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What is The Scoville Units Of Serrano Peppers?

Updated: May 7

What is The Scoville Units The Serrano Peppers?

The Scoville Heat Units (SHU) is a measurement scale used to measure the spiciness or heat level of peppers. The Scoville scale was developed by pharmacologist Wilbur Scoville in 1912 and is named after him.

Serrano peppers are one of the many types of chili peppers that are measured on the SHU scale. These small, elongated peppers range from 10,000 to 23,000 Scoville Units, making them a medium-spicy option compared to other peppers.

red and green serranos

What are Serrano Peppers?

Serrano peppers are small, vibrant green or red chili peppers that originate from the mountainous regions of Mexico. They are a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine as well as Thai cuisine and are often used for adding a kick of heat to dishes such as salsas, sauces, and soups.

What Do They Look Like?

serrano peppers

Serrano peppers can range in color from bright green to vibrant red, depending on their level of ripeness. So you can find them in yellow and orange as well. It all just depends on how you grow them and how they mature.

The more unripe serrano peppers are, the more vibrant green they tend to have, and as they grow/mature, you'll see them turn to yellow, orange, and red.

They are usually slender and elongated, with a pointed tip. The pepper itself can range from around 1-3 inches long and the skin can have a fleshy texture but with less pith than jalapeño peppers.

Are There Vareties?

Yes, there are multiple varieties of serrano peppers. Some popular ones include the hidalgo, hot rod, and serrano. Each variety may have slight differences in their heat level, flavor profile, and appearance. Some varieties may also be more suitable for certain types of dishes or cooking methods.

What Do They Taste Like?

Serrano peppers have a bright, tangy flavor with a distinct heat that builds up gradually. You'll find that they have a flavor similar to your standard green bell pepper or similar to jalapeños. Typically the pepper has a very mild taste profile, but you may find hints of sweet or fruity flavors.

Again though, this will depend on the ripeness of the pepper, the variety, as well as where and how it was grown.

ripe serrano peppers

What Is The Scoville Units of a Serrano Pepper?

On the SHU scale, serrano peppers range from 10,000 to 23,000 SHU. This means that they are considered medium-spicy and have a similar heat level or SHU of the jalapeño pepper, which ranges from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU.

However, the heat level of serrano peppers can vary depending on factors such as how ripe they are, where and how they were grown, and the variety (yet again).

What About Serrano Pepper Based Hot Sauces?

Serrano peppers are often used as a base for hot sauces due to their moderate heat level and bright, tangy flavor. Hot sauce companies may also use different varieties of serrano peppers to create unique blends and flavors in their products.

yellowbird serrano hot sauce

If you're looking to try a hot sauce that is made with serrano peppers, we highly recommend trying Yellowbird - Serrano.

Milder than the signature habanero sauce, but spicier than red jalapeño sauce, this serrano condiment is a blend of serrano peppers, cucumbers, carrots, onions, lime juice, and garlic.

It packs a flavorful punch that pairs well with tacos, eggs, and grilled meats. Anything that could use a good green sauce!


Q: Are serrano peppers hotter than jalapeños?

A: Generally, yes. Serrano peppers have a higher range on the SHU scale compared to jalapeños.

Q: Can I substitute serrano peppers for jalapeños in a recipe?

A: Yes, you can substitute serrano peppers for jalapeños in most recipes

Q: Should serrano peppers be red or green?

A: It all depends on your personal preference and the level of ripeness you prefer for the peppers. Both green and red serrano peppers can be used in cooking.

Q: What's hotter poblano or serrano?

A: Serrano peppers are hotter than poblano peppers. Poblano peppers have a lower SHU scale range of 1,000 to 2,000.

Q: Can I use serrano pepper hot sauce as a marinade?

A: Yes, serrano pepper hot sauce can be used as a marinade for meats and vegetables.

Final Thoughts on the Fiery Yet Flavorful Serrano Pepper

Despite its small size, the serrano pepper packs a flavorful punch with a moderate heat level. Its versatility in cooking and use in hot sauces makes it a popular choice among chili lovers. Whether you're just starting to explore spicy foods or a seasoned pro, the serrano pepper is definitely worth trying in your next dish.

Just remember that it ranges from 10,000 to 23,000 on the SHU scale, so if you're not used to that type of heat level, start with a small amount and gradually increase as desired.


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