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How Hot Is a Jalapeño?

Jalapeno peppers

How Hot Is a Jalapeño?

If you don't often cook with hot peppers, you may wonder what makes jalapeño chile peppers unique and how spicy they are compared to other peppers. This kind of pepper is loved by many for its moderate heat, making it an excellent addition to many dishes, sides, and appetizers.

Let's look at how to use jalapeños and where this kind of pepper ranks in terms of spiciness. Then, we'll show you how to spice up your meals so your dishes can be the hot topic of your guests' conversation.

How Are Jalapeños Used?

In some cases, people eat jalapeños whole. They may pickle them or slice them and roast them, which can bring out a lightly sweet flavor. 

Home chefs may get creative by blending fresh jalapeños with oil to create a unique paste for toast. However, one of the most popular ways to enjoy jalapeño is to chop it into fine pieces and sprinkle it over a dish such as nachos, rice, or another side dish.

How Is a Pepper’s Heat Level Measured?

Green jalapeños are well-known for their spiciness, which makes them a terrific way to add heat to your home cooking. But how do we know how hot jalapeños are compared to other peppers? Keep reading to see how this pepper and many others compare in terms of spiciness.

Scoville Heat Units

Jalapeños and many other spicy foods are measured by Scoville Heat Units, which describe how hot they are on a scale of 0-16 billion units. This scale was developed in 1912 by Wilbur Scoville, who was a pharmacologist. 

Scoville developed this scale to estimate the amount of heat that you get from the hottest peppers and chilies, and we still use it today to rank all kinds of spicy food. 

Scoville Heat Rankings

Here are some of the most popular peppers ranked on the Scoville scale:

  • Bell peppers: Many people cook with these green, yellow, orange, and red peppers to add bold flavor to their meals. However, bell peppers don't have any spiciness, giving them a rating of zero on the Scoville scale. 

  • Pepperoncinis: This kind of pepper is commonly used in antipasto dishes and has the nickname "sweet Italian pepper." It's slightly spicy, giving it a Scoville ranking of 100-500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

  • Poblano peppers: This mild chili pepper is another favorite of pepper lovers. They're nutritious and flavorful, ranking 1,000-1,500 SHU. 

  • Jalapeño peppers: Green and red jalapeños are crowd-favorite spicy snacks. If you're preparing to enjoy these Mexican peppers, you can expect a Scoville heat ranking of 2,500-8,000. 

  • Serrano peppers: Serrano peppers get their name from the mountain range where they grow. Many enjoy adding this pepper to salsa for added heat since it has a SHU of 10,000-23,000.

  • Tabasco peppers: You can make spicy tabasco chili powder with this pepper. Its ranking falls just above serrano peppers at 30,000-50,000 Scoville Units. 

  • Cayenne peppers: Add this pepper to your soups for a touch of heat. Cayenne peppers have a Scoville heat measurement of 30,000-50,000 units.

  • Habanero peppers: Habanero peppers really step up the heat on the Scoville scale. This pepper has earned a ranking of 100,000-300,000 SHU.

  • Chocolate habanero peppers: Want to make brownies that have an extra burning sensation in the aftertaste? Chocolate habanero peppers are one of the hotter peppers on this list and have earned a ranking of over 425,000 SHU.

  • Ghost peppers: Ghost peppers are infamous for their nearly-unbearable heat, coming in at 850,000-1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units. 

  • Carolina reaper peppers: Only try this pepper if you dare. It's one of the spiciest foods in existence, with a Scoville Heat ranking of 1,400,000-2,200,000.

What To Cook With Jalapeños

If you want to cook with this pepper to appreciate its mild spicy flavor, there are an abundance of side dishes you can prepare to flex your skills as a home chef. Let's explore a few ideas you can try in your kitchen to experience the bold flavor of jalapeños. Then, we'll introduce you to a few ways to add heat to your meals without the peppers.  

Jalapeño Pizza

Are you a pizza lover? There's no better meal for a weekend movie night, and this meal is easily customizable to include flavors you love. 

Adding jalapeños to your favorite pizza is one way to incorporate a bit of spice into your savory pie. Taste the melty cheese with bold jalapeños, and you'll be hooked. 

Pickled Jalapeños

If you're an adventurous eater, pickled jalapeños may be for you. Pickling this food in white vinegar not only preserves its shelf life but also helps bring out its intense flavor. 

You can eat these as a snack or add them to a salad for a pop of spice and flavor with your other greens and salad dressing. It's a unique way to enjoy tantalizing flavor and spice.

Chips and Salsa

How can you make your homemade salsa stand out from the rest? Adding unique spice to your saucy dish is a great start!

Chopped jalapeños are the perfect spicy addition that will keep your guests coming back for seconds.

Jalapeño Margarita

Are you looking for a new adult beverage you can craft from home? One way to bring margaritas to the next level is to add jalapeños. A bit of spice accentuates the flavor and makes this alcoholic beverage more exciting. Pair this spicy beverage with delicious hot wings for a meal that thrills your tastebuds. 

Jalapeño Poppers

What do you get when you combine cream cheese, bacon, cheddar cheese, and flavorful jalapeños? You get jalapeño poppers –– a crowd-favorite party snack.

You can make this snack by slicing jalapeños in half and scooping out their seedy insides. Next, you'll add spoonfuls of cream cheese with cheddar cheese on top. Finish with breadcrumbs if you want a crunchy finish to your poppers. 

Jalapeño Guacamole

If you're a fan of creamy guacamole but want to elevate your recipe, jalapeños are the way to do it. There's nothing wrong with mild guac, but some like to add more heat to the equation. Adding bits of jalapeños to your guacamole recipe can take your chips and dip to the next level.

How To Spice Up Your Meals Without Jalapeños

Are you someone who loves adding spice to your meals? Perhaps you're always game to add more heat to your dishes but don’t have jalapenos handy. You can heat up your meals another way with luxury truffle-infused sauces.

Our TRUFF Hot sauces combine ripe peppers with decadent winter truffles to upgrade your favorite dishes with a zing of spice. Want some variety? You can choose from: 

More Appetizers To Make With Mouth-Watering Truffle Hot Sauce

Preparing a spicy snack option can introduce an exciting element to your gathering when you're preparing to have guests over. Take a look at several snack options you can prepare with our delicious TRUFF Hot Sauces.

Hot Wings

One of the most famous dishes for gatherings of friends and family is hot wings. Serving these with a layer of spicy TRUFF Hot Sauce can upgrade an obsession-worthy party food. 

Spicy Nuts

You don't have to search grocery store shelves for the perfect spicy nuts. Roast your favorite nuts with a layer of TRUFF Hot Sauce to make an easy spicy snack.

Spicy Brussels Sprouts

Roasted brussels sprouts can make for a mouth-watering side dish for your dinners. One way to elevate this already-delicious side is to drizzle your brussels sprouts with TRUFF Hot Sauce.

Boost Your Kitchen With Tasty Sauces

If you're an aspiring home chef, adding jalapeños to your dishes is one way to add more spice to your life. Incorporating luxury truffle-infused hot sauces are another way to elevate your favorite dinners. 

Want to delight yourself and your dinner guests with thrilling flavors? Try out high-quality TRUFF sauces to find your new favorite homemade dishes that are packed with heat.

Sources:

What Is the Scoville Scale and How Does It Work? | MyRecipes 

How Hot is Your jalapeño? | University of Illinois

Study: What Makes the Ghost Pepper So Spicy? | The Atlantic

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