Are dried or fresh peppers hotter?
Want to know how hot a chili really is? Check out the Scoville heat range.
Wegman's grocery store actually has one posted just above their fresh peppers for reference.
Usually the dried version of the pepper is hotter due to the amount of capsaicin (the compound that gives peppers heat.) As a pepper ripens, the amount of capsaicin increases. Most peppers that are dried will be harvested at their peak of ripeness so the amount of heat is at it's highest! Since the capsaicin is oil-based, it does not evaporate during the dehydration process. Once all the water is removed the pepper has a much more intense flavor and therefore, hotter!