Measuring Chili Heat

The heat of chili peppers is dependent on the amount of capsaicin present in them. The heat is measured in terms of Scoville Heat Units. It is named after American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville, who devised this method in 1912. The hotter the chili the higher is its Scoville Unit value. Individual peppers have a range of heat, depending on where they are grown, how long they’ve matured, and even the amount of sun they’ve received.

Pure Capsaicin =15,000,000 Scoville Units 

US Grade Pepper Spray = 5,000,000 Scoville Units 

Hottest Chili in the World 
Carolina Reaper = 2,200,000 Scoville Units 

Mildest Pepper
Bell Pepper = 0 Scoville Units 

The Chilies used in our Sinamak

Serrano Pepper
Heat rating: 6,000 – 23,000 Scoville Units
Region: Mexico

Description: Narrow, thin and pointy, Serranos are piercingly hot. Popular in Mexican food, particularly salsas, these peppers are used almost as much as Jalapenos.

Anaheim Peppers
Heat rating: 500 – 2,500 Scoville Units
Region: Mexico, California, New Mexico

Description: An elongated mild chili with a sweet and peppery flavor. Grows to about 6 inches. Itis used in many Mexican and New Mexican dishes. The name “Anaheim” derives from a farmer named Emilio Ortega who brought the seeds to the Anaheim, California, area in the early 1900s. 

Red Cayenne Pepper
Heat rating: 30,000 – 50,000 Scoville Units
Region: Americas, African, Asian

Description: Long, red and slender with a sharp piquant flavour. A favorite in Creole, African, and Asian cuisines, it is often dried and ground into powder or made into a hot sauce. Similar in flavour to the Tabasco pepper.

Jalapeño Pepper
Heat rating: 2,500 – 5,000 Scoville Units
Region: United States, Mexico

Description: The most commonly eaten pepper in the United States. Dark green, thick skinned and shaped like a bullet, this versatile chili is used in a variety of dishes including salsas, soups, salads and others. It is popular raw and cooked. When the Jalapeno pepper is smoked and dried it is called a Chipotle. 

Thai Chili
Heat rating: 50,000 – 100,000 Scoville Units
Region: Thailand

Description: Thin, pointy and green or red with needle-like heat penetration and a lingering afterburn. These peppers may look small but they pack a strong punch. Thai peppers are popular in Southeast Asian food including soups, stir-fries and sauces.

Golden Cayenne
Heat rating:  30,000 - 50,000 Scoville Units
Region:  Golden Cayenne was developed in the United States of America. 

Description:  Also known as a Yellow Cayenne, the Golden Cayenne is a relative of the well-known Red Cayenne chili pepper and offers a similar flavor profile yet with a heightened heat. Young Golden Cayenne chilies mature from a green to a golden yellow color and range in size from 4 to 6 inches in length when mature.

The Bird's Eye Chili
Heat rating: 100,000 – 225,000 Scoville Units
Region: Southeast Asia

Description: Small, but is quite hot. The Bird's Eye chili plant is a perennial with small, tapering fruits, often two or three, at a node. The fruits are very pungent. Half as hot as the Habanero, it is still many times more spicy than a Jalapeño. Often used in Chinese and South East Asian cooking.

Heat rating:  250 - 1,000 Scoville Units 
Region: Hungary

Description:  A large, come-shaped chili pepper. It is typically dried and ground to make the more familiar powdered spice. It is a fairly large pepper and quite long, growing up to 8 inches, and lends a unique spiciness to dishes. 

Heat rating:  30,000 - 50,000 Scoville Units 
Region: Mexico

Description:  The tapered fruits, around 4 cm long, are initially pale yellowish-green and turn yellow and orange before ripening to bright red. It is best known through its use in Tabasco Sauce. 

Heat rating:  100,000 - 350,000 Scoville Units 
Region: Mexico

Description:  Habanero peppers are among the hottest chili peppers in the world. it is named after the Cuban city of La Habana. Before maturity, the Habanero is green, but as it ages its coloring ranges from yellow-orange to orange to bright red. Orange Habanero is the most popular variety. Its size ranges from 1 to 2-1/2 inches in length and from 1 to 2 inches in diameter, and its shape is similar to the Scotch Bonnet.
Habanero has a terrific heat, a beautiful hint of citrus flavour and a flowery aroma.