Spices are used in many cuisines around the world, and some people love the warm feeling that chilli brings. And you can easily achieve a similar feeling by getting chilli powder to spice up your dishes yourself. However, the first step is to find the right one.
This article will help you with that, as we have selected a few chilli powders that have caught our attention. We will present them to you and then give you some criteria to look for when choosing your favourite spice.
- There are many different types of chilli in the world, but they can all be measured on the Scoville scale. However, spiciness is also often a matter of personal taste and can be difficult to quantify.
- Some chillies are so strong that they bring tears to your eyes. This is a normal reaction, especially for people who are not used to eating spicy food.
- For all types of chillies, it is best to store them in an airtight container away from sunlight and moisture. This is the best way to preserve the smoky and special flavour that gives a chilli powder its identity.
The Best Chilli Powder: Our Picks
In this section we have selected some popular and highly rated products to give you an idea of what is available on the market. You will also find a comment from our editors for each product.
Buying and rating criteria for chilli powder
To help you choose the best product for you, we have selected some criteria. This is the best list for all types of chilli powder, as this is usually the information given to you on the product packaging.
To give you a little more information, you can find details of the different criteria below. We hope this will be useful for you.
Scoville units (spiciness)
Scoville units are commonly used as a scale for the "strength" of chillies. Wilbur Scoville, the pharmacologist who invented this scale, measured heat by diluting freshly pureed chilli with sugar water. How many dilutions are needed to stop the burning effect of capsaicin (the chemical compound that causes these sensations) corresponds to the number on the scale.
For example: a pepper (0-100 on the scale) needs little or no dilution. On the contrary, a Carolina Reaper pepper (1.4-2.2 million on the scale) needs to be heavily diluted so that the effect of the capsaicin is no longer felt.
Nevertheless, this scale can be very subjective and does not have great accuracy. A person who has eaten spicy food all their life will not feel the same as someone trying spicy food for the first time, and generally the taste depends on the person.
The above criterion basically depends on the type of chilli. Some chilli varieties are simply hotter than others, but in the search for the ultimate chilli, man has also created chillies that can reach up to 3,180,000 Scoville units.
However, it is strongly discouraged to buy them for obvious health reasons.
The most common types found on the market are the cayenne pepper (between 30,000 and 50,000 Scoville), the jalapeno (between 2,500 and 5,000 Scoville) or the Espelette pepper (between 1,500 and 2,500 Scoville).
It is not uncommon to find preservatives, colourings or simply flavour enhancers in supermarket chilli powders. However, with a little research you can find some that are better than others.
Besides, it is always better to buy a product that contains as little junk as possible than not really knowing what is in our food. Since this obviously has an impact on our health, this is an important criterion that should not be neglected.
If you want to find the chilli powder that suits you best, start by reading up on the different types of chilli that are available. This will help you in your search and you can better assess the heat of each product without having to try them.
However, chilli should be used in moderation and kept away from your eyes. If you can't get rid of the burning sensation after eating it, try eating bread or drinking milk. Otherwise, do not hesitate to consult a doctor who can help you better.
(Cover photo: maxmann/ Pixabay)