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23 September 2013

The Hungarian Wax Pepper is easily confused with the similar-looking banana pepper, but it is much hotter. It is also known as the Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper.

Scoville Heat Units: 1,000-15,000 SHU

Capsicum Annuum

What is the Hungarian Wax Pepper?

The Hungarian Wax Pepper, as its name suggests, originated in Hungary. Also known as the Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper, it is easily confused with the similar-looking banana pepper, but it is much hotter.

The Hungarian Wax is harvested before complete maturity, while it is still yellow, and about 8 inches long and 2 inches thick. If left to mature fully, these peppers could grow larger and would turn red, and their heat level would increase considerably.

What are Hungarian Wax Peppers Like?

The skin of these peppers is waxy and even crunchy, but completely edible. They have a thick flesh.

The sweet, hot flavor of these peppers is very popular in mole sauces, and other traditional Latin dishes, soups and salads. They may be found pickled or sold fresh at stores or markets, and are a favorite of home gardeners everywhere.

I personally enjoy pickling Hungarian Wax Peppers and using them for a bit of a crunchy addition to salads or other meals. Toss some directly on the grill and roast them up.

I also like to leave them on the plants to ripen to red and then pick them. Here’s a photo of some ripe Hungarian Wax Peppers picked from my garden recently.

Hungarian Wax Chili Peppers

How Hot is the Hungarian Wax Pepper?

Hungarian Wax Peppers are hotter than you might think. They are comparable in heat to a typical jalapeno pepper, though with a slightly higher range.

Jalapeno peppers measure between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Heat Scale. Hungarian Wax Peppers run between 1,000 and 15,000 Scoville Heat Units. That’s a pretty large range. On the low end, the pepper might be as hot as a mild poblano, but on the higher end, nearly twice as hot as the hottest jalapeno pepper.

As a reference point, the bell pepper has no heat at all with 0 Scoville Units.

They can grow to be mildly hot peppers.

Learn more about the Scoville Scale here.

Hungarian Wax Peppers

What Peppers Are Similar to Hungarian Wax Peppers?

Hungarian Wax Peppers compare to a few different peppers in taste and appearance, though differ in heat level. Here are some similar peppers.

  • Banana Peppers. Banana peppers look and taste much like the Hungarian Wax, but are much milder, reaching only 500 SHU.
  • Pepperoncini Peppers. These peppers are as mild as banana peppers, though also offer similar flavor and texture. You can use them either fresh or pickled.

Where Can You Buy Hungarian Wax Peppers?

Check out our Chili Pepper Seed Resources page, or you can purchase seeds from Amazon – 30+ Organic Hungarian Yellow Hot Wax Pepper Seeds.

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. — Mike H.


  1. Thanks for the info. I ended up getting a batch of these peppers that were mislabelled at the nursery. Can you tell me if I can dry them if I let them grow red? Or is the flesh too thick for drying. I would like to dry and ground into powder or flakes if possible.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Susan, you can dry them for sure. You can really dry any peppers. It just may take longer with thicker skins. If using a dehydrator, just chop the peppers into smaller pieces for faster drying.

  2. Mavis Viragos

    Are the ones that turn purple safe to eat? I’ve a terrific crop this summer but several have purple streaks or are nearly entirely purple. Please let me know!!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Mavis, absolutely. As long as the the peppers are nice and fresh. Let me know how you enjoy them.

  3. So why are these stuffed hot peppers such a great appetizer? Delicious, of course, but also healthier and less messy than fried gooey poppers. You will love the creamy filling topped with crunchy panko crumbs and a zesty finish. They are small in size but really big on taste!

  4. Sheila Adamson

    Hi, it sounds like you have a lot ofinfo for recipes for hot peppers and have awareness of heat scale. I grew jalepenos, hungarian wax and Portuguese hot peppers this summer. Still going. It seems same peppers on each plant can be quite different in terms of heat. What changes and what is best way to use some of these peppers?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Sheila. I think these peppers are great for general everyday cooking, like as part of a mirepoix – just chop them up with onions and peppers and start your regular recipes. They’re also great for stuffing, or for pickling. Check out this recipe: I also have a TON of recipes here: I hope this helps! Let me know what you wind up making with them. Enjoy!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Debra, banana peppers are fairly similar, but with lower heat than the Hungarian Wax. You can try those. Toss in a serrano pepper to bring up the heat if you’d like.

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