How hot can you take it? The Scoville Scale
It’s almost here, the big day for all of you football fans, the big game, the Super Bowl. As you get ready for the big game, you might have a team full of hungry fans descending on your doorstep.
What is an easy meal idea that you can make ahead of time, so you don’t have to miss any of the game being in the kitchen? How about this super easy Super Bowl Chili recipe?
Super Easy Super Bowl Chili
- 2 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large Spanish onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 can of kernel corn, drained
- 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped, seeds removed
- 4 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 small bay leaf
- dash cayenne pepper, or to taste
- Drain bean cans and place beans in a colander. Wash with 3-4 changes of water until they stop foaming.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add ground beef and cook until brown, drain grease.
- In a large pot add olive oil, bring to medium-high heat and add garlic and onions, sauté for 4-5 minutes. Then add remaining ingredients, including beef.
- Cover and simmer for 1-1.5 hours, adding a bit of water if needed to keep from sticking.
How Did Chili get its name?
The term “chili” comes from the Spanish term of Chile Con Carne, which means chile (as in the peppers) with meat. Chile peppers have been eaten by humans for a long time, archaeological evidence shows us consuming them in their wild form as far back as 7500 BC and that they were domesticated about 6000 years ago. Chili peppers come from the family of plants called Capsicum, and there are many kinds and ways of preparing them for culinary use.
How do you measure hotness?
Chili peppers contain Capsaicin, a chemical that reacts with our mouth to give us a burning or painful sensation. It does this through stimulating chemical receptors in the skin, of which mucus membranes are the most sensitive. In 1912, Wilber Scoville developed the Scoville Scale to measure just how hot individual varieties of chili peppers are when compared against each other. This is how the SHU or Scoville Heat Units became the measurement of food hotness. Although the first methods used human tasters, modern science now uses
World’s Hottest Chili Peppers
The next obvious question is, just how hot does it get? The world’s hottest pepper, according to the Guinness book is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper; with a hotness score 2.0 million SHU. Needless to say it is a powerful pepper and is commonly used in law enforcement grade pepper spray. Other peppers that score high are the Infinity Chili and the Naga Viper (at about 1.2-1.6 million SHU). For comparison sake, the red habanero scores about 500,000 SHU and cayenne pepper at about 50,000.
This recipe is so easy that you can make it ahead of time. It tastes even better if you let it sit overnight in the fridge and then reheat it the day of the big game. Serve with different hot sauces to see which of your friends are the bravest and can take the higher rating on the Scoville Scale. WARNING: this could get painful, depending how competitive your friends are!
Enjoy the game,