Jalapeño peppers are the most popular chilies on the planet. Its very eatable low-medium heat and bright, grassy flavor make the chili very versatile in the kitchen. But, unless you’re a gardener with a penchant for spicy food, you may not know that there are many different jalapeño varieties out there.
In our PepperScale Roundup below, we break down some of these jalapeño types to give you a better picture of how deep this popular pepper’s lineage goes. We rank them from mildest to hottest, though most fit within the typical jalapeño heat range of 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units (SHU).
The TAM jalapeño is a super-mild version with a Scoville rating that does not get higher than 3,500 SHU.
Similar to purple jalapeños, NuMex Pinatas come in multiple colors and are mild with a 1,000 to 5,000 Scoville heat rating.
Chichimeca peppers are relatively mild but make up for lack of heat with size — they can grow up to four inches long and one and a half inches wide. While chichimecas can measure up to 8,000 SHU, most are in the 3,500 to 5,000 SHU range; they have noticeably less heat than most other jalapeños.
As their name suggests, these are a large variety; they can grow to around five inches long and almost two inches in diameter, making them excellent as a popper pepper. They deliver an exceptionally mild 1,000 to 5,000 SHU kick.
The chilipeno hybrid is both large and mild. These peppers start out green then progress through a purple stage before ripening to a bright red. The chilipeño’s heat measures between 2,500 and 5,000 SHU.
Concho jalapeños are mild and have thick walls that make them good for stuffing. They start out green and ripen to a bright red as is common with chili peppers. Their Scoville rating tops out at about 5,000 SHU.
Jalaros are colorful and can be found in yellow and orange depending on the stage of ripeness. When ripe, they are the customary mature red. Jalaros are between 2,500 and 8,000 on the Scoville Scale, so they follow a similar level of heat to the standard jalapeño.
The jalafuego is also known as the fuego pepper and is a little hotter than the typical jalapeño (but not by much.) Along with its extra heat, the jalafuego is larger — it averages four inches but can measure up to 6 inches long. Jalafuegos usually rank between 4,000 and 8,000 on the Scoville scale.
Mucho Nachos are noted for being particularly flavorful compared to other jalapeño varieties. They are noticeably hotter than mild jalapenos. The Scoville range is 4,000 to 8,000 SHU, so it sits at the upper end of the typical
Black jalapeños are exactly what the name says: peppers with black pods. Despite the dramatic appearance, they are about as mild as the typical jalapeño found in your grocery store’s produce section. A black jalapeño will give you 2,500 to 10,000 Scoville heat units.
Purple jalapeños are standard in terms of flavor and heat with their color being their only unique characteristic. Their heat is in the 2,500 to 8,000 SHU range, fitting them even with the typical common jalapeño.
The mitla hybrid is popular with commercial growers and offers a moderate 4,000-6,000 SHU.
Firenzas are medium-heat in the standard 3,000 to 8,000 Scoville range.
The jalapa hybrid is hotter than the average jalapeño but has the same general size. The Scoville rating can go as high as 10,000 SHU.
Named after motorcyclist and television personality Billy Huffnagle, Biker Billy jalapenos are hot by most standards. When green, Biker Billy peppers are mild but the heat increases as they ripen. The heat from a fully ripe pepper can be rate as much as 30,000 on the Scoville scale, which puts it well out of range of most jalapeño varieties and more on par with a cayenne pepper.