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Hot pepper heat scale and the scoville scale.
Do you know how hot an Aji Amarillo or Chile de Arbol is? Or how scorching a Ghost Pepper or Carolina Reaper is? Do you know how spicy the peppers you are growing are, or why some peppers have sweet flavors but with some spice in it? This is where the Scoville Scale comes into play. Read to learn more about the hottest peppers in the world and their rankings, and how the Scoville Scale was created to determine a pepper ranking.
What is the World’s Hottest Pepper?
So, what is the hottest pepper on Earth? We’re answering all of your fiery questions by providing our list of peppers ranked by type and Scoville Heat Units. From the innocently mild to the screaming hot, check out the Scoville Heat Unit Scale and learn the heat intensity between hot pepper varieties and extracts:
Pepper Joe’s Pepper Heat Table:
With over 50,000 pepper varieties in the world and new varieties being created every year, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the heat levels of peppers. Even we have to double check hot pepper ratings because we are adding new seeds to our store every year, or a new hot pepper is added to the top 10 hottest peppers of the year.
Growers are producing the hottest hybrids every year with hopes of pushing the Scoville Scale. In 2023, Pepper X officially became the hottest pepper in the world, surpassing the previous holder of the Carolina Reaper. However, there are some serious competition with rumors of even hotter peppers such as the Dragon’s Breath and the Apollo pepper . There is no confirmation that these peppers are hotter than Pepper X, but this just means we’ll have to wait for more official announcements!
List of Peppers from Mildest to Hottest as Measured on the Scoville Heat Scale
What is the Scoville Scale?
We get questions about what the Scoville Scale is, and you may know it as the Chili Heat Scale or the Chile Scoville Scale. The Scoville Scale is a measurement of the heat and pungency of chili peppers where each pepper is recorded in Scoville Heat Units (or famously known as SHUs). The scale is named after its creator, Wilbur Scoville, who created the Scoville Organoleptic Test in 1912.
What Does the Scoville Scale Measure?
It’s quite simple. Scoville heat units are a measurement of sugar and water. The test measures chili heat by figuring out how much sugar-water needs to be diluted into a chili pepper to get to where you no longer feel the heat at all. The creator, W. Scoville, would dilute the solutions bit by it until the taste testers felt no more burn, and then he would assign a number to the chile pepper based on the amount of dilutions needed to kill the heat.
What creates that burning sensation on our tongues and makes us sweat is the capsaicin. It’s the chemical compound found in peppers, and you can find it in the oil residing in the pepper or seeds. Today, we’re not using taste testers (which would be a pretty sweet job). It’s been replaced by the High Performance Liquid Chromatography, HPLC, which efficiently measures the pepper’s heat by determining the exact concentration of capsaicin.
From Mild to Incredibly Hot
You should know that heat scales are purely subjective. Even with a scientific test using Scoville Heat Units, the hotness of peppers can vary in the same variety from plant to plant, and even on the same plant! That’s why you may see a range of hotness for a specific pepper or a possibility that the chili could be hotter than what it claims. If you’re feeling brave to try a super-hot pepper, check out the most scorching, blazing, ear-vibrating hottest pepper seeds . If you prefer to take a walk to the mild side instead, we have the juiciest, yummiest, sweetest pepper seeds great for a variety of culinary uses.
Hot peppers are a lot of fun, this is why we love what we do. But, please take them seriously and handle with care. If you don’t believe how ridiculously spicy some of the hottest peppers in the world are, watch our team eat a Ghost Pepper:
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Your Ultimate Guide to Chile Peppers—From Mild to Spicy
Learn how the heat of chiles is measured in this spicy guide.
Kelly is a former associate digital food editor for MarthaStewart.com.
Can you handle the heat? The variety of super spicy chile peppers can get confusing, especially when they're all similar in size and color. Rather than taking a huge bite out of a chile that will set your mouth ablaze, we're breaking down eight common varieties of chile peppers from mildest to hottest. Chile peppers are ranked on the Scoville scale, which measures the heat of spicy foods . As a baseline, bell peppers have a score of zero on the Scoville scale; jalapeños , which have medium heat, have about 2,500-8,000 SHU (scoville heat units). For those who prefer a little kick, we're also sharing our favorite recipes for cooking some popular types of fresh chile peppers .
Poblano Chile (1,000-1,500)
These medium-sized dark green peppers are about as mild as chiles get. Once dried, they become a dark reddish-brown color and are known as Ancho Chiles . When shopping for poblanos are the grocery store, look for peppers with a shiny uniform color and strong, firm flesh. Any discoloration or wrinkly skin is a sign they're past their peak. They're delicious roasted or diced and added to cornbread or in a Lima-Bean Salad with Roasted Poblanos and Queso.
Jalapeño Peppers (2,500-8,000)
One of the most popular varieties of chile peppers, jalapeños are used in guacamole , relish , and jelly , and even add a surprising, spicy kick in macaroni and cheese . They also amp up flavored butter to pair with a rib-rye steak . The seeds in jalapeños contain the majority of the spice so you can scoop them out for a milder flavor.
Fresno Chiles (2,500-10,000)
Shiny red Fresno chiles are about as spicy as jalapeños , and often get mistaken for them. Fresnos are a hybrid of peppers from California and if you happen to come across a Fresno, feel free to substitute it in a recipe that calls for jalapeños as the heat will be roughly the same. They're also delicious in this recipe for Pork Shoulder with Roasted Clams and Fresno Chiles .
Serrano Peppers (10,000-23,000)
Tiny serrano peppers aren't messing around. They're about three times as spicy as the average jalapeño, though their flavor is similar. The heat may not register immediately when you taste one, as it often hits the back of the throat rather than at the tip of the tongue. Taste it in this Smoky Serrano-Mint Margarita recipe. Though they're tiny, just about two inches long, you'll spot them by their bright emerald green color in grocery stores.
Bird's Eye Chile (50,000-100,000)
Small and tapered, bird's eye chiles are most commonly used in Thai and southeast Asian cuisine. These petite-sized peppers certainly pack a punch-they're about 50 times as hot poblano peppers.
Scotch Bonnet (80,000-400,000)
Native to the Caribbean and Central America, these multi-colored hot peppers are named after the traditional Scottish hat known as a tam o'shanter. What these stumpy peppers lack in size, they more than make up for in heat. Cut out the membrane (the pithy white part) and seeds to cut down on spice.
Habanero Chile (100,000-350,000)
Habaneros are the spiciest chile pepper that you're still likely to find in regular grocery stores. While the flavor is said to be a bit sweet, the intense heat will be overpowering, so use them carefully, like in this Ceviche with Tropical Fruit and Habanero . You'll find habaneros in shades of firetruck red, sunny yellow, tangerine orange, and pine green. As the color changes from green to orange to red, they become hotter and hotter.
Ghost Pepper (855,000-1,041,427)
Ghost peppers are about as hot as it gets-seriously, there are less than half a dozen known chile peppers that pack in more heat than these. Also known as Bhut Jolokia, the ghost pepper originated in northeast India but has gotten worldwide fame for its painful heat. Traditionally, Bhut Jolokia have been used to make pepper spray and animal repellents. While you won't find them in many grocery stores, their growing popularity in Western cuisine has resulted in them showing up in some farmers' markets and spice markets stateside.
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Chili Pepper Scoville Scale
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The Scoville scale and the heatmeter list numerous chili pepper varieties sorted by their pungency and their capsaicin content in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). We have a simple scoville scale image and a detailed searchable and interactive html5 scoville scale table.
Looking for the Hot Sauce Scoville Scale instead? -> Hot Sauce Scoville Scale
The Scoville scale exists since 1912 and was invented by the American pharmacologist Wilbur Scoville. It serves to determine the degree of pungency of fruits of the genus Capsicum, which includes peppers and chilis. The Scoville scale was originally based on the so-called Scoville Organoleptic Test developed by Wilbur Scoville. Here, a sample of chili was prepared and repeatedly diluted with water until the test subjects no longer felt any heat. The degree to which the subjects could (subjectively) taste no more heat in the sample was called SHU (Scoville Heat Units). Of course, no subjective tests will be carried out today.
Determination of the Scoville Heat Units of fruits of the genus Capsicum
The degree of pugency of a chili is determined today by means of modern high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). This method recognizes the capsaicinoids responsible for the pungency, such as capsaicin and dihydro-capsaicin, and determines their concentration reliably. The result of an HPLC test is given in the ASTA severity level, but this can be converted by a formula into the usual SHU value.
Hottest Chili Pepper in the World
The world’s hottest chili pepper is the Carolina Reaper. It measures 1.5 Million up to 2.2 Million Scoville Heat Units. A full list of the world record holders and the history of world’s hottest pepper can be found in the article Hottest Chili Pepper in the World .
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Got the right chili pepper make your own hot sauce 🌶️ 😎.
Now you know the heat and scoville rating of your peppers. What about making your own batch of hot sauce? Your peppers. Your taste. Your sauce!
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The Tip For Cooking With Ghost Peppers Every Beginner Should Know
Bhut jolokia, otherwise known as the ghost pepper, is an incredibly spicy chili; at their maximum heat, they hover on the Scoville scale at around 1 million heat units. (Just to give you an idea of exactly how hot that is, jalapeños come in at between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville heat units.) They're called ghost peppers because their heat tends to creep up on you as you eat them, just as it does while you cook them.
The most important thing to keep in mind when cooking with hot peppers like ghosts is that temperature and time will affect their spice level. Cooking them low and slow, as you do with chili or curry, can often result in a hotter dish, while introducing them to the quick and intense heat of a grill can break down the capsaicin, taming the spiciness a little.
But don't be intimidated by the complexity of these peppers — or their devilishly red and wrinkly skin. As scary as they look, ghost peppers offer a nuanced flavor and spice to a variety of dishes from salsa to marinades. Despite the fact that ghost peppers are so hot they're often used as the base for military grade pepper spray, they do have a citrusy and smoky flavor. This makes them a wonderful addition to homemade salsa or hot sauces. Just be cautious and use them sparingly until you have a sense of what they're capable of.
How to safely cook with ghost peppers
It's a good idea to have a healthy fear of ghost peppers. Much like kitchen knives, they serve a beautiful function when used properly, but, if mishandled, can result in injury.
First, you'll want to consider seeding your peppers before adding them to any dish because, as with all chilis, much of the heat comes from the seeds. Be sure to wear a mask, gloves, long sleeves, and cooking goggles when handling them to avoid painful chili oil burns . Don't make the mistake of thinking you're skimping out on spice by doing this: We are talking about a pepper that's 11 times hotter than a habanero.
While you are learning to cook with ghost peppers, it's best to stick to recipes with fewer moving parts. Infused chili oil is a good place to start, as it will give you an idea and appreciation for what kind of heat you're dealing with. From there, you can experiment with homemade hot sauce and salsa — better to work out your relationship with these fiery peppers through condiments rather than main courses. Avoid recipes that require a high degree of chemistry and longer cooking times, like curries or other heavily spiced dishes, when starting out. The best tip to remember when cooking with ghost peppers is that a little goes a long way. Think about cooking with ghost peppers like cutting your own bangs: Less is more, and you can always do more later.
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Ghost Pepper Scoville Units: How To Calculate The Heat Level Of A Ghost Pepper
Ghost peppers are among the hottest chilis on earth. They're also very rare, so finding one in the wild isn't easy. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy them at home. Here's how to measure the heat level of a fresh ghost pepper.
What Is The Scoville Scale? The Scoville scale measures the heat level of a food based on the amount of capsaicin (the chemical compound responsible for spicy flavors) found within it. The higher the number, the hotter the pepper.
How Does The Scoville Scale Work? The Scoville unit was developed in 1912 by Wilbur Scoville, an American pharmacist who worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He wanted to find a way to measure the heat levels of peppers so he could determine which ones were the hottest.
Buy Melinda's Ghost Pepper Wing Sauce Here Buy Melinda's Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce Here
How Do You Find Out The Scoville Rating Of A Ghost Chili?
In order to calculate the heat level, you need to multiply the grams of capsaicin per 100 millilitres of liquid by the Scoville units assigned to each measurement. The ghost pepper ranks at 1,041,427 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) at the top end of the scale.
How Much Can I Eat? If you eat one gram of capsaicin, you will feel an intense burning sensation in your mouth and throat. However, the actual amount of capsaicin required to cause pain varies between people. This means that the same amount of capsaicin can produce different levels of discomfort in different individuals.
What is Melindas Ghost Pepper Sauce Scoville ?
Melinda's Ghost Pepper Sauce is made with Bhut Jolokia. And according to Guiness Book of Records, it is one of the world's hottest chili peppers. Melinda’s takes this super hot pepper and blends it with fresh and all-natural ingredients including habanero peppers to make their sauce extra hot. The Melindas ghost pepper sauce scoville(SHU) ranges between 50,000 – 250,000.
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Hot Chili Peppers on the Scoville Scale
The Spruce / Theresa Chiechi
If you are not well-versed in the wide variety of peppers, you probably don't know the level of spice each type of chili pepper contains. Whether it's a poblano (dried are called ancho ), jalapeño , habanero, or serrano, each has different degrees of heat which are determined by how much capsaicin (a compound responsible for the pungency) is present in the pepper. Luckily, this capsaicin can be measured in Scoville Heat Units, or SHU, on the Scoville scale. This scale lists the peppers by how many SHU are in each pepper, from the thousands for milder peppers all the way up to the hundreds of thousands and even millions for the spiciest varieties.
The presence of capsaicinoids in chili peppers is an irritant, but it is common for people to experience pleasurable and even euphoriant effects from ingesting capsaicin . Fans of chilis attribute this to a pain-stimulated release of endorphins. A different reaction makes capsaicinoids useful as analgesics: applied topically, the heat of the chili gives relief to muscle pains and some forms of neuropathy.
How the Scale Works
The Scoville Heat Scale is a measuring tool developed by a pharmaceutical company employee named Wilbur Scoville in 1912. His original method was called the Scoville Organoleptic Test and used human tasters to evaluate how many parts of sugar water it takes to neutralize the heat. The pepper would be ground up and then mixed with the sugar water. The testers would taste the pepper-water mixture, and the sugar water would then be increased until the pepper was no longer hot to the taster. The peppers would be given a numerical value based on the number of times the dilution was added to mask the heat. For example, if a pepper is rated at 15,000 SHU, it took 15,000 additions of sugar water for the taster to no longer feel the burn.
Unfortunately, this procedure was not very reliable and completely subjective. Nowadays, human tasters are spared, and a new process called High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) measures the number of capsaicinoids (capsaicin) the pepper contains in parts per million. The American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) uses HPLC and then assigns an ASTA Pungency Unit as a measurement of the heat detected. These units are then converted into SHU—1 ASTA unit is equal to 15 Scoville units.
Although the current method of measuring chili pepper heat is much more reliable than the previous technique, there is still room for variation. The conditions in which the pepper grows will affect the level of spice in the pepper ; so if the same type of pepper was grown in different types of soil with varying amounts of sunlight, the amount of capsaicin will differ. There is also some question on the accuracy of the conversion of from ASTA units to SHU.
From Mild to Inedible
The Scoville scale measures the heat level in all kinds of peppers, from sweet bell peppers and pimentos (which have almost no SHU) to the Carolina Reaper, which can hit above 2 million SHU. A few of the peppers on the high end of the scale are not for human consumption—they are just way too hot to eat. (Although you will find people who try them as a challenge or a dare.)
Even so, chili pepper aficionados are locked in intense rivalry to create the world's hottest pepper. Since 2011, when the competition began to heat up (pun intended), the title of hottest pepper has changed hands a number of times as new crosses and genetic mutations have emerged. In 2013, the Carolina Reaper was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's hottest pepper, and peaks at 2,200,000 SHU.
Hot Pepper Scale in Scoville Units
On the Scoville scale, different pepper varieties are categorized into heat ratings, with 0 being the mildest and 12 representing the highest heat.
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Hot Pepper Heat Scale
Some peppers are hotter than others. Learn about pepper heat levels, including the Scoville scale, and how you can grow hot peppers in your garden.
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While you can blindly taste a pepper to determine its heat, that's not a recommended method—ouch! Instead, use the Scoville scale. Pepper heat is measured in Scoville Heat Units, with the hottest peppers having the highest numbers. You'll see these numbers listed for all our hot peppers.
The ranges of Scoville Heat Units (SHU) typically used to call a pepper mild, medium, hot, or extra hot are:
- Mild (100 to 2,500)
- Medium (2,500 to 30,000)
- Hot (30,000 to 100,000)
- Extra Hot (100,000 to 300,000)
- Extremely Hot (above 300,000)
Here's a glance at heat levels for some popular hot peppers, according to the Scoville scale:
- Ghost Extremely Hot (over 1,000,000)
- Habanero Extra Hot (100,000 to 300,000)
- Tabasco Hot (30,000 to 50,000)
- Cayenne Hot (30,000 to 50,000)
- Jalapeño Medium (2,500 to 5,000)
- Poblano (Ancho) Mild (1,000 to 2,000)
How does the Scoville test work?
Devised by Wilbur L. Scoville in 1912, the Scoville test was the first lab approach to measure heat in peppers. In this method, which was widely used until recently, human subjects taste a pepper sample and record the heat level. The samples are then diluted in the lab until heat is no longer detected by the tasters. This dilution is called the Scoville Heat Unit. The method, though, is subjective, as it depends on the taster's palate and sensitivity. Many now believe that a process developed by scientists to determine a pepper's Scoville scale rating by measuring the presence of alkaloids, which cause the heat, is a more accurate assessment.
What's the hottest pepper?
Pepper breeders are trying all the time to surpass the hottest levels and claim the title of World's Hottest Pepper. The current record holder is the Carolina Reaper , with a palate-scorching official rating of 1,641,300 Scoville Heat Units. Bonnie Plants is proud to be the exclusive grower of Carolina Reaper starter plants!
Plant genetics determines pepper heat levels, but environment also plays a role. Hot peppers grow hottest during drought and high temperatures. Allow hot peppers to ripen fully on the vine to obtain their greatest heat potential—the longer you wait before harvesting, the hotter they'll be.
Grow your own hot peppers
Whether you like hot peppers with face-melting heat or mild varieties that subtly warm your palate, growing them at home is easy. To help you get started, we put together some of the finest varieties for adding deep flavor, color, and texture to your next entree–the heat level is up to you.
A word of caution for you intense heat enthusiasts: Always handle extremely hot peppers with gloves and avoid touching your skin and eyes.
Carolina Reaper (1,641,300 SHU): The world's hottest pepper. Use this tongue-scorcher with caution in chili and sauces, or cure them to make a fiery pepper powder.
Red Ghost Pepper (1,000,000+ SHU): One of the hottest peppers in the world. Its glossy, bright red fruits are alluring, but a tiny amount goes a very long way.
Habanero Hot Pepper (100,000-300,000 SHU): The vibrant green and orange fruits add beauty wherever this pepper grows. Perfect for containers and small gardens.
Red Hot Chili Pepper (40,000-50,000 SHU): Vibrant clusters of green and red peppers will add beauty to your vegetable garden, and excellent yields ensure you're never short on heat in the kitchen. Part of the Foodie Fresh line available exclusively at Lowe's.
Tabasco Hot Pepper (30,000-50,000 SHU): This heirloom pepper is easy to grow and is a prolific producer. An excellent choice for sauces.
Hot Cayenne Pepper (30,000-50,000 SHU): Hailing from South America, this popular hot pepper is great for canning, pickling, oil or vinegar infusions, and drying.
Spicy Slice Jalapeno Pepper (4,000 SHU): This hybrid hot pepper grows longer than a traditional jalapeno and matures early in the season. Part of the Foodie Fresh line available exclusively at Lowe's.
Hot Burrito Pepper (3,000-6,000 SHU): A bold and compact variety that bears gorgeous fruit that grows upright. Perfect for containers. Part of the Harvest Select line available exclusively at The Home Depot.
Early Flame Jalapeno Pepper (1,500-4,000 SHU): This abundant producer bears fruit early in the season and gets hotter as it ripens, so you can harvest them based on how much heat you want. Part of the Harvest Select line available exclusively at The Home Depot.
Anaheim Hot Pepper (500-2,500 SHU): Harvest these delicious peppers when they're green to add subtle warmth to dishes or let them ripen to a deep red for medium heat. They're an excellent choice for charring on the grill or drying.
Poblano-Ancho Hot Pepper (1,000-2,000 SHU): This thick-walled pepper has a mild heat that makes it wonderfully versatile in the kitchen. You definitely want to try them stuffed.
Want even more peppers? View all of the Bonnie Plants® pepper varieties here .
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This herb is known around the world for its wonderful fragrance and flavor. The key ingredient in classic Italian pesto, Sweet Basil has big leaves that are fast and easy to grow so that you can make your own pesto to freeze for year-round use. It loves hot weather, so always wait until all danger of frost is past before planting in the garden in the spring, then harvest before the weather starts to cool down in fall. Great for containers, but be sure to keep watered. If you were to grow only one herb, this should probably be it. Dried basil just doesn’t have the aromatic quality of the fresh leaves, which are often added at the last minute to many Asian dishes. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
A native of the Mediterranean region and member of the mint family, rosemary is a lovely, easy-to-grow plant with great culinary and ornamental value. A striking, upright evergreen shrub that is winter-hardy in zones 8 to 10, it fills the air with its fragrance as soon as you brush your hand across the leaves. The key to growing rosemary is a well-drained soil that stays evenly moist at first; as the plant takes root it becomes increasingly drought tolerant. It is also excellent for containers, which lets gardeners in colder climates to bring it indoors in the winter. Unlike most herbs, rosemary has a stronger flavor when fresh than when dried. Cut sprigs anytime for fresh use. Trim it regularly to encourage tender new stems or the plant will get woody. It's hard to have too much rosemary. The plant has so many uses that it will be enjoyed all the time. Just a few cut stems will fill a room with fragrance.
Jalapeno Hot Pepper (2 Pack)
Named for the town of Jalapa, Mexico, this is the most popular chile pepper in the United States. Jalapeño produces 3-inch, thick-walled, moderately hot pods with deep green color that matures to a bright red. The skin may show a netting pattern as fruit ages, but it does not affect flavor. Often, the heat of the peppers will vary, even those from the same plant. If peppers grow fast, get plenty of water, and are harvested soon, they may be milder than peppers that stay on the plant a long time, or that develop slowly and under stressful conditions. Widely adapted, jalapeño plants yield a bountiful harvest in dry or humid, hot or cool climates. The compact plants grow well in containers. Use jalapeño on nachos or in salsa, or smoke the mature red ones over mesquite chips to make your own chipotle sauce. Jalapeño became the first pepper in space when a bag full of pods accompanied astronauts on the shuttle Columbia in November 1982! Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Better Boy Tomato (2 Pack)
High yields of smooth skinned, large fruit earn Better Boy a spot as one of the most popular tomatoes grown in the US and as one of our all time best sellers. The fruit has excellent classic tomato flavor with just the right balance of acid and sugar. This is a great slicing tomato. It is widely adapted throughout the country. Grow it in a tall cage or tie to a stake for support. The indeterminate vines are resistant to verticillium wilt (V), fusarium wilt (F), and nematodes (N). Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Husky Red Cherry Tomato (2 Pack)
This super sweet cherry tomato is a best seller because of its flavor, productivity, and good looks. If you like to snack on cherry tomatoes, this is a great choice. One of the popular "Husky" series developed especially for home gardens, the plant is stout, dark green and really pretty; it's one of the prettiest tomato plants that we grow. The vines are dwarf indeterminate, making them short and husky like a determinate type, usually between 3 and 4 feet, yielding clusters of tasty little cherry tomatoes in a small space over a long period of time. Perfect for pots, too. The dwarf vines stay neat and compact, but give the plant a little support on a stake or cage to keep it upright in rain and wind. Many juicy, sweet cherry tomatoes are borne on vines resistant to verticillium wilt (V) and fusarium wilt (F). Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Sweet Green Bell Pepper (2 Pack)
Bonnie's best hybrid sweet bell pepper! A heavy yielder of large fruits. A good all-round pepper for slicing, stuffing, and freezing. This bell produces lots of fresh bell peppers gradually over the growing season. Plants in our Alabama garden produce from June through October, yielding 30 or more peppers from each plant. (Your results will vary based on care and the length of your growing season.) This is a good-sized plant, so be prepared to stake if needed. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Italian Flat Parsley (2 Pack)
This Italian flat-leafed parsley has, of course, flat leaves, which distinguish it from the better-known curly-leafed parsley. At first the foliage might be easily confused with cilantro. However, its flavor is distinctly parsley, and it is favored for its deep flavor, which some say holds up better in cooking than curly parsley. It is popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Easy to chop, the nutritious flat leaves are high in iron and in vitamins A, C, and E. A high chlorophyll content makes it a natural breath sweetener, too. This is a great plant for containers, especially for fall and winter in zone 7 and south. Of course, you can also use it in vegetable and herb beds. In a flower bed it makes a nice, green leafy companion to small flowers such as pansies. It is also more tolerant of hot weather than curly parsley (which can struggle during the peak of summer) and is frost tolerant. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Red Bell Pepper (2 Pack)
Sweet, juicy, nutritious red fruits add appetizing color to fresh salads and are superb for stuffing. Also great on the grill! The big, blocky peppers (they average around 4 to 6 Ounces) ripen from dark green to bright red. High-yielding plants are well adapted throughout the US. Grow your own and avoid premium prices at the grocery store. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Lavender (2 Pack)
Fragrant purple flowers on tall spikes bloom right from the first year, creating a striking complement to the silvery gray foliage. You will love this plant, as the aroma is wonderfully calming. Ideal for drying and crafts, as well as fresh-cut bouquets. Use edible flowers, which have a sweet floral flavor, for baked goods and lavender lemonade, or serve with berries and citrus. Deer-resistant.
Roma Tomato (2 pack)
Prized for its use in tomato paste and sauces, Roma produces a large harvest of thick-walled, meaty, bright red, egg-shaped tomatoes about 3 Inches Long and with few seeds. This tomato is not juicy. This is not a slicing tomato. Instead, the flesh is thick and drier so that it will cook down into a thick sauce. Cooking intensifies flavor, too. If you can tomatoes, make your own spaghetti sauce, or like to chop a tomato into an omelet, this is a great choice. It's not too juicy in the pan compared to slicing tomatoes. The fruit freezes well for later cooking, too. The compact, determinate vines are resistant to verticillium wilt (V) and fusarium wilt (F) and widely adapted throughout the US. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Early Girl Tomato (2 Pack)
When gardeners talk about the "first" tomatoes, Early Girl is always there. This may be the most all-round popular hybrid to satisfy that itch for the first fresh tomato of the season. Use them for slicing on a place, into a salad, or on a sandwich. This a proven all-round early hybrid. Use it to jump start your harvest. Early Girl bears lots of fruit for early harvest, but because the vines are indeterminate, they continue producing through summer. In our Alabama test garden, where conditions are ideal and the growing season is long, we harvest an average of 300 tomatoes from each Early Girl plant! Many gardeners plant it again late in the summer so that it will produce a huge fresh crop of "fall tomatoes" quickly before frost.Resistant to verticillium wilt (V) and fusarium wilt races 1 and 2 (F).
Beefsteak Red Tomato (2 Pack)
Beefsteaks are always grown for their flavor and size for slicing and summer sandwiches. This variety produces large, meaty red fruit over a long season on indeterminate plants. Because it matures late compared to many other tomatoes, it will provide a fresh harvest in the latter part of the season. This is an old favorite beloved by gardeners in the Northeast and grown throughout the country. Vigorous vines grow best in tall cages. Resistant to fusarium wilt (F) and nematodes (N).
Sweet Mint (2 Pack)
Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow. This one has extra large leaves that most cooks really like for chopping into sauces and drinks. Our sweet mint is grown from cuttings of a variety that comes to us from Israel, where mint is used in many dishes, from lamb to yogurt sauce. We think you'll like the rich spearmint flavor of this variety. This plant can go a little crazy, though, so be careful or it can spread farther than you might like. For this reason many people grow it in a pot. The long stems can even be trained on a little wire trellis, especially in spots where a a bit of shade causes it to stretch. Keep pinched to encourage tender new leaves.Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Banana Sweet Pepper (2 Pack)
Named for its banana-like shape, this variety bears sweet, mild banana peppers that mature from yellow, to orange, and then to crimson red. Plants fruit prolifically, easily producing up to 25 to 30 pods per plant. Banana peppers are great for frying and pickling, and are an excellent choice for making pepper rings for sandwiches. Great for containers. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Green Romaine Lettuce (2 Pack)
This is the classic romaine. Its compact, dark green rosette of tall, upright leaves is slightly curly with white hearts and has a crisp, sweet flavor. Slow to bolt. Grows best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade and even appreciates it in spring in hot climates. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Lemon Thyme (2 Pack)
A favorite of all thymes, lemon thyme is great in the garden and the kitchen. Easy to grow. Although it looks like German thyme (or English thyme), it definitely tastes and smells like lemon. Use lemon thyme in any recipe that calls for lemon, including marinades. Lemon thyme grows vigorously, so you can trim back to keep neat and compact and enjoy the trimmings! The glossy green foliage is easily sheared into a tiny hedge if you are looking to create a traditional knot garden. Evergreen in zones 8 and 9. This is a really pretty thyme that our customers brag about for its vigor and size. Lemon thyme looks great in a pot.
German Thyme (2 Pack)
Thyme is an easy and practical herb to grow. Highly aromatic, it enhances meat dishes, eggs, cheeses, soups, and sauces, and it is a primary component of both Bouquet Garni and Herbes de Provence. Use it to elevate the flavor of good ole' beef stew, too. This tiny-leaved thyme is among the most aromatic, more so than larger-leafed varieties. You may also hear it called winter thyme, because it is one of the most cold hardy of all the different thymes. The leaves are evergreen to semi-evergreen, depending on the how far North it is growing. In the warm, humid climates of zones 9 and 10 it may suffer in the summer; in zone 10 it is best to lower your expectations and just consider it a cool season annual. Thyme is well suited for containers because of its size and the fact that it demands perfect drainage. Give it excellent drainage in a pot and good air circulation. Because it is low-growing and has thin stems and a wiry habit, don't crowd it because vigorous neighboring plants might choke it out. Upright-growing rosemary is a good companion.
Strawberries (2 Pack)
This everbearing strawberry produces high yields of large, very sweet fruit from late spring through fall. Large, soft, deliciously sweet fruit ideal for jam, preserves, fresh eating, or desserts. Plants are cold-hardy and send out long runners. Great for containers. Plant so that crown is just above soil level.
Italian Oregano (2 Pack)
Savor classic Italian cuisine with the flavorful leaves of this oregano. An easy-growing plant for the garden or container, Italian oregano hails from the Mediterranean region. That means it thrives with lower humidity and well-drained soil. In the garden, use this oregano as an edging plant. Plants spread when happy, rooting along the stems. Harvest leaves or stems anytime during the growing season. Flavor is most intense just before plants flower. Trim plants often to keep flower formation at bay.
Gardeners add the uniquely flavored leaves of common garden sage, an herbaceous perennial, to sauces, stuffings, poultry, pork, and sausage. It provides a lovely fragrance and flavor to a dish, especially when leaves are sautéed before adding. It is a good fall and winter plant in hot climates. Great for containers. Needs good drainage. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Many herbs are easy to grow, and this is definitely true for peppermint. Square stems tend to run rampantly over — and under — soil. In small garden spaces, it's best to tuck peppermint into a pot to curtail its wandering ways. Peppermint thrives alongside water gardens or in damp spots in the yard, but will also survive in drier soil. Lushest growth occurs in moist soil in partial shade. Crush fresh leaves into water for a refreshing beverage, or add to iced tea. You can also dry leaves for flavoring dishes or beverages and making desserts like meringues, cookies, or cakes. Pick leaves frequently. Plants open lavender blooms in late summer. Tolerates light frost.
Black Beauty Eggplant (2 Pack)
Eggplant parmesan, ratatouille, baba ghanoush, or simply grilled as a “burger,” you’ll love creating your favorite dishes with Black Beauty eggplant. The gorgeous, delicious, purple-black fruit not only stars in many fabulous recipes, it’s so easy to grow at home for the freshest flavor. Plants produce pretty, prolific harvests in warm weather—keep them well-watered and harvest often. Pick the fruit before the glossy, dark skin begins to fade. (The color and glossiness of the eggplant determine the best time to harvest, rather than the fruit’s size.) Grows beautifully in garden beds or containers. Add a cage to your eggplant to help support stems when heavy with fruit. Place in full sun, and feed regularly. Matures in 80 days.
Serrano Pepper (2 Pack)
This variety is a vigorous bearer of hot, pungent, candle-shaped fruits that mature from green to bright red. Plants do well in most climates and are especially well adapted to hot, humid areas. This pepper is growing in popularity for pickling and salsa, and is the pepper of choice for making pico de gallo.Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Big Boy Tomato (2 Pack)
The name, Big Boy, is easy to remember and so is the flavor. This is a big, sandwich-type slicer with smooth, bright red fruit and a flavor that everybody likes. It bears heavily in mid-season, yet the indeterminate vines continue fruiting (though not as heavily) until frost. Plants in our Alabama test garden, where conditions are excellent, have yielded 100 tomatoes each through a 10-week harvest season. Long vines need staking, or grow the plant in a tall cage. Resistant to cracking.
Buttercrunch Lettuce (2 Pack)
Developed by Cornell University, this heat-tolerant, Bibb-type lettuce has quickly become a favorite since earning All America status in 1963. Its rich green leaves, sometimes tinged with red, form a beautiful rosette in the garden that holds well under stress and has good bolt resistance. A good source of vitamin A and phytonutrients. Grows best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade and even appreciates it in spring in hot climates.
Spinach (2 Pack)
This variety of dark green spinach has been a standout in many regions, including the North. It is slow to bolt and suitable for spring, summer, and fall planting. The full, upright plants produce high yields of large, triangular leaves that are rich in the phytonutrient lutein. Both frost and heat tolerant.
Enjoy oregano aroma and flavor on pizza, in egg dishes, and in tomato sauces. Native to the Mediterranean region, this plant prefers climates with lower humidity, so keep the foliage and roots away from too much moisture. Give it good air circulation. For that reason, it is perfectly suited for a container. In the ground it makes a ground-cover-like mat. Harvest anytime, but especially as the stems begin to get tall and are getting ready to flower -- that is when the leaves are the most flavorful. Cut it back several times during the growing season to harvest the leaves from the stems.
Spearmint Mint (2 Pack)
Spearmint has strong flavor and fragrance that is released with simple bruising. It's the best mint variety for hot and cold drinks. Toss bruised leaves into ice water for a refreshing summer drink or add to iced tea. Spearmint is favored for flavoring beverages such as mojito. Also know as Yerba Buena. Spreading plant is great for containers. Tolerates light frost.
English Thyme (2 Pack)
English thyme is a low-growing plant with fragrant leaves. This herb goes well with just about everything. Add it (fresh or dried) to blended herb mixtures, or use in soups, sauces, beans, meat dishes, and more. It’s also a great addition to potpourri or homemade soap. But thyme isn’t just useful inside the house, as it also makes a wonderfully aromatic ground cover or border.
Tami G Grape Tomato (2 Pack)
Gardeners who have grown Tami G grape tomatoes appreciate her hybrid qualities, both in the garden and at the table. These firm, sweet, dark-red grape tomatoes grow 1 1/4 inch long x 3/4 inch wide, perfect for a healthy snack or salad. Tami G grape tomatoes grow into a vigorous vine that can reach 8 to 9 feet tall in a season, easily growing over the top of the cage and back down again. Because this variety is disease resistant, you will enjoy an extended harvest. This makes an absolutely beautiful branch of grape tomatoes that you can lay out on a table and let folks pick their own from the stem (like grapes). It's a crowd pleaser. Resistant to fusarium wilt (F), alterneria stem canker (ASC), gray leaf spot (St), and bacterial spec race 0.
Cayenne Pepper (2 Pack)
Light: Full sun. Fruit size: 5 to 6 inches. Matures: 70 to 75 days. Plant spacing: 12 to 18 inches apart. Plant size: 18 to 24 inches tall. Scoville heat units: 30,000 to 50,000 (hot). This very hot pepper is the prime ingredient in Cayenne pepper, which is made when the dried peppers are ground into powder. This is also the favored spice of Creole and Cajun cuisine used to give gumbo and crayfish dishes their punch. Thin-walled, skinny, wrinkled fruits are 5 to 6 Inches long and very hot. However, they will not be hot when small. Wait until they get at least 5 or 6 Inches long to pick hot ones. They can be substituted for most dishes calling for Serrano, Jalapeno, or Habanero peppers. Easy to grow and tolerant of hot, humid weather, Cayenne will produce peppers all summer. These skinny peppers are also called chili or finger peppers. Great for containers. Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available at your local stores, as we select and sell varieties best suited to the growing conditions in each region.
Citronella Mosquito Plant
A citrus-scented geranium, this is a great patio plant, especially in containers. Be careful not to over-fertilize because too much nitrogen can reduce the fragrance of the leaves. Although the oil from crushed leaves may have some ability to discourage mosquitoes, the plants alone are grown more for their refreshing scent than as a mosquito repellent. Place citronella near a gate or path where you brush against the leaves as you walk by, or in a pot where children can rub the leaves to enjoy their fragrance. Plants are vigorous growers and drought tolerant. Be sure to move indoors before frost.
Catnip (2 Pack)
Your favorite feline will purr-fectly adore fresh catnip. Add it to your garden bed or plant it in a container for inside kitties, and watch them go wild! A member of the mint family, catnip creates a comical response in most cats, with lots of purring, rubbing, and rolling on the plant. This easy-to-grow, hardy herb produces pretty clusters of white flowers with purple dots in the summer, adding beauty to your garden. And, if your feline friend will share, catnip leaves make a lovely tea for humans. Dry the leaves to create homemade cat toys stuffed with catnip for more cat antics! Plant in full sun to part shade. Perennial (zones 4 to 10).
Lieutenant Broccoli (2 Pack)
Well adapted to warm weather, these plants form smooth, dark green heads on medium-sized stems with few side shoots. Heads offer classic flavor and all the vitamins and protein broccoli is known for. Water plants consistently for best yields, especially as temperatures climb. If you like Packman, you’ll like Lieutenant Broccoli.
Lemon Balm (2 Pack)
Lemon balm, a member of the mint family, is a lovely mild herb named for the lemony scent of its leaves. Originally grown in South Europe, lemon balm is often used in combination with other herbs and is frequently found in poultry and fish dishes, desserts, and teas. It also makes a nicely scented sachet. Plant one at the edge of a gate so that when the gate opens and closes the lemony scent fill the air. Like other types of mint, it likes to spread, so a container is a great choice.
How to Lay Out a Vegetable Garden
Is there anything more satisfying and delicious than growing your own food? From the first tender tips of asparagus in spring to the tasty tang of summer’s homegrown tomatoes, a garden filled with beautiful, productive plants provides a terrific sense of accomplishment—and fabulous, fresh meals.
How to Start Plants from Seed
Growing from seed is a smart way to round out your garden—and it gives you a wonderful sense of accomplishment! Here's how to do it.
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Here are ways Scotts Miracle Gro is encouraging kids to enjoy the outdoors, while at the same time, protecting nature and all its beings.
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Caring for Your Veggie Garden in 7 Smart Steps
Garden smarter, not harder. These essential steps for looking after your vegetable garden ensure your plants get plenty of TLC with time for gardener R&R, too.
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Designing a garden is fun with these 3 creative ways to plan. Visual, list-focused, or detailed—choose a style that suits your personality and garden goals.
Have you always wanted to grow a vegetable garden but are worried that it’s too tricky or time-consuming? With our handy list of 7 super easy veggies to grow, you’ll be eating fresh garden-to-table meals in no time!
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What Is a Ghost Pepper and How Hot Are They?
Perhaps you've watched talk shows where the host challenged a guest to eat a ghost pepper as part of an attention-grabbing segment. If you don't know anything about these super hot peppers, you might think it's an ordinary occurrence.
Ghost peppers are some of the world’s hottest peppers — way hotter than jalapeño peppers or even habanero peppers — which means it's fairly impressive when someone can withstand the spice to eat one. In fact, in 2007, Guinness World Records labeled the ghost pepper the world’s hottest chili pepper.
Let's explore more about this pepper and everything you need to know before trying one. Then, we'll show you more ways to incorporate spice into your favorite meals for elevated home cooking.
Where Do Ghost Peppers Come From?
Ghost peppers are a hybrid pepper made from Capsicum Chinense and Capsicum Frutescens, and they're part of a family of peppers known as the Capsicum Chinense variety. This spicy pepper shares this classification with habanero, scotch bonnet, and red savina.
This kind of pepper is grown all over the world. However, they originate from northeast India, where they are a featured ingredient in curries.
Ghost pepper plants are technically called bhut jolokia peppers (translated as “Bhutan pepper” in Assamese_)._ It has also earned the nickname bih zôlôkia in Assam_, which means “_poison chili”. In Nagaland, this pepper is called naga jolokia , which means “Naga chili.”
Are Ghost Peppers Healthy?
You may wonder if there are any nutritional benefits to eating ghost peppers. If you can stand the heat, this pepper has several nutritional benefits.
First, ghost peppers are low in calories and fat, making them an attractive addition to spicy dishes. Additionally, ghost peppers also include vitamin C and antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals throughout your body.
How Hot Are Ghost Peppers?
You may have heard of this infamous pepper and are curious about trying it yourself. If you're someone who can handle the spice, trying this pepper could be an exciting bucket list activity for you.
Before you try this pepper, it's worth understanding how hot it can taste. Let's talk about the Scoville Heat Scale to understand how hot ghost peppers are.
The Scoville Heat Scale is a system that ranks peppers, hot sauce, and other spicy foods according to Scoville Heat Units, or SHUs. The scale is named after Wilbur Scoville, who created the scale in 1972 to compare the heat of chili peppers based on capsaicinoids.
On this scale, bell peppers maintain a ranking of 0 SHUs, having no spice whatsoever.
In 2007, the ghost pepper was crowned the spiciest pepper on the Scoville Scale at 800,000-1,001,300 SHUs. However, since then, cross-breeding peppers have caused the ghost pepper to lose its top-ranked position. Despite this, it remains an impressive spice level, nearly three times as hot as habaneros.
Today, the Carolina Reaper pepper has earned a spot at the very top of the scale with 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Units.
What Are the Pros Eating a Ghost Pepper?
Want to try a ghost pepper for yourself? Before you make the decision to try this pepper, you may want to weigh the pros and cons. Then, you can know for certain whether ghost peppers are for you or if you should stick with other spicy dishes to satisfy your cravings.
Ghost Peppers Are Safe for Some People
Beginning with the pros, it's worth noting that some people can eat bits of this pepper with little discomfort. The rule of thumb is that you may be able to eat them every day as long as the amount you consume is under 1/50th of your body weight.
Though you may be able to eat parts of a ghost pepper every day, you probably want to avoid eating an entire ghost pepper regularly since the sensation can be intense and even painful.
Ghost Peppers Can Give You Bragging Rights
Another potentially positive factor of trying ghost peppers is the bragging rights that can accompany the experience.
Since these peppers have a reputation as one of the world's hottest-known foods, taking a bite of one is impressive. If you think you can take the heat, eating part of a ghost pepper could be a conversation starter that leaves people stunned.
What Are the Cons of Eating Ghost Peppers?
Let's discuss the possible cons of eating a ghost pepper.
Ghost Peppers Can Cause Physical Discomfort
As we have mentioned, this pepper has earned its ranking toward the top of the Scoville heat scale, making it a food not many can try comfortably.
After trying this pepper, some people report feeling that their whole body feels as if it is on fire. Here’s a disclaimer: if you plan on trying this food, it's best to wear gloves and goggles since even the oils on the outside of the pepper can cause a burning sensation.
Ghost Peppers Can Cause Adverse Reactions
When deciding whether you want to try this pepper, it's a good idea to keep the possible side effects in mind. For one, eating this pepper in large quantities can lead to hospitalization, so it's not a pepper to play around with.
If you still think eating this pepper is something you want to try, be aware that capsaicin is the primary factor that makes peppers hot. This substance activates the pain sensors in your nerves, and too much of it has caused some to experience seizures, heart attacks, or hallucinations. The essential guiding principle for this pepper is that everything is best in moderation.
Recipes To Make With Ghost Peppers
Are you still feeling adventurous? If you want to give ghost peppers a try in small quantities, you can do so with a few easy recipe ideas. Let's take a look at dish ideas you can try if you have a predisposition for spice.
- Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce: Do you want to take your burritos to new spice levels? You can combine ghost peppers, tomatoes, vinegar, and olive oil to create an extra extra-hot hot sauce.
- Pineapple Ghost Chili Sauce: This hot sauce adds some sweetness from pineapple to counteract the blast of heat from the ghost peppers.
- Ghost Pepper Jelly: Did you know you can make jelly from ghost peppers, sugar, pectin, and cider vinegar? Spread it on toast if you dare.
Ghost Pepper Tip: If you plan on preparing ghost pepper hot sauce, chili, jelly, or spread, try adding very little amounts of the pepper initially. You can always add more if you want an extra fiery sensation, and adding little bits at a time can ensure you achieve a brilliant fire-to-flavor ratio.
More Spicy Meal Ideas
Perhaps you're a lover of all things spicy, but you need more time to be ready to traverse into the territory of the ghost pepper. If you want to indulge in more flavorful, decadent hot sauces and spicy home-cooked meals, we've got a few easy ideas to make your dreams a reality.
Try Adding Hot Sauce to Your Snack Platters
What makes the perfect snack tray for guests visiting your home? Having several flavors on deck can make for a well-rounded tasting experience.
If you've already planned sweet and savory dishes, consider adding some spice to the mix for a tantalizing, mouth-watering touch. TRUFF Luxury Hot Sauces make the perfect match for burritos, wings, and even snacks like popcorn.
Cook Spicy Italian Dishes
The savory, bold flavors of traditional pasta dishes make Italian cuisine popular in many households. Still, even the most well-loved dishes could use a tune-up now and then. If you want to add a personal touch to some of your favorite Italian recipes, consider using TRUFF Black Truffle Arrabbiata Sauce.
TRUFF Black Truffle Arrabbiata Sauce is a high-quality pasta sauce that has a vibrant tomato flavor combined with elegant truffles and bold red chili peppers. Try substituting your usual pasta sauce for this alternative for an elevated Italian dish that brings the heat.
Add Heat to Your Sandwich Game
What separates an incredible sandwich from a boring one? Often, the quality of the ingredients hold a significant influence, but the condiments steer the ship when it comes to flavor.
Our TRUFF Spicy Mayonnaise includes all the high-quality ingredients of our usual truffle mayonnaise with added spice. Include this spicy spread on your favorite sandwiches, and you'll be addicted to each bite.
Elevate Your Home Cooking With TRUFF
Trying ghost peppers is one way to branch out and experience fiery flavors, but it's not for everybody.
When you want to enjoy your dish with mild or moderate spice that doesn't overpower other flavors, adding TRUFF sauces into the mix is the way to go. Spicy TRUFF sauces can enhance your favorite meals with the best-quality ingredients and indulgent truffles in every bite.
The Ghost Chili | University of Wisconsin
Is that chile pepper hot or not? - AgriLife Today | Texas A&M University
Ghost pepper | PolyCentric | Cal Poly Pomona
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Just How HOT Are My Chiles?
Pure Capsaicin rates between 15,000,000 and 16,000,000 Scoville Units! Today more scientific and accurate methods like Electrochemistry and High Performance Liquid Chromatography ( HPLC ) are used to determine capsaicin levels. In honor of Dr. Wilbur the unit of measure is still named Scoville.
Below is a list of Chile peppers and their Scoville Heat Units. Due to variations in growing conditions, soil and weather, peppers tend to vary between the lower and upper levels listed, but can go beyond them.
Start Seeds Early Sale 15% Off Ends March 15 All retail seed orders over $40 Use coupon code: savenow
Official world's largest list of scoville heat unit rated.
Read About: World's Hottest Pepper
A Little Chile Chemistry For The Visiting Rocket Scientist
Chiles are members of the Capsicum family. The heat range is diverse, ranging from very mild to extremely wild. The particular class of substances that determine their disposition is known, by those who study such things, as Capsaicinoids. The two most common component of this class are Capsaicin and Di-Hydrocapsaicin they looks something like this.
Capsaicin and Di-hydrocapsaicin together make up 80-90% of the Capsaicinoids found in Chile peppers. In the Capsicum annum species, the total Capsaicinoid content ranges from 0.1 to 1.0%, and the Capsaicin to Dihydrocapsaicin ratio is about 1:1. In Capsicum frutescens the total content ranges from 0.4-1.0% with the ratio around 2:1.
The minor Capsaicinoids include Nordihydrocapsaicin [Dihydrocapsaicin with a (CH2)5 instead of (CH2)6], Homocapsaicin [Capsaicin with a (CH2)5 instead of (CH2)4, and Homodihydrocapsaicin [Dihydrocapsaicin with a (CH2)7 instead of (CH2)6].
The different capsaicin-like compounds found in Chiles have slight structural variations in the hydrocarbon tail, changing their ability to bind to the nerve receptors and their ability to penetrate layers of receptors on the tongue, mouth, and throat. This may explain why some Chiles burn in the mouth, while others burn deep in the throat.
Capsaicinoids are not soluble in water, but very soluble in fats, oils and alcohol. This is why drinking water after accepting a dare to eat an extra hot Habanero Chile won't stop the burning. Downing a cold beer is the traditional remedy, but the small percentage of alcohol will not wash away much capsaicin. To get some relief from a chile burn (can't think of a good reason not to "Enjoy the heat"), drink milk or eat ice-cream. Milk contains casein, a lipophilic (fat-loving) substance that surrounds and washes away the fatty capsaicin molecules in much the same way that soap washes away grease.
The perception that peppers are "hot" is not an accident. The capsaicin key opens a door in the cell membrane that allows calcium ions to flood into the cell. That ultimately triggers a pain signal that is transmitted to the next cell. When the cells are exposed to heat, the same events occur. Chile burns and heat burns are similar at the molecular, cellular, and sensory levels.
Paradoxically, capsaicin's ability to cause pain makes it useful in alleviating pain. Exposure to capsaicin lowers sensitivity to pain, and it is applied as a counter irritant in the treatment of arthritis and other chronically painful conditions.
The capsaicinoids are unique compared to other spicy substances, such as piperine (black pepper) and gingerol (ginger) in that capsaicin causes a long-lasting selective desensitization to the pain and discomfort, as a result of repeated doses. The result is an increasing ability to tolerate ever hotter foods and permits one to assume the title of " Chile-Head " or " CH " for short.
People that eat lots of spicy capsaicin-rich foods build up a tolerance to it. The incentive: Once a person has become somewhat desensitized to the extreme heat of the "hotter" Chiles, he or she can starts on a new culinary journey. Not being over powered by the heat factor, the palate now has the ability to explore the many diverse flavors offered by the myriad of different Chiles that are currently available from around the world. Also for some Chile-Heads a good jolt of capsaicin excites the nervous system into producing endorphins, which promote a pleasant sense of well-being that can last several hours. The endorphin lift or "high", makes spicy foods mildly addictive and for some, an obsession.
I offer the below information and pictures for folks that are really into the science of Chiles. Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 Uncle Steve,
Here are the images as promised. I included structures of some of the minor capsaicinoids as well.
There are two versions (a and b) of each structure, corresponding to different conventions of drawing. They're equally correct and unequivocal, and you're free to choose whichever version you prefer. The 'a' convention is most commonly used by chemists, but the 'b' convention might be a bit easier to understand for non-chemists. Best regards, John Henninge
Last but not least (Just in case you want to know all about Capsaicinoids)
Melting point: 65 ° C Boiling point: 210-220 ° C at 0.01 torr pressure Sorce: The Merck Index. 12th Edition. Merck & Co., Inc. Whitehouse Station, NJ. 1996.
Still need more HOT Chile Pepper information?
Uncle steve's hot stuff.
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Home » Chili Pepper Types
Learn more about the types of chili peppers in the world. Browse our large selection of Chili Pepper Types categorized by heat level or listed alphabetically below. There are many, many varieties of chili peppers with new hybrids being created all the time, and they often have different names depending on region. But, we're compiling information on chili peppers for you to learn more.
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7-Pot Barrackapore Chili Pepper
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: Over 1 Million SHU Chinense This is one of my favorite chili peppers. I love all 7-Pot peppers for their heat and fruitiness. In fact, it is one of the hottest chili peppers in the world. The 7-Pot Barrackapore comes from Trinidad and is a rare chili pepper. The pots are shaped...
7-Pot Chili Pepper
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: Over 1 Million SHU The heat of the 7-Pot pepper is similar to the Bhut Jolokia but with a more fruity and nutty flavor, like other Caribbean peppers. It is becoming more popular and well-known among chile-heads, but the seeds are very rare and hard to find. The 7-Pot is from Trinidad, and...
7 Pot Douglah Chili Peppers
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 923,889 – 1,853,986 SHU The 7 Pot Douglah is an extremely hot pepper from Trinidad. It's skin is notably dark chocolate brown and somewhat pimpled. It starts off green but matures to a rich brown. It is one of the Hottest Peppers in the World. Aside from the color, it looks very...
7 Pot Primo: Superhot Pepper Cross
The 7 Pot Primo is a cross between a Naga Morich and a Trinidad 7 Pot pepper. It was created by Troy Primeaux, (nickname Primo), a horticulturist from Louisiana.
African Bird’s Eye / African Devil
The African bird's eye pepper is a small, vibrantly colored hot pepper found in the African wild, clocking in at 175,000 Scoville Heat Units, popular in soups, hot sauces and more. lso sometimes known as Piri Piri or Pili Pili, the African Bird’s Eye is a small chile, growing to only about 1 inch, but...
Aji Amarillo - the Sunny Yellow Chili Pepper
The aji amarillo is a spicy South American chili pepper with vibrant orange-yellow skin and fruity flavor. It is important in Peruvian cuisine. Learn more about it. Scoville Heat Units: 30,000-50,000 SHU Capsicum Baccatum The aji amarillo chili pepper is a spicy South American pepper with vibrant orange-yellow skin and fruity flavor. “Amarillo” means "yellow"...
Aji Chili Peppers
Aji peppers are known as the Peruvian hot pepper, where "aji" is the name in South America and the Caribbean for chili peppers. Learn more about Aji chili peppers from Chili Pepper Madness.
Aji Cito Chili Peppers
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 80,000-100,000 SHU Capsicum Baccatum The Aji Cito chili pepper is possibly the hottest of the Capsicum Baccatum peppers at around 100,000 Scovilles. It originates in Peru and bears some physical resemblance to the Lemon Drop chili. The prolific plants are easy to grow and produce many fruits throughout the summer that grow...
Aji Cristal Peppers - Info, Seeds and More
Aji Cristal peppers are small, spicy chili peppers native to Curico, Chile, that ripen to a fiery orange-red color. They are widely used in local cuisine. Scoville Heat Units: 30,000 SHU. Capsicum Baccatum Aji Cristal peppers are small, spicy chili peppers native to Curico, Chile. Most aji peppers are local to South America, and are...
Aji Dulce: Mild Caribbean Peppers
The aji dulce pepper is a brightly colored pod popular in the Caribbean, particularly Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, with sweet flavor and mild heat. Learn all about them. Scoville Heat Units: 0-1,000 SHU Capsicum Chinense There are many different types of aji peppers in the world, most of the produced in the...
Aji Fantasy Chili Pepper
Capsicum Bacattum The Aji Fantasy is an aji variety that was developed over a 5 year period in Finland. It is a sweet pepper, emphasis on sweet, with a mild heat level. The peppers are highly flavorful and ideal for many dishes. The plants are quite productive. Mine exploded this year in the garden and...
Aji Habanero Chili Peppers
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 5,000-10,000 SHU Capsicum Baccatum The Aji Habanero has only a fraction of the heat of a regular habanero but is named for its similar appearance and smoky, fruity flavor. The crisp fruits can be harvested when green around 70 days or their mature yellowish-orange around 85 days. They grow to about 3...
Aji Limo Chili Peppers
Aji Limo chili peppers are a type of chili pepper that is commonly used in Peruvian cuisine. Learn more about them from Chili Pepper Madness.
Sweet & Mild Chili Peppers
Aji Panca Chili Peppers
Scoville Heat Units: 500 SHU The Panca chili (or Ají Panca as it’s known in South America), is a deep red to burgundy pepper, measuring 3-5 inches. It is the second most common pepper in Peru, and is grown near the coast. Similar in shape to the Ají Amarillo. Aji Panca Pepper Flavor Profile The Aji...
Aji Pineapple Chili Pepper
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 20,000 SHU Capsicum baccatum The Aji Pineapple is a gorgeous yellow baccatum pepper with elongated fruits that average from 2-3 inches long. They begin green and ripen to the vibrant yellow that you see in the photos. Similar to other Aji peppers, which are typically bright and fruity, the Aji Pineapple runs...
Aji Sivri Chili Pepper
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 5,000 - 30,000 SHU Capsicum Annuum The Aci Sivri pepper is a Turkish heirloom cayenne type chili pepper. It is a very prolific plant, bearing up to 50 pods or more. The peppers resemble long cayenne chili peppers that grow from 5-10 inches long and somewhat slender. The pods are somewhat wrinkly...
Albino Sweet Pepper
Scoville Heat Units: 0 SHU (estimated) Capsicum Annuum The Albino sweet pepper is a block pod type that grows 4-4.5 inches long by 2-2.5 inches wide. It is a thick fleshed pepper characterized by the color of its skin which matures from a pale yellow color to orange and finally red. It is a bell...
Aleppo Pepper: A Syrian Chili
The Aleppo pepper, also known as the Halaby pepper, is named after the Syrian city of Aleppo. It is commonly used as chili flakes in Mediterranean cuisine. Big flavor. SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: About 10,000 SHU Capsicum Annuum About the Aleppo Pepper The Aleppo Pepper bears the name of its place of origin - Aleppo, Syria....
Anaheim Pepper Recipes
Anaheim Pepper: A Popular Mild California Chili
The Anaheim pepper is a versatile chili pepper named for the city that made it popular, Anaheim, California. It is mild in flavor and heat, measuring 500-2,500 Scoville Heat Units. Scoville Heat Units: 500-2,500 SHU Capsicum Annuum The Anaheim pepper is a mild, medium-sized chili pepper that grows to 6-10 inches in length. It is...
Ancho Peppers: Dried Poblanos
The Ancho Pepper is the dried form of the poblano pepper, and one of the most popular peppers in Mexican cuisine. It is know for its smoky quality, with sweet to moderate heat and a mild paprika flavor. Learn more about it here. SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 1,000 - 2,000 SHU The Ancho Pepper is the...
Ancho Ranchero Peppers
The Ancho Rachero pepper is a mild hybrid of the poblano chili pepper with medium-thick flesh. It is best used for stuffing, roasting, or making Mexican cuisine. SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 1,000 – 2,000 SHU Capsicum Annuum The Ancho Rachero pepper is a mild hybrid of the poblano chili pepper with medium-thick flesh. The chili pods...
Apollo Pepper (A Superhot Chili Pepper)
The Apollo Pepper is a superhot chili pepper created by Ed Currie of Puckerbutt Pepper Company by crossing a Carolina Reaper with the Pepper X.
Bahamian Chili Peppers
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 95,000-110,000 SHU As its name suggests, the Bahamian pepper originates from the Bahamas, where it is still one of the major agricultural crops. This small, round pepper grows to only about an inch in length, and may be found in an assortment of colors, including yellow, orange, green and red. Interestingly, the...
Banana Peppers - All About Them
The banana pepper is a mild, medium-sized chili pepper with a tangy, slightly sweet taste. It is typically bright yellow, but matures to green, red, or orange. SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 0-500 SHU Capsicum Annuum What is a Banana Pepper? The banana pepper is a mild, medium-sized chili pepper with a tangy, slightly sweet taste. It...
Barker's Hot Chili Peppers
The Barker’s Hot chili pepper is an extra-hot chile, the hottest of the Anaheim/ New Mexico variety, and it has great flavor.
Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) - All About Them
The ghost pepper (aka the Bhut Jolokia) is one of the hottest peppers in the world, topping over 1 Million Scoville Heat Units. Learn more about it.
Bird's Eye Chili Peppers: All About Them
The bird's eye pepper is a small round pepper originating in Thailand and surrounding countries, though they are now popular all around the world. SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 50,000-100,000 SHU The tiny Bird’s Eye Chili originated in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines, and surrounding countries, but they can now be found all over the world. They...
Bishop's Crown Peppers: All About Them
The bishop's crown pepper is a spicy little chili pepper distinctively shaped like a bishop's crown, hence the name. It brings respectable heat and is great for cooking.
Bolivian Rainbow Chili Peppers
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 10,000-30,000 SHU Grown for centuries in Bolivia (Central South America), the Bolivian Rainbow chile is a stunningly beautiful plant. The peppers start out a brilliant purple and turn yellow to orange to red, with all stages of the pepper present on the plant at once, making it a bright and colorful addition...
Brain Strain Chili Peppers
Scoville Heat Units: 1 Million – 1.35 million SHU Capsicum Chinense Extremely, dangerously HOT!! Possibly the hottest of all the 7 Pot pepper types. The 7 Pot Brain Strain is a variety of the 7 Pot chili created by a chili grower named David Capiello in North Carolina in 2010. David started by growing 7...
Calabrian Chili: Spicy Italian Peppers
The Calabrian chili is a versatile Italian pepper with a rich red color, fruity flavor and a nice level of heat for spicy food lovers. Learn more about them from Chili Pepper Madness. Scoville Heat Units: 25,000 to 40,000 SHU Capsicum Annuum Whether it's our lives or our food, we are always looking for something...
Capsicum is the name of a genus of tropical American herbs and shrubs of the nightshade family Solanaceae, most often referred to with the generic name "peppers" or "chili peppers". Learn more about it. What is a Capsicum? A capsicum is another name for "chili pepper" in many countries, though in the scientific world, the...
Caribbean Red Chili Peppers
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 300,000 - 475,000 SHU This extremely hot pepper, originally from the Yucatn peninsula in Mexico, is now also cultivated in the Carribean and around North America. This pepper typically grows to about 1 inch in diameter and 1 1/2 inches in length. It appears plentifully from bushes growing around 3 feet in...
Carmen Italian Sweet Chili Peppers
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 0-500 SHU This Italian sweet pepper is a corno di toro type (bull’s horn), because of its shape. The flavor is sweet and fruity. They are best picked when they have turned a deep red, as shown in the above photo. These plants were developed to bear fruit during cooler conditions, so...
Carolina Cayenne Chili Peppers
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 100,000-125,000 SHU Similar in appearance to the original cayenne, this variety is twice as hot and appears slightly wider. Maturing to a deep red, the Carolina Cayenne has wrinkled, thin skin. It is native to Central and South America but was perfected and developed for growing by Clemson University in 1985. Most...
Carolina Reaper: Hottest Pepper in the World - All About It
The Carolina Reaper is currently the hottest pepper in the world, measuring over 2 Million Scoville Heat Units. It was developed by grower Ed Currie. Learn more about the Carolina Reaper here. Scoville Heat Units: 1,400,000 – 2,200,000 SHU Capsicum Chinense With a Guinness-submitted 1,641,183 Scoville Heat Units (previously submitted as 1,569,383 SHU average and recently...
Cascabel Pepper (Chile Cascabel)
The cascabel pepper is a Mexican chili pepper famous for its "rattle" and "bell" sounds when the dried pods are shaken, caused by loose seeds within. Learn more about them. Scoville Heat Units: 1,000-3,000 SHU Capsicum Annuum Mexico is well known for its chili pepper selections, both fresh and dried varieties, which are incorporated into...
Cascabella Peppers: All About Them
Cascabella peppers are hot wax-type peppers about 2 inches in length with a canonical shape, fruity flavor, and heat similar to a jalapeno. Learn more about them. Scoville Heat Units: 1,500 - 6,000 SHU Capsicum Annuum What are Cascabella Peppers? Cascabella peppers are hot wax-type pods with a conical shape that taper to a point....
Cayenne Buist's Yellow Chili Pepper
The Cayenne Buist is a bright orange chili pepper with mild heat, originated in the United States, great for making sauces and salsas.
Cayenne Peppers - All About Them
The cayenne pepper is a thin chili pepper, green to red in color, about 2 to 5 inches long. The "cayenne pepper" spice you find mostly in pizza restaurants is the dried, ground version of this pepper. Learn more about them here.
Cayenne Golden Chili Peppers
Scoville Heat Units: 30,000-50,000 SHU Capsicum Annuum The very attractive Golden Cayenne matures from green to a beautiful golden yellow with smoother skin and fewer wrinkles than the traditional red cayenne pepper. They also grow a bit larger than the red cayenne, about 4-6 inches long, but with the same slim, tapered, and slightly twisted...
Charleston Hot Chili Peppers
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 70,000-100,000 SHU Similar to the Carolina Cayenne, the Charleston Hot is a variety of Cayenne created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in South Carolina. Although it was not bred for its heat, it is much hotter than a regular cayenne, which averages about 30,000 Scovilles. In fact, it’s almost as hot...
Cherry Peppers: All About Them
Cherry peppers are small, round chili peppers with vibrant red flesh and spicy heat on par with the jalapeno pepper. Learn all about them. 5,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) Capsicum Chinense Peppers are known to make any meal spicy, whether they’re large or tiny. Small peppers are found in almost every continent across the globe....
The chilaca pepper is a dark green, curvy, mildly hot pepper that is an important part of Mexican cuisine. When dried, it is called the chile negro or pasilla pepper. SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 1,000-2,500 SHU Capsicum Annuum What is a Chilaca Pepper? The chilaca pepper is a mildly hot pepper that is an important part...
Chile de Arbol Peppers
Chile de Árbol peppers are small and thin Mexican peppers 2-3 inches long and less than a ½ inch wide. The name means “tree chili” in Spanish, which refers to the woody stem of the pepper. Learn more about them from Chili Pepper Madness. SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: Sources rate this chili in 2 categories- 15,000-30,000...
Chilhuacle Amarillo Chili Peppers
Heat Level: Mild-Medium Capsicum Annuum The Chilhuacle Amarillo is a Mexican chili pepper variety, part of a trio that also includes the Chilhuacle Negro (Brown) and the Chilhuacle Rojo (Red). Together they are an important part of Oaxacan cuisine, particularly mole sauces. The peppers start out green, then ripen to a rich yellow or orange-yellow color. This...
Pequin Peppers - All About Them
Pequin peppers are very small chili peppers that pack a punch of heat. The pods ripen to a vibrant red, and offer a spicy, nutty, smoky flavor. SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 30,000-60,000 SHU Capsicum Annuum Pequin peppers, or chili pequin (sometimes spelled "piquin"), are tiny peppers that mature from green to a vibrant red color, and...
Chiltepin Peppers - Wild, Tiny U.S. Native Hot Peppers
The chiltepin pepper is a tiny, round or oval shaped chili pepper grown wild throughout much of the U.S. and Mexico. It is quite spicy, measuring up to 100,000 Scoville Heat Units. Learn More. SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 50,000 to 100,000 SHU Capsicum Annuum The Chiltepin pepper, "chile tepin", or "Chiltepine", is a tiny, round or...
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