How hot of a pepper is too hot

Never too hot for me. I grew up eating scotch bonnets, and have now graduated to ghost peppers. I generally dont eat the 1 million plus scoville peppers though. Those are used for sauces and flakes. Whereas habaneros and scotch bonnets are often used whole for cooking in my house.

The worst are the sauces and products that use chemical extracts. Those always mess me up Whereas I never have stomach issues with the actual peppers…

Everyday use is the lemon drop which I can use on everything…

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Everyone has a different level of hot pepper heat tolerance. I can handle 1-2 Thai chilis in a dish. My friend thinks it does not taste any good without at least 7 chilis.

I have other friends who eat hotter that that. I am not one of them.


I used to eat many very hot peppers before numerous surgeries…lol…Though I still can not resist very finely ground horseradish.

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I have a hight tolerance for hot peppers. I’ve often grown habs, and have made them into sauces. I grew supposed ghost peppers a few years ago, and to my chagrin they were milder than jalapeños. I’ve also grown 7 pots and made them into sauces.

I ate a 7 pot I grew out a self dare, but in small slices, not all at once. I was sweating capsaicin out my face, not a pleasant sensation.

Wife thinks jalapeños are too hot, and won’t go near anything like a hab or serrano. She thinks I’m a bit loco for eating them.


I have grown and tasted over 1000 different peppers unfortunately i do not grow them anymore due to the pepper maggot fly destroying around 90% of the crops no matter what varieties i plant. My absolute favorite is the Long Chocolate Habanero and if you can get seeds it is positively worth trying. Do not mistake it for the Chocolate or the Brown Habanero because they are not the same.


I like habanero sauce a lot, but maybe there’s a fermenting or pickling process that tones them down a bit, because a fresh serrano was too much for me.


I really enjoy spicy foods but my wife cannot handle much more than a tiny bit of cayenne so I don’t really grow any hot peppers. I grew Datil this past year and used them fresh in my salads but it’s just not worth growing peppers in my limited space. The datil has a good amount of heat and really produced well, but only makes sense to grow hot peppers if you plan to keep them for years imo. I grew them from seed and got my first pepper in like November and they produced until we got a 27 degree day in January. If I was able to use more of them I’d had dug it up and moved it to the greenhouse but it’s packed anyhow haha. Maybe I’ll try and grow something really hot just for the novelty of it, however for me I can’t justify the space since it’s at a premium.



Cayenne is hot enough for me in chili or if not i add more. Habenero are delicious in a way that is difficult to explain. We like to eat them in dip but i love cilantro also. Not everyone likes habenero flavor like i do. Jalapeños are hot enough when eaten as poppers they are delicious. Have you tried them filled with cream cheese? The peppers raised to cause pain might be good in bear country but im not sure what to use them for unless its as a repellant? I like flavor much more than heat but i dont mind heat when the flavor is good.


Datil is my favorite… We make a sauce with it and its the best stuff i have ever eaten. I grow it every year and this year i am gonna dehydrate it and grind up to use while eating…the flavor is unique and you either love it or hate it…


I’ve prob grown 150+ diff kinds of peppers. Definitely don’t like the ‘extreme heat’ peppers (although 1 year I put fresh ghost peppers in olive oil and it made an extremely smoky-flavored oil i loved).

I created 2 of my own hybrids to create

  1. a low-heat mostly not-hot pepper
  2. but has the strong fruity flavor of a Habanero
  3. and in a snacking form-factor shape (like Aji Charapita where you have a hundred of ripe little pea-shaped to pick from every week).

There’s a few of these ‘notHot + flavorful’ peppers like Habanada, AjiDulce (#1,#2,#3), TrinidadPerfume, GrenadaSeasoning, Bequinho Yellow, but none of the shapes are very small (well if there are any like this, I haven’t seen them promoted in any seed catalogs). My #1 hybrid used a small hot pepper to try to get ‘small shape’ genetics into the bloodlines (although Im not sure if this is true, but i think i read one post saying shape genetics can range from smallest pepper you crossed in).

‘NotHot’-ness is an interested genetic trait. I viewed it as a simple recessive/Dominant trait as once the “capsican knockout” gene is expressed then other genes don’t matter and you will have no-heat (and that seemed mostly true as I got 25% exactly on the number of hot/NotHot plants in F2 generation, like my chart in the linked post below). I talked to the creator of the more recent Habanada pepper and one other pepper-genetics pro and they said when the hotness trait is expressed (which i guess is when really the notHotness ‘knockout’ gene is off), then a range of hotness occurs influenced by other gene[s] (but its hard for me to detect Habanero to Ghost Pepper heat-levels so I just labeled my plants ‘hot’ or ‘NotHot’).

Here was my initial seed giveaway if anyone wants seeds of the F3 generation of the selections i made last year.

I gave away seeds to 150 people (under the group Pepper Testers in Facebook) but only about 10-20 got and reported results. Alot of newbie gardeners :slight_smile: hehe. Most of the results were from my 128 plants (and a Backyard Fruit Growers acquaintance in Harrisburg who was the only person to get close to the 3 traits I wanted).

Here was a video of some of my hybrid results (note the plant distance [3 per pot], I don’t care too much about cross-pollination since its sooo rare (think I’ve only had 2 accidental hybrids in 10 years). I cared more about growing as many F2 plants as I could to get interesting results then save as many seeds from many pods as I could thinking most will not be cross-pollinated and try to get seeds from pods not touching the other plants):

Here were my selections:
“13-#1-2” (13th pot, hybrid variety #1, 2nd plant in the pot):
Kinda small, not exactly Aji Charapita pea-sized but still very small acorn shape.
Average hot, but very curious if next generation will have ‘not hot’ genetics and retain ‘smallness’. I think most people grow out F3 to retain stability from previous generation which they then stabilize… but Im hoping to get a few different results in this generation to actually stabilize in the 2025 F4 generation:

not-Hot flavor and a peach-orange color (hard to see the peach color in this pic). Shape is long and crinkly. I liked the flavor and the peach color is more rare so decided to grow out.

8-#2-1 and 8-#2-2:
All of the Hybrid #2 varieties were Yellow and notHot hab flavor and mostly medium-large size with slight variations. About the same size or larger than Bequinho Yellow, with shapes ranging from the ‘fat top’ Bequinho Yellow has, longer-and-taper-off-to-a-curved-stinger shapes, and more habanero/caribean-type pepper shapes.

Here is a small-medium sized notHot pepper my only grower got in Harrisburg, so the only result that got close to all 3 traits (the notHot one is on the left, and the one of the right was hot but had a small-medium round shape, wondering if i can get even smaller + notHot in next generation so I may also grow that one out):

There was only 1 plant of mine that got the ‘very small’ shape I wanted but it was hot (a bit smaller than the acorn one) … I may grow out next season to see if i can get notHotness in next generation (I only had 2 peppers of these, very late ripening so wondering if i can get earlier ripening in next generation). The small-size trait seems hardest to get, think around 5 plants total were in the small-medium range from all the plants me and others grew:

Here is a pretty 5-lobed notHot pepper that i may grow out (have to double-check which pepper this was in my Excel records):

Here was a notHot one that one of my growers grew in-ground, very productive:

Out of 128 plants, 2 still were still holding onto their leaves around early-mid December while everything else leaves turned to mush after 1st couple frosts. Not sure if it was a fluke, but I am overwintering those and will grow them out for seeds next year (I started that seed batch separately past summer and planted them way too late possibly and hence why didnt get any fruit/seeds).

Anyway, let me know if anyone wants seeds and how many plants you can grow and i can send ya some seeds of many different varieties i saved seeds of. The more people growing a quantity of plants helps my mini project :).



AFAIK anything over 250,000 Scoville is causing tissue damage.


Yeah those super hot peppers are exactly that Clark. Good for bears and laughs when people that eat hot foods think they can eat a Reaper.

I’ve had jalapeños with cream cheese and they Go better together than peas n carrots to me. Very good.

There’s a place here in San Jose called The Smoking Pig BBQ that makes the famous Wolf Turds. Everyone loves them unless you’re a vegetarian of course lol. They’re jalapeño stuffed with cheese, wrapped with bacon and grilled. Some people add sausage in the cheese too. They get about $8 for 2 turds :poop: so you know they’re good with that price and name.


The amount of love shown by hot pepper fans show. I see groups for them all the time, breeding and sharing seeds. Not so much love for the sweet peppers though. I’m not crazy about heat. So I’m always jealous of all the hot pepper photos I see.

When I grew some hots for the last few years, I ended up throwing most away, or drying them and never using them. I had to admit to myself no matter how beautiful they are, I simply don’t eat hot peppers.

So according to my kids, Franks Hot Sauce is the right amount of hot. And in anything else, a jalepeno or a shishito is enough.

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I like cayenne. I’m not a fan of super hot anything, and I don’t like the flavor of jalapenos, so I’ll usually grow some cayennes to throw in pico when I want it spicy.

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I have the Grenada seasoning pepper growing for sure and I could have some Trinidad pimento peppers growing. They are seasoning peppers so hoping I can use those in my cooking a bit. That being said that are claimed to only have 500 SHU so curious how people use seasoning peppers.

What’s your sauce recipe?

we usually make it at a friends house…trying to get the recipe…will send it later once i get it…its really good…in st augustine florida every one makes their own sauce and they will not give out recipe…one guy gave us a few hints of what was in it and we just started playing around with it and ours ending up better than the ones we bought…took us a few batches to get it and i used to sell it for $5 a pint…its been awhile since we made it but we are due to make some anytime…

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It’s a hot sauce or like a salsa/chile?

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its a sauce you can put on stuff or dip in when you eat…its good on lots of things…


Received a mystery “hot” pepper gift with my regular pepper seed order last year. Once these peppers grew out, I was able to identify them. Wrinkly, 1.5" circumference and chocolate brown-red in color. Turns out they were Bhutlah Peppers, with a Scoville of 1,000,000 according to the seed company info.

What? Does any pepper actually hit this range of heat?

To be honest, after reading the info on these peppers I was afraid to touch any part of them, plant or peppers. I finally donned gloves and long sleeves to harvest the peppers and eventually pulled the plant. Buried it in the compost pile - it ought to scare the be-jesus out of the chewing bugs!

I dried the peppers and they are sitting in my pantry in a lidded jar. I look at them every so often and think I should powder them, but then what? Highly doubtful that they can be used to season any food or safely eaten.

Even our Shishito peppers had heat this year - they are usually fairly mild. ::

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