on mobile devices, we limit columns to only heat (by color), pepper name, minimum SHU, and maximum SHU. Tablets may also have some columns missing.
|wdt_ID|||||Hot Pepper||Min SHU||Max SHU||JalRP||Type||Origin||Use||Flavor|
|1||Mild||Bell Pepper||0||0||-8,000 to -2,500||annuum||Mexico||Culinary||Bright, Sweet|
|2||Mild||Gypsy Pepper||0||0||-8,000 to -2,500||annuum||USA||Culinary||Sweet, Floral|
|3||Mild||Purple Beauty Pepper||0||0||-8,000 to -2,500||annuum||South America||Culinary||Sweet|
|4||Mild||Melrose Pepper||0||0||-8,000 to -2,500||annuum||USA||Culinary||Sweet|
|5||Mild||Carmen Pepper||0||0||-8,000 to -2,500||annuum||Italy||Culinary||Sweet|
|6||Mild||California Wonder Pepper||0||0||-8,000 to -2,500||annuum||USA||Culinary||Bitter, Sweet|
|7||Mild||Peperone di Senise||0||0||-8,000 to -2,500||annuum||Italy||Culinary||Sweet, Nutty, Smoky|
|8||Mild||Tangerine Dream Pepper||0||100||-8,000 to -250||annuum||USA||Ornamental||Sweet|
|9||Mild||Chilly Chili||1||100||-8,000 to -2||annuum||USA||Ornamental||Neutral|
|10||Mild||Shishito Pepper||50||200||-160 to -13||annuum||Japan||Culinary||Sweet, Grassy, Citrusy, Smoky|
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.
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. A negative number (like -50) means the number of times the pepper is milder. A zero (0) means equal heat. Any positive numbers show the number of times that the pepper is hotter than a jalapeño.
Origin: Where the chili pepper has its roots. Try typing an origin into the search filter to see all chilies from that region.
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. As the heat rises on the pepper scale, so does the capacity to taste these distinct flavor nuances beyond the intense heat, 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.