Heat Level Scale

The "Scoville Organoleptic Test" was developed in 1912 by Wilbur Scoville to measure the heat level of chili peppers. Pure ground chilies were mixed with sugar water, and a group of "testers" would taste the solution. The solution was diluted in equal increments until the “hotness” was no longer detected.

As an example, lets say you have a chile rated 3000 Scoville units. This means if you used 1 tablespoon of this chili, you would have to combine it with 3000 tablespoons of sugar water to dilute the concoction to where you no longer feel the heat!

Today, a lab test called High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is used to determine the hotness of peppers and the capsaicin level or Scoville units of hot sauces. I guess it got too hot for human subjects to endure.

Below is a table showing the Scoville Heat Rating for various peppers.

Peppers Scoville Heat Rating
Bell/Pimento 0
Cherry/Pepperoncini 100 - 500
New Mexico 500 - 1000
Poblano/Ancho/Pasilla 1000 - 1500
Rocotillo/Numex Big Jim 1500 - 2500
Jalapeno/Mirasol 2500 - 5000
Chipotle/Yellow Wax/Serrano 5000 - 15000
Manzano/De Arbol 15000 - 30000
Cayenne/Tabasco 30000 - 50000
Thai/Piquin 50000 - 100,000
Habanero/Scotch Bonnet/Birds Eye 100,000 - 350,000
Red Savina Habanero 350,000 - 600,000
Pure Capsaicin 16 Million

We at Hot Sauce Mall rate our products on a Heat Rating Scale of 1 to 10 ++++. While we realize heat is subject to an individuals taste and tolerance, we try to give you an accurate basis to go by. After all one man's rated 6 may be another man's rated 8! If we have a Scoville rating from the manufacturer and feel like it is accurate, we provide it in the product description.

A heat rating of 9 is the highest we rate a hot sauce that is hot from the chiles only. Once pepper extract, or capsaicin is added we rate the sauces 10 or above.

View the Hot Sauce Mall Guide below.

Hot Sauce Mall Rating Scoville Rating
1 0
2 0 - 100
3 100 - 500
4 500 - 1000
5 1000 - 3000
6 3000 - 5000
7 5000 - 10,000
8 10,000 - 25,000
9 25,000 - 50,000
10 50,000 - 100,000
10+ 100,000 - 300,000
10++ 300,000 - 500,000
10+++ 500,000 - 1,000,000
10++++ 1,000,000 and over