The Cowhorn Chilli Pepper is a long, thick chili pepper and is shaped slightly like cow horns, hence the name. In general, they are very large and can grow up to ten inches long.
Even though the pods are thin, they are very curvy and are sometimes compared to a Cayenne pepper in terms of how they look. We take a look at the pepper in closer detail and how they are so versatile to use in cooking.
Let’s jump right in!
What Are Cowhorn Peppers?
As we have just mentioned, Cowhorn peppers are extremely large and are in fact, one of the largest chilies you can find. Since a row typically measures 8-10 inches in length, it would take 3 normal Jalapeno peppers to match the length of a Cowhorn pepper.
They are popular peppers used in dishes to add a kick and a bit of spice and can border on the upper end of mild when it comes to heat measurement.
How Hot Are Cowhorn Peppers?
When it comes to measuring how hot Cowhorn peppers are, you need to use the Scoville Scale. This is the heat measurement unit used to measure how hot peppers are.
Cowhorn peppers measure 2500-5000 SHU and this means although they are not the spiciest peppers you may come across, they still hold some heat.
They are roughly around the same level of heat as a regular jalapeno, so if you like jalapeno peppers, you should like using the Cowhorn pepper for flavoring. The pods are wrinkly on the outside and they have a good level of heat to cook with.
They provide not only heat, but also a wonderful fruity flavor, and their walls are thick enough to add substance to whichever dish you are cooking.
Cayenne Peppers V. Cowhorn Peppers
Whilst they appear to be the same, they are not, and Cowhorn peppers differ from regular Cayenne peppers. Cowhorn peppers are a lot bigger but not quite as hot as Cayenne peppers.
Although they are both Capsicum Annuum, they are not directly related. The family covers a very wide range of hot peppers from jalapenos to pequin peppers and though they are similar, the Cowhorn is still its own chili.
What Can You Cook with Cowhorn Peppers?
Cowhorn peppers are one of the most versatile kinds of peppers due to their level of heat, large size, and great flavor.
You can cook a variety of different dishes with Cowhorn Peppers, ranging from your average enchiladas to pasta sauces, or even part of the Cajun Holy Trinity. This is made up of onion, celery, and peppers and is the base of a lot of flavorsome meals.
We recommend the Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo meal and this is a recipe made with a rich and comforting dark roux, seared chicken, the Cajun holy trinity, smoked andouille, and lots of cajun seasoning.
It’s spicy, flavorsome, hearty, and packed full of goodness so why not give it a try.
Other dishes we recommend you try to cook with Cowhorn peppers include homemade salsa, stir fry’s, stuffed peppers, and homemade hot sauce. You can also can them, pickle them and fry them and turn them into whichever kind of sauce you like.
If you do decide to use them to make stuffed peppers, they are usually only large enough to make appetizer-sized stuffed peppers, so bear this in mind if you plan to use them in the main meal.
You could even try frying some Cowhorn chili up and popping it in a sandwich or using it as a spicy side.
If you want to substitute the peppers, feel free to use jalapeno peppers for a similar taste but a lot of people prefer the Cowhorn pepper for the brighter flavor of the jalapeno used for barbecues and marinades.
When it comes to simply flavoring meals, they also make great chili powders. With Cowhorn peppers, you can dehydrate them and grind them up into a powder. This can be used to flavor anything you like.
Dehydrating a pepper can be a simple process and all you need is a dehydrator in your home. Simply wash your peppers and take out the stems using gloves.
You then need to slice the thick peppers up into rings and the thinner peppers in two. If you decide to dehydrate them whole, you can still go ahead a dehydrate them, but it may take a lot longer.
Place your cut-up peppers onto a dehydrator and spread them evenly so that the heat distributes properly. Turn your dehydrator up to 135-140 degrees F and let them sit anywhere between 5 hours to overnight.
How long you leave them will depend on the thickness of the pepper walls and just how many peppers you are dealing with.
Where Can I Buy Cowhorn Peppers?
You can buy Cowhorn peppers fresh from the farmer’s market, in specialty stores, and in gourmet grocers, but it is not as easy to pick up in your local supermarket. You can however buy jalapeno peppers in supermarkets and these are often used as substitutes.
We hope this article has helped you identify what a Cowhorn pepper is and how it differs from Cayenne peppers.
Its spicy, fruity flavor makes it a great addition to many dishes, and although it is not as easy to find as Jalapeno peppers, if you manage to find some at your local farmers market, we promise it is worth it.