How Spicy Is 8000 Scoville Units

The Scoville Scale and Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) measure the spice and heat of chili peppers.Lets suppose, if a pepper has a SHU of 100, it signifies that the capsaicinoids in the pepper had to be diluted 100 times before testers could detect spiciness. This results in the pepper hotness scale. So you may come to wonder how spicy are 8000 Scoville Units? This article will discuss everything you need to know about the Spice level of 8000 SHU in detail. 

A SHU value of 8000 is considered medium. Any heat level between 3000 to 25,000 SHU is considered moderate. The jalapeno pepper is an example of pepper with 8000 SHU. This is truly a pepper that has fans all over the world.

It might be as mild as the Basque Espelette pepper, which has a maximum SHU of 4000, or as spicy as the Poblano pepper, which has a SHU of 2500 to 5000, depending on the luck of the draw and the jalapeno you bite into. If you’ve ever tasted a chile Relleno, you’re probably aware of how hot a poblano pepper can be. So, if you want to learn everything about 8000 Scoville Units, read further!

How To Measure Scoville Units

The Scoville scale is a scale that measures the pungency (spiciness or “hot”) of chili peppers in Scoville Heat Units (SHU), which is based on the concentration of capsaicinoids, of which capsaicin is the most common. 

Capsaicin is found naturally in chili peppers and several other compounds known collectively as capsaicinoids. The precise ratio of these capsaicinoids causes differences in taste reactions to different pepper species, such as the typical delayed reaction to the habanero pepper.

Wilbur Scoville
Wilbur Scoville Image By Google Doodle

American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville established the Scoville scale in 1912. Scoville developed the scale based on his Scoville Organoleptic Test, which he used to determine how hot pepper was. Scoville conducted his experiment by mixing an alcohol-based extract of the capsaicin oil from a pepper into a sugar-water solution and applied it to taste testers’ tongues. He gradually added additional water to the mix until it no longer tasted hot.

Scoville then assigned a number rating to the pepper depending on how many times he had to dilute the solution to get the heat to go away. For example, jalapeno peppers have a Scoville value of 10,000, implying that a jalapeno solution would need to be diluted 10,000 times before the heat was neutralized.

What Is The Scoville Scale’s Accuracy?

Human taste differs greatly from one person to the next, making the Scoville test somewhat subjective. Because the test is based on human perception, it is necessarily imperfect to some extent. Scoville ratings for peppers vary depending on the growth conditions of the pepper, such as humidity and soil, as well as the pepper’s ripeness, seed lineage, and other factors. 

Human taste testers are no longer required because a process known as high-performance liquid chromatography can identify the exact dosage of capsaicin. However, the Scoville Scale remains the official measurement, which both professionals and foodies utilize.

The Scoville Scale in Modern Times


Scientists now employ a technology called High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to quantify the exact quantity of capsaicin in pepper to produce more accurate results.

The pungency of a pepper is measured using the HPLC technique in American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) Pungency Units. This number can be converted to Scoville Units by using a formula. We still use Wilbur Scoville’s Scoville scale to quantify the heat of peppers, even though the procedure has altered since his time.

List Of Chili Peppers From Hottest To Mildest As Measured On The SHU Scale

The following is a table of Scoville Heat Units (SHU) for the most common chili peppers, so you can see how they compare.

Chili PeppersSHU Scale
Bell Pepper0 SHU
Poblano Peppers1000 – 2000 SHU
Jalapeno Peppers2500 – 8000 SHU
Cayenne Peppers30,000 – 50,000 SHU
Habanero Peppers100,000 – 350,000 SHU
Ghost Peppers1,000,000 + Scoville Heat Units
Carolina Reaper Chili Pepper2.2 Million + Scoville Heat Units

What Makes A Pepper Hot?

Jalapeno Peppers

Chiles contain the chemical capsaicin, which gives hot peppers their heat or burning sensation. Capsaicin is a tasteless and odorless chemical composed of capsaicinoids that are insoluble in water. Some of the components that make up capsaicinoids generate a strong ‘bite’ in the back of the mouth and throat, while others cause a gradual burn on the front and middle of the tongue.

The membrane that holds the seeds contains the most capsaicin. These plants are native to the Americas, and they were introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus, who mistook them for black pepper related (the plant we get pepper from). 

Hot peppers are commonly referred to as chili peppers or simply chilis in many parts of the world to distinguish them from the black pepper plant. Other spices, such as oregano, cinnamon, and cilantro, contain minor levels of capsaicin.

Because certain peppers contain more capsaicin than others, the intensity and heat levels vary. It’s a common myth that drinking water after eating a hot pepper can help to cool it down. Capsaicin is an oil that does not combine with water and instead distributes heat throughout the tongue. 

Drink milk and rinse your lips with it while swallowing to neutralize the extreme heat of hot pepper. Consume grains or bread to absorb the capsaicin. Eat a fresh lime or lemon or drink tomato juice (the acid will counteract the alkalinity of the capsaicin).

How Many Scoville Units Will Kill You?

Some of the hottest peppers can kill you if consumed in large quantities. With over 2 million Scoville heat units, the Carolina Reaper is the official hottest pepper on the planet. So, if you eat enough of this pepper in a short time, you will undoubtedly die. 

According to research, eating 3 pounds of dried and powdered capsaicin-rich peppers, like the Ghost Pepper or the Carolina Reaper, in a short period of time would kill a 150-pound individual.

Capsaicin is a neurotoxin that if consumed in large amounts can cause difficulties breathing, heart attacks, convulsions, and death. While eating a pepper with a million or more Scoville units won’t kill you, it may cause days of discomfort while your body tries to digest it. That’s why, instead of eating these super-spicy peppers whole, many people like using them to flavor dishes.


Which Is The World’s Hottest Sauce?

Mad Dog 357 Plutonium No. 9 is the hottest sauce on the planet. It has a 9 million Scoville rating.

Mad Dog 357 Has How Many SHU?

Mad Dog 357 Silver Hot Sauce contains a 750,000 SHU and has 8/10 heat rating. 

What Scoville Is Hot Cheetos?

Some experts claim that Flamin’ Hot Cheetos have around 50,000 Scoville ratings, although there is no proof to back this up.


Now you know that any heat level between 3000 to 25,000 SHU is considered medium. The jalapeno pepper has 8000 SHU. So, it is a medium-level spice. However, human taste differs greatly from one person to the next, making the Scoville test somewhat subjective. Hopefully, with the help of our article, you now have in-depth knowledge of the spice level of 8000 SHU.

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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