How Chili is Rated

Chili peppers are an essential ingredient in every chili recipe in one way or another, whether it be through chili powders or actual chili peppers. They’re so prominently featured in recipes because chili peppers contain the compound capsaicin, which creates their signature heat by exciting the tongue’s pain receptors to make the chili taste hot. These compounds act as a defense mechanism against destructive microbes, mold, insects, and hungry mammals. Different peppers contain varying amounts of capsaicin, which adds to how spicy a pepper tastes, both on its own and when added to another dish. The amount of capsaicin in the peppers is measured using Scoville ratings. Scoville ratings, also known as SHU, were developed in 1912 by Wilbur Scoville to measure the pungency of the spice. It ranges from mild to extremely hot.

  • Mild (100 to 2,500 SHU)
  • Medium (2,500 to 30,000 SHU)
  • Hot (30,000 to 100,000 SHU)
  • Extra Hot (100,000 to 300,000 SHU)
  • Extremely Hot (above 300,000 SHU)

Understanding how chili is rated is essential for knowing which peppers will add just the right amount of spice to your chili.

Chuck 'The Chili Guy' Miller

Hey I'm Chuck "The Chili Guy" Miller. Chili is my passion so I have expertly crafted my list of tried and true award worthy chili recipes that will warm your soul. My gift to you from one chili connoisseur to another. - Chuck

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