Are you a fan of spicy food? Do you love adding hot sauce to your meals to give them an extra kick?
If so, you may have heard of chipotle hot sauce. This smoky and spicy sauce is made from smoked jalapeño peppers and is a popular condiment in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine.
But just how spicy is chipotle hot sauce? In this article, we’ll dive into the Scoville scale and explore the heat level of chipotle hot sauce compared to other peppers and sauces.
So buckle up and get ready to learn everything you need to know about the spiciness of chipotle hot sauce!
How Many Scoville Units Is Chipotle Hot Sauce?
The Scoville scale is a measurement of the heat level of peppers and hot sauces. It ranges from 0 (no heat) to over 2 million (extremely hot). So where does chipotle hot sauce fall on this scale?
Chipotle hot sauce typically ranges from 5,000 to 8,000 Scoville heat units (SHU). This puts it in the same range as a ripe jalapeño pepper, which is the primary ingredient in chipotle hot sauce.
While 5,000 to 8,000 SHU may sound like a lot, it’s actually considered a mild to medium level of heat. For comparison, a habanero pepper can range from 100,000 to 350,000 SHU, making it significantly hotter than chipotle hot sauce.
What Is The Scoville Scale?
The Scoville scale is a measurement of the heat level of peppers and hot sauces. It was developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912 and is still widely used today. The scale measures the amount of capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat in peppers, in a given pepper or hot sauce. Capsaicin is measured in Scoville heat units (SHU), with higher SHU indicating a higher level of heat.
The Scoville scale ranges from 0 (no heat) to over 2 million (extremely hot). Mild peppers like bell peppers and banana peppers typically fall below 1,000 SHU, while jalapeño peppers range from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU. Hotter peppers like habaneros and ghost peppers can range from 100,000 to over 1 million SHU.
When it comes to hot sauces, the Scoville rating can vary widely depending on the ingredients used. Some hot sauces use milder peppers like jalapeños or serranos, while others use extremely hot peppers like habaneros or ghost peppers. It’s important to note that the Scoville rating only measures the heat level of a hot sauce, not its overall flavor profile.
Understanding Scoville Units
To understand Scoville units, it’s essential to know how they are measured. The Scoville scale measures the amount of capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat sensation in peppers and hot sauces. Capsaicin is measured in Scoville heat units (SHU), which is the amount of dilution required to eliminate the heat sensation.
The scale ranges from 0 SHU for bell peppers, which contain no capsaicin, to over 2 million SHU for the hottest peppers and hot sauces in the world. The scale is subjective and relies on human taste testers to determine the heat level of a pepper or hot sauce.
When it comes to hot sauces, milder options like Tabasco typically range from 2,000 to 5,000 SHU, while hotter sauces like Blair’s Mega Death Sauce can reach up to 550,000 SHU. It’s important to note that some extreme hot sauces can even go beyond 1 million SHU.
How Is Chipotle Hot Sauce Made?
Chipotle hot sauce is made by first broiling tomatillos and garlic until charred, and then processing them in a food processor along with ground red chiles, cumin, lime zest and juice, salt, and pepper. The mixture is then seasoned to taste with Tabasco and extra ground chiles if desired.
To make chipotle hot sauce, roughly chop onion and sauté it with garlic until sweetened. Remove the stems and seeds from 7-8 chipotles in adobo, and add them to a blender or food processor along with the onion-garlic mixture, white vinegar, water, orange juice, salt, cumin, and Mexican oregano. Blend until completely liquefied. Taste for sweetness and add sugar if desired. The hot sauce can be stored in a bottle in the fridge for up to a month.
For those who want to get creative with their chipotle hot sauce, additional ingredients such as roasted garlic or onions, herbs, or extra spices like cayenne or black pepper can be added to the blender. Straining the sauce to remove seed bits is optional but unnecessary.
Scoville Units Of Chipotle Hot Sauce
Chipotle hot sauce is made with smoked jalapeño peppers, which are known for their smoky and savory flavor. The capsaicin in the ripe red jalapeños used in chipotle hot sauce is at its peak, giving it a higher overall median heat compared to unripened fresh green jalapeños. However, when compared to other hot peppers, the chipotle falls well below in overall spiciness.
On the Scoville scale, chipotle hot sauce typically ranges from 5,000 to 8,000 SHU. This is because chipotle peppers are made from ripe red jalapeños, which have a Scoville rating of 2,500 to 8,000 SHU. Compared to other popular hot sauces, such as Tabasco (2,500 to 5,000 SHU) and Sriracha (2,200 to 5,000 SHU), chipotle hot sauce is considered to have a medium level of heat.
It’s important to note that the heat level of chipotle hot sauce can vary depending on the brand and recipe. Some may add additional peppers or spices to increase the heat level. However, in general, chipotle hot sauce is a great option for those who enjoy a mild to medium level of heat in their food.
How Does Chipotle Hot Sauce Compare To Other Peppers And Sauces?
When compared to other peppers and hot sauces, chipotle hot sauce falls on the milder end of the spectrum. For example, cayenne pepper can range from 30,000 to 50,000 SHU, which is significantly hotter than chipotle hot sauce. Ghost peppers, one of the hottest peppers in the world, can range from approximately 800,000 to one million SHU, making them more than a hundred times hotter than chipotle hot sauce.
In terms of other hot sauces, chipotle hot sauce is also relatively mild. For example, Tabasco sauce ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 SHU, making it similar in heat level to chipotle hot sauce. However, other hot sauces such as sriracha and Frank’s RedHot sauce are generally considered milder than chipotle hot sauce.
Tips For Using Chipotle Hot Sauce In Your Cooking
If you’re a fan of spicy and smoky flavors, then chipotle hot sauce is a must-have in your kitchen. Here are some tips for using chipotle hot sauce in your cooking:
1. Use it as a marinade: Chipotle hot sauce makes an excellent marinade for meats, poultry, and seafood. Simply mix the sauce with some olive oil, garlic, and your favorite spices, and let your protein of choice marinate for a few hours before grilling or baking.
2. Add it to soups and stews: A few dashes of chipotle hot sauce can add a smoky and spicy kick to your favorite soups and stews. It pairs particularly well with tomato-based soups like chili or vegetable soup.
3. Mix it with mayo or sour cream: Chipotle hot sauce mixed with mayo or sour cream makes a delicious dip for veggies, chips, or even as a spread for sandwiches or burgers.
4. Use it in Tex-Mex dishes: Chipotle hot sauce is a staple in Tex-Mex cuisine, so use it to add some heat to your tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas.
5. Experiment with different flavors: While chipotle hot sauce is delicious on its own, you can also mix it with other flavors to create unique sauces. Try mixing it with honey for a sweet and spicy glaze, or with lime juice and cilantro for a tangy and fresh sauce.