Your Favorite Pepper Varieties

Hello everyone,

Lend me your knowledge! I was just looking over a few sites… and learning about the Scoville scale, I have to say there’s a lot out there about peppers that I was completely oblivious to.

What’s your favorite:

  1. Belle (does color matter?)
  2. Hot Pepper
  3. Raw Snacking Pepper
  4. Stuffing Pepper
  5. Grilling or Roasting Pepper

What else does everyone enjoy doing with them? Salsa? Pickle them? Dry them? Etc…

I also grew a Green Belle this year and it really hasn’t produced much for me. I fed it well, but I hear that if you overwinter them… they go crazy the next year. Does anyone have any experience with that?

Can’t wait to learn something from your responses!


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A few of my favorite chili peppers are:

Bulgarian Carrot
Hungarian Wax

All of them end up in food or basting sauces.

My favorite pepper is Fresno, not too hot and not too mild to my taste. I like using these raw, sliced up and soaked in soy sauce as condiment for oriental style rice and noodle dishes.
Sometimes I’d chop up the fresh Fresno pepper and add to guacamole to spice it up.

Due to our warm weather during the 2014-2015 winter, the peppers that were planted in raised bed close to the south facing wall survived and produced early and in abundance in spring and summer of 2015. But their performance declined in 2016 after a colder winter in 2015-2016. I don’t have experience planting them in pot and overwintering them indoor.

I planted Bulgarian Carrot for the first time this year. I like the flavor but it’s too hot for me. They are certainly beautiful with the ripe orange peppers standing out among dark green foliage. I find that its skin is too thick and chewy. Not sure if this is just peppers from my plants or its characteristics.

I also planted Hungarian Hot Wax for the first time and found there is almost no heat. I wonder if the seeds were mislabeled. They are productive and very attractive looking with stout yellow pepper hanging on the plants for a long time before they ripen to red color. I just wish they have more heat.

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That’s not my experience :smiley:


You need to consider your location and post it here. I’m in southeastern NY and I’ve tried many types of sweet peppers but now only bother with Carmen because it not only out produces any pepper I’ve ever grown but as a red it is also the sweetest. I don’t stuff peppers and this is not a good pepper for that but I use it for anything else you’d use a red sweet pepper for. I stuff my freezer with diced Carmen so we never need buy inferior peppers during the 9 months I can’t pick them off my plants.

I grow a wide range of hot peppers but use more jalapenos than anything because I love Mexican type food (Malibu Mex, actually). My wife pickles a lot of Italian hot cherry peppers so I grow plenty of them- they are vigorous, highly productive and reliably hot, even without the seeds. My hottest pepper is one of the Thais. Seeds are not required for this one to burn through metal and one plant produces a years worth of heat in the form of dried peppers.

I start my peppers indoors around the third week of Feb. I size them up into nice plants before putting them into the ground which doubles my yields in our relatively short season.

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My experience with Hungarian Hot Wax is that it is quite mild in the earlier stages of its growth and grows hotter with maturity, and that the seeds are quite hot in a mature HHW. I think the tip is hotter than the base, too.

I agree with Alan about Carmen – excellent Italian sweet pepper. I have found through trial and error that with sweet peppers – bell peppers, frying peppers etc. – hybrid peppers are much easier to grow and more productive. I have not been impressed with heirloom bell peppers. I like ‘Red Knight’ as a variety of bell pepper.

With hot peppers this is not an issue – they are much easier to grow, heirloom or hybrid.

Like Alan I start peppers under lights in February. This year when I planted them out I put a little calcium nitrate and superphospate at the bottom of the hole I planted them into (covering this with soil), and then planted the seedlings. I’ve had a great crop this year.

I’m in Philly. Zone 7. Yeah… My green bell hasn’t given me much. I’ll have to take your advice and get myself Carmen.

As for your hot italian cherry peppers… Capperino looks amazing. Do you know if that’s a good one?

I’m gonna see about overwintering them, but if I can’t… I’ll definitely start them in Feb.

Just got Rock Phosphate a few weeks ago. Looks like amazing stuff. Definitely will be using it next year on everything, haha.

Is Red Knight productive for you?

Tried Red Knight this year, has bls so bad that it won’t produce. My favorite bell is Vanguard, huge thick wall things, favorite hot is Telica, a jumbo jalapeno. If our peppers don’t have high BLS resistance, they don’t even set fruit.

Generally we grow two or three types of peppers. Anaheims or a similar roasting variety is our mainstay. A red bell of some sort and some other type just to experiment. These all get planted in a GH, as it is too short a season up here to mature peppers (or tomatoes or eggplants) outside. In years back I was able to overwinter some pepper plants (big Jim/Anaheim) and had the same plant growing for 4-5 years, until a cold snap did it in. It was amazingly productive for those years and got to be 5’ tall or so with a 1" diameter “trunk”.

One thing I have noticed is that there can be quite a bit of variation in characteristics, even in the same plant in varying conditions. For example, that long lived anaheim in the GH would produce a tiny almost jalapeno like pepper in the winter but went back to type once warm weather returned.

Still experimenting with varieties, can’t say that I have any which I’ve tried that were great.

I like these too. You might try Guajillo for a similar heat but different flavor.

I often make salsa fresca with my hot peppers and use it inside tacos and burritos. I’ll admit that the Bulgarian Carrot is hot but about 1/2 a seedless rinsed pepper diced up in a large burrito makes for a very tasty and exciting meal!

I haven’t met a chile that I didn’t like, but lately I’m a cayenne fan. It’s the ultimate hot chile for the lazy/busy person. If I can’t get to them for a while, I will find them dried up on the vine and ready to grind. Great kick and can be used in stir fry, dried, salsa. They thrive on neglect and overwinter in EarthBoxes like champs:


California wonder bell peppers are pretty good. Thai hot dragons, Thai hots, jalapeño are our favorite standard peppers to grow. I know those varieties are not real exciting but we get a crop from them.

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I grow King of the North and World Beater bell peppers and use them to can up some onion pepper relish and roasted red bells for the wonderful taste of summer all winter. They have and are currently producing very well. I grow Ancho’s to dehydrate, grind as needed and make my own chili powder. On alternate years I grow Hungarian Paprikas for the same purpose. Same w/cayennes.


Thanks for the recommendation.
I’ll look it up.

Me too! Also green chili’s for both green chili dishes, and I let them go to red and dehydrate for chili powder…
I have a bunch of peppers to dry today. Here is big Jim, excellent, fine tasting pepper for Tex-Mex dishes.

I needed to grow this one pepper, my seed was getting old (2012). Orange tree habanero. Which doesn’t look like a habanero, but either do many like Aji habanero. Looks more like a huge Piquin type. It grew to 5 feet single stalk, tree-like for sure.

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Beautiful, Drew. I wrote down the info on the NuMex Big Jim variety you mentioned earlier in this thread, but is that what you would recommend for a flavorful pepper w/o tons of heat? I too love the taste of peppers and am looking for the best flavor with some (but milder) heat punch.
That is, more for fresh eating, rather than drying for spices.

Yes, I tried different strains of Big Jim, and all are good! They are really producing in this hot summer.
I like the Nu Mex types because the university identified flavor genes, and they crossed a bunch (non-gmo) and tested seedlings for the genes, or amount of flavor too. Claiming 5 times the flavor on some. I also like Nu-Mex Heritage 6-4. In this heat all are producing really well. I harvested over 20 peppers so far.,
Nu Mex Heritage 6-4

I’m also trying Nu Mex Joe E Parker this year.

I’ll save you seeds to all of these if you want? I also need to roast some green ones and freeze till ready to use. I only harvest seed on the fully red fruits.

Oh my. Sign me up…if it passes the ‘Drew taste trials’ I’d love some!!!
My peppers also are doing well.

After I dehydrate spice peppers I vacuum seal them in mason jars until I need to grind them for a recipe. And there a HUGE dif between say, store bought paprika and fresh ground. Oh my. I was surprised that it changed the flavor of the whole dish even though it is a very small part. Amazing.

I’m going to try a salt preserve (verdurette) of some of the anchos this year and see how that preserves the flavor through the winter. Many seasonings preserve better w/salt than drying. Still experimenting though.