The Peppers that Fuel the Best Hot & Spicy Beef Jerky

The Peppers that Fuel the Best Hot & Spicy Beef Jerky

According to, a recent survey has found that 80% of consumers aged 18 or over enjoy hot and spicy foods. And these aren’t casual fans. Over 50% of those surveyed not only eat spicy foods but do so at least once a week.

Gary Augustine, Kalsec’s executive director of marketing development from 2008-2019, states that not only is there a strong demand by consumers for hot and spicy foods, but there is an additional desire from these foodies to experience this heat craving in a variety of dishes, fueled by a wide array of peppers.

One way to enjoy the taste delights of mouth tingling hot spices is in the form of beef jerky. Premier beef jerky manufactures like BULK have embraced this demand for all things hot and spicy. This calls for an advanced understanding of the various types of peppers available for giving spicy dishes the bold flavor consumers want.

Hot peppers


Pharmacist and scientist Wilbur Scoville devised a heat measurement system for ranking the degree of spiciness of peppers in 1912. Since then, peppers have been ranked according to Scoville Heat Units (SHUs).

The method for determining SHU ranking is done via the Scoville Organoleptic Test. This involves mixing small amounts of each ground pepper species with water and sugar. This solution is then tested by a panel of tasters. The solution can then be incrementally diluted until it no longer creates a burning sensation of the tongue. This then translates to an official SHU heat measurement number.

Measurements are reflected in multiples of 100. Specifically, 1 part per 1,000,000 dilutions of water ranks as 1.5 Scoville Heat Units. Capsaicin is the element in peppers that creates the heat taste sensation. Pure capsaicin is rated at up to 16,000,000 SHU.

The Scoville Scale can also be used to measure the heat index of foods made with spicy peppers. This easily applies to beef jerky that has been infused with capsaicin-rich peppers.


Are you a spicy food junkie or perhaps someone who favors a little heat now and then? Knowing the types of peppers that you may encounter in your taste travels will go a long way towards ensuring that you are ordering food that matches your preferred heat index.


  • Sweet Bell Peppers pack almost no heat. They come in green, red, yellow, and orange varieties and are the most commonly used pepper in the United States.

Scoville Rating: 0

  • Pepperoncini feature a light green color and a mild, sweet taste. They are sometimes called Sweet Italian Peppers or Tuscan Peppers.

Scoville Rating: 100-600

  • Banana Peppers are mild enough to eat raw, with just barely a hint of heat. They are typically enjoyed in salads, on sandwiches, or as a pizza topping.

Scoville Rating: 500


  • Anaheim Peppers are commonly referred to as California Green Chiles. They feature a hard, light green skin. When allowed to fully ripen, they are called California Red Chiles. Usually they are not eaten raw, rather they are best cooked into recipes.

Scoville Rating: 500-1000

  • Poblano Peppers have a smooth, deep green skin and pack a subtle but noticeable level of heat. Because they have thick-fleshed walls, these peppers are ideal for stuffing.

Scoville Rating: 1,000-2,000

  • Ancho Peppers are a variation of poblano peppers. The difference is that rather than being used when green, they are allowed to ripen to a glorious red color. Once harvested and dried, they become instrumental in preparing many sauces including mole sauce.

Scoville Rating: 1,000-2,000

  • Jalapeño Peppers rank as the most popular pepper in the world. Used in chili, salsa, and a host of other recipes, jalapeños are typically harvested while green, but some cooks prefer to use them after they have ripened to a red, yellow, or orange color. They are cultivated to offer a wide range of heat levels.

Scoville Rating: 2,500-8,000

  • Hot Wax Peppers are sometimes mistaken for banana peppers; however, such consumers are in for an eye-opening surprise. These peppers are very hot and feature a yellow or green skin. They can be used fresh in soups, stews, and sauces. Alternatively, the peppers can be pickled.

Scoville Rating: 5,000-15,000

  • Serrano Peppers are similar to jalapeños, but not as large. However, they are nearly as popular. Typically used roasted, serrano peppers are a mainstay for delectable sauces and zesty salsas.

Scoville Rating: 6,000-23,000


  • Carolina Cayenne Peppers do not occur naturally. The fire-flavored peppers were created at Clemson University. Although they are visibly similar to normal cayenne peppers, these taste grenades are twice as hot. In their mature form, they have a deep red color and a wrinkled skin.

Scoville Rating: 100,000-125,000

  • Scotch Bonnet Peppers are a blazing hot variety of peppers that start off green, but can develop into yellow, orange, or red hues if allowed to grow to maturity. These tongue-burners are also known as Bonney Peppers or Caribbean Red Peppers and are used in recipes for Caribbean marinades and jerk sauces.

Scoville Rating: 100,000-350,000

  • Habanero Peppers are vibrantly colored peppers that pack an equally powerful punch. Resembling a small jalapeño, these peppers range in color from dark red to light orange. Botanists have successfully increased the potency of habaneros over the last few years to an absolutely staggering degree.

Scoville Rating: 80,000-600,000

  • Ghost Peppers were at one point ranked as the world’s hottest spice by the Guinness Book of World Records. Guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes, these spice bombs can be found in red, white, yellow, and orange varieties. Native to Northern India, these peppers can even be found in purple or chocolate hues.

Scoville Rating: 855,000-1,000,000+

  • Carolina Reaper Peppers have ranked as the world’s hottest peppers since 2017. The pepper is the result of cross breeding peppers from the Caribbean with blazing hot peppers found naturally in Pakistan. The initial taste upon biting is actually sweet, but within seconds the heat will battle to overwhelm your tastebuds.

Scoville Rating: 1,000,000-2,000,000+


So, you see, there are truly peppers for all heat preferences. And this, in fact, is just a partial list highlighting the most common peppers. In total, there are over 4,000 varieties of chili peppers to choose from.

Knowing the different types of peppers will help you in your own personal quest to find just the right level of spiciness for meals and snacks. And when it comes to snacks, beef jerky is one of the most popular treats worldwide. In the US, over 70 million people eat some sort of beef jerky or meat snack each year.


BULK offers a wide variety of beef jerky flavors, including spicy ones. If you’re a beef jerky fan who craves a hint or more of heat, BULK likely has the ideal flavor for you. We’ve got spicy options from mild to extreme.

Just a few of the options include Sweet & Spicy All-Natural Brisket, Mango Habanero California Brisket, ghost pepper rich Carolina Reaper California Brisket, heavy hitter Jalapeno California Brisket,  super-hot Devil’s Kiss Classic Jerky, and Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper Nevada Brisket.
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