Can you name the chilies hotter than a common cayenne pepper?
Let’s test your hot pepper knowledge! Cayenne pepper is a spice rack staple – likely the spiciest seasoning found in the typical kitchen. It’s hot, but there are plenty of hotter specimens on the pepper scale. Can you tell which chilies are hotter than cayenne and which are not just by name and image?
This 25 question quiz will put that pepper prowess of yours to the test. It’s a fun way to learn the heat of the pepper scale (and learn some chilies you may not know in the process!) Looking for a place to cram? And all of the answers can be found on our site.
Hint (and it’s a big one): Study our hot pepper list which features the Scoville heat units for over 125 peppers and have fun!
Scotch Bonnet Pepper
Don't let the name deceive you. Scotch bonnets have a most-certain extra hot kick! 100,000 to 350,000 on the Scoville scale. That's at least two times the heat of cayenne with the potential for a lot more.
The name may give it away - the super-hot ghost pepper is one scary chili, topping out at over 1,000,o00 Scoville heat units. The 50,000 tops of the cayenne doesn't come close.
Cherry Bomb Pepper
Talk about a name loaded with expectation. You'd expect the Cherry Bomb pepper to be crazy-hot, but it's not. It taps out between 2,500 and 5,000 Scoville heat units - making it barely above the "mild" zone for chilies.
This one may be a "gimme". The Carolina Reaper is infamous for its incredible heat 1.4 million to 2.2 million Scoville heat units. This super-hot is on another heat planet compared to the cayenne.
Habanero peppers are well-known for being extra hot! 100,00 to 350,000 Scoville heat units - it's a major ramp up from a cayenne.
The cowhorn pepper certainly makes an entrance...but this bad boy is all about size, not heat.It can grow up to 10 inches long, but only maxes out at 5,000 SHU.
Chile de Arbol
The chile de arbol is nearly always milder than the cayenne, ranging from 15,000 to 30,000 Scoville heat units. Only the hottest possible chile de arbol will match the mildest possible cayenne.
Madame Jeanette Pepper
The mix of the name and the bright yellow color may have you thinking this is a milder chili. But the Madame Jeanette actually hits hard - 125,000 to 325,000 SHU. That's up to six times hotter than the hottest possible cayenne.
Jalapeños are the most popular choice among fresh chilies because of their very eatable heat (2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units). It's a heat well below the minimum 30,000 SHU of cayenne.
The cascabel is one unique pepper - when dried they keep their round shape, making a natural rattle. Fun! But not hot. Cascabels only tip the scale between 1,000 and 3,000 Scoville heat units. The cayenne's minimum 30,000 is a far distance off.
Serrano peppers have, for many, a surprising level of heat, but even at its hottest (23,000 Scoville heat units) it falls short of the cayenne.
Peperone di Senise
Its elongated shape may look like a hotter pepper, but rather the Peperone di Senise has very little, if any, heat.
Yes, Fresno peppers are usually sold when red. But don't let the hotter looking color fool you. Fresno's tap out at 10,000 Scoville heat units, three times milder than the mildest possible cayenne.
The Hinkelhatz pepper looks a little like some of the super-hot chilies out there, but this Pennsylvania Dutch beauty only ranges from 5,000 to 30,000 SHU. Its absolute hottest is the same as the absolute mildest cayenne.
Prairie Fire Pepper
The colorful Prairie Fire pepper may look like candy, but there's quite a spicy surprise just waiting here. They range from 70,000 to 80,000 SHU, often double the heat of cayenne.
Don't let the tiny size fool you. The chiltepin provides plenty of pop (50,000 to 100,000 SHU). It can even double the heat of the hottest possible cayenne.
The Brazilian cheiro roxa works as both an ornamental and a cuilnary pepper, and it packs a bigger punch than the cayenne - 60,000 to 80,000 Scoville heat units.
Black Cobra Pepper
The Black Cobra looks like it may bite, with its dramatic color and fruits that grow up, not down. But, on average, the heat of this ornamental pepper comes in a tad lower than the mildest cayenne (20,000 to 40,000 SHU).
Ancho peppers range from 1,000 to 1,500 on the Scoville Scale - it's known as a mild pepper, well below the upper-medium heat of the cayenne.
The pasilla pepper is very mild compared to the cayenne. 1,000 to 2,500 Scoville heat units vs 30,000 to 50,000 SHU.
Sport peppers come in just shy of cayenne heat - ranging 10,000 to 23,000 on the Scoville scale.
Datil peppers - the St. Augustine chili - are a most certain jump up in heat, ranging 100,000 to 300,000 Scoville heat units.
A rare Baltimore treasure, the fish pepper falls well below the cayenne - 5,000 to 10,000 Scoville heat units.
Aleppo pepper is typically found ground like cayenne, but their heat profile is quite different. They tend to max out at 10,000 Scoville heat units, 3 to 5 times milder than cayenne.
While the hottest cayenne can match the mildest Thai, Thai peppers are on average hotter (50,000 to 100,000) than typical cayenne (30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units).
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