Scotch Bonnet Chili

Christine Albury

Not for the faint-hearted, the Scotch bonnet chili is a fiery pepper that packs a punch! Here's how to use it, plus some tips for making a delicious hot pepper sauce.

If you have ever tried your hand at Caribbean cooking, it is likely that you would have come across recipes calling for Scotch bonnet chilli.

You may have substituted standard red chillis, or maybe even birds eye chillis, but the heat levels they offer don’t quite compare to those of the Scotch bonnet!

If you want to recreate true Caribbean spice in your food, it is essential that you use Scotch bonnet chilli. 

Scotch Bonnet Photo

Other common names for the Scotch bonnet include Jamaican Hot, Bonney peppers, Scotty Cons or goat peppers.

When measuring the level of heat that a chilli pepper produces, a scale called the Scoville Heat Units (SHU) is used.

How Hot is a Scotch Bonnet Chili?

To put things into a bit of perspective for you, a jalapeño sits at 5000 on the SHU scale, whereas a scotch bonnet can measure in at a whopping 100,000 - 300,000! 

The heat flavors that a Scotch bonnet offers include hints of apple, cherry and tomato. Essentially, it has an overall fruity flavor with a touch of sweetness too.

If you find that the heat level of a Scotch bonnet is a bit too much for you, you can cut away the white tissue found within the pepper.

Much like the habanero pepper, at full maturity, the Scotch bonnet chilli can be found in a range of colors, most typically red or yellow. You can also find varieties that include orange, peach and even brownish colors!

A scotch bonnet chili pepper generally measures anywhere between one to two and a half inches in length and about the same in diameter. It has an almonst a hat-like appearance, which is how this chilli got its name!

Whilst you may think its hard to describe the flavor of a chilli other than ‘hot’ or ‘spicy’, there are complexities to such spice levels that can actually have flavor comparisons.

Using Scotch Bonnet Chilis to Make Pepper Sauce

In addition to using whole or sliced Scotch bonnet chillis in Caribbean cooking, you will find that many recipes call for hot pepper sauce. You can actually make your own hot pepper sauce using Scotch bonnet chili peppers!

Scotch bonnet chilis are ideal for making Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Always remember, when handling any chilli peppers, to wear gloves to prevent any of the residue from getting on your hands.

Additionally, you should always wash your hands even after removing your gloves and thoroughly clean your chopping board. 

To make hot pepper sauce, you will need:

  • Scotch bonnet chilis
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Garlic
  • Pickeled  jalapeños
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Apple cider vineagar
  • Limes

Hot Pepper Sauce

      12 Servings


  • 10 Scotch Bonnet Chilis
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 1 large Carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 Cucumber, chopped
  • 1 Mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup Pineapple
  • 5 cloves Garlics
  • 1/2 cup Pickled Jalapeños
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Limes, juiced and zested


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
  3. Let simmer for an hour for the flavors to develop.
  4. Cool and put into a jar or sealed container. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before using.


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Christine Albury

About Christine

I'm a mom of 5 and love making healthy baby food with wholesome, natural ingredients. In 2005 I started the Homemade Baby Food Recipes website, sharing recipes for everything from simple fruit purees to gourmet curries for the baby food connoisseur! You'll also find plenty of tried and tested tips to help encourage even the most reluctant diner to enjoy a wide range of nutritious new foods. If you enjoy cooking, then you will LOVE learning to become head chef for a very special little customer!