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27 September 2013

Chiles de Árbol peppers are small and thin Mexican peppers 2-3 inches long and less than a ½ inch wide. The name means “tree chili” in Spanish, which refers to the woody stem of the pepper.

SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: Sources rate this chile in 2 categories- 15,000-30,000 and 50,000-65,000 SHU

Capsicum Annuum.

Chiles de Árbol are small and thin Mexican peppers, growing to 2-3 inches long and less than a ½ inch wide. They mature to red, and are harvested and used at this stage. Chile de Árbol means “tree chili” in Spanish, a name which refers to the woody stem of the pepper.

Other names for this chile include Bird’s beak chile, and Rat’s tail chile.

These peppers may be sold fresh, dried or powdered. The dried whole chilies are often used to make chile wreaths, or ristras, because when dried they keep their deep red color.

How Hot is a Chile de Arbol?

These pepper range between 15,000 and 30,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), though some have been reported at up to 65,000 on the Scoville Scale, which is quite hot. At 30,000 SHU, this is 6 times hotter than the average jalapeno pepper.

Chile de Arbol Substitutes

It is believed that Chiles de Arbol peppers are derived from the cayenne pepper, and can be traded with the Cayenne or the Pequin pepper when cooking. They are very hot, so be sure to wash your hands after handling them. Other options include guajillo peppers, crushed red pepper flakes, or cayenne powder, depending on the recipe you are working from.

Cooking with Chiles de Arbol

Chile de Árbol can be used in any dish to add heat and spice, especially chili, salsa, and hot sauces. It usually only takes a few peppers added to a pot for significant heat.

You can find them usually at Mexican grocers, or order them online. Here are some links to help you – Affiliate links, my friends.

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