Here's Where Sriracha Ranks On The Scoville Scale

If you dabble in the world of hot sauce, you're probably familiar with sriracha. The chili sauce is David Tran's take on a decades-old Thai recipe, which he brought to America in 1980, via Insider. The sauce has since become an instant classic in the U.S. It's easy to see why — sriracha is just so versatile. There are a number of sriracha hacks that you can use to enjoy Tran's recipe. You can mix the chili sauce with snacks, or use it to spice up cocktails. Additionally, there is a nearly endless supply of recipes that feature sriracha, like these pb&j wings, and this sweet and spicy sriracha aioli.

Sriracha can be a great way to add a little bit of kick to your food. Though it undoubtedly tickles the right taste buds, exactly how spicy is sriracha? Does it hold a candle to the heat of other common condiments?

The numbers on sriracha's spice

According to MasterClass, the Scoville scale measures the spiciness of a pepper or spicy sauce by assigning a numeric value to the amount of capsaicin, the chemical that makes chilis kick, that they contain. This measurement is expressed in Scoville Heat Units.

CBS News compiled a list of popular hot sauces and arranged them in order according to their respective spots on the Scoville scale. While sriracha isn't the least spicy condiment on the list, those of us who enjoy the sauce's chili kick may be surprised to learn that Huy Fong's sriracha sits pretty close to the bottom of the Scoville scale. It has a SHU score of 2,200. For reference, both Louisiana Hot Sauce and Frank's Red Hot, which sit at the bottom of the list, clocking in at around 450 SHU, while another common sauce, Tabasco, more than doubles sriracha's score with a rating of 5,000 SHU.

The source of sriracha's spice

Reader's Digest tells us that the chilis used in sriracha are red jalapeños. According to the University of Florida Gardening Solutions, the jalapeño's SHU falls somewhere between 2,000, and 8,000. Habaneros, on the other hand, can register as high as 350,000 SHU. This can help explain why sriracha is relatively mild, at least when compared to other hot sauces. The popular brand El Yucateco, for example, has an XXX Habanero sauce that clocks in at over 11,000 on the Scoville scale, via CBS News.

It's possible that sriracha's mild spice and bold flavor palate are what thrust it into the mainstream. Celebrity chefs David Chang and Justin Warner both use sriracha at their renowned restaurants, per Today. However, "Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern thinks that the smash-success chili sauce is overrated, via Today.

If you're looking for a little extra kick, you could try these 20 million SHU death noodles in Jakarta. However, it might be more advisable to just stick with sriracha.