14 Essential Peppers You Should Know About

By Kat Thompson Food  |  A Must Read!

While it’s estimated that there are over 50,000 different types of peppers in the world, we’ve rounded up the 14 essential ones into a neat and handy guide for people interested in perusing peppers.

Bell Pepper

Scoville Heat Units: 0
Unlike the rest of the peppers on this list, the beloved bell pepper does not contain any capsaicin, the active component in chilis that give them their renowned burning qualities.

Banana Pepper and Pepperoncini

Scoville Heat Units: 100-500
Just to be clear, banana peppers and pepperoncinis are different things. Though they look alike—with waxy yellow-green skin—and taste similar (mild, tangy), banana peppers are longer and thinner, somewhat resembling a banana. 

Anaheim Pepper

Scoville Heat Units: 500-2,500
Anaheim peppers, named after the Southern California city where these not-so-fiery peppers are grown, are a mild chile that boasts a ton of flavor without the raw burn that comes with other chilis.


Scoville Heat Units: 1,000-2,000
Poblanos are large, mild peppers that originate from Puebla, Mexico. When dried, they’re referred to as ancho chilis (which is Spanish for wide, in reference to the pepper’s bulbous form). Poblanos are the peppers that are typically used in chile relleno.


Scoville Heat Units: 2,500-5,000
Jalapeños are a margarita's best friend. They get along well with nachos, too, and guacamole, salsas, and pizza. Pickle them, slice them fresh in your banh mi, or toss slivers of them in your salads.


Scoville Heat Units: 6,000-23,000
It’s said that serrano peppers are about “five times hotter than the jalapeño.” Though they pack a punch, serranos are nuanced in flavor as well; some varieties have sweeter flesh while others taste bright and fresh without overwhelming heat.


Scoville Heat Units: 30,000-50,000
Yes, these are the same peppers that are ground down into a fine red powder and found in your spice rack and on your deviled eggs—a way more flavorful option than paprika.

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