Mammoth Jalapenos

When Is the Best Time to Pick Mammoth Jalapeños?

If you love growing mammoth jalapeños for their incredible heat and big sizes, you may be wondering, “When is the best time to pick my mammoth jalapeños for maximum flavor and spice?”

The optimal time to harvest mammoth jalapeños for peak flavor and heat is when the peppers reach full maturity, around 72-77 days after transplanting seedlings. At this stage, the jalapeños will be a deep green color and about 4-5 inches long.

In this complete guide, you’ll discover:

  • The growth timeline of mammoth jalapeños from seed to harvest
  • How to identify when mammoth jalapeños are perfectly ripe
  • Tips for safely handling these fiery hot peppers
  • The best methods for preserving your bountiful mammoth jalapeño crop

Let’s get growing and enjoy a bounty of deliciously spicy mammoth jalapeños!

When Do Mammoth Jalapeños Reach Maturity?

The first step is understanding the mammoth jalapeño’s growth timeline.

  • Mammoth jalapeño seeds take 7-12 days to germinate when started indoors.
  • After transplanting outside, the pepper plants will be ready to harvest in 72-77 days.
  • This is when mammoth jalapeños reach full maturity and are optimally ripe for picking.

So in general, you can expect to start harvesting mammoth jalapeños 2-3 months after planting your seeds or starting seedlings.

The exact number of days depends on your climate conditions. Warmer weather accelerates growth, while cooler temps delay maturity.

Now let’s look at identifying ripe mammoth jalapeños based on appearance.

How to Tell When Mammoth Jalapeños Are Ready to Pick

It can be tricky knowing when to harvest mammoth jalapeno peppers. Here are the visual signs to look for:


  • Unripe mammoth jalapeños will be a light to medium green
  • Optimal picking stage: Dark green to reddish-green
  • Fully ripe but still edible: Red

Size & Length

  • Picking size: Around 4-5 inches long
  • Can grow over 11cm (4.5 inches) when super ripe


  • Unripe mammoth jalapeños feel firm and crisp
  • Slight softness indicates ripeness
  • Wrinkling or mushiness means overripe

Other Signs

  • Small brown lines or scars
  • Dried, withered stems

Use a combination of these visual cues to determine the perfect time for harvesting your mammoth jalapeños.

When Are Mammoth Jalapeños the Hottest?

Here’s a super hot tip: Mammoth jalapeños tend to get hotter as they ripen.

The spiciest capsaicin levels occur when pods are fully mature and dark green. Letting them turn red makes them slightly sweeter with less heat.

For the ultimate spicy kick, harvest mammoth jalapeños at peak maturity while still green.

Harvesting Mammoth Jalapeños at Different Stages

You don’t have to wait until mammoth jalapeños are perfectly ripe to start enjoying them. Here are the different stages you can pick at:

Green Mangoes

Harvesting your mammoth jalapeños early while still light green results in a grassy, tart flavor. The peppers will be thick but crunchy. Heat levels are mild at this unripe stage.

Breaker Mangoes

Once mammoth jalapeños transition to a darker green with brown flecks, flavors become tangy and sweet. This color break stage has medium heat perfect for stuffing peppers or pickling.

Ripe Mangoes

Fully mature, dark green mammoth jalapeños offer the ultimate spice along with rich, complex flavor. For the hottest sauce or salsa, pick mammoth jalapeños at this ripe stage.

Beyond Ripe

Allowing mammoth jalapeños to turn red on the vines boosts sweetness as heat declines. The flesh becomes softer and the flavor more concentrated.

As you can see, the longer mammoth jalapeños remain on the plant, the hotter and more flavorful they become. Time your harvests based on your preferences.

Harvesting Tips for Safely Picking Mammoth Jalapeños

Mammoth jalapeños rank around 3,500-4,500 Scoville units, making them pretty darn hot. Follow these tips to safely harvest without burning your hands:

  • Wear gloves to protect your hands and avoid transferring oils.
  • Use gardening scissors or pruners to snip peppers from vines.
  • Avoid touching your face and wash hands thoroughly after handling.
  • If irritation occurs, apply milk or yogurt to affected areas to soothe skin.

Also be sure to harvest mammoth jalapeños by twisting gently to avoid damaging plants.

Preserving Your Freshly Picked Mammoth Jalapeños

A bumper crop of mammoth jalapeños won’t go to waste if you preserve them for year-round enjoyment. Here are some options:


Store unwashed mammoth jalapeños in perforated plastic bags in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.


Flash freeze sliced or whole mammoth jalapeños in airtight containers. They’ll last 4-6 months in the freezer.


Use a dehydrator or oven to dry mammoth jalapeños until crisp. Keep in airtight jars for 6-12 months.


Pickle sliced mammoth jalapeños in jars submerged in vinegar and brine. Pickled peppers will retain crunch for 1-2 months refrigerated.


Process chopped, cooked mammoth jalapeños in a water bath canner using proper technique for shelf-stable preservation. Canned peppers last 1-2 years.

With the right preservation method, you can enjoy the fruity, fiery flavor of mammoth jalapeños all year long.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big do mammoth jalapeños get?

Mammoth jalapeños are considered “giant” peppers, growing over 4 inches long and 2 inches wide when fully mature. Some mammoth jalapeños may reach 5-6 inches long!

What’s the difference between mammoth jalapeños and regular jalapeños?

Mammoth jalapeños are a larger cultivar that is 3-5 times bigger than traditional jalapeños. They have similar heat levels around 3,500-4,500 Scoville units but are meatier.

Can I harvest mammoth jalapeños early?

Yes, you can harvest mammoth jalapeños at any stage, from green to fully ripe red. Just know unripe green mammoth jalapeños will be milder in flavor and heat.

Do mammoth jalapeños continue ripening after picking?

Mammoth jalapeños may ripen from green to red off the vine if they were starting to transition color before picking. Fully green mammoth jalapeños will not change color after harvesting.


Now you’re ready to successfully harvest mouth-watering mammoth jalapeños with optimal spice and zest! Use the color, texture, size, and aroma to determine the perfect picking times. With proper handling and storage, you’ll be enjoying these giant jalapeños for months to come.

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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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