Are black jalapenos hotter than green?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

Black jalapeños are a unique variation of the traditional green jalapeños commonly found in grocery stores. While their appearance may be striking, with their blackened pods, they don’t actually differ significantly in terms of spiciness. In fact, black jalapeños have a similar heat level to their green counterparts, typically ranging from 2,500 to 10,000 Scoville heat units (SHU).

To understand the heat of black jalapeños compared to green jalapeños, it’s essential to first understand the Scoville scale. The Scoville scale is a measurement of the pungency or spiciness of chili peppers. It quantifies the amount of capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat, in a pepper. The higher the Scoville rating, the hotter the pepper.

Now, let’s delve into the heat levels of green and black jalapeños. Green jalapeños are commonly harvested before they fully ripen and turn red. At this stage, they have a milder heat compared to red jalapeños. Green jalapeños typically range from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU, depending on factors such as growing conditions and individual pepper variability.

On the other hand, black jalapeños are simply green jalapeños that have been left on the vine to fully ripen and mature. As they ripen, the pods turn a deep, dark blackish-purple color. However, despite their visually striking appearance, the heat level of black jalapeños remains similar to that of green jalapeños. They generally fall within the range of 2,500 to 10,000 SHU, which is still considered moderately hot.

Personal experience-wise, I have had the opportunity to taste both green and black jalapeños, and I found their heat levels to be quite similar. While there may be slight variations in heat from pepper to pepper, the overall spiciness remains consistent within the range mentioned.

It’s important to note that individual tolerance to spiciness can vary greatly. Some people may find even a mild jalapeño to be quite hot, while others may handle the heat with ease. If you’re new to spicy foods or have a low tolerance, it’s always a good idea to approach black jalapeños with caution and start with a small amount to gauge your heat tolerance.

Black jalapeños are not inherently hotter than green jalapeños. Despite their distinctive appearance, their heat level falls within the same range as their green counterparts. So, whether you prefer the traditional green or the visually striking black jalapeños, you can expect a similar level of spiciness in both varieties.