Hungarian wax peppers notably range from almost undetectably spicy (1,500 SHU) to pretty dang hot (10,000 SHU). They mature to be around 8″ long, but are usually picked to be eaten before they are fully mature, at around 5-6″. The peppers turn red and become considerably spicier as they mature further.

Wax peppers get their name from their smooth and waxy appearance and texture.

Hungarian wax pepper vs. banana peppers

Hungarian wax peppers are often confused with banana peppers, but they aren’t always the same thing. Both hail from Hungary and have similar coloring and shape, but wax peppers tend to be significantly hotter. Ultimately sometimes the terms are used interchangeably and sometimes they are not, so it gets very confusing very quickly.

How hot?

1,500-10,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Scientific name

Capsicum annuum


Hungarian wax peppers are sweet and tangy, and similar in flavor to banana peppers — just spicier.


Wax peppers are versatile and can be sliced and eaten raw on salads, stuffed, or pickled similarly to banana peppers.

Where to get hot Hungarian wax peppers

Hungarian wax peppers are not widely sold in American grocery stores, nor are they commercially used in products like pickled peppers or hot sauces. Your best bet for trying Hungarian wax peppers in the US is to grow them at home!

Hungarian wax pepper seeds

Start these seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before your local last frost date. Make sure you grow in soil rich in phosphorous, potassium, and nitrogen.

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