Garden Moments: Hot Peppers and Scoville Heat Units

Melinda's Garden Moment

Nationally recognized gardening expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moment television segments. Melinda shares tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience.  New Melinda’s Garden Moment web tips will be added throughout the growing season, so be sure to check back for timely, seasonal tips to help you be successful in your gardens!

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Hot Peppers and Scoville Heat Units

Add a little spicy heat to your meals this season by growing a few hot peppers. Their spicy heat is measured in the Scoville Heat Units.

Poblano and Siracha rate between 1,000 to 2,500, jalapenos up to 8,000, cayenne can peak at 50,000, habaneros up to 350,000 and one of the hottest, the ghost pepper, at as much as 2,200,000 units.

Ornamental peppers are edible but most are spicy hot at anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 units.

You can turn down the heat when preparing your favorite recipes. The majority of the capsaicin that gives hot peppers their heat is in the white membrane that houses the seeds. So, remove this and the seeds if you want to turn down the heat.

Consider wearing rubber gloves and avoid touching your face and eyes. Then wash your hands and utensils when done.

A bit more information: Don’t worry about destroying your taste buds or burning a hole in your stomach, these are just a few of the hot pepper myths you may have heard. But do drink milk, not water, when trying to neutralize the heat. The casein in the milk binds the spicy capsaicin oil and helps wash it away.  And if milk isn’t handy, try a cube of sugar or honey instead.

Visit www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, videos and more.



About Melinda Myers
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on over 135 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S.  Myers is also the host of the recently released The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series.  Melinda writes a regular column for Wisconsin Gardening and Chicagoland Gardening magazines. She also writes the twice monthly Gardeners’ Questions”newspaper column. Melinda hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. She’s the recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. Myers’ website, www.MelindaMyers.com, features gardening videos, podcasts, monthly gardening checklists and more.

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