When I'm seeking some heat I go through breaking down some of the more complex nuances. As in what kind of heat do I want? Because there is more than just one kind of hot.
Do I want more subtle back of the mouth heat? The kind that takes a bit to hit you and comes as almost more of a surprise? Or am I looking for something to hit fast, right up front and then to dissipate fairly quickly? It's pretty rare for me to just turn to "burn your face off" heat but I would consider that to be the third stage of heat.
For our Habanero Mango Chicken Rub I was looking for something that would be more geared towards the second stage - a quick upfront heat that fades relatively quickly and doesn't leave your lips numb for 10 minutes. I get easily bored with cayenne pepper as it's just hot and doesn’t have much true chile pepper flavor that I tend to prefer. So when I'm searching for some flavorful heat I tend to reach for the trusty Habanero. Yes it's a bit more expensive as chile peppers go but in my opinion the resulting flavor is well worth it.
Ingredients: Ancho, habanero, amchur (dried mango), onion, cilantro, spearmint, garlic, cumin, coriander and cloves