If you love spicy food, you may have wondered: is mild or medium hotter? When it comes to pepper heat, medium packs more punch.
Medium is hotter than mild on the Scoville scale.
Mild peppers rate from 0-2,500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), while medium falls between 2,500-30,000 SHU. So medium delivers more zing.
But the exact difference depends on your personal tolerance. Extremely
The key is understanding the Scoville scale, which measures a pepper’s pungency. Higher ratings mean more heat-activating chemicals like capsaicin.
Keep reading to learn more about Scoville units, example mild and medium peppers, popular hot sauces, and more. You’ll become a master at categorizing pepper heat in no time!
Scoville Scale: Mild vs Medium Peppers
The Scoville scale measures a pepper’s pungency from the chemical capsaicin. Higher Scoville units = more heat.
Mild Peppers (0-2,500 SHU)
Mild peppers offer no burn at all. Examples:
|Sweet Bell Peppers
|0 to 500
|100 to 1,000
Sweet Bell Peppers
Sweet bell peppers in red, green, orange, and yellow are the most commonly sold peppers in the United States. Their sweet, crisp flesh is ideal for salads, sandwiches, and dipping.
Scoville Rating: 0
Banana peppers are also known as yellow wax peppers. These medium-sized peppers have a beautiful yellow color and are acidic and mild (hence the name). They become sweeter as they ripen and are commonly served pickled—they’re also high in vitamin C.
Scoville Scale: 0 to 500
Sweet Spanish pepper is similar to bell pepper. A good choice for roasting is that it is frequently found canned or jarred.
Scoville Scale: 500-1000
According to statistics, these East Asian peppers are normally harvested while still green, and they have a little bitter flavor with a modest heat—one out of every ten shishito peppers is spicy. They’re usually burnt or blistered, although they can also be eaten raw.
Scoville Scale: 100 to 1,000
Poblano peppers have smooth, dark green skin and are about finger size. Because of their thick-fleshed walls, they are ideal for roasting and stuffing.
Scoville Scale: 1,000–2,000
Medium Peppers (2,500-30,000 SHU)
Medium peppers bring noticeable but not overpowering heat. For example:
|2,500 – 8,000
|5,000 – 10,000
|2,500 to 5,000
In North America, jalapeno is the most popular chili pepper. This pepper produces 3-inch deep green fruit that matures to a bright red. Though green jalapenos are most commonly harvested, red jalapenos can also be found in stores. This little giant’s carefully bred varieties account for an unusually wide range of heat levels.
Scoville Rating: 2,500 – 8,000
Chipotles are roughly the same heat level as jalapeno peppers. Chipotle peppers are essentially smoked and dried ripened jalapeno chiles. They can be ground and used in various Mexican and Tex Mex dishes, and they are usually sold in a rich, smokey-flavored adobo sauce.
Scoville Scale: 5,000 – 10,000
Serrano peppers are a somewhat smaller form of jalapeno, with a smooth and glossy dark green skin that is almost as popular. They’re deliciously roasted, and they’re frequently used in sauces, salsas, and garnish.
Scoville Scale: 6,000–23,000
Mirasol peppers are gently spicy Mexican peppers that are commonly available dried as guajillo peppers and can be used in marinades, rubs, and salsas. They have a tangy, fruity flavor when raw, but they have a deeper flavor when dried.
Scoville Scale: 2,500 to 5,000
How Is Heat In Peppers Measured?
Due to its subjective nature, spiciness has proven difficult to measure. When two people’s tolerance for heat differs, the same food may be too spicy for one and not spicy enough for the other. This is fairly typical if you think about it. The sensory systems of individuals differ.
The Scoville Rating Scale is used to determine the heat level in a
Each rating on the Scoville scale has a numerical designation. You might expect anything from 100 to 2,500 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) for something mild. You’ll see numbers of more than 100,000 and more than 300,000 on the extra hot and extremely hot end.
Scoville ratings for peppers vary depending on growing conditions such as humidity and soil, the pepper’s maturity, seed lineage, and other factors. High-performance liquid chromatography can now determine the precise concentration of capsaicin, eliminating the need for human taste testers. However, the Scoville Scale remains the official measurement used by both foodies and experts.
What Are Some Mild And Medium Hot Sauces?
Whether you prefer mild, Medium, or super-spicy, you can’t imagine life without sauce. There’s nothing a dash of the stuff can’t fix, from kicking up your wings to elevating your eggs to making a Bloody Mary just spicy (or smokey) enough.
Sauces add flavor, moisture, texture, and color contrast to dishes. Some sauces are used to add tanginess or sharpness to a dull dish. We’ve compiled a list of some of the greatest Mild and Medium options available online.
Mildest Hot Sauces:
- Hot Ones | The Classic GARLIC FRESNO EDITION.
- Heartbeat Hot Sauce | Pineapple Habanero.
- Yellowbird | Bliss, and Vinegar.
- Hoff & Pepper | Hoff’s Haus Sauce.
- Heartbeat Hot Sauce | Dill Pickle Serrano.
- Savir Foods – Jala Pepa.
Medium Hot Sauces:
- Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce
- Butterfly Bakery Smoked Onion Hot Sauce
- Habanero Hot Sauce by Yellowbird
- Nugget Honey | Hot Ones Hot Sauce
- Anchor Bar Medium Original Buffalo Wing Sauce
- Devil’s Blend Roasted Reaper Hot Sauce | Hellfire Hot Sauce
What dishes are considered spicy?
Pepper-based foods like salsa, hot sauce, chili, buffalo wings, and curries tend to be spicy. Heat levels span from mild to volcanic.
Is original chili seasoning hotter than mild?
Yes, original chili seasoning has a stronger, spicier flavor compared to mild. But even original blends are moderately hot for most people.
What is medium salsa?
Medium salsa contains a blend of flavors and mild-medium heat. It combines tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and spices for kick without going overboard.
The Bottom Line
Mild peppers and hot sauces sit below 2,500 SHU, offering gentle flavors. Medium ranges from 2,500-30,000 SHU for bolder, but not blistering, heat.