If you enjoy spicy things, then this little pepper should surely tickle your taste buds and fancy. Ghost Pepper is also called “Bhut Jolokia” or “Naga Morich.”. It is one of the hottest peppers in the world. It measures up to 1 million Scoville units, and when it is ripe, it goes from green to a fiery red color. But how long do ghost peppers take to turn from green to red?
Ghost peppers take between 100 and 150 days to go from green to red. Peppers at their peak maturity range in length from 1½ to 2½ inches, are notoriously hot, and require careful harvesting.
Depending on the variety, ripe ghost peppers are red, yellow, brown, or peach. The skin is usually wrinkled with no hint of green visible on the pod. This pepper’s intense spicy and smoky flavors appeal to chili connoisseurs worldwide.
Is it Normal for Ghost Peppers to Turn Red from Green?
Ghost peppers go through a series of color changes as they mature. This starts out as a relatively common green shade, then progresses to yellow, then orange, and finally to a fiery red color at maturity.
However, the fact that a piece of pepper is green does not imply that it is unsuitable for consumption; on the contrary, it is. It simply means that it isn’t ripe yet. Green peppers are an excellent addition to any diet because of the high level of nutrients that they contain.
A ripe Ghost Pepper has a slight crease on its skin, and will be a brilliant red color with no indications of orange or yellow anywhere on the fruit.
With the exception of the peach variety, a mature Ghost Pepper measures more than two to three inches in length when it has grown to its full size.
When it does mature, you should wear gloves and hand-pick it in a well-ventilated area where you can also cut and prepare the pods.
Planting and Harvesting Ghost Pepper
Ghost peppers are more difficult to grow than other hot peppers. Because of their life cycle and need for a specific level of humidity, they necessarily require more supervision.
Ghost Pepper Seeding and Germination
Ghost peppers require a long growing season. So, it is advisable that seedlings start indoors around 8–12 weeks before the last spring date. They can be planted outside once the temperature hits above 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
A planting site should have close proximity to sunlight alongside well-drained soil. Consistent and high-temperature humidity are essential for healthy growth. Sometimes, farmers prefer to grow ghost peppers in controlled greenhouse spaces, where the environment is static without fluctuations.
Seeds should be planted about a quarter inch deep. Space plants 2 to 3 feet apart and stake them to prevent stems from breaking when heavy with pepper.
Sunlight is essential for plant care, especially during their 4-5 month growing period for at least 6 hours on most days. Loamy and well-drained soil are the best for planting Ghost peppers. For sandy soils, add organic matter like compost at the start of the season. Ghost Pepper thrives when watered regularly.
Additionally, Ghost Pepper plants are able to pollinate themselves. They utilize the animals and the wind in their work.
Ghost Pepper Maturity and Harvesting
When ghost peppers have reached maturity, which can take anywhere from 100 to 160 days, their color changes from green to red. However, they can be harvested at any stage of their development.
When they have reached their full maturity, they have the highest concentration of capsaicin, which is the compound responsible for the pepper’s characteristic heat. This is why fully mature peppers have the most heat.
For safety reasons, use protective apparel and avoid touching your body’s sensitive parts after handling the hot chili. They can cause burns and stings.
What Does Ghost Pepper Taste Like?
Beyond tasting hot, Ghost Pepper has extreme spiciness with a slow-building chili heat. On first taste, the flavor is felt for a short while, then the heat germinates. Ghost Peppers has sweet fruity flavors which is typical of most super-hot peppers, afterwards its smokiness builds.
The effect of its heat and spiciness lasts for about 15 minutes or more, depending on what is applied to tune it down. It can be a very painful and spicy experience.
Compared to the Habanero or Scotch Bonnet, the Ghost Pepper is 4–8 times spicier than other hot chilis. The Ghost Pepper is so spicy that some of its elements are used to build weapons like pepper spray, and the Indian Army used some parts of it to make a military-grade smoke bomb.
Uses of Ghost Pepper
Ghost Peppers are spicy and can be used in many ways. They can be eaten fresh. When consumed fresh, they have this slight fruity taste, often masked by extreme heat.They can also be frozen or dried for later use.
When drying ghost peppers, use a dehydrator with a low setting and separate each pepper by placing it on its own wire rack. The flavor of ghost peppers can be maintained even after they have been frozen, thanks to this method.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Do Ghost Peppers Grow?
While ghost peppers grow as annuals in some regions, they live year after year as perennials in other regions. This is as a result of the hot and muggy weather.
Do Ghost Peppers Get Spicier as They Ripen?
As they mature, they increase in heat, thereby reaching an intense peak of spiciness in 60 days after flowering. This is according to a scientific study. Jolokia develops earlier than other chilis. This takes 10 days after flowering.
Will Ghost Peppers Keep Ripening Off the Plant?
Under the right conditions, the ghost pepper continues to ripen even after it has been harvested. According to experts, chili peppers produce capsaicin and alkaloids as a defense mechanism against fungi and mammals.
Even in small amounts, Ghost Pepper has a great depth of heat. It is not like a regular habanero pepper. They add a lot of flavor to your food, and when they turn red, they bring a lot of heat with them. Simply enjoy the excitement of it all.