The scale of chili peppers: ranking from the most neutral to the strongest

The Scoville scale, named after its inventor, measures the “hotness” of peppers, its classification has been simplified. Cayenne pepper, Espelette pepper, Bird’s eye pepper, Pepper X… Discover which peppers to grow and eat according to your tastes!

Chili peppers range in intensity

The Scoville scale was created in 1912 by scientist Wilbur Scoville. She allows classify peppers according to their spicy taste, or pseudo-burn. This sensation is partly due to capsaicin, a molecule that causes a burning sensation in the mouth in mammals.

This scale is set at base of the Scoville unit. For peppers, it now ranges from 0 to 3,180,000 units. A simplified scale has been introduced and has 11 levels, 0 being neutral and 10 being explosive! Note that the Scoville scale is also used to measure the strength of peppers.

The Scoville scale classifies peppers according to their level of spiciness.
The Scoville scale classifies peppers according to their level of spiciness.

A complete classification of the strength of chili peppers according to the Scoville scale

Here is a simplified ranking of peppers from 0 to 10 on the Scoville scale, from the most neutral to the most explosive.

0 – Neutral: from 0 to 100 Scoville units

Peppers are a variety of sweet peppers rated from 0 to 100 Scoville units.

1 – Mild: from 100 to 500 Scoville units

  • Sweet pepper such as ‘long des Landes’;
  • Sweet pepper: paprika is a spice made from sweet peppers or paprika. It has a red color, pungent and very slightly spicy taste;
  • Pimenton de la Vera.

2 – Warm: 500 to 1,000 Scoville units

  • Anaheim pepper or California pepper: between 500 and 2500 Scoville units, Anaheim chilialso called California pepper, it is ideal for stuffed peppers;
  • Niora pepper;
  • Tabasco green sauce.

3 – Reading: 1,000 to 1,500 Scoville Units

  • Poblano Pepper: The poblano pepper is a pepper that is very similar to a bell pepper, only slightly hotter in terms of spiciness.

4 – Hot: 1,500 to 2,500 Scoville units

  • Espelette pepper: the famous Espelette pepper grown in the Basque Country benefits from AOP (Protected Designation of Origin). It enhances many recipes with its fruity notes and subtle heat, such as Chicken Basquaise;
  • Rocotillo pepper;
  • Bresse pepper
The famous Espelette pepper, grown in the Basque Country, benefits from PDO.
The famous Espelette pepper, grown in the Basque Country, benefits from PDO.

5 – Strong: 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units

  • Chimayo pepper
  • Hot pepper

6 – Hot: from 5,000 to 15,000 Scoville units

  • They drank They drank pepper
  • Hungarian hot wax (or yellow pepper)

7 – Burn: 15,000 to 30,000 Scoville units

  • Cascade pepper
  • Serrano pepper
  • Hari Mirchi
  • Aleppo pepper

8 – Torrid: 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units

For idea, harissa falls into this category as well as:

  • Bird’s eye pepper: with 30,000 to 60,000 Scoville units, bird pepper is a small red or green pepper widely used in cooking in Mauritius and Reunion Island;
  • Cayenne pepper ;
  • Pequin pepper

9 – Volcanic: from 50,000 to 100,000 Scoville units

  • hot Thai chili;
  • Wiri wiri;
  • Malagueta pepper;
  • Chiltepin pepper;
  • Tabasco pepper;
  • Amazon pepper.

10 – Explosive: 100,000 and above

  • Pepper
  • Dragon breath;
  • Carolina Reaper: until then, it was the Carolina Reaper pepper that was chosen by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2013. It is rated up to 2,200,000 on the Scoville scale;
  • Red Savina;
  • Habanero pepper (West Indian or goat pepper): this pepper is very popular and considered one of the tastiest peppers, combining its extreme strength with a lemony taste;
  • Scotch cap pepper;
  • Rokoto pepper;
  • Jamaican hot pepper;
  • Bulgarian carrots;
  • Fatalii pepper;
  • Date pepper.

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