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Old December 23, 2018   #1
Don S
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Default Pepper Heat Levels

I am helping another site improve their pepper descriptions. So that users can narrow down searches we want to assign varieties to a reasonable number of heat levels. One suggestion was (with approximate Scoville ratings)

Sweet (<100 SHU)
Mild (100 - 2500 SHU)
Medium Hot (2500-50,000 SHU)
Hot (50,000 - 500,000 SHU)
Ultra Hot (500,000+ SHU)

I found a dozen or so such ratings on the web, all different, but two are close to the above list except for setting the Hot levels at 30,000 - 350,000 SHU.
Are these reasonable choices? Suggestions welcome.
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Old December 24, 2018   #2
greenthumbomaha
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In my opinion, the Medium Hot category is too broad.

I would consider researching a pepper at the 2500-7500 range, anything above is of no value to me.It would take too much time weeding thru undesired peppers in that range.


- Lisa
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Old December 24, 2018   #3
AlittleSalt
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Don, suggestions - I wish I could give you some sort of facts, but heat rating is one of those individual things.

I think of peppers that seem to have no heat to me as 0 on the scale. I agree with everything else you wrote on your scale. You also need to factor in how those peppers are used. Cooked peppers can lose the heat factor. Eating them fresh off of plant is a different story depending on where they were grown, and at what time of the year. My avatar picture is of Tabasco peppers rated at 50,000 Scoville units, but that rating is wishy-washy at best. Early in the season - you can eat them like potato chips. Let them go through a Texas summer, and they are so hot that you could use them to remove grease off of a Chevy 350 engine.
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Old December 24, 2018   #4
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I agree with Lisa; the medium hot cat is too broad.
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Old December 24, 2018   #5
Worth1
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The chilies every heat scale says is somewhat hot I dont taste/detect any heat at all and I eat an abundance of many of them.
Like the guajillo chili they say it is between 2,500 to 30,000.
I have ate a mountain of them bought and grown and never had anything close to hot not even a wee bit.
On the other hand the same bunch says a jalapeno is 3,500 to 8,000 and I have had them burn my lips off.
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Old December 24, 2018   #6
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Most chiliheads call 1,000,000 + SHU's superhots.
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Old December 24, 2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salsacharley View Post
Most chiliheads call 1,000,000 + SHU's superhots.
Speaking of.
At the store as we speak.
IMG_20181224_51364.jpg
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Old December 24, 2018   #8
rhines81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
The chilies every heat scale says is somewhat hot I dont taste/detect any heat at all and I eat an abundance of many of them.
Like the guajillo chili they say it is between 2,500 to 30,000.
I have ate a mountain of them bought and grown and never had anything close to hot not even a wee bit.
On the other hand the same bunch says a jalapeno is 3,500 to 8,000 and I have had them burn my lips off.
Never had a guajillo or jalapeno over about 10,000 RSU ("Ray's Scoville Units"). I've had a run of unusually mild jalapenos in the past couple of years. But whatever my pizza guy is using for jalapenos has me on fire, but in a good way (I'm thinking he is using sliced serranos instead). I measure by intensity and duration and also level of tears rolling down my cheeks (it's not a scientific method, but it works for me).
Usually it takes about 20,000 - 50,000 (Serrano to Cayenne or Tabasco) to get the tearing going and up to 100,000-350,000 (Habanero or hotter) to make me wonder why I took I bite, accompanied by very painful unpleasant burn, usually with bad acid reflux after I swallow.
To me (IMO) ... I wouldn't define a pepper as Hot until above 50,000. Medium would be in the 3000-20000 range. Medium Hot would be in between 20000-50000.
It's all subjective... some people can munch a Habanero without sweating, while another person can munch the same Habanero and demand hospitalization.
My best experiences have been eating pepper relish on crackers, smiling from the flavor while tears were rolling down my cheeks. Tears of joy, mild pain and not being able to wait to shovel the next cracker full of the relish into my mouth.
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Old December 24, 2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salsacharley View Post
Most chiliheads call 1,000,000 + SHU's superhots.
Just my opinion, but I call BS to anyone reviewing the flavor of a pepper over about 250,000 SHU to be fruity, with a slightly earthy overtone and nuttiness.
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Old December 24, 2018   #10
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhines81 View Post
Just my opinion, but I call BS to anyone reviewing the flavor of a pepper over about 250,000 SHU to be fruity, with a slightly earthy overtone and nuttiness.
You have to think really fast.
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Old December 24, 2018   #11
rhines81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
You have to think really fast.
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Old January 2, 2019   #12
Tormato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
I am helping another site improve their pepper descriptions. So that users can narrow down searches we want to assign varieties to a reasonable number of heat levels. One suggestion was (with approximate Scoville ratings)

Sweet (<100 SHU)
Mild (100 - 2500 SHU)
Medium Hot (2500-50,000 SHU)
Hot (50,000 - 500,000 SHU)
Ultra Hot (500,000+ SHU)

I found a dozen or so such ratings on the web, all different, but two are close to the above list except for setting the Hot levels at 30,000 - 350,000 SHU.
Are these reasonable choices? Suggestions welcome.


No scale will ever likely be term accurate, just like no two peppers from the same plant at different stages will be at the same numerical scale.



As an example, if it were possible to measure, a 499,999 SHU pepper is Hot, and a 500,001 SHU pepper is Ultra Hot, using your terms. Even the pain from a 400,000 SHU pepper likely couldn't be accurately judged against the pain of a 600,000 SHU pepper.


And, that's without any control over all other factors at the time of consuming. An example would be whether, or not, you're consuming the pepper at the time of an unexpected visit from the mother-in-law. There are outside pain factors not considered.



I say enjoy your insanely hot peppers with your mother-in-law, and don't worry about the numbers.
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Old March 6, 2019   #13
oldman
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My personal heat scale looks like this

Sweet (<100 SHU)
Mild (100 - 2500 SHU)
Medium to Hot (2500-5000 SHU)
Too Darn Hot (5001+)

Heat is like a speed limit. When you reach the point you're unwilling to go faster, how much faster you can go doesn't matter.
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Old March 6, 2019   #14
Rockandrollin
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[QUOTE Heat is like a speed limit. When you reach the point you're unwilling to go faster, how much faster you can go doesn't matter.[/QUOTE]

Far as peppers go for me, pushing the limit, increases the limit.

It's kind of a weird thing, go for the burn, but don't catch on fire.
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