The different chilli peppers used for BBQ sauces

JALAPENO PEPPER (Capsicum annuum) Scoville heat rating of 2,500 to 10,000.

Commonly used in hot sauces, salsas and snack foods, Jalapeno Peppers add a nice touch of heat to whatever you eat.  The Jalapeno Pepper was named after the town of Jalapa in Mexico, but it is no longer commercially grown there.

CHIPOTLE Scoville heat rating of 5,000 to 10,000.

Chipotle Peppers are simply dried, smoked jalapeños and are characterized by their sweet, smoky flavour and a pleasant burn.  The Chipotle Pepper is commonly used in soups, salsas and hot sauces. Predominately grown in Chihuahua, Oaxaca and Vera Cruz, Mexico; roughly 1/5 of Mexico’s jalapeño crop is made into chipotles.

SERRANO PEPPER (Capsicum annuum) Scoville heat rating of 10,000 to 20,000.

Originating in the mountainous regions of Puebla and Hidalgo, Mexico, “Serrano” is a Spanish adjective for “from the mountains.” Commonly used in fresh salsas, hot sauces, or pickled (serranos en escabeche).

CAYENNE (Capsicum annuum) Scoville heat rating of 30,000 to 50,000.

Well known for its health benefits, Cayenne Pepper was referred to in 1652 by Nicholas Culpepper as a “violent” fruit.  Commonly found in Louisiana Hot Sauces or powdered and used as a seasoning.  Portuguese traders carried Cayenne Peppers around the world, with evidence of their cultivation in home gardens beginning in 1771.

THAI PEPPER (Capsicum annuum) Scoville rating of 75,000 to 150,000.

Grown in South-east Asia, Thailand and California.  Thai Peppers, also known as Bird’s Eye Peppers, are thin, long and bright red.  Thai Peppers are often used decoratively in salads and noodle dishes.  Much of the heat of the Thai pepper is found in its copious seeds, which can be removed (or not) for cooking.

HABANERO (Capsicum chinense) Scoville rating of 80,000 to 150,000.

The Habanero pepper is 50-100 times hotter than a jalapeno.There is much confusion about the Habanero pepper.  The word has come to signify any chile pepper in the Capsicum chinense species, though technically there are dozens of pod types within the species, of which Habanero is simply one variety.  Habanero hot sauces are characterised by a slightly fruity flavour and a fierce, lingering burn.

SCOTCH BONNET (Capsicum chinense) Scoville heat rating of 80,000 to 300,000

Often confused with Habanero and Jamaican hots, the Scotch Bonnet Pepper is closely related but is not a cultivar. Grown in Jamaica, the Caribbean and Belize, and are commonly used in Jamaican jerk sauce and many other Caribbean condiments.

Buy it on AmazonDATIL PEPPER (Capsicum chinense Jacquin) Scoville heat rating of 100,000 to 250,000.

Almost exclusively grown in St. Augustine, Florida.  Minorcan Indians from the tiny island of Menorca off the coast of Spain settled in North Florida in the 1770’s.  It is thought they picked up the Datil Pepper from Cuba or the West Indies on their way to Florida.

RED SAVINA (Capsicum chinense) Scoville heat rating of 577,000.

The Red Savina Pepper is 4-7 times hotter than other Habanero varieties.  It is currently the hottest variety of Habanero pepper.   Often used in the hottest hot sauces, the Red Savina Pepper is for those palate pyromaniacs who love the true heat and flavour of the Habanero.


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