Become a Better Cook! This Just Maika Cooking: Cook’s Notebook section will focus on everything related to the Scoville Scale and Chili Peppers connected to all my recipe posts, updated frequently.
- What is the Scoville Scale?
- Grow Your Library
- Is the Carolina Reaper Really the Hottest Pepper?
- Scoville Scale (Average SHU Range) with Place of Origin/Popularity
- Popular Chili Pepper Pairings with Global Cusines in the United States
- Sound Like Chili Peppers but Are Not
- Pepper Paste with SHU
- What Helps Relief Chili Pepper Heat from Spicy Foods?
- What is Your Favorite Hot Sauce? I Can't Live without Spicy Food!
- Popular Hot Sauce Gift Packs
- Cook's Notebook: Become a Better Cook!
- Spicy Recipes
Jalapeno Mammoth from my Garden
What is the Scoville Scale?
It's a popular scale used to measure a chili pepper's heat level. The higher the number on the Scoville scale, the hotter. It's on a scale because the pepper's heat falls under a particular range. The chilies get their heat from the capsaicin, which is responsible for the irritation, pain, or burning sensation you may feel.
All spicy peppers have a certain concentration of capsaicin—hence the use of SHU, Scoville Heat Units, to determine where it falls on the scale. So let's give Scientist Wilbur Scoville, an American pharmacist, a shout-out for creating this method's birth in 1912. The Scoville Scale below shows the Carolina Reaper as the hottest chili pepper.
Grow Your Library
Is the Carolina Reaper Really the Hottest Pepper?
There are many hotter peppers, but the hottest pepper consumed is the Caroline Reaper. A brave man named Gregory Foster ate 10 of these bad boys in 33.15 seconds on September 17, 2022.
Another guy, Mike Jack, ate 50 in 6.49 seconds on November 5, 2022. Both are in the Guinness World Records. Two of the many peppers hotter than the Caroline Reaper are the Komodo Dragon 1, 400,000 to 2,200,000 SHU, and Pepper X, with 3,1800,000 SHU.
Macho Pepper from my Garden
Scoville Scale (Average SHU Range) with Place of Origin/Popularity
|2,000,000||Carolina Reaper Pepper||South Carolina, United States|
|750,000-1,5,000||Trinidad Moruga Scorpion||Moruga, Rinanadad and Tabago|
|Naga Viper Pepper||Cumbria, England|
|Infinity Chili||Grantham, Lincolnshire, England|
|Bhut Jolokia / Naga Jolokia, aka Ghost Pepper||Northeast India: Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland|
|350,000–750,000||Red Savina Habanero||California, United States|
|100,000–350,000||Habanero Chili||North of South America in the Amazon|
|Scotch Bonnet Pepper||West Africa|
|Macho Pepper||Oaxaca and Yucatan Region of Mexico|
|50,000–100,000||Bird's Chili, aka Thai Chili Pepper||South East Asia|
|Cayenne Pepper||Cayenne, French Guiana||Butternut Squash Chicken Chili|
|Chile de Arbol||Mexico|
|10,000–25,000||Serrano Pepper||Puebla and Hidalgo, Mexico|
|Aleppo Pepper||Aleppo, Syria|
|Chongyang Chili Pepper||South Korea|
|2,500–10,000||Jalapeño peppers / Chipotle||Mexico||Jalapeno Pesto and Argentinian Shrimp Pasta|
|1,000–2,500||Poblano Pepper / Ancho||Puebla, Mexico|
|500–1,000||Cubanelle||Caribbean: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Peurto Rico, and Italy|
|Beaver Dam Pepper||Wisconsin, United States|
|Medusa Peppers||South America|
|Shishito Peppers||Japanese||Shishito Eggplant Shrimp Stir-Fry|
|0||Bell Pepper / Paprika||Central and South America|
|Peperone Crusco||Basilicata, Italy|
Medusa Pepper Plant in my Garden.
Popular Chili Pepper Pairings with Global Cusines in the United States
|Aleppo Pepper||Meditterean and North African Cuisine|
|Bird's Chili aka Thai Chili Pepper||South East Asian Cuisine|
|Habanero Peppers||Caribbean Cuisine|
|Jalapeño peppers||Very Versatile|
|Serrano Pepper||East African, Indian, and Mexican Cuisine|
|Scotch Bonnet Pepper||West African and Caribbean Cuisine|
Picked Medusa and Macho Peppers from my Garden
Sound Like Chili Peppers but Are Not
These papers actually are berries and, therefore, do not have Scoville units since they do not have capsaicin.
- Sansho Pepper (Japanese) / Chopi Pepper (Korean) - Citrusy Tingling Heat
- Tellicherry Pepper aka Black Pepper (Native to South Asia) - Pungent Kick of Heat
- Szechuan Pepper (Chinese) - Tingling Heat
Unripe Medusa Peppers in My Garden
Pepper Paste with SHU
- Gochujang and Gochugaru from the Cheongyang Chili Pepper. 10,000–25,000 SHU
- Harissa from the Baklouti Pepper. 1,000-5,000 SHU
- Zhug / Shug / S'kug (not sure yet, but serrano and jalapenos are commonly used) 2,000-8,000 SHU
Ripe (red) and Unripe (green) Macho Peppers in my Garden.
What Helps Relief Chili Pepper Heat from Spicy Foods?
Some say to drink a glass of milk or sour cream or eat yogurt, probably due to their acidic component. Other acidic foods to help with relief can be lemons and tomatoes. Different ways can be using a sweetener like sugar, water, or honey.
Another way is through fatty foods like olive oil or peanut butter. Avoid using water. Water is actually an aid for the heat since it is the component causing the burning sensation. Capsaicin is oil-based; it doesn't do anything but make it worse by spreading it around your mouth. And you don't want that!
However, in the long run, if you enjoy spicy foods, eating them more often can help your body tolerate the heat intensity, and that tongue burn won't be quite so noticeable.
Haitian Habanero Pepper Sauce by Men Pa’w
What is Your Favorite Hot Sauce? I Can't Live without Spicy Food!
I can finish half a bottle of Cholula Hot Sauce on tacos. Submerge my wings in Frank Red Hot Sauce. Dab my boiled eggs with Tobasco. I can't eat my pollo a la plancha with black bean sauce and rice without a good habanero sauce. And I will not use one of the sauces with a different meal. Good peppers combine sweetness and smokiness, making them unique and perfect for certain dishes.
Popular Hot Sauce Gift Packs
Cook's Notebook: Become a Better Cook!
What else do you want to learn about today?
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