Somethings burning but you won’t be able to smell it. Why? Because today we are talking about peppers. These little firecrackers can be tasty (in moderation), but you won’t want to overdo it. Today we are going to show you 27 different types of peppers. And Don’t worry, some of them are mild. Now, go grab a nice cool glass of water, and we’ll begin.
1. Bell Peppers
Ding ding! Round one. That’s a bell joke. Bell peppers are some of the mildest around. They are related to the chili and contain capsicum (that’s the spicy part). Still, thankfully this is only present in tiny amounts. You’ll generally find red, green, and yellow chili peppers. They are actually all the same fruit, just left to ripen for different amounts of time. One of our favorite ways to eat these is as part of a healthy snack. We cut them into thin strips and serve our bell peppers raw with a hummus dip!
As a general rule, these peppers are pretty mild. These peppers are green and elongated. They can be eaten raw or chopped fine and served with a salad. Our favorite way to prepare them is to flash broil them on a hot grill. The skin turns black and slightly charred with sweet flesh underneath. This comes with a disclaimer. You’ll often get the odd delinquent who decided to grow all hot. You can’t tell until you bite into it, however! Tricky little chili!
3. Banana Peppers
Banana peppers are like the bell peppers taller, sweeter cousins. They are elongated and also come in a variety of colors. They have a little more tartness than the bell pepper, and they can also be slightly spicier. When we say ‘spicy,’ we mean this in the loosest possible sense. Think ‘black pepper’ spicy, and you are in the right ballpark.
You’ll see these little peppers served on pizza in Italian restaurants. They aren’t too dissimilar to banana peppers, the only difference being where they are grown (normally in Europe). These are not hot at all, and you’ll find that they turn quite soft and pretty sweet when they are cooked.
Pimento peppers are shaped a little like tiny red acorns. You’ll also hear them called ‘cherry peppers’. While you can buy them raw and whole, you’ll usually find them served as a pickle. They aren’t particularly spicy; however, when pickled, they can turn a little bit fizzy. If you like the texture of jalapenos but not the spice, these can be a really great alternative.
These peppers are relatively similar to the pimento. Just like the pimento, they are normally seen in jars as pickles. The best place to source these is at the deli counter of your local store. You’ll traditionally see them stuffed with things like cloves of garlic, and olive, or our favorite, cream cheese. While they are mild, try not to eat too many, or you’ll end up with a bubbly tummy.
7. Cubanelle Pepper
Another one of our milder favorites. Cubanelle peppers, also called Cuban peppers, are sweet and crunchy. They can make an excellent alternative to both the banana pepper and the bell pepper. However, they carry just a touch more spice, so if you don’t like hot food, we’d probably avoid them.
Things are starting to heat up. The Poblano pepper is just a little bit fiery. If you can’t get hold of shishito peppers, these can make a worthy substitute and similarly prepare them. They are also great for adding just a little heat to dishes. You get all the chili flavor without burning anyone’s mouth
If you’ve ever been to a Turkish restaurant and had a shawarma or doner kebab, it will often be served with a large pickled green chili. There’s a high likelihood that this is it! You might hear these referred to as ‘hatch chili’ too. They feature quite heavily in Mexican cuisine.
Pasilla peppers aren’t something you’ll want to eat raw and are best served as an ingredient in other dishes. If you’ve ever had chili flakes in a Mexican restaurant, then there is a good chance that it was pasilla pepper that you were eating. They are pretty tame when in their raw form, but they become a little more intense on the heat scale once they are dried.
Now we are starting to look at things that are a little fierier. Jalapenos might not be the hottest, but for some people, they are unbearable. They are wonderful for adding flavor to dishes like chili con carne. You’ll often find these in supermarkets sliced and soaked in vinegar pickle. If you wonder why chipotle pepper doesn’t feature on our list, it is actually a jalapeno. The difference? Chipotle peppers are a smoked and roasted version.
Love jalapenos, then our Jalapeno poppers are right up your alley.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking a Fresno pepper is simply a red jalapeno. They may look the same in size and shape, but these are fiery little critters for sure. When you see a recipe calling for a sliced red pepper, it normally refers to a Fresno pepper. They are the type most readily available in most stores. Here’s a top tip if you want the flavor without the heat… Don’t include the seeds. This is where the majority of the compound capsicum is concentrated.
13. Yellow Chile
Yellow chilis are actually unripe versions of the Fresno chili. Because they are cut from the vine sooner, the sugars don’t develop quite as much. As a result, they tend to be slightly more crunchy and tart than their red or green cousins. These need to come with a health warning, we don’t know whether it is because they aren’t red, but we assumed they’d be a little cooler… We were wrong.
Serrano peppers are another firm favorite across the US. If you see a recipe that includes or is calling for green chili pepper, then there’s a good chance they want you to use serrano. Interestingly serrano peppers are nearly twice as hot as Fresno peppers, so if you are trying to avoid the heat, swop them out. The flavor (once your mouth stops burning) is pretty similar.
This is a pepper that is very closely related to the jalapeno. If you are a fan of mole sauce, then you’ve definitely already eaten guajillo peppers. They tend to be used dried before being ground up into tiny flakes and used in sauces, stews, and salsa.
You don’t often see cayenne chili peppers in their raw form. Instead, they are roasted, dried, and then ground up into a fine powder used to flavor and add heat to various dishes the world over. Cayenne can be quite fiery, so use with caution. Consider it a sort of hot paprika! It is actually great if you’ve got a cold, and we’ve even tried serving our coffee with a dash of cayenne in the morning. Give it a go. It really works to wake you up!
Now here’s a mistake you don’t want to make. The rocoto looks frighteningly similar to the bell pepper. But that’s where the similarity ends. Bear in mind that this is considered 100 times hotter, and you can see where the problem lies. The flesh does taste quite sweet… Briefly, before your mouth turns into a raging inferno!
18. Birds Eye
Birdseye chilis feature heavily in thai inspired dishes. You’ll also hear them called thai finger chilis. Looks can be deceiving. These chilies are really thin and actually quite small. But let us tell you. They pack a serious punch. They have a really high density of seeds that runs all the way through the chili, so avoiding them is hard. In Thailand, they serve them raw and chopped so that people can tailor the amount of heat in their dish.
19. Kashmiri Chili
If you can find an Indian supermarket, then give these a go. They are great for heating up Asian dishes. Kashmiri chilis are long thin and are usually served dried. You can actually cut little pieces off so that each mouthful is spiced to perfection. Beware though. They are seriously fiery! They make a real eye-catching garnish when served on top of yellow dishes, such as daal.
20. Piri Piri
The Piri Piri chili was imported into Africa by the Portuguese. You’ll see them feature heavily in Argentinian and Brazilian cooking too. While you may have tried Piri Piri sauce, beware that the chili from which it takes its name is seriously spicy. It is still just about edible and has a smoky and slightly sweet taste.
If you are cooking for people you don’t like, then throw in a few habaneros. These things are evil. Touted as one of the world’s most widely available ‘hot’ chilis, these are truly astounding in terms of heat. When chopping habanero peppers, be sure to wear gloves, and whatever you do, don’t touch your eyes! Ask us how we know. You’ll find habanero chillis feature heavily in Caribbean cooking and are a key component in jerk marinade.
22. Scotch Bonnet
Scotch bonnets and habaneros often get mixed up with each other. The reason? They are both seriously fiery. This is one that you don’t want to get wrong. If we want to make a dish seriously spicy, we normally add a quarter of chili, and no more… Even that is too hot to handle! If you can still taste one after eating them, you might find a small hint of sweetness hidden in there somewhere. The seeds are the fruit of the devil.
23. Ghost Pepper
Now we are talking crazy hot. Peppers such as the ghost pepper and Carolina reaper are not naturally occurring. Instead, they have been man-made to be fiery. This is the kind of thing that nightmares are made of. Eat one of these, and you’ll experience a burning mouth. Some people eat them raw to create a feeling of euphoria.
24. Komodo Dragon
Both the pepper and the large lizard are equally dangerous. These peppers are not to be trifled with, and we’d probably say that they should be completely avoided unless you are a serious spice head. This is hotter than the ghost pepper and slightly milder than the Carolina Reaper.
25. Carolina Reaper
Do you enjoy eating pepper spray? If so, then you are going to love this. The Carolina Reaper, or just ‘reaper’ for short, is one of the world’s hottest chili peppers. Due to their heat, they don’t tend to feature in many recipes. In fact, the only place we’ve seen more than one is at a chili eating contest. There were no winners that day.
26. Dragons Breath
You know what dragons breathe, right? Yep, fire. This pepper is the hottest known to man. You’ll actually struggle to get hold of them as they are not commercially available. We think that is a good thing. We haven’t tried them, but this is hotter than the Carolina reaper, which had us curled on the floor in a ball of pure agony.
27. Naga Chili
Right up the with the top of the hots is a naga chili. We’d place this just below the Carolina reaper. You’ll tend to find Naga chilis in Indian dishes and curries. These little bullets tend to be roasted and dried. We don’t know why, as this makes them even hotter!
Wow, well, we are glad that’s over. Nah, we love peppers, really, even if we regret it the next day. There are more than 27 types of peppers. People literally crossbreed and create their own to try and get the characteristics that they want. Have you managed to find a dragon’s breath pepper? How was it? Why not let us know in the comments below?