Cooking Tips Information

What Are Scoville Units?

To understand what a Scoville Unit is, one must understand what they measure. All hot peppers contain capsaicinoids, natural substances that produce a burning sensation in the mouth, causing the eyes to water and the nose to run, and even induce perspiration. The primary capsaicinoid, capsaicin, is so hot that a single drop diluted in 100,000 drops of water will produce a blistering of the tongue.

Capsaicinoids are found primarily in the pepper's placenta - the white "ribs" that run down the middle and along the sides of a pepper. Since the seeds are in such close contact with the ribs, they are also often hot.

Capsaicinoid content is measured in parts per million. These parts per million are converted into Scoville Heat Units (SHU), one part per million is equivalent to 15 Scoville Units. The Scoville Unit is derived from a series of tests using a solution of water and sugar. The dilutions are increased until the chile no longer burns the mouth. Take for example, Blair's After Death Sauce which has been measured at 50,000 Scoville Units. To dilute the heat in one bottle of Blair's After Death, you would need over 3,000 units of water to dilute the heat to the point where the average human tongue could no longer feel it.

The hotter the chile of the sauce, the greater the amount of water required to dilute it becomes. The Scoville Organoleptic Test is still used, however it has mostly been replaced by a process called high performance liquid chromatography. This process converts measurements of capsaicin from the standard parts per million to the more popular Scoville Units.

Surprisingly, the bell pepper is used as a baseline for the Scoville Unit rating. The bell pepper essentially has a rating of zero Scoville Units, thus it acts as the lowest level of heat on the Scoville scale.

On the other end of the scale is the Habanero pepper. At over 300,000 Scoville Units, the Habanero certainly sets the limit as the hottest pepper. The "Red Savina," the hottest strain of the Habanero, has been measured as around 577,000 Scoville Units. Pure capsaicin stacks up at 16 million Scoville Units!!!

Who is Wilbur Scoville?

A brief timeline of the man behind the heat scale

To chileheads and hot sauce lovers, he is the man behind the heat scale. Wilbur Scoville was born in 1865. In 1912 while working for the Parke Davis pharmaceutical company he developed the Scoville Organoleptic Test. In 1922, Scoville won the Ebert prize from the American Pharmaceutical Association and in 1929 he received the Remington Honor Medal. Scoville also received an honorary Doctor of Science from Columbia University.

Scoville wrote The Art of Compounding which was first published in 1895 and has gone through at least 8 editions. The book was used as a pharmacological reference until the 1960's. Scoville also wrote Extract & Perfumes which contained hundreds of formulations -- after all Scoville had a knack for compounding. Scoville died in 1942 but his name will forever go on with the Scoville Heat Unit and in the lives of chili lovers everywhere.

About The Author

I own and operate We're a growing company that specializes in hard to find hot sauces and fiery foods.



Poughkeepsie Journal

BetterU participants get healthy cooking tips
Poughkeepsie Journal
"One of the tricks of low-fat cooking is adding a lot of flavor without adding a lot of butter and salt," said Acquanita, of Epicure Catering & Fine Foods, as she prepared her healthy Cajun jambalaya. She was speaking to a semi-circle of women — nine ...

and more »

Fox 28

Michigan DNR provides cooking tips for elk hunters
Fox 28
Michigan wild game chef Dan Nelson said people cooking with venison should avoid treating it as a substitute for other, more common, proteins. Instead, Nelson said, people should choose preparations designed to enhance the meat's unique qualities.

City of Laredo Health Department offers cooking and safety tips for the holidays
LAREDO, TEXAS (City Health Department) - The City of Laredo Health Department wants to make sure all enjoy a safe and Happy Holidays with the following cooking and safety tips. Cooking: - Always wash your hands before and after food preparation ...

Chicago Tribune

Cooking tips and tricks to smooth the holiday
Chicago Tribune
Because the white part of the base is prized in cooking, farmers mound dirt around the leeks to keep out the sunlight, extending the white as the leek grows. Unfortunately, a lot of that dirt and grit ends up between the layers of the leeks as they ...

Bucyrus Telegraph Forum

Galion woman offers apron-free cooking tips
Bucyrus Telegraph Forum
Lizotte, who is now remarried, has parlayed her recipes and cost-cutting tips into a blog, a weekly newspaper column and a cookbook, "Apron Free Cooking." "My husband suggested that I start a blog to share my recipes and tips with others, so I did, and ...

Cooking tips from Sheryl Julian
Boston Globe
Apple pie with foolproof pastry. More: Recipe for apple pie with foolproof pastry. Cooking tips with Sheryl Julian. Cooking tips with Sheryl Julian: How to juice a lemon. Cooking tips with Sheryl Julian: Onion marmalade. Cooking tips with Sheryl Julian ...

CBS Local

Turkey cooking tips: don't forget the 4 Ts!
Then, make sure you actually cook it through, use a meat thermometer to check different parts of the turkey. A thigh should be 180 degrees, the breast 170, and stuffing should read 165 degrees. When you're done with the cooking, you have two-hours to ...
Turkey cooking tipsThe Logan Banner
Let's Talk Turkey, Tips For Cooking the Holiday BirdFox 28
Local Chef Offers Tips On Cooking Perfect Thanksgiving TurkeyCBS Local
WLS-TV -Wicked Local Marshfield
all 480 news articles »

WTAE Pittsburgh

USDA Food Safety Tips for Cooking Thanksgiving Turkeys
WTAE Pittsburgh
WASHINGTON, DC —The Thanksgiving meal is the largest many cooks prepare each year. Getting it just right, especially the turkey, brings a fair amount of pressure whether or not a host is experienced with roasting one. The United States Department of ...
Tips for safe and healthy holiday cookingSierra Star
Cooking for Thanksgiving? Simple Tips to Keep Food SafeEGP News
Safety tips for cooking turkeysStephenville Empire-Tribune

all 139 news articles »


Pancakes for jihadists: ISIS shares new online cooking tips
An Islamic State-run campaign targeting women has released its second recipe online, explaining how to keep jihadists happy and fulfilled by making pancakes after a day of fighting. Al-Zawra is an online propaganda campaign that was launched in October.
Jihadelicious? ISIS shares new pancake recipeAl-Arabiya

all 18 news articles »

Library Bookshelf: Need cooking tips for Thanksgiving? Try these cookbooks
Fresno Bee
“How to Cook a Turkey” provides great cooking tips like this, as well as time-management strategies, different techniques for cooking the turkey, quick fixes and recipes for leftovers, not to mention lots of delicious recipes that will help ensure your ...

Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved.