Hotter than Jalapeno but not crazy-hot?

iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)February 4, 2011

I have somewhat limited hot pepper tolerance, but I'd like to expand my hot peppers a little beyond the Jalapenos and Mexi-bells. What's hotter than those but not up to the crazy, deadly-to-the-uninitiated heat of the habarenos and super-hots?

Serranos? ???

Yeah, I know, I'm a wimp. LOL

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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Iam3killerbs, you and I are in the same place when it comes to heat tolerance. I found that jalapenos are plenty hot for me if I am eating them directly, but if I am canning salsa, the heat gets diluted too much. In my efforts to bring it to the next level, I am adding Serranos, Sante Fe Grande, and Fresno to my grow list this year. Yeah, I'm not brave enough to try Habaneros yet either : )


    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 12:19PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

Nice to know I'm not alone.

I sometimes cook for a couple guys who find my peppers too mild and I found that the jalapeno/Mexibell pepper jelly was barely spicy at all. So I need a boost to the fire for those occasions.

But not too big a boost. It shouldn't trigger my asthma to cut into it. ;-)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 12:37PM
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The level of a Cayenne is about all I can handle. Of course I don't eat them straight, but dry them and make powder to sprinkle on dishes. I tried Yellow Rocoto last year and IMO it has about the same heat as cayenne...with the occasional flare...but it also has a nice sweet taste, so I chop those up fresh/frozen and add to tacos and such. Lemon Drop is at about the same level too and has that nice citrus tang. My 13yo neighbor ate one off the plant(her dad bet her)and although it brought tears to her eyes, she was also laughing, so they're not deadly.
I use Jalapenos a lot as they are at my DH's limit, but I set out chopped rocotos when making tacos and he occasionally adds those to his dish. I've been wanting to try Serranos, but keep forgetting to look for them. I'm thinking they are in the Cayenne range, but I may be wrong.
I've never tasted a Hab(tried to grow it but the deer destroyed it)...I'm too chicken and I like to be able to get the flavor of a pepper along with the heat...maybe one day...

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 2:01PM
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Serrano and Cayenne are good easy to find options.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 2:03PM
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Cayenne is much hotter than serrano

cayenne 50,000 sku
serrano 15,000 sku

Jalapeno is 5,000 sku

You probably should try

Sandia 5,000 to 7,000 sku

these are nice new mexico types. Great peppers.

Also view page 21 of below. Next in heat is

Barker's Hot 15,000 to 30,000 sku
XX Hot 60,000 to 70,000 sku

Here is a link that might be useful: Sandia Description

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 5:34PM
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    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 8:15PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

How about some Arbol?


    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 9:18PM
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Serranos are a good choice. I agree with gardendawgie, NuMex Sandia is great. About the same heat as jalapeno, but excellent flavor for cooking. Also, Burpee's "Biker Billy" hybrid jalapeno is a bit hotter than the standard, and very prolific.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 12:58PM
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bob_in_pc(z8 FL)

I enjoy Jalapenos and Anaheim varieties for eating and as an ingredient in dishes I cook. These are great all around versatile peppers.

However, I do grow some very hot peppers also and am particularly fond of the Caribbean Red and Datil. I am a wannabe Thai chef and it's difficult to be authentic without very hot peppers.

Even if you don't actually cook with the very hot peppers like the two I mentioned, you can make very wonderful powders to use as condiments - one of my favorite uses for the very hots.

If you like growing peppers and want to branch out, I recommend growing some chinense varieties.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 9:47AM
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kosherbaker(LA CA-10)

I'll go ahead and propose the Tabasco. Awesome flavor, and easy to control heat.
And also some of the Thai varieties, would be a step up in heat.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 12:43AM
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Serranos are nearly perfect and they're small enough fruits to "properly dose" whatever you're cooking with...great for salsa/salads, too.

Unless you plant to plow through them or you have a big family, a single serrano plant will produce a whole lot of fruits and they're good green as well as red-ripe.

I freeze serrano pods for cooking with over the winter. I still have a pretty nice sized stash of them from the huge harvest I took off of 2 plants.

You might want to check out the Bulgarian Carrot,'s around a jalapeno-level-heat with a bit of fruity flavor thrown in, as well as being a very productive plant.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 1:56AM
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You are cheeting yourself out of the different tastes that the hotter varieties can give the different dishes you use peppers in if you don't try the ones/varieties that you think are past your heat range/tollorance level.

Just use them in moderation and stop adding them once you can barely taste them in the dish.
Leave time to let them blend in before serving whatever it is.If your tollorance is mild then it might take overnight to get such a small amount of a hotter pepper to blend it's heat and taste to be what you need.
The hotter the pepper the less you use and the longer you should let it blend.
I eat a lot of Trinidad Scorpion,7 Pot, Bhut Jolokia and naga pods.
No I don't bite into any of them by themselves but love the flavor of them,especially 7 pots.
I just learned that you stop adding them to whatever you are making when you first start tasing them in the dish at the heat level you think is below your prefered heat level.
Let it blend and I get the taste I want and the heat isn't Lava Hot.
The less amount of heat you want = the less of the hotter pepper you want to use and the longer you should let it blend.
Otherwise you get super hot parts and bland parts in your salsa or whatever.
If you are cooking with them you don't have to wait for blending as much as something like salsa.
Don'yt cheet yourself out of the different flavors hotter peppers might bring to your dishes.
Just because you have some Habaneros doesn't mean you have to add a whole one to the dish.
You wouldn't use a whole onion in a recipe that says use a tablespoon of chopped onion,why add a whole habanero to something you would only use 1 jalapeno to?
Cake recipe calls for 2 cups of flour,you don't use the whole bag because you have it do you?
Same with peppers or anything else.

Don't miss out on the different tastes that hotter or milder peppers have just because they are hotter or milder than you think you'd like to eat.
I use most of the peppers I grow in mixes,hardly any 1 variety by itself.
It's not about just heat but the combination of flavor and heat blending to make the dish taste like you want it too.
Chinense and Baccatums have an especially different taste all their own.Don't cheet yourself using only Annuums.
A lot of Baccatums aren't very hot but have a very distinct taste.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 11:50PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

I'm afraid that to my tongue, above a certain level of heat there is no flavor, only pain. :-)

But if you'd like to recommend some specific varieties of distinctive but less blistering peppers I'd love to hear about them.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 11:54AM
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I like Thai Dragons for cooking. I would love to know the complete parentage and schovil rating, if anyone could help me. I froze some that were not completely ripe at frost. Cutting them frozen did not leave any "burn" on my fingers. Five in a pot of stew or chili is about right for me.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 8:17PM
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Thin walled red peppers, dry fast. Big 30" plants loaded with green and red peppers 4 1/2" x 3/8". 90 days from transplant. 50,000-100,000 Scoville heat units.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 9:29PM
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I like what smokemaster wrote. Seems quite logical to me.

I used to think Jalapenos were hot way back when. But now i realize they are pretty docile. I have grown stuff last year like Cayenne and Habanero and Serrano, etc. Yes they are all hotter, but all of them have different flavor profiles. This year im growing many more varieties and cant wait to taste them in my cooking!


    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 11:39PM
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