Here's How To Tell How Hot A Jalapeño Is

A good jalapeño will make your tongue do the cha-cha. When this pepper is at its spiciest, it can have you grabbing for a glass of milk to soothe a mouth that feels en fuego. Per Doc Hotties, even though the jalapeño doesn't carry the same Scoville Scale heat level as other peppers, it can still give your senses a spicy reaction. So whether you use your jalapeños in classic salsa, add them to fiery soup broth, to your favorite tequila, or toss them into your Sunday omelet, your ultimate goal is to satisfy your taste buds and give them a little kick to make your lips burn. 

But how can you tell if a jalapeño is going to be hot or if it will provide a milder heat? Predicting that burn can be a guessing game if you don't know what to look for in chile peppers. Luckily, Simply Recipes is spilling the tea and giving jalapeño lovers the knowledge they need when they stroll down grocery store aisles, picking out the spicy or mild jalapeño pepper their palate is craving. So, what is the magic trick that will help you tell how hot a jalapeño is?

Check out the white lines

According to Simply Recipes, one of the tell-tale signs that you will have a hot jalapeño has to do with the number of white specks or lines it has. These lines help discern the age, water deprivation, and other environmental factors the jalapeño pepper has experienced. An older pepper with lots of white lines is indicative of the pepper being spicy. Doc Hotties explains that the white lines are the spiciest parts of the pepper because they are where all the capsaicin — what causes the burning sensation — accumulates. They also note that your jalapeño's spice level will be influenced by where it was grown and how much sun it took in.

But if you are looking for a milder taste, Simply Recipes suggests picking a jalapeño that is green and smooth. These peppers are younger than those with white lines and less likely to make your mouth burn. And what about the red jalapeño peppers? Simply Recipes explains that red jalapeños are older than green jalapeños. However, while the red peppers can be super spicy, Simply Recipes says they can also be sweeter, a trade-off that might be worth the heat.