Why are Peppers Hot? The Cool Science Behind Hot Peppers. A Quick Peppers Guide

Why Are Peppers Hot?

When it comes to your diet, adding peppers to your recipes will definitely give some extra kick – but before you get started, it’s important to know why peppers are hot and which varieties are hot, plus how to include the different types of peppers in recipes. From stuffed peppers with rice to helping you understand whether peppers are a vegetable or fruit and more, we’re here to give you the full rundown on how peppers grow, which peppers are hot, and more so you can choose the best solutions for your recipes.


Have you been looking to find out more about peppers? If, hopefully, today’s guide to peppers will help you find out more and discover what you need to know about peppers.

You Must Be Wondering..

Is Pepper a Fruit or Vegetable?

First of all, before we can look at how to use peppers in your cooking and the like, we need to clarify one important question: are peppers a fruit or vegetable? This can be a little hard to work out, and many people are surprised to discover that they’re not sure of the answer. In reality, pepper is actually a type of fruit.

How Peppers Grow

There are many different types of peppers, and each of these will grow slightly differently; as such, there’s no specific explanation for how every pepper variety grows. With that being said, from a generic perspective, peppers are generally planted in February and March for harvest in July, August, and September, depending on maturity, growth rate, and variety. Since they typically grow best with high light requirements and warmth, most growers grow peppers in large greenhouses/glasshouses.

Is the pepper a fruit or vegetable?

Why are Peppers Hot?

Almost certainly, one of the most iconic and obvious features of peppers is its heat. Indeed, peppers are often incredibly hot, and this again varies between the different types of peppers. But why are peppers hot, anyway?

Peppers naturally contain a chemical compound called capsaicin, which is commonly found in the Capsicum family of plants. The intensity of this compound within the pepper is generally responsible for its overall level of heat. This is why certain varieties of pepper are particularly spicy compared to others.

It’s worth noting that peppers are not actually hot because of their taste; in fact, the heat from peppers is the result of the Capsaicin compound. As you’ve likely experienced, these compounds result in significant rushes in stress hormones. Furthermore, they can result in sweating and skin reddening. However, it potentially offers several therapeutic and medicinal benefits. For example, these include helping to prevent the growth of microbes on food, while also offering benefits such as pain-relieving properties, helping with several skin conditions, and more.

Which Peppers are the Hottest?

Depending on the recipe you’re following, you may want to choose hot peppers. The heat from each type of pepper differs; as such, we’ve summarised some of the hottest peppers as follows. Whether you choose to embrace these as a challenge (be warned – the heat from these peppers is dramatically intense!) or avoid them, it’s well worth knowing about these peppers all the same.

  • Carolina reaper peppers are currently the world’s hottest peppers, coming in at a massive 2,200,000 SHU in intensity. This makes it a massive two hundred times hotter than your standard jalapeno pepper.
  • Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers come in at second, but while they don’t offer quite the same kick as the Carolina Reaper, at 2,009,231 SHU on record, they’re still undeniably a nightmarishly hot pepper that just won’t stop building once you try it.
  • 7 Pot Douglah comes in as the world’s third hottest pepper, and as a surprising change, this variety isn’t a red pepper. In fact, it’s a brown pepper. Without a doubt, it’s the strongest brown pepper in the world – and one to be very cautious with if you choose to try it, with a heat rating of 1,853,936 SHU.


Stuffed Peppers with Rice

Treat yourself to a ridiculously easy (and equally delish) dinner or stuffed peppers with rice, thanks to this delicious recipe. The recipe also features a little goats’ cheese, too, for an extra twist!

Aubergine and Red Pepper Salad

This aubergine and red pepper salad offers a little kick compared to most. This makes it a great twist on the standard salad recipe. It’s a juicy, delicious dish that is ridiculously easy to make. Hence, it’s an ideal vegetarian option that could be perfect for your next meal.

What Peppers are in Sriracha?

Traditionally, when asking what peppers are in sriracha, the answer will be a form of red jalapeno hybrid Chile pepper. These give the sauce its iconic and unmistakable flavor and potency! So, if you’re looking to make your own sriracha, make sure you source the best ingredients possible!

Remember – if you’ve been struggling to get hold of the right peppers for any of your cooking, the Fish app can help. Simply get in touch with local businesses offering the ingredients you need to arrange your order. Then, you’ll soon be on your way to creating

Today, we’ve taken a look at how peppers grow, why peppers are hot, and how you can use the different types of peppers to create different dishes such as sriracha and stuffed peppers with rice. Peppers are undeniably hot, but they can are so versatile. As such, they can be used in a huge variety of dishes. Hence, you may want to consider peppers for your dining options too!

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