Exploring the Scoville Scale: The Different Levels of Heat in Chili Peppers

Exploring the Scoville Scale: The Different Levels of Heat in Chili Peppers

Welcome back to A Bit on the Side, where we specialize in crafting savory delights that tantalize your taste buds. Today, we're diving into the world of chili peppers, focusing on the varying levels of heat they bring to your dishes. We'll pay special attention to jalapeño peppers, the star ingredient in our popular Red and Green Jalapeño Jellies. Whether you call it jelly, preserve, spread, jam, relish or chutney, our jalapeño creations add a flavorful kick to any meal. Let's explore the fiery spectrum of chili peppers and discover what makes jalapeños uniquely versatile.

The Scoville Scale: Measuring Heat

Before we delve into the specifics of jalapeños, it's important to understand the Scoville Scale. This scale measures the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers and other spicy foods, as recorded in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912, this scale helps us quantify the heat level of different peppers.

Mild to Medium Heat Peppers

  1. Bell Peppers (0 SHU)

    • Bell peppers are at the very bottom of the Scoville Scale, with zero heat. They are sweet and crisp, often used in salads and stir-fries for their flavor and texture.
  2. Poblano Peppers (1,000-1,500 SHU)

    • Poblanos are mild chili peppers commonly used in Mexican cuisine. When dried, they are called ancho peppers, which have a rich, smoky flavor.

Medium Heat: The Versatile Jalapeño

Jalapeño Peppers (2,500-8,000 SHU)

  • Jalapeños are one of the most well-known and widely used chili peppers. They offer a moderate heat that adds a pleasant kick without overwhelming the palate. This balance of spice makes jalapeños a favorite in a variety of dishes, from salsas to stuffed peppers.

At A Bit on the Side, we harness the bold flavor and moderate heat of jalapeños in our red and green jalapeño jellies. These jellies bring a unique combination of sweet and spicy (swicy) to your table, making them perfect for pairing with cheeses, spreading on sandwiches, or glazing meats.

Red Jalapeño Jelly

  • Our red jalapeño preserve is made from ripe red jalapeños, which tend to be slightly sweeter and a bit hotter than their green counterparts. The vibrant color and robust flavor make this jelly a standout addition to any dish.

Green Jalapeño Jelly

  • Our green jalapeño jam captures the fresh, crisp taste of green jalapeños. It's perfect for those who enjoy a milder heat with a touch of sweetness. This versatile chutney complements a wide range of foods, from crackers to grilled meats.

Hot to Super-Hot Peppers

  1. Serrano Peppers (10,000-23,000 SHU)

    • Serranos are hotter than jalapeños and are often used in salsas and hot sauces. They have a bright, crisp flavor that enhances many dishes.
  2. Cayenne Peppers (30,000-50,000 SHU)

    • Cayenne peppers are frequently dried and ground into a powder. They are used to add significant heat to various cuisines worldwide.
  3. Habanero Peppers (100,000-350,000 SHU)

    • Habaneros are extremely hot with a fruity, tropical flavor. They are popular in hot sauces and salsas for those who love intense heat.
  4. Ghost Peppers (Bhut Jolokia) (1,000,000+ SHU)

    • Once considered the hottest pepper in the world, ghost peppers are used sparingly due to their intense heat. They add a smoky, fruity flavor to dishes.
  5. Carolina Reaper (2,200,000+ SHU)

    • Currently one of the hottest peppers in the world, the Carolina Reaper is known for its extreme heat and sweet, fruity flavor. It's used in very small quantities in specialty hot sauces.

Bringing Jalapeño Heat to Your Table

The moderate heat of jalapeños makes them incredibly versatile, allowing them to be used in a variety of culinary applications without overpowering other flavors. At A Bit on the Side, our red and green jalapeño preserves are designed to enhance your dishes with just the right amount of spice and sweetness.

Red and Green Jalapeño Jelly Pairings:

  • Cheese Boards: Add a dollop of our jalapeño jelly to your cheese boards for a spicy-sweet contrast that pairs beautifully with sharp cheddar or creamy brie.
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Spread our jalapeño chutney on sandwiches and wraps to add a burst of flavor and a gentle heat.
  • Glazes for Meats: Use our jalapeño jam as a glaze for chicken, pork, or seafood to create a mouthwatering caramelized finish with a hint of spice.
  • Appetizers: Top crackers or crostini with cream cheese and a spoonful of our jalapeño jelly for a quick and delicious appetizer.


Understanding the different levels of heat in chili peppers allows you to appreciate the unique qualities each pepper brings to your dishes. At A Bit on the Side, we celebrate the moderate heat and rich flavor of jalapeños in our red and green jalapeño preserves, offering you versatile options to spice up your meals.

Explore our range of savory dips and jalapeño savoury jellies, and bring a bit of spice to your culinary creations. Visit our online store to discover the perfect savoury dips and savoury jellies for your pantry.

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Ready to add a bit of spice to your life? Visit A Bit on the Side and shop our selection of red and green jalapeño jellies today. Follow us on social media for more recipe ideas, product updates, and spicy inspiration!


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