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
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.
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.
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.
- Cascabella Peppers. Cascabella peppers are hot wax-type peppers about 2 inches in length with a canonical shape, fruity flavor, and heat similar to a jalapeno.
Where Can You Buy Hungarian Wax Peppers?
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. -- Mike H.