Heat Units of Richters Chile Peppers
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Joe and Jackie
Posted on: May 07, 2005

Your dried chile powder - H4470-320 - could you please give us the heat unit rating?

We do not have a heat unit value for the dried powder product. The dried powder product is obtained from commercial spice suppliers and it is impossible to know which variety of chile was grown to produce the powder. We are estimating a heat value of about 30,000 to 50,000.

Where you state the heat unit is 10, could also give us the heat unit of the seed? E.g. - 250,000 - 300,000 heat units.

In our catalogue we use the older "heat" scale used by Mark Miller in his book, "The Great Chile Book". Frankly, we find Miller’s scale more meaningful then the industry standard Scoville system. The Scoville "heat unit" system is less subjective and more scientific than Miller’s scale, but the Scoville ratings range between zero and to 16 million heat units (for pure capsaicin, the active ingredient responsible for the heat sensation) and we believe many people have a difficult time relating to them.

Here is a chart that compares the two systems:

Heat Rating

Scoville Units

Typical Varieties

1

100-500

Anaheim

2

500-1000

Poblano

3

1,000-1,500

Pasilla

4

1,500-2,500

Cherry Hots

5

2,500-5,000

Jalapeno

6

5,000-15,000

Serrano

7

15,000-30,000

de Arbol

8

30,000-50,000

Thai, Cayenne

9

50,000-100,000

Rocoto

10

100,000-300,000

Habanero, Scotch Bonnet



Also your varies peppers listed on page 40, could you please give us the growing information - types of soil and light conditions?

All chile peppers require full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. They need to be started early indoors in most northern temperate zones and then transplanted out when the threat of frost is over. They need 2-3 months of frost-free weather and at least a month of warm summer weather. In zone 5, for example, they need to be seeded in March for transplanting outdoors in May.

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