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How Hot Is a Jalapeno Pepper? (Jalapeno Pepper Scoville)

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Jalapeños are very popular and are believed to be super spicy, but that’s not entirely true. So how hot is a jalapeno pepper? What is jalapeno pepper Scoville scale? Well, contrary to popular belief, jalapeno peppers are fairly tame!

Jalapeños fall in the range of 2,000 to 8,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), which may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t! Compared to cayenne peppers, which measures approximately 30,000 to 50,000 SHU, jalapeños are pretty mellow.

These peppers are delicious and super versatile; they can be added to salads, salsas, or even grilled.

Which Is Hotter Habanero or Jalapeno?

Jalapeños measures around 2,000 to 8,000 on the Scoville heat scale. This means they fall under the category of medium-hot peppers. This is totally different from habaneros which range from 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville heat units, placing them in the category of super-hot peppers.

To put the difference in heat level between habanero and jalapeños peppers into scale – the hottest habanero would be 140 TIMES hotter than the mildest jalapeño. This is a big heat difference and might be surprising to those who think jalapeños are a lot hotter than they really are.

Jalapeños also differ from habanero in taste; although significantly hotter, habaneros have a slightly sweet hint. This makes them work so well in hot sauces, especially for recipes containing sweet ingredients like tropical fruits.

Jalapeños, on the other hand, has a much crisper taste that is closely similar to the taste of green bell pepper. There are also dried and roasted variants of jalapeños (otherwise known as chipotle) which have an earthy taste perfect for barbecue and marinades.

Which Color Jalapeno Is Hottest?

There are different colors of jalapeños ranging from green to red hues. There isn’t any significant difference in heat level between the various colors of jalapeño peppers, but they are just indicators of age.

Red and green jalapeño are the same pepper, just that green jalapeño was harvested early in the ripening process, while a red jalapeño is left on the vine to mature.

As jalapeños ripen, they turn red just like other chilies. This is a lengthy process that causes many jalapeños to be multi-hued; they become various shades of green and red during the aging process.

Is a Red Jalapeño Spicier Than a Green Jalapeño?

Yes, red jalapeno is typically spicier than a green jalapeño because the additional ripening on the vine increases the capsaicin content in the pepper.

Capsaicin is the compound responsible for the spiciness of hot peppers. This is not to say a ripened red jalapeño measures higher than its typical range on the Scoville scale (2,500 – 8,000 Scoville heat units).

Still, they are likely to sit at the top level of the unit compared to a younger green-colored jalapeño.

How Long Will Jalapenos Last In The Fridge?

How long your jalapeño will last in the fridge completely depends on their form and how the peppers are stored.

You can store fresh jalapeño at room temperature for about 2 to 3 days. For longer storage, you can keep the fresh jalapenos in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.

If you have sliced jalapeños, note that they may not last very long in the refrigerator, they typically last only 2 to 4 days. It is recommended to store the peppers whole and slice or chop them shortly before use.

You can also store your jalapenos by freezing them; this is a great way to prolong their shelf life, and frozen jalapenos can stay fresh for 6 to 8 months.

Pickling is another way to preserve jalapenos peppers; you can make home-canned pickled jalapenos, which should be good to consume within a year as long as you follow the correct canning procedure.

Conclusion: How Hot Is a Jalapeno Pepper?

As you can see, jalapeno peppers are not as hot as many thinks. At just 2000 to 8000 SHU, they don’t even come anywhere close to the world’s hottest peppers.

Therefore, if you were scared of Jalapeños before now, you don’t have to be anymore as they are really mellow with just a slight kick.