What does the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) Rating mean?
The ‘Scoville Organoleptic Test’ was developed in the early nineteenth century by Wilbur Scoville to measure the heat level of chilli peppers. Pure ground chillies were mixed with sugar water, and a group of testers would taste the solution. The solution was diluted in equal increments until the “hotness or piquancy” was no longer detected. For example, lets say you have a chilli rated 10,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU’s). This means if you used 1 tablespoon of this chilli, you would have to combine it with 10,000 tablespoons of sugar water to dilute the concoction to where you no longer feel the heat! Below is an example table illustrating the Scoville Heat Unit Rating for various types of common chillies: Chilli Name Scoville Heat Rating Bell Pepper 0 Cherry / Pepperoncini 100 New Mexico 500 Poblano / Ancho / Pasilla 1,000 Rocotillo / Numex Big Jim 1,500 Jalapeno / Mirasol 2,500 Chipotle / Yellow Wax / Serrano 5,000 Manzano / De Arbol 15,000 Cayenne / Tabasco 30,000 Thai / Piquin 50,00