Hottest Chili Peppers and Chilli Sauces with Scoville Ratings
Red Hot Chillies
If you’ve ever bitten into a hot chili pepper unprepared, you have probably never forgotten the experience. Mouth burning, tongue burning, lips on fire, and no amount of water (or anything else) helps to quell the pain. Yes, chilies are certainly spices to respect, and some can be lethally hot.
There is even a hot chili sauce called “Insanity Private Reserve” which is presented for sale in a small coffin. And, no, you’ve never tasted it. If you had, you would be wagging the charred remains of your tongue around your mouth, fondly reminiscing about the days when you still possessed the sense of taste. Yes, it is that hot.
It is not commonly known, but that there is in fact a scientific way to measure the hotness of chilies. They are graded according to the heat they generate on the palette, and this scale is called the Scoville scale, which was devised by the American chemist Wilbur Lincoln Scoville in 1912.This has since become the industry standard. The higher the number, the hotter the chili in question, and the more respect it deserves.
So, here you will learn about the different types of chili, their origin and use, and most importantly, how hot they are.
For comparison, the well known Red Tabasco sauce, rates 2’500 to 5’000 on the Scoville scale.
Appearance and Use: An immature poblano is dark purplish green in color, but eventually turns a red so dark as to be nearly black. Dried, it is called an ancho chile.It can be prepared a number of ways, commonly including: dried, coated in whipped egg (capeado) and fried, stuffed, roasted, or in mole sauces, and is often ground into a powder used for flavouring recipes.
Hotness: 1,000 to 2,000 on the Scoville scale
Origin: It is named after the city of Xalapa in Mexico, interestingly where they are no longer grown although they are still extensively grown throughout other regions in Mexico.
Appearance and Use: Jalapeno peppers are initially green, but ripen to a red colour. Jalapeno are usually eaten in the green stage, fresh or pickled, but when allowed to ripen, jalapeños are amazingly sweet. Used extensively in Mexico on nachos, the rest of the world on Pizza's.
Hotness: 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale.
Origin: Grown in Fresno, California.
Appearance and Use: Red Fresno chili peppers are similar to jalapeños, but they are less meaty and have thinner skin, making them very suitable for use in salsas. There are also green fresnos, which are milder.
Hotness: The Red Fresno rates between 2,500 and 8,000 on the Scoville index.
Appearance and Use: the serrano chile is green in color at first, and ripens to red, brown, orange, or yellow. Serrano chile peppers don't dry well, since they are too meaty. They don't need to be steamed or peeled before using, making it the easiest chili pepper to use for salsas
Hotness: The serrano chilli rates between 8,000 and 23,000 Scoville scale.
Origin: Manzanochile peppers are originally from South America, and are relatives of the hot South American rocoto peppers.
Appearance and Use: One variety turns from green to red and the other from green to orange with the latter being more flavorful. Manzanos are used most often in fresh form because the pods are so thick they are difficult to dry. They are great for making hot salsas. The manzano is unusual in that it has black seeds.
Hotness: The manzano rates between 12,000 and 30,000 on the Scoville scale.
Chile de Arbol
Origin: Chile De Arbol Peppers are named in reference to the woody stems attached to the pod. The Spanish translation of the name means "treelike."
Appearance and Use:. Chilies de arbol are narrow, curved chilies that start out green and mature to bright red. The arbol chile is very hot, and related to cayenne pepper. The attractive bright red colour of these peppers makes them ideal for craft work such as chile wreaths or ristras. Used in salsa, hot sauce, tacos, soups, stir fry, Thai curry.
Hotness: 15,000 to 30,000 on the Scoville scale.
Origin: Long, thin fruit that was transported by the Portuguese to China and India, where it is used widely.
Appearance and Use: Long and thin red pepper. Often dried and ground into powder, sometimes pulped and baked into cakes, and made into cayenne pepper. Used for spicy dishes and in Sichuan Cuisine. Also used for medicinal purposes.
Hotness: 30,000 to 50,000 on the Scoville scale
Appearance and Use: Unripe habaneros are green, but the colour at maturity varies. Common colours are orange and red, but white, brown, and pink are also seen. The habanero is very, very hot. The oil in the habanero can be very painful if you get it in your eyes or on open wounds on your hands. It is recommended to wear gloves while handling them.
Hotness: most habaneros rate 200,000 to 350,000 on the Scoville scale. That's super hot!!
However, there is a version of the habanero called Red Savina Habanero Chili. This chilli rates 350,000 to 575’000 on the Scoville scale. That's super, super hot!!
Bhut Jolokia Chili, naga jolokia, dorset naga, ghost pepper, naga morich
Origin: These are all names for the same variety of chilli pepper. It is a naturally occurring inter-specific hybrid originating in the Assam region of north-eastern India It also grows in the Indian states of Nagaland and Manipur. It was originally named “King Cobra Chili” by the Naga people after the most venomous snake found in the region, the pepper's fierce "bite" being considered to be like the venom of a king cobra.
Hotness: 1’000’0000 units on the Scoville scale. This chilli holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s hottest spice, and is almost twice as hot as the red savina habanero.
Speciality Chili Sauces and Extracts
This is also a growing market for ”speciality sauces” made from the hottest peppers, or even directly from the capsaicin extract, which is what gives the chilli its hotness. These sauces are many times hotter than the hottest naturally grown peppers and come with various warning notices, such as “Use this product one drop at a time. Keep away from eyes, pets and children. Not for people with heart or respiratory problems. Use extreme caution.”
Dave's Private Reserve which comes in a coffin-shaped package and has been reported variously as from 500,000 to 750,000 Scoville units.
His most recent release is a super-limited holiday edition. It is called “Limited-Edition Insanity Private Reserve” and is two to three times as hot as his private reserve, (that makes it over 2’000’000 Scoville units) and was limited to 200 bottles total, selling for $199 per bottle.
And, believe it or not, there are even more insane sauces and pepper extracts on the market:
Common Pepper Spray
Mad Dog 44 Magnum Pepper Extract
Police Grade Pepper Spray
Blair's 16 Million Reserve
So, if you really do want to burn your tongue to a crisp, dissolve your stomach lining, or disintegrate your intestines, now you know how to do it.
Copyright (c) 2009. All rights reserved.
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