ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Hot Are Your Chili Peppers? A Helpful Scoville Unit Guide and Heat Chart

Updated on January 27, 2015

Scoville Units Are Used To Rate Heat

All peppers are rated by using the Scoville scale. The measurement defines the spicy heat of a pepper which is also called piquancy. The scale was developed in 1912. Wilbur Scoville set the scale of pungency in units of 100. For example, a bell pepper rates at 0 Scoville units while a pepperoncini rates at 100 to 500 units. The numbers result from how much a pepper or its heat must be diluted before it cannot be tasted. A habanero pepper must be diluted 200,000, therefore, its Scoville rating is 200,000.

Capsaicin is the chemical which makes a pepper hot. It is considered to be an irritant. Your mucous membranes are affected by capsaicin and an overabundance of it will make your mouth burn or cause you to cry. It is a myth that the seeds are the hottest part of a pepper. The hottest part is actually the inner white membrane or pith that hold the seeds to the wall. It is the pith that should be removed when trying to reduce the heat level in a recipe calling for chili peppers. Capsaicin is often used in muscle rubs to treat soreness and arthritis. Pure capsaicin has a Scoville rating of 15,000,000. Today much more modern techniques are used to determine the heat factor of a pepper or similar compand. The method used is called High Performance Liquid Chromatography or HPLC. Despite modern techniques, the unit that measures heat is still called a Scoville unit.

Follow the tips below so that you can rate a pepper's heat just by looking at it. The pepper rating chart will give you a basic understanding of popular peppers and their heat ratings. Don't forget to peek at the funny video at the end of this hub!


Tips for Determining Heat Levels

Heat or piquancy of peppers is tolerated differently by different people. Some like things mildly spicy while others enjoying going to the extreme and tolerate the intense burn of peppers. shows Guinness world record holder Anandita Dutta Tamuly who ate 51 bhut jolokia peppers in two minutes. The bhut jolokia has a Scoville rating of 1,000,000 units. The pepper grew wild near her home and she ate them frequently in order to build up a tolerance for the pepper.

You can gauge how hot a pepper is without looking at its rating on the Scoville scale in one of several ways. Look at its size. A large, thick pepper will not be as hot as a small, thin pepper. Color helps in judging, too. A green unripened pepper will not be as hot as a ripened red chili pepper. Another way to test a pepper is to cut off the small end of the pepper and touch it to your tongue. The tip of a pepper holds less heat than the body of a pepper while the seeds are the hottest part of a pepper. The variety of pepper is key, also. A banana pepper is much less hot than a habanero. Use these tips when trying to determine which pepper will be best for use in your recipes like everyone's favorite Super Bowl Chili or salsa. If you would like more control over the heat levels in your recipes a chili powder may be just the thing for you. There is a vast variety of chili powder on the market from sweet to tangy to "make you want to cry" it is so spicy. Experiment with these in your recipes.

Scoville Rating Pepper Chart

Scoville Rating
Sweet Bell, Pimiento, Sweet Banana
Cherry Pepper
0 to 500
100 to 500
500 to 1500
Ancho and Pasilla
1000 to 2000
500 to 2500
2500 to 9000
5000 to 8000
8000 to 22,000
De Arbol
15,000 to 30,000
30,000 to 50,000
40,000 to 58,000
Bahamian and Datill
100,000 to 300,000
Orange Habanero and Scotch Bonnet
125,000 to 325,000
Dorset Nagia and Nagia Jolokia
800,000 to 1,040,000
Trinidad Scorpion
900,000 to 1,453,700

LOL! Boy Eating 2 Hot Peppers


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • m0rd0r profile image

      Stoill Barzakov 

      7 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      And I thought Halapeno is hot :D

      Thanks for the info.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)