23 Must-know Types of Pepper | With Their Scoville Heat Units

Ironically, peppers fall into the category of fruits and they do not have any features that a juicy, sweet, and mouth-watering fruit would have. Instead, these peppers can make you breathe fire due to their hotness and spicy nature.

Even though we enjoy challenging our taste buds with spicy flavors of chili. Every type of peppers we eat or see in the market is a part of the Capsicum family.

Below we talk about every type of pepper along with their Scoville heat units (SHU), a unit to measure the heat of the pepper. So next time you go pepper shopping do not forget to take the Scoville heat units list of different peppers with you.

23. Bell Pepper

Bell Pepper

This bell-shaped pepper is of green color when it is unripe. Over time it changes from green to the most found one, yellow, orange, green, and red. However, you can find them in many other bright colors. They taste sweet and can be used for cooking a variety of dishes.

Scoville Heat Units: 0

22. Mini Sweet Pepper

Mini Sweet Pepper

Mini Sweet peppers are as sweet as their name sounds like; they are sweeter than that of average bell pepper. Also, they come in a variety of radiant colors packed with sweetness. Owing to their sweet taste these types of peppers can even be eaten raw like a snack or you can prepare various recipes that include them.

Scoville Heat Units: 0

21. Banana Pepper

Banana Pepper

This member of the chili pepper family also tastes mostly sweet but can be mild tangy too. As the name suggests they look like bananas when of bright yellow color, and can be found in green, red, and orange color too. Can be pickled, sprinkled on pizza, stuffed in sandwiches, and more.

Scoville Heat Units: 0-50

20. Cherry Pepper

Cherry Pepper

Cherry peppers, also known as Pimiento, are of tiny red color and many times maroon, green & yellow.  These heart-shaped tiny cherry peppers look cute and taste sweet, they radiate a much stronger aroma than that of bell peppers. They can be pickled, used in a salad, served with meat, cheese, etc.

Scoville Heat Units: 100-500

19. Sweet Italian

Sweet Italian

People often confuse this sweet Italian pepper with banana peppers due they’re hard to differentiate physical features. Sweet Italian pepper in the US is known by the name “pepperoncini ”, now you must have recognized it. They can add zest to any dish with the magic of its gentle & sugary flavors. Mostly used in the preparation of pizza and pasta.

Scoville Heat Units: 100-500

18. Piquillo


This Spanish pepper is used in the preparation of many items such as seafood, cooked rice, meat, soups, stews, and salads. They are on the less spicy side so you can have it if you prefer less spicy but tasty peppers.

Scoville Heat Units: 500-1000

17. Cuban Pepper

Cuban Pepper

Also known by the name Cubanelle and Italian Frying Pepper, is like a bell pepper but with a crunchier side and is very vibrant. When it is fully ripped you can see bright red color and while it looks yellowish-green when unripe. Perfect for sprinkling in the fan for frying and tossing them up in your snacks. So yummy!

Scoville Heat Units: 1000

16. Poblano Pepper

Poblano Pepper

Mexico’s most famous pepper, they are somewhat like bell peppers due to their size and heavy look. But they are not as sweet as the bell pepper, rather Poblano is not spicy if we look at the spice level. Their big size makes them ideal for stuffing, roasting and adding them into smoky flavor dishes.

Scoville Heat Units: 1000-1500

15. Anaheim

These mild hot peppers taste smokey, tangy, and spicy, but not much that you run for water. Most of the time they are canned green chile. So, whenever you see one it is most probably Anaheim.

Scoville Heat Units: 500-2500

14. Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapeno Pepper

‘Jalapeno’ is regarded as the king of peppers not because it is the spiciest but the most common. They are smooth, firm, and are mostly of shiny green color. Ripen jalapeno peppers can form the color of red and possess fruity flavors. A dried Jalapeno is called chipotle. Either dried or fresh, Jalapenos are a tasty, flavory, and mouth-watering ingredient that is mostly used in salsa, sauces, salad, and many other such items.

Scoville Heat Units: 2500-8000

13. Fresno Pepper

Fresno Pepper

Fresno peppers are a cultivar of capsicum annuum. A Fresno pepper looks exactly as of Jalapeno, but it is not exact. A Fresno pepper goes from green to red as they grow along with the gradual increase in heat. As compared with Jalapeno, Fresno is spicier and more flavory. They are often added to the dishes like marinades, salsa, and relishes. They become great toppings for burgers, tacos, hot dogs, and even sausages.

Scoville Heat Units: 2500-10,000

12. Yellow Chile

Yellow Chile

This pepper is bright yellow in color, is thick and meaty, has a shiny surface and smooth texture. They can be mild to hot. Best suited and used in baking, stir-frying, roasting, steaming, and sauteing.

Scoville Heat Units: 100-15000

11. Serrano Pepper

Serrano Pepper

Of all the different types of peppers, Serrano peppers are on the smaller side in size but are higher on the Scoville heat units, more than Jalapeno. These tiny few inches thin peppers are usually in dark green and red color, they will surely give you a great spicy and flavory vegetable like taste. They can be easily used in their ripe or unripe form.

Scoville Heat Units: 10,000-23,000

10. Guajillo-Mirasol Chili

Guajillo-Mirasol Chili

A type of pepper that has a cool name and a great meaning to it. This type of pepper grows towards the direction of the sun and in Spanish Mirasol means looking at the sun. Mirasol peppers are of upward pointed red color and not so hot. Their dried form is called Guajillo and is one of the most dried peppers. They are used in making Mole sauce.

Scoville Heat Units: 2500-30,000

9. Cayenne


Cayenne peppers really climb the ladder of Scoville heat units and are super spicy chili. You must have recognized this type of pepper from its grounded powder form which is called Cayenne powder. The hotness of Cayenne pepper can make you beg for water.

Scoville Heat Units: 30,000-50,000

8. Tabasco


Tabasco, I am sure each of you has heard this name on a sauce bottle that is just ridiculously famous and iconic. This type of pepper can be found across the globe. They are bright red and usually of few inches in size.

The well-known tabasco sauce is prepared by smashing the pepper and combining it with vinegar. The heating unit of tabasco sauce is between 25000 to 5000 units, which are nothing compared to Tabasco pepper’s SCH units.

Scoville Heat Units: 30,000-50,000

7. Piri Piri

Piri Piri

Its alternate names such as Peri Per, African Bird’s Eye pepper, and African Red Devil Pepperares super spicy and hot while it is minimal in size, although it has high Scoville heat units. It is primarily consumed in African and Portuguese delicacies.

Scoville Heat Units: 50,000-1,75,000

6. Rocoto Pepper


Also identified by the name ‘Tree Pepper,’ this type of pepper grows online like trees and has purple-colored flowers. Rocoto looks like a smaller version of bell pepper with a lot of added hotness. Like bell pepper, they come in many different shades, such as yellow, orange, and red. It also has brown on black-colored unique seeds inside of it and thick juicy walls on the outside. Rocoto pepper is used by Peruvians for making powerful Huacatay hot sauce that goes on almost any food.

Scoville Heat Units: 50,000-2,50,000

5. Scotch Bonnet

Scotch Bonnet

The hottest and spiciest pepper of the Caribbeans is no other but Scotch Bonnet. Can be found in yellow, green, and red color and is used in both escovitch sauce & fish, in jerk sauce & chicken, curry goat, and curry chicken, and Jamaican soups, along with patties and peppered shrimp. You might wanna wear gloves and protective eyewear to avoid any possible danger when handling Scotch bonnet pepper.

This type of pepper got its name for close resemblance to a type of cap named ‘tam o’ shanter’ worn by the men in Scotland. With some effort, you can find a sweet variety of this pepper which is Cachucha.

Scoville Heat Units: 100,000-350,000

4. Ghost Pepper

Ghost Pepper

Also known by the name Bhut Jolokia which translates into Ghost Pepper. This type of pepper is cultivated in Asian countries such as India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Ghost pepper exceeds the 1 million mark on the Scoville scale! And are yellow, orange, red as per the status of their ripeness.

Do you dare to try this ghost pepper that tastes fruity, chili, and sweet? The heat kicks in after 30-45 seconds resulting in watery eyes, sweating, hiccups, shortness of breath, and urge to drink water. It is on the list of one of the hottest edible peppers ever.

Scoville Heat Units: 1,000,000 +

3. Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon

Just when you thought that no one could come close to the heat of Ghost pepper, another type of pepper which goes by the name Komodo Dragon is hotter Ghost pepper.

The name signifies that a fierce Komodo Dragon in the form of a few inches normally bright red colored chili which sits around 1.4 million to 2.2 million units on Scoville heat. If you take a bite, they will taste sweet only until waves of heat decide to walk in, making you regret the decision of even holding this super spicy pepper.

Scoville Heat Units: 1.4M-2.2M

2. Carolina Reaper

Carolina Reaper

Carolina Reaper is a type of pepper that is hotter than Komodo Dragon pepper. Usually of red color, gnarled, with a bumpy texture, tiny, pointed tail, and are just 1-3 inches in size.

Eating just one Carolina Reaper pepper will not kill you but will surely cause some discomfort for a few days which you might not wanna experience. The spiciness of a Carolina Reaper exceeds that of any other type of pepper, it is 300 times hotter than that of Jalapeno.

Scoville Heat Units: 2.2M +

1. Dragon Breathe

Dragon Breathe

One of the smallest types of pepper packs a lot of heat inside in just a few inches. A breeder named Nael Price is responsible for this exceptionally hot pepper. The claim is that this chili has a Scoville heat unit that exceeds 2.48M! If this is true, then it can be regarded as the hottest chili in the world and till no one has eaten this little beast.

It is hotter than the pepper spray used by the law enforcement, if you were to eat a whole Dragon pepper it would cause severe and could possibly kill you too! So, beware folks, leave this pepper alone.

Scoville Heat Units: 2.48M +

Pepper Facts

  • Currently, Carolina Reaper is the hottest pepper in the world according to the Guinness Book Of World Record.
  • Scoville Heat Units is a scale to measure the hotness of pepper and pepper-based products like powders and sauces.
  • Milk is the most powerful pepper pain quencher. Next time you try the spicy peppers keep a glass of milk ready on the table.
  • Peppers are nutrition-rich having vitamins C, A, and E.
  • Also, peppers are high in potassium, folate, and other vital minerals.
Chloe Liu

Chloe Liu is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu with a focus on gastronomy who has been exploring and writing about the world of spices for 12 years. She was a chef in multicultural restaurants and a culinary instructor. She has enlightened readers about the health benefits of spices, their cultural significance, and their culinary uses. Her experience includes working as a nutritionist and a food writer. Chloe is also a yoga practitioner and a hobbyist gardener, growing various herbs and spices. She enjoys urban foraging and experimenting with herbal infusions.

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