How hot is dried habanero?

dried habanero
A dried habanero is a small, bright orange or deep red, wrinkled hot pepper with a Scoville heat unit (SHU) of 100,000-350,000. Dried habanero has a fruity, slightly sweet taste with a fiery kick. It pairs well with tropical fruits and meats like chicken, pork, and beef. You can use it in small quantities in marinades, soups, or stews.

What is a dried habanero?

Dried habanero
Dried habanero

A dried habanero is obtained by dehydrating a habanero chile, resulting in a preserved version of the fresh pepper.

OriginOriginated in the Amazon region of South America
AppearanceWrinkled, leathery texture, orange or reddish
Flavor profileFruity and floral notes with a slight sweetness and a hint of smokiness


The habanero pepper originated in the Amazon region of South America and has been a popular ingredient in Mexican, Caribbean, and Central American cuisines for centuries. Yucatan Peninsula is the largest producer of habaneros.


Dried habaneros typically have a wrinkled, leathery texture and are usually a deep orange or reddish-brown color.

Flavor profile

Habaneros are known for being very hot, with a Scoville rating ranging from 100,000 to 350,000 units.

The flavor is fruity and floral, with a slight sweetness and a hint of smokiness. In addition to adding heat to dishes, dried habaneros can contribute a unique flavor to sauces, marinades, and rubs.

Nutritional Benefits of dried habanero

Dried habanero chili peppers have lots of vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system and fight off infections, and potassium, which helps keep the right balance of fluids in your body.

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They also contain folic acid, important for making new red blood cells, and calcium, which helps keep your bones and teeth strong. There’s vitamin A, which helps your organs work properly, and vitamin E, which helps protect your cells from damage.

The one thing that makes dried Habanero chili peppers special is capsaicin. This chemical makes them taste spicy and hot, but it also has some health benefits, like reducing inflammation.

Are dried habaneros hotter than fresh?

Dried habaneros are generally hotter than fresh ones. The drying process concentrates the capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat in peppers, making the dried habaneros more potent.

dried habanero heat compared to 10 other chile peppers

The Scoville Units measure the concentration of capsaicin, the chemical responsible for the heat in peppers. The higher the Scoville Units, the hotter the pepper. Here’s how dried habanero compares to other chiles:

Chili PepperFlavorColorHeat Level (Scoville Scale)
Bell PepperSweet, mildGreen, yellow, red0
AnaheimMild and slightly sweetGreen to red500 – 2,500
JalapeñoGrassy, mild heatGreen to red2,500 – 8,000
ChipotleChili, smoky, slightly sweet, earthyDark brown2,500 – 8,000
CayenneFruity and earthy with a bit of heatRed30,000 – 50,000
Thai Bird’s EyePungent, sharp, and slightly sweetRed50,000 – 100,000
Dried HabaneroFruity, floral, citrusy, and smokyOrange to red100,000 – 350,000
Scotch BonnetFruity, slightly sweet, floralOrange100,000 – 350,000
Carolina ReaperFruity, floral, extremely hotRed1,400,000 – 2,200,000
Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia)Fruity, slightly sweet, extremely hotRed, orange855,000 – 1,041,427
Trinidad ScorpionFruity, smoky, floralRed1,200,000 – 2,000,000

How to cook with dried habanero?

First, rehydrate the peppers by soaking them in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Once rehydrated, remove the stems and seeds, and chop the peppers as desired. Add them to dishes for a spicy kick, or use them to make hot sauce or spice blends. 

See Also:  9 spicy Mulato chile recipes & chile comparison table

You can also make habanero chile powder using a grinder or mortal and pestle.

I recommend trying the Cilantro-Habanero Hot Sauce. This hot sauce is known for its fresh and spicy flavor, which comes from the combination of aromatic and citrusy cilantro leaves and the fiery habanero pepper.

Use caution when handling habaneros, as they are very spicy and irritate skin and eyes.

What can I substitute for dried habanero?

You can substitute dried habanero with other dried chili peppers such as dried Cayenne, dried Thai chili, or dried bird’s eye chili.

The level of heat and flavor may vary depending on the type of chili used.


Alexandra is a passionate writer with a deep appreciation for food - not just as nourishment but as an expression of culture, a reflection of history, and a celebration of life. She knows that everything in life requires a little spice - and gets a kick (get it?) every time she achieves the perfect combination of heat and depth.

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