breeding Best Large Jalapeno

I'm about to get my starters in for this years pepper crop, and over the last few years, I've fallen in love with the larger varieties.  They're just way better for stuffing, chopping, pickling etc.
 
What I'd like, is a larger variety that is at least as hot as a standard (no need to burn the house down), but still provides the great taste, just in a larger size.   
 
I've had good luck with a number of these, including Mucho Nacho, Mammoth and Gigante.   Last year, I had some second generation Mucho Nachos, and they were actually pretty stable for an F2 hyrbid.  Couple of the plants made some hilarious coke-bottle bottomed fruit, short and fat.  Couple made huge fruit (5"+), but weren't that hot, even with added stress.  Generally though, they did the job for our needs.  They also seemed to come in earlier, maybe 65 days.    I kept the best looking fruit from the best plant (being the most consistent fruiting, large sized,  jalapeno shaped, hotter pepper), and dried the seeds.
 
A couple questions specifically on the large Jalapeno front:
 
1) Given my F2 hybrids were pretty stable, am I playing with fire (pun intended) trying for a third generation?  Are they going to be whacko unstable oddballs?  Or am I likely to start down a path of stabilizing the strain?
2) Apart from playing botanist, what's the best large jalapeno?  I've read the Biker Billy's are nice for a big plant, but substantially hotter.  For pickles, there does seem to be a too hot, so I'm looking to nail that traditional (or a bit hotter) jalapeno range.   There are so many options now, my head is spinning.   Mucho Nacho, Gigante, BIker BIlly, Jalepeno M, Mammoths, ahhhhh!
 
Are these things all so darn close, it doesn't really matter?
 
 
Looking forward to your help!
 
F
 
 
In my somewhat limited experience, the large-pod Jalapeños don't seen to have the levels of heat or quality of flavor that I expect from the note typical Jalapeño varieties. I am basing this on the large-pod Jalapeños I've grown, big Jalapeños I've gotten in boxes or the market, and shit I've read on THP and elsewhere online.

I've seen enough high praise for the Bikers and the Mucho Nachos that i figure they must be pretty tasty. Supposedly hot, too. Personally, I don't want to grow anything f2, but if that doesn't bother you, have at it. Both of those varieties have their fans.

I grew the Jalapeño Concho last year. These produce big pods, but not massive. I want particularly impressed with the pods. They looked great, but the plants weren't very productive compared to the other Jalapeños I grew. It is my understanding that the goal with those is lower heat, so I can't fault them for that, but the flavor was kinda flat, too. In the end, I won't say that Conchos were bad. They just weren't very good as compared to the other varieties I grew in the past.

I was stoked to grow NM Jalmundo this year, but my experiences with Zapotecs last year has led me to entirely revise my Jalapeño strategy. I won't be making room for Jalmundos, even if the CPU ad copy does make enticing promises of big, extra hot Jalapeños. They look cool though.
 
Cool.   Yeah, everyone said not to do the F2s, but I did it anyways, and I didn't have real regrets.  As I noted, there were a couple weirdos, but 50% of the plants were true to variety.  The question there is if I'm already at F3, I'm almost half-way to stabilizing the line.   Most online resources say by F6 or F7, you should have pretty stable seeds.
 
As cool as it'd be to have a stable large pod, hot jalapeno, I just can't decide what to do.   I've got a pack of Jalapeno Gigante seeds in case I decide to be boring.
 
Mucho Nacho are hard to beat for large and hot. Another good one is chichimeca jalapeno. I never had any luck with Gigante, Mammoth and Goliath types as far as heat. Virtually everyone was almost heatless.
 
Chichimeca gets rather large too. This pic is from July (2 years ago) and it grew a bunch more.
qkKjs59.jpg

 
Bottom right is a chichi in a pot from last July That thing was a beast of a producer.
GStXMQ3.jpg

 
 
Production is excellent
iChsyP2.jpg
 
Bicycle808 said:
In my somewhat limited experience, the large-pod Jalapeños don't seen to have the levels of heat or quality of flavor that I expect from the note typical Jalapeño varieties. I am basing this on the large-pod Jalapeños I've grown, big Jalapeños I've gotten in boxes or the market, and shit I've read on THP and elsewhere online.

I've seen enough high praise for the Bikers and the Mucho Nachos that i figure they must be pretty tasty. Supposedly hot, too. Personally, I don't want to grow anything f2, but if that doesn't bother you, have at it. Both of those varieties have their fans.

I grew the Jalapeño Concho last year. These produce big pods, but not massive. I want particularly impressed with the pods. They looked great, but the plants weren't very productive compared to the other Jalapeños I grew. It is my understanding that the goal with those is lower heat, so I can't fault them for that, but the flavor was kinda flat, too. In the end, I won't say that Conchos were bad. They just weren't very good as compared to the other varieties I grew in the past.

I was stoked to grow NM Jalmundo this year, but my experiences with Zapotecs last year has led me to entirely revise my Jalapeño strategy. I won't be making room for Jalmundos, even if the CPU ad copy does make enticing promises of big, extra hot Jalapeños. They look cool though.
 
This year i got several Zapotec seeds from RFC to germinate. Giving them a shot this year too. This is probably my first landrace jala ive grown. I will grow a couple Mucho Nacho just for backups. Glad i did last year because Biker Billy did not impress me with size or production. They are however REALLY good tasting jalapenos. Im pretty sure every last one had great heat too.
 
 
ShowMeDaSauce said:
 
This year i got several Zapotec seeds from RFC to germinate. Giving them a shot this year too. This is probably my first landrace jala ive grown. I will grow a couple Mucho Nacho just for backups. Glad i did last year because Biker Billy did not impress me with size or production. They are however REALLY good tasting jalapenos. Im pretty sure every last one had great heat too.
 
Yeah, I recall you saying that about the Bikers. I know some folks swear by them, but I don't have any experience with them.

I think you'll like those Zapotecs. The pods definitely don't get big; they are right there with typical Jalapeños, maybe a little longer but also a little thinner than the Earlies I used to grow. But otherwise, they're just rad. Everyone keeps raving about them, mostly about the flavor being great, but since ppl go on about how much they like the heat. (Incidentally, the only complaint I ever hear is that they're too hot lol) but in my opinion, they are hotter than Ms and Earlies but they aren't wildly hot and I am sure there are hotter Jalapeños. But the guy who owns the local BBQ spot is formatting to get more to smoke for his rubs and sauces; he's out of the chipotles he'd made from my 2018 surplus and he feels the difference comes out in his product. The guys at the Mexican Bar& Grill on my block were commiserating about how much market Jalapeños suck this time of year, and the one bartender turned to me and was like "we haven't had good Jalapeños since you stopped bringing them in." So yeah, they're good.

They just aren't big pods at all so, sorry to derail the thread.
 

Harry_Dangler

Extreme Member
Jalapeno brown and Gigante are large varieties for me.  
 
When i was a kid dad grew 2 kinds. Early and Jalapeno M. Overall they seemed fairly consistent. The M is larger and a fair choice for larger jalas that are not too mild. Ive had some Early Jalas that were absolute scorchers. They just tend to be smaller. Pretty sure Jalapeno M is stable.
 
Some people have great luck with Biker Billy. When you do they seem to be huge and hot. I never got the huge part from mine and they grew right next to a Mucho Nacho that blew them away in size and production. I got more big pods off that 1 plant than i did off 2 Biker Billy plants....Flavorwise.....Yeah the BB is great and im pretty sure all of them were hot from what i recall.
 
So given limited space, I'm only growing a few of the F3 seeds myself, but I planted another half dozen to pawn off on other family members so I could pick the best specimen for next year's F4.

So far the plants look great. I've got more consistency in fruit than my darn heirloom poblabos!
 
ShowMeDaSauce said:
Mucho Nacho are hard to beat for large and hot. Another good one is chichimeca jalapeno. I never had any luck with Gigante, Mammoth and Goliath types as far as heat. Virtually everyone was almost heatless.
 
Chichimeca gets rather large too. This pic is from July (2 years ago) and it grew a bunch more.
qkKjs59.jpg

 
Bottom right is a chichi in a pot from last July That thing was a beast of a producer.
GStXMQ3.jpg

 
 
Production is excellent
iChsyP2.jpg
 
 
The midwest - particularly Kansas and Missouri - are incredible growing regions for jalapenos.  My best garden that I've EVER grown in my life, was in Wichita, KS.  I could grow anything in that soil.  I put out 18 jalapeno plants one year, and by the end of the summer, I was taking gallons of pods a day off.  It was insane. (I usually grew Mucho Nacho, because it's what my local mom and pop garden shop carried)  When I moved, it was very hard for me to adapt to growing.  Especially when I came to Florida.   We got the all year warm, but we don't have the rest of it.
.
Kansas ain't special for much.  But it was my growing paradise.  Tomatoes and peppers, baby. :D
 
So, checking back in.  I ran the Gigante Jalapenos this year along side our attempts to even out the hybrid strain we like.   They produced great quantities, but fruit was a bit smaller 
 
The hybrid plants performed pretty well.   I ended up with 8 F3 hybrids, and roughly 5 had consistently true pods to a large jala.   Some notes:
 
1) 2 plants had even larger pods.  4"+  Very nice and smooth, nice balanced heat.  Took FOREVER to ripen to red for seed harvesting.  One of these will eb the sponsor for the F4 plants next year.
2) 2 plants definitely got a little too close to my poblanos in a prior year.  lol  Hilarious fruit, and tasty, but not suitable for a forward generation.
3) The remaining 4 were pretty good plants, some pods weirdos, some looked like the target we're chasing.  
4) Generally all the plants were a bit lower on production, save for maybe 2 that produced pretty prolifically.  The next gen sponsor plant(s) was middle of the road production wise
 
I found this nifty table for pepper generations as they approach homozygous status. 
 
2662a389069d4b05_8937-w240-h297-b0-p0--.jpg

 
Looks like next year and the next two years in particular should start showing some big leaps in consistency.   Even with a pretty limited sample size of plants this generation, I'd say that table so far feels pretty accurate in the field.  Assuming this year's sponsor for the next gen hasn't been compromised, I'll probably start moving my selection towards plants that are heavier producers.
 
F
 
Thought I'd check back in this year with the next generation of the large jala hybrids I'm trying to tame.
 
In total there are 7 F4 plants (to produce next year's F5 seeds), and really only 1 has major deficiencies worth noting (unusual shape of pods, less fruit, unusual shape and smaller size of plant etc.)  One plant has slightly less desirable pod shapes (a little too fat and stubby) but they taste fantastic.   
 
Four of the plants are profilific producers with correct, very large and nicely shaped spicy pods.  The plants themselves are very robust.  So far, that little table above appears to be roughly correct on weening out unsavory genetics in search of homozygous strains. 
 
Whats interesting, is my pods are a bit larger than the typical F1 hybrids you'll find at the nursury (Massive Jalapeno, Gigantic, Mucho Nacho etc.)   Even though the shape is correct, they're maturing at 5" or bigger, all in a very dry year (which oftentimes reduces fruit size for me).
 
I'll snap some shots of the fruit next time I get a chance.  At this point, I doubt I'll ever buy a jalapeno plant or seed again.   These are literally perfect for all my stuffing, pickling and culinary needs.
 
Im going back to Mucho Nacho and Chichimeca. Im done looking for a better jalapeno. Nothing else has even come close. Could not get either one in time this year. Bonnie didnt offer them this year and neither did a local guy i usually get a couple chichi plants from.
 
This year i tried Numex orange spice. Great tasting SUPER hot jalas but plant/pod size is pitiful. I also tried a new one called Spicy Slice. Good flavor, good pod size but the plant is small and i still have not gotten a single ripe pod. I would have more ripe jalas than i could use by now if 1/4 were Mucho or Chichi and they would be nice sized pods with really good flavor.
 
I may try another Spicy Slice next year in ground or a fabric pot. Just to see if i can improve plant size. My dad really liked them and he aint a stickler for "got to have ripe". They were a little milder than Mucho so he liked them with eggs for breakfast.
 
Chichimeca grew larger than Mucho Nacho. Pods size was close. Heat was close. Mucho Nacho were sweeter when ripe but otherwise flavor was fairly close. Chichi probably had a little better production. Got many ripe pods from both but if push comes to shove i liked Mucho Nacho a tad better overall.
 

Harry_Dangler

Extreme Member
This year our Orange Spice, Lemon Spice, Travelers, Biker Billy and Farmers grew quite large and have been very productive.  My Mucho Nachos did not grow true.  It pisses me off because I planted 8 of them and what I'm getting are giant yellow bell pods.  It's not my mix up.  We don't grow bell peppers.  I used a different seed source and should have known better.  I've had problems in the past.  I will toss the seeds I have left and will find a different source. 
 
My Zapotecs have been disappointing so far.  Small plants and poor production.  I was very excited about trying them. There's been a lot of hype but mine haven't lived up to it.  
 
We did not grow Chichimeca this year but we've grown them in the past.  The last time we grew them we had giant plants and had tons of smaller sized pointed end pods that were quite firey.  It's a nice hybrid but its been a couple of years since we've grown it.  
 
solid7 said:
Mucho Nacho hard to beat.  Big, thick-walled pods.  insane producer.  It does kind of suck having to buy plants, though.
 
 
Yeah.  The MN was the mother for this line.   Great plants.  I just don't want to have to search for them every year, and oftentimes, never even find them.   I swear if the trends continue into next year, I'll have a slightly larger, stable version of these from seed.
 
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