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The new world's hottest pepper, Pepper X, is 3 times spicier than its predecessor
A Pepper X pepper is shown earlier this month in Fort Mill, S.C. Jeffrey Collins/AP hide caption
A Pepper X pepper is shown earlier this month in Fort Mill, S.C.
A small, wrinkly yellow-green pepper known as Pepper X is now officially the hottest chili pepper in the world, according to Guinness World Records .
Ed Currie, founder of PuckerButt Pepper Company in South Carolina, appeared on the YouTube show Hot Ones to receive the Guinness award and announce the spicy new variety to the world.
Spice, Spice, Baby! Why Some Of Us Enjoy The Pain Of Spicy Foods
To measure the intensity of Pepper X, officials at Guinness turned to what's known as the Scoville Scale . Developed in 1912, the scale determines the heat of a pepper by measuring the concentration of its heat-wielding chemical compounds called capsaicinoids.
Pepper X measures an average of 2.693 million Scoville Heat Units. A jalapeño, by comparison, measures just 2,000 to 8,000 SHUs, while a serrano can land between 10,000 and 23,000 SHUs.
The previous record holder, the Carolina Reaper, which was also developed by Currie, averaged 1.64 million SHUs.
"But that scale's logarithmic, so it's more like three times hotter than a Reaper," Currie said on the show.
An employee in a Carolina Reaper shirt looks over one of Ed Currie's greenhouses on Oct. 10, 2023, in Fort Mill, S.C. Jeffrey Collins/AP hide caption
Currie described the feeling of eating a whole Pepper X: "There's an intense burn that happens immediately. Then your head kind of feels like, 'Oh no! What's going on?' And then your body just starts reacting. You get it in your arms, you get it in your chest," he said.
"It has no real throat burn like the Reaper, but that comes on later when you're in pain."
The Super-Hot Pepper That Sent A Man To The ER
Ed Currie holds a handful of his Pepper X peppers. Jeffrey Collins/AP hide caption
Much of a pepper's heat is concentrated not in its seeds but rather in the interior white placenta that holds the seeds. According to Guinness, Pepper X's exterior bumpiness creates more space for that placenta to grow.
Currie said his team stabilized Pepper X about a decade ago, and only decided to release it now because no one had been able to beat his previous record for the Carolina Reaper.
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Hot pepper heat scale and the scoville scale.
Do you know how hot an Aji Amarillo or Chile de Arbol is? Or how scorching a Ghost Pepper or Carolina Reaper is? Do you know how spicy the peppers you are growing are, or why some peppers have sweet flavors but with some spice in it? This is where the Scoville Scale comes into play. Read to learn more about the hottest peppers in the world and their rankings, and how the Scoville Scale was created to determine a pepper ranking.
What is the World’s Hottest Pepper?
So, what is the hottest pepper on Earth? We’re answering all of your fiery questions by providing our list of peppers ranked by type and Scoville Heat Units. From the innocently mild to the screaming hot, check out the Scoville Heat Unit Scale and learn the heat intensity between hot pepper varieties and extracts:
Pepper Joe’s Pepper Heat Table:
With over 50,000 pepper varieties in the world and new varieties being created every year, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the heat levels of peppers. Even we have to double check hot pepper ratings because we are adding new seeds to our store every year, or a new hot pepper is added to the top 10 hottest peppers of the year.
Growers are producing the hottest hybrids every year with hopes of pushing the Scoville Scale. While the Carolina Reaper is currently known as the hottest pepper in the world, there are some serious competition with rumors of even hotter peppers such as the Dragon’s Breath and Pepper X . There is no confirmation that these peppers are hotter than the Carolina Reaper, but this just means we’ll have to wait for more official announcements!
List of Peppers from Mildest to Hottest as Measured on the Scoville Heat Scale
What is the Scoville Scale?
We get questions about what the Scoville Scale is, and you may know it as the Chili Heat Scale or the Chile Scoville Scale. The Scoville Scale is a measurement of the heat and pungency of chili peppers where each pepper is recorded in Scoville Heat Units (or famously known as SHUs). The scale is named after its creator, Wilbur Scoville, who created the Scoville Organoleptic Test in 1912.
What Does the Scoville Scale Measure?
It’s quite simple. Scoville heat units are a measurement of sugar and water. The test measures chili heat by figuring out how much sugar-water needs to be diluted into a chili pepper to get to where you no longer feel the heat at all. The creator, W. Scoville, would dilute the solutions bit by it until the taste testers felt no more burn, and then he would assign a number to the chile pepper based on the amount of dilutions needed to kill the heat.
What creates that burning sensation on our tongues and makes us sweat is the capsaicin. It’s the chemical compound found in peppers, and you can find it in the oil residing in the pepper or seeds. Today, we’re not using taste testers (which would be a pretty sweet job). It’s been replaced by the High Performance Liquid Chromatography, HPLC, which efficiently measures the pepper’s heat by determining the exact concentration of capsaicin.
From Mild to Incredibly Hot
You should know that heat scales are purely subjective. Even with a scientific test using Scoville Heat Units, the hotness of peppers can vary in the same variety from plant to plant, and even on the same plant! That’s why you may see a range of hotness for a specific pepper or a possibility that the chili could be hotter than what it claims. If you’re feeling brave to try a super-hot pepper, check out the most scorching, blazing, ear-vibrating hottest pepper seeds . If you prefer to take a walk to the mild side instead, we have the juiciest, yummiest, sweetest pepper seeds great for a variety of culinary uses.
Hot peppers are a lot of fun, this is why we love what we do. But, please take them seriously and handle with care. If you don’t believe how ridiculously spicy some of the hottest peppers in the world are, watch our team eat a Ghost Pepper:
Want more heat information on peppers?
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Guinness world records declares pepper x as world’s new hottest chili pepper.
The Carolina Reaper has met its match.
Chili Pepper X has captured the spicy record as the world’s hottest, Guinness World Records announced on Monday.
The new pepper rates an average of 2.69 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), according to tests performed by Winthrop University in South Carolina, beating the previous record holder, Carolina Reaper , which averages 1.64 million SHU, according to Guinness World Records.
The SHU scale to measure chili pepper heat was developed by American chemist Wilbur Scoville in 1912.
By comparison, the average jalapeño pepper scores between 3,000 to 8,000 SHU, according to Guinness.
Pepper X is grown by Ed Currie, founder of Puckerbutt Pepper Company in South Carolina. He also created the Carolina Reaper, which took the record in 2013.
“Ed cultivated Pepper X on his farm for over 10 years, cross breeding it with some of his hottest peppers to increase its capsaicin content,” Guinness said on its website.
Currie first presented Pepper X to the world on an episode of the popular YouTube series, “Hot Ones.”
“Those who don’t fear the Reaper are fools. It is painfully hot,” reads a description of the dethroned pepper on the Puckerbutt Pepper Company’s website.
No word yet on how they describe a pepper that ranks 1 million more units on the Scoville scale than the Reaper.
How Hot Is a Ghost Pepper? (Ghost Pepper Scoville Scale)
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There are many hot peppers in the world, but is ghost pepper one of them? How hot is a ghost pepper? How many scoville units is a ghost pepper?
Yes, the ghost pepper is ferociously HOT! It sits prevalently among the top 10 hottest pepper in the world today, with a fearful Scoville scale of about 1,041,427 SHU. The ghost pepper is 417% hotter than your everyday-jalapeno pepper.
If you enjoy eating “super-HOT” chilies exploding in your mouth all at once, I doubt you can take on the Ghost pepper. This pepper is known for bringing the fiery from the deepest region of hell. So don’t try to be a hero.
Besides, starting every day with a handful of these peppers could lead to dementia risk. But it is only the tip of the iceberg.
Keep reading as we will be answering some of the frequently asked questions concerning ghost pepper.
What Is Ghost Pepper?
The ghost pepper, also known as bhut jolokia, is a hybrid of Capsicum Chinense and Capsicum frutescens.
It once held the Guinness World Records title of the world’s hottest chili pepper in 2007.
However, in 2011 it was superseded by the world’s most fearfully HOT pepper: the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper and the Carolina Reaper in 2013.
Ghost pepper was a star at its time due to the number of press releases it got.
That ONLY exploded its popularity on YouTube and other social sites. And the eat- a-whole-Ghost-Peppers challenge couldn’t stop. Chiliheads were going nuts every day.
Many still erroneously believe the Ghost Pepper is still the World’s Hottest Pepper , but it isn’t, as you can see from this list showing the hottest peppers in the world.
Is Ghost Pepper Harmful?
The ghost pepper is a double-edged sword.
While it is a potentially dangerous vegetable low in fat and calorie, it has a staggering amount of vitamin C.
Even chili pepper enthusiasts exercise preventive measures even before taking a bite.
Eating a whopping amount of it could kill you. For instance, three pounds of Ghost peppers can terminate a person weighing about 150 pounds.
But as long as you don’t eat 1/50th your body weight in ghost peppers, you’ll probably survive the burn.
Although you may come out bruised.
So DO NOT be a fool! They might not be the world’s hottest pepper, but they are more than capable of bringing a grown man to his knees.
What Are Ghost Peppers Used For?
Consuming ghost pepper in moderation can help ease abdominal pain, discomfort, and diarrhea.
Strangely, the chemical in them (Capsaicin) also kills the bacteria responsible for causing stomach ulcers. And like every other chili, the Ghost pepper fires up your metabolism, which helps in weight loss.
But that’s just the sugar side of it.
The same compound that can miraculously cut down abdominal pains is also responsible for causing gastrointestinal irritation, resulting in stomach discomfort and diarrhea.
Isn’t it ironic that the hero of the day turns out to be the serial killer at night?
On top of that, inhaling the fumes may cause you to sneeze, cough, or have rhinitis.
When Are Ghost Peppers In Season?
Summer is the most favorable season for rearing ghost peppers.
They will happily bloom in full sun location and well-drained, organically rich, and fertile soil along with a pH of 6.0-6.8.
I’ve seen many chiliheads conducting a soil test before planting the baby peppers to determine the pH and nutrient level of the soil.
When the peppers grow from green to red or any other bright color, they are ready for harvest.
Does Chili Cause Memory Loss?
YES! Scientists have proven that consuming too much chili peppers is linked to dementia risk.
They discovered people who ate about 50 grams of these pepper every day had memory decline and poor cognition.
According to the University of South Australia and Qatar University , after conducting mountains of research, they discovered rapid cognitive decline among adults — age 55 and older — who consistently consumed these peppers every day.
Conclusion: How Many Scoville Units is a Ghost Pepper?
Lastly, you might be wondering. Why is it called the ghost pepper?
Of course, there must be an underlining reason for that name. And it turns out there is.
First, it is called initially “Bhut Jolokia.” And it comes from the North-East, especially in Manipur. The word “Bhut” springs from the people of Bhutias in India, meaning “Ghost.” The word was given after discovering the heat sneaks up on you after eating it.
Everything seems okay at first; then it builds and builds and builds — it never really stops.
- How is Ghost Pepper Different From Carolina Reaper?
- Best Ways to Preserve Scotch Bonnet Peppers
- Is Scotch Bonnet Pepper Different From Ghost Pepper?
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper Vs Habanero Pepper
How Hot Is ‘Pepper X’? Its Creator Spent 6 Hours Recovering from Eating It
“Pepper X” is officially the hottest pepper in the world, weighing in with 2.693 million Scoville heat units. The creator reveals his process and experience tasting the pepper
- By Stephanie Pappas on October 26, 2023
A new world-record-holder has entered the field of hot peppers: “Pepper X.”
This new proprietary pepper, bred by Ed Currie, was recognized last week by Guinness World Records as the hottest pepper ever independently tested. Currie is one of the few people to have tried Pepper X raw. By all reports, a taste test involves a burning sensation followed by several hours of intestinal cramping.
With a spiciness level of 2.693 million Scoville heat units (SHU) on average, Pepper X handily unseats the previous hottest pepper on Earth, the Carolina Reaper —also bred by Currie, who founded the PuckerButt Pepper Company, a hot pepper farm and pepper products supplier in Fort Mill, S.C. (For comparison, a jalapeño reaches 2,000 to 8,000 SHU.) Scientific American caught up with Currie to talk about his heat-seeking trajectory and whether hot peppers can get even spicier.
[ An edited transcript of the interview follows .]
What is it like in the world of hot pepper breeding? Is it a competitive field?
In the pepper-breeding world, there are really only a few of us who intentionally breed peppers. The rest of the people are growers, and they get what’s called an odd phenotype, and they think they’ve got a new pepper. It’s not that competitive. If it was, the Carolina Reaper wouldn’t have been a record for 10 years. That’s more just stuff on the Internet. Most of the people who actually breed peppers aren’t on social media. We talk via the phone.
What does the day-to-day life of a pepper breeder look like?
Half the year, we’re processing peppers by drying them or turning them into pepper paste. The other half of the year, we’re breeding peppers. We cross-pollinate plants that have the attributes that we’re looking for. If the resulting fruit has what we’re looking for, we take the seeds out and plant them again. If that comes out the same, that’s the first generation. It takes anywhere between eight and 12 generations to stabilize a plant so you can start doing the testing.
We don’t just breed peppers. We’re one of the largest hot pepper farms in the U.S. We make hot sauce and pepper mash and dried pepper and pepper powder for all sorts of different manufacturers. Right now I’m making test batches of hot sauce, doing interviews and drying peppers at the same time.
When you’re breeding peppers, what other attributes might you look for besides heat?
Ninety-nine percent of what we do is for flavor and looks. I like getting peppers to look really weird or breeding out different colors.
What’s your favorite weird pepper that you’ve bred?
We have a particular variety of chocolate scotch bonnet that we call a UFO bonnet because it kind of looks like UFOs in pictures. It is a delicious pepper. It’s not very high on the Scoville scale, but it is my absolute favorite pepper to eat. Don’t get me wrong; I eat the superhot ones on a daily basis, but my favorites aren’t superhot. They’re in the midrange of the pepper world. [ Editor’s Note: The Scoville scale measures the number of times an extraction of a pepper’s capsaicinoids needs to be diluted with a mix of sugar and water before a professional panel of tasters can no longer detect those hot compounds. In laboratory tests, a machine called a high-performance liquid chromatograph can quantify capsaicinoids and other compounds in dried samples of peppers .]
What makes Pepper X so hot?
The compound that makes peppers hot is called capsaicin . There are many different capsaicinoids, and these compounds react with a nerve receptor that only mammals have that sends a signal to our brain saying, “This is hot.” There are a lot of other compounds that can enhance the heat or tame the heat. You can increase the tannin levels in a pepper that is not so hot, such as a scotch bonnet, and it gives you the perception of more heat.
For Pepper X, I took a pepper that had a different set of capsaicinoids and bred it with the Reaper, and it turned out really hot. Nine out of 10 crossbreeds that we do go nowhere, and we have no expectation when we start. It’s just playing around and having fun with science.
What is eating Pepper X like?
In hot sauce and in salsa and candy and things, it tastes delicious. But [when it is eaten] raw, the flavor only lasts for a millisecond, and then the heat is just taking off. And it’s not a very pleasant experience .
I wouldn’t recommend eating it raw to anybody, and if somebody wants me to do it again, they’re going to have to pay me a lot of money.
A Reaper usually takes me about a half hour to recover from, including the cramps. Pepper X took me five to six hours. But I ate more peppers for dinner that night.
What’s the advantage of having a superhot pepper?
The advantage of the superhot peppers is economy of scale. Say you’re using cayenne to get a pepper sauce as hot as you want it. You might use two to three pounds of cayenne, whereas with Pepper X, to get the same heat, you would only need maybe an eighth of a gram of dried pepper.
I’ll give you an example. There was a manufacturer who was using 11 55-gallon drums of a pepper in a recipe. I knew one of the executives there, and I said, “Just try it with one 15-gallon drum of Reaper.” They got the same heat and saved 80 percent of the money they were spending.
Do you think you can go hotter?
Oh, yeah, I know we can. We’ve tested a lot of peppers at a higher level, but we don’t yet have a lot of years of averages. You show the average of the tests [when you’re reporting the Scoville rating]; you don’t show your single highest test. I think we can achieve a lot more, but there’s really not much use for it—unless it tastes good.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Stephanie Pappas is a freelance science journalist. She is based in Denver, Colo.
Recent Articles by Stephanie Pappas
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The Tip For Cooking With Ghost Peppers Every Beginner Should Know
Bhut jolokia, otherwise known as the ghost pepper, is an incredibly spicy chili; at their maximum heat, they hover on the Scoville scale at around 1 million heat units. (Just to give you an idea of exactly how hot that is, jalapeños come in at between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville heat units.) They're called ghost peppers because their heat tends to creep up on you as you eat them, just as it does while you cook them.
The most important thing to keep in mind when cooking with hot peppers like ghosts is that temperature and time will affect their spice level. Cooking them low and slow, as you do with chili or curry, can often result in a hotter dish, while introducing them to the quick and intense heat of a grill can break down the capsaicin, taming the spiciness a little.
But don't be intimidated by the complexity of these peppers — or their devilishly red and wrinkly skin. As scary as they look, ghost peppers offer a nuanced flavor and spice to a variety of dishes from salsa to marinades. Despite the fact that ghost peppers are so hot they're often used as the base for military grade pepper spray, they do have a citrusy and smoky flavor. This makes them a wonderful addition to homemade salsa or hot sauces. Just be cautious and use them sparingly until you have a sense of what they're capable of.
How to safely cook with ghost peppers
It's a good idea to have a healthy fear of ghost peppers. Much like kitchen knives, they serve a beautiful function when used properly, but, if mishandled, can result in injury.
First, you'll want to consider seeding your peppers before adding them to any dish because, as with all chilis, much of the heat comes from the seeds. Be sure to wear a mask, gloves, long sleeves, and cooking goggles when handling them to avoid painful chili oil burns . Don't make the mistake of thinking you're skimping out on spice by doing this: We are talking about a pepper that's 11 times hotter than a habanero.
While you are learning to cook with ghost peppers, it's best to stick to recipes with fewer moving parts. Infused chili oil is a good place to start, as it will give you an idea and appreciation for what kind of heat you're dealing with. From there, you can experiment with homemade hot sauce and salsa — better to work out your relationship with these fiery peppers through condiments rather than main courses. Avoid recipes that require a high degree of chemistry and longer cooking times, like curries or other heavily spiced dishes, when starting out. The best tip to remember when cooking with ghost peppers is that a little goes a long way. Think about cooking with ghost peppers like cutting your own bangs: Less is more, and you can always do more later.
The World Has a New Hottest Pepper
Pepper X is three times spicier than the previous record-holder, the Carolina Reaper
South Carolina pepper expert Ed Currie has crossbred a new type of pepper that’s three times spicier than the Carolina Reaper, the previous record-holder for the world’s hottest chili pepper. Currie—who also developed the Carolina Reaper in 2013—revealed the new Pepper X and accepted the Guiness World Record for it on an episode of the YouTube series "Hot Ones" earlier this week.
Currie describes his creation as providing “immediate, brutal heat,” reports Jeffrey Collins of the Associated Press .
“I was feeling the heat for three-and-a-half hours. Then the cramps came,” Currie tells the publication. “Those cramps are horrible. I was laid out flat on a marble wall for approximately an hour in the rain, groaning in pain.”
Spiciness—or pepper heat—is measured using the Scoville scale and recorded in units called Scoville heat units (SHU). The units are based on levels of a chemical compound called capsaicin, the main ingredient that makes chili peppers hot. Pure capsaicin has a measurement of 16 million SHU while bell peppers, which contain no spice, measure at 0 SHU. Pepper X measures in at an average of 2.69 million units, per Guiness World Records. In comparison, standard pepper spray averages 1 million SHU, while bear spray is advertised around 3 million SHU . The Carolina Reaper measures about 1.64 million SHU.
“But that scale’s logarithmic, so [Pepper X is] more like three times hotter than a Reaper,” Currie explains on the show.
American pharmacologist Wilbur Scoville came up with the Scoville scale in 1912 . At the time, he relied on a panel of tasters to dilute a chili sample down with sugar syrup until the spice was subjectively undetectable. The numbers in the scale represented the amount of times the concentration needed to be diluted to reach no spice. Today, chili pungency is measured using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), a method that measures the capsaicin concentration directly. This value is then converted into Scoville heat units.
Capsaicin works by essentially tricking our brain into thinking we are in danger. After biting into a spicy pepper, the chemical activates a heat-sensing receptor called TRPV1 in our body. This receptor alerts our brain of the perceived change in temperature, which responds by sending a jolt of pain to our body, reported Kathryn Hulick for Science News Explores in 2016. The mechanism is similar to what happens when we touch a hot stove, although we are not actually being burned. Then, our body tries to cool itself down.
“One way our body does this is by sweating and another way is by breathing fast,” Vivek Kumbhari, director of bariatric endoscopy at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, told Caroline Kee of Buzzfeed News in 2018. “The capsaicin micro-particles will go up into the nose and your body will try to flush it out ... which is why you get a runny nose.”
So far, Currie is only one of five people to consume an entire Pepper X, per the AP. For now, he and his team will not share the seeds of the small, wrinkly pepper until he’s sure his family and workers will benefit from their labor. Per the AP, Currie allowed people to grow the Carolina Reaper without protecting his intellectual property, and his lawyers have since counted 10,000 products that use the Reaper name or other IP without permission.
“Everybody else made their money off the Reaper,” Currie tells the AP. “It’s time for us to reap the benefits of the hard work I do.”
Editor’s Note, October 23, 2023: This story has been updated to correct the name of the previous hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper.
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Margaret Osborne is a freelance journalist based in the southwestern U.S. Her work has appeared in the Sag Harbor Express and has aired on WSHU Public Radio.
Where the Ghost Pepper Stores Its Heat
New research explains how the hottest peppers get their spice.
Most home cooks know that the trick for tempering the heat of a chili pepper is to remove the seeds. The reason why it often works: Conventional wisdom holds that a pepper’s power is concentrated in the placenta—the central core of the fruit that contains the seeds, otherwise known as the pith—and the thick veins that attach the placenta to the pepper wall. Removing the seeds, then, usually results in removing the placenta and veins, thus cooling the fruit’s heat.
Another trick: Sometimes it’s possible to determine the heat of a pepper just by looking. Because capsaicin, the substance that makes chilis hot, is a yellowish liquid in its pure form, yellow veins often indicate more spice.
“If you go to the grocery store, and, say, pick six jalapenos up, and cut them open and look at those veins, the more yellow you see, the hotter the jalapeno,” said Paul Bosland, a professor of horticulture and director of the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University.
Even when all those pieces are removed, though, some peppers—de-veined, de-seeded, and not yellow—still have a heat that just won’t chill, befuddling casual cooks and researchers alike.
For example, the ghost pepper, which doesn’t have many veins or appear particularly yellow, shouldn’t pack such a punch. But in 2007, Guinness World Records certified the ghost pepper as the world’s hottest chile pepper—some 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. (Pepper heat is measured in Scovilles, a unit based on the number of heat-producing alkaloids a pepper contains.)
It wasn’t until recently that researchers really understood the source of the ghost’s heat. One day last fall, Bosland and his colleagues were in the field cutting some ghost peppers when they noticed that the peppers walls were glistening in the sunlight. “Because the skin of the fruit is kind of a red-orange color, it’s sometimes hard to see that yellow vesicle. It just doesn't pop out at you like it does on the white placenta tissue,” said Bosland. The glistening made them think that perhaps the veins weren’t just along the interior placenta, but lining the inside wall of the fruit itself. Bosland took the peppers to Peter Cooke, who runs the electron microscope lab at New Mexico State University, to image it.
It turns out that capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their fire, is well suited to fluorescence microscopy: Under the right conditions (think blacklights), it naturally glows in the dark. By giving the peppers the blacklight treatment, the researchers were able to show that though many varieties store the bulk of their heat in the center pith, some peppers work differently. They published their research in late 2015 in the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science.
Bosland and Cooke found that super-hot chili peppers—fruits that top one million on the Scoville scale—store as much heat in their fleshy skins as they do in the pith. In a jalapeno, if you remove the seed capsule, you slash the amount of capsaicin by roughly 100 percent—essentially all of the heat is in the placenta. But if you remove the veins and seed capsule from a ghost pepper, you reduce the amount of capsaicin by only 50 percent. In super-hot peppers, roughly half their capsaicin is stored in the skin. Stated plainly, super-hot peppers don't just have more capsaicin than chiller peppers; they store it differently.
“I’ve been saying that super-hot peppers are different for ten years,” said Ed Currie of the South Carolina based Pucker Butt Pepper Company. Currie breeds the Carolina Reaper, which at 1.5 million SHU claimed the title of the world’s hottest pepper in 2013. He’s also currently preparing to unveil a new pepper, currently titled HP56, which tops the Scoville scale at 2.2 million SHU—essentially with a bite as hot as pepper spray but in fruit form.
Currie can recite the health benefits of spice like a true pepper evangelist: The skin of super-hot peppers, he notes, has been studied for its cancer-fighting properties and effects on metabolism.
In fact, several studies in rodents and cells have found that capsaicin may help to fight cancers ranging from prostate cancer to colon cancer to leukemia . A 2015 study published in BMJ found that individuals who ate spicy foods almost every day had a 14-percent decreased likelihood of dying. Capsaicin is already a treatment for psoriasis and muscle aches—synthetic capsaicinoids are the key ingredients in over the counter muscle creams like Bengay.
Meanwhile, outside of medicine, the increase in super-hot peppers or peppers greater than 1 million SHU—in the ‘80s super-hot peppers were thought to max out around 500,000 SHU—has risen in tandem with the nation’s appetite for spicier foods.
“For many decades the United States, France, and Northern Europeans didn’t really eat spicy foods,” said Bosland. “When I first started working here people asked me if chili peppers were a fad. Nobody asks that anymore—it’s more mainstream.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Gilbert Queeley, a research associate with Florida A&M’s Cooperative Extension. Queeley works with farmers to help them find ways of increasing their profits from crops. Lately, that means scotch-bonnet peppers, which clock in at 100,000-350,000 SHUs, or 10 to 35 times hotter than the jalapeno. The increased demand and the scotch bonnet’s relatively high price—$2.75 to $3 dollars a pound, according to Queeley—means that some farmers can make significantly more money growing scotch bonnets than they can with other, more traditional vegetables.
“Most of the retailers around here and people in the hot-sauce industry were familiar with jalapeno peppers and Tabasco-type peppers, and for a while they stuck with what they knew,” said Queeley. “But once the Jamaican cuisine in particular started permeating throughout the south, and everyone got on the jerk sauce, and jerk seasoning, and jerk chicken bandwagon, the scotch bonnet pepper took off.”
And understanding the attributes that contribute to a pepper’s spice—like how capcaisin gets stored—makes it easier to breed peppers that meet demand, whether that’s medicinal or culinary.
Or both. Spice lovers say that the pain of eating a chili pepper is a draw, not a negative. “With the chili heat, your body produces endorphins that make you feel better,” said Bosland. “You feel good when you eat it.”
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The Ghost Pepper on The Scoville Scale
For the true aficionado of hot and spicy, the ghost pepper deserves a special place in their culinary hall of fame. Reaching up to an impressive 1 million units on the Scoville scale , this fierce pepper has earned its place as one of the hottest naturally occurring ingredients around.
But why are we so obsessed with eating something that is literally burning hot? Let's talk about what makes this chili so ferocious, how it's used in popular dishes, and some ghost pepper hot sauces to try!
What is the Scoville Scale and How Does it Work
If you have ever bitten into a chili pepper and felt the intense heat spreading throughout your mouth, that heat in all peppers is caused by one simple natural ingredient... capsaicin. The compound called capsaicin is found in varying levels in peppers and is what causes the burning sensations you feel.
The Scoville Scale is a measurement of how spicy a pepper is based on its capsaicin content. It was developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912 and originally measured through a taste test.
Today, the Scoville Scale is calculated by using high-performance liquid chromatography to determine the capsaicin concentration in a pepper. The higher the concentration, the spicier the pepper. So, the next time you're in the mood for something spicy, you can check on the Scoville Scale to get a rough idea of how hot that chili pepper may be.
The Bhut Jolokia Ghost Pepper on the Scoville Scale
The infamous ghost pepper, also known as the Bhut Jolokia, is one of the hottest peppers around. It's so hot that it was once used to make tear gas! Just kidding, we just made that up... but it is HOT.
It stands tall on the Scoville Scale at around 1,041,427 SHU. But with any pepper that can range depending on how the pepper was grown, where it was grown, and many other factors. On the low end, the bhut jolokia ghost pepper can also be around 855,000.
Jalapeños have a Scoville rating that ranges from 2,500 to 8,000. While this may seem low compared to some of the hotter peppers like the 7 pot primo or Carolina reapers, jalapeños still pack a decent amount of heat.
To put its heat into perspective, here is the Scoville rating of the jalapeño pepper alongside some other well-known peppers:
Bell pepper: 0 SHU
Jalapeño pepper: 2,500-8,000 SHU
Serrano pepper: 10,000-25,000 SHU
Ghost Pepper: 1,041,427 SHU
So yeah, it's hot!
History of The Ghost Pepper
The Bhut Jolokia ghost pepper comes from the Northeast region of India and the name “Bhut Jolokia” literally translates to “Ghost Pepper.” It was officially discovered in 2000 and has since become a popular ingredient in many spicy dishes, sauces, and snacks worldwide.
In 2007 it made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records as the hottest chili pepper on Earth with an average score of 1,041,427 SHU. However, it has since been surpassed by the Carolina Reaper.
Ghost Pepper Hot Sauces
If you're brave enough to try it out for yourself, there are quite a few recipes online that require the use of this hot chili pepper.
For those who just want to add some heat without cooking up something themselves, there are plenty of amazing ghost pepper hot sauces out there. Here are a few of our personal favorites:
Mikey V's - Sweet Ghost Pepper
Ghostly Garlic Hot Sauce
The Different Types of Ghost Peppers
Although the Bhut Jolokia is the most popular, there are actually several varieties of ghost pepper out there. The red ghost pepper that most people are familiar with is just one of many.
Red Ghost Pepper
The red ghost pepper is also often called Naga Jolokia and Bih Jolokia has long pods typically with a bumpy texture. Its flavor can be smokey and slightly fruity.
Green Ghost Pepper
The green ghost pepper is a younger and immature version of the red ghost. Taste wise it can have a grassy, fruity, and floral taste. Typically the green ghost pepper won't have as much heat as the red.
Peach Ghost Pepper
The peach Bhut Jolokia tends to have longer pendant pods than the other ghost peppers. Pods on it can start by growing green but eventually turn into a pinkish, peach color. Some even turn orange if left for too long.
Yellow Ghost Pepper
The yellow ghost pepper is unique as it was a natural variant and not a hybrid. Again, the pepper will start green but will grow yellow as it begins to ripen. Tastewise, you'll find it very similar to the red ghost pepper.
White Ghost Pepper
The white ghost pepper is a rare version that you won't see very often. It also has a more unique look to it as it doesn't have bumps much like the others. It comes with a slightly citrus flavor.
Chocolate Ghost Pepper
The chocolate ghost pepper is not a chili pepper covered with chocolate... but rather naturally grows and turns into a chocolate color. They tend to be a bit smoky and can be very aromatic!
Purple Ghost Pepper
Lastly, we have the purple ghost pepper. Some of these will start off growing with a purple color and eventually turn red. Others can start off green and then turn purple and then red. They have your typical bhut jolokia tastes and flavor profiles, but they can bit a bit more timid with their heat levels.
Are You Going To Try The Bhut Jolokia Ghost Pepper?
The Bhut Jolokia ghost pepper is one of the spiciest peppers out there. It can range from 1,041,427 SHU on the Scoville Scale and comes in a variety of colors. From red, green, peach, yellow, white, chocolate, and purple - there are plenty of options for anyone looking to get a bit of heat.
Whether you're looking to add heat to a dish or just curious about the Bhut Jolokia ghost pepper, there's a lot of information out there to learn and explore. From its history, different varieties, and hot sauces .
So if you ever find yourself feeling brave enough to try out the heat of a ghost pepper, grab some gloves and go for it! Just make sure you know what your tolerance level is first.
- Chile Peppers
- Scoville Scale
Understanding The Scoville Scale: Made Simple
The Ultimate Guide to The Jalapeños Scoville Rating
The Science of Spiciness: How Hot Sauce Triggers Your Taste Buds
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Ghost Pepper Scoville Units: How To Calculate The Heat Level Of A Ghost Pepper
Ghost peppers are among the hottest chilis on earth. They're also very rare, so finding one in the wild isn't easy. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy them at home. Here's how to measure the heat level of a fresh ghost pepper.
What Is The Scoville Scale? The Scoville scale measures the heat level of a food based on the amount of capsaicin (the chemical compound responsible for spicy flavors) found within it. The higher the number, the hotter the pepper.
How Does The Scoville Scale Work? The Scoville unit was developed in 1912 by Wilbur Scoville, an American pharmacist who worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He wanted to find a way to measure the heat levels of peppers so he could determine which ones were the hottest.
Buy Melinda's Ghost Pepper Wing Sauce Here Buy Melinda's Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce Here
How Do You Find Out The Scoville Rating Of A Ghost Chili?
In order to calculate the heat level, you need to multiply the grams of capsaicin per 100 millilitres of liquid by the Scoville units assigned to each measurement. The ghost pepper ranks at 1,041,427 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) at the top end of the scale.
How Much Can I Eat? If you eat one gram of capsaicin, you will feel an intense burning sensation in your mouth and throat. However, the actual amount of capsaicin required to cause pain varies between people. This means that the same amount of capsaicin can produce different levels of discomfort in different individuals.
What is Melindas Ghost Pepper Sauce Scoville ?
Melinda's Ghost Pepper Sauce is made with Bhut Jolokia. And according to Guiness Book of Records, it is one of the world's hottest chili peppers. Melinda’s takes this super hot pepper and blends it with fresh and all-natural ingredients including habanero peppers to make their sauce extra hot. The Melindas ghost pepper sauce scoville(SHU) ranges between 50,000 – 250,000.
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Paqui Ghost Pepper Chips Scoville: Decoding the Heat
- By Bill Kalkumnerd
- Updated October 1, 2023
The ghost pepper is one of the hottest peppers on the planet, 400 times hotter than spicy sauce. The Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper chips will frighten your taste buds to no end. So you may come to wonder what the Scoville scale of these Chips is?
This article will discuss everything you need to know about the scale of Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chips in detail.
The heat level of the Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chip comes from the Ghost Pepper – which measures ~1,001,304+ Scoville Heat Units. This level of spice on the Scoville Scale is considered as super hot.
The Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chip is a serious business. If you’ve heard of it, you might be wondering what’s the big deal about the Haunted Ghost Pepper chip. The problem isn’t the single chip; it’s the dust on the chip that has many challenges in a bad mood.
This chip includes the world’s hottest pepper, which will be even hotter this year. Keep on reading to learn more about the hottest haunted ghost pepper chips and the challenge.
What is The Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chip?
Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chips are the spiciest tortilla chips in the Paqui line-up, with “a powerful blend of ghost peppers, cayenne, and chipotle.” Paqui Ghost Pepper Chip, which is a part of Amplify Snack Brands, has announced the return of The Paqui Chip, inviting spice fans to experience The Ghost Pepper in a whole new way.
Who’s Behind The Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chip?
Paqui is thrilled to publicly announce The Paqui Spice Council, the committee responsible for producing, tasting, and testing the spiciest chip each year for The Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chip, after years of experimenting behind the scenes.
The Council comprises a mix of seasoned spice lovers and self-identified “mere mortals” and is made up of chosen cruel Paqui personnel – from R&D to sales to marketing. Every year, the Paqui Spice Council collaborates with spice traders to test various seasoning combinations until they reach the necessary heat level.
Where To Buy Haunted Ghost Pepper Chips?
The Haunted Ghost Pepper Chip costs $28.95 and features only three simple seasoning ingredients that combine to humble even the fiercest competitors.
The Paqui everyday assortment of spicy chips, including Haunted Ghost Pepper, the spiciest tortilla chips available in stores, can assist train taste buds for The Paqui Challenge. Those who think they can handle the heat can purchase the chip online at Amazon or look for local participating retailers.
Paqui Tastes Range:
Paqui tastes range from “Freakin’ Hot” to “Not Hot.”
Haunted Ghost Pepper:
Paqui’s most popular and spiciest flavor, these chips blend Chipotle Pepper, Ghost Pepper, and Cayenne Pepper and are insanely hot.
Zesty Salsa Verde:
It is one of the gentler flavors, yet with a blend of tart tomatillos and silky sour cream, this chip still packs a punch.
Fiery Chile Limón:
With a burst of lime and a spicy kick from red chile peppers, this chip is a mix of sour and spicy.
Mucho Nacho Cheese:
It is made with natural spices and real cheddar to satisfy cheesy tortilla chip cravings without additives or artificial flavors.
With spicy jalapenos and a hint of pineapple, this chip is the perfect balance of sweetness and spice .
How Hot Exactly Is The Haunted Ghost Pepper Chip?
Thanks to a strong blend of ghost peppers, cayenne, and chipotle, these chips are insanely fiery. This flavor is the spiciest in Paqui’s selection, and it will terrify your taste senses. Not only are the ingredients original, but the heat is as well.
One chip won’t be enough once you taste the difference that natural (and truly delicious) ingredients make.
Gluten-free, non-GMO, and free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, or flavors, these heated tortilla chips are vegan and Kosher certified. The highly anticipated haunted ghost pepper chip will be different from previous years.
Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chips Scoville Rating
Now that we know how sweltering ghost peppers are, what about Paqui’s haunted ghost pepper chips ?
These tortilla chips get their extreme spice from a “terrifying trio” of peppers:
- Ghost peppers
- Chipotle peppers
- Cayenne peppers
Chipotles rate 10,000-23,000 SHU. Cayennes come in at 30,000-50,000 SHU. Combined with the ghost pepper’s up to 1 million SHU, that’s some wicked heat!
While Paqui doesn’t publish an official SHU rating for their chips, based on the ingredients, they likely range from 300,000-1,000,000+ SHUs.
That makes these tortilla chips insanely hot – not for casual snacking! Just a nibble singes your tongue. They live up to the haunted name by scaring your taste buds senseless.
Paqui One Chip Challenge Scoville Info
Each year, Paqui releases a limited edition chip called the One Chip Challenge, using the world’s hottest peppers.
For 2022, the One Chip contains:
- Carolina Reaper peppers – 1,641,183 SHU
- Scorpion peppers – 1,200,000-2,000,000 SHU
This takes the Scoville meter even higher into the millions! Eating one chip is an extreme challenge even for diehard spice fans.
The contest dares spice lovers to try surviving the chip. But it’s not for the faint of heart (or tongue).
How To Prepare For Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chips Challenge?
There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re doing the Haunted Ghost Pepper Chip Challenge:
Wearing gloves when eating is recommended for your safety. Because the chip is incredibly powdery, the last thing you want to do is touch your eyes with it in your hands. Although gloves were included in the collectors’ box, they are not included in the Haunted Ghost Pepper Chip, so you need to prepare gloves ahead of time.
Prepare A Meal Ahead Of Time.
If you have serious stomach issues then eat a meal before the challenge. Capsaicin is a fat-soluble chemical that gives spicy foods their heat. Some experienced competitive eaters advise having a moderate-sized meal high in carbohydrates and fat 20-30 minutes before eating a super-spicy cuisine, which will aid digestion later.
Prepare Yourself Mentally.
Be aware that the hot chip is not one of those typical spicy meals. You won’t be startled by the spice levels if you do this.
Prepare Yogurt, Sour Cream, And Milk
Dairy is pretty about the only food that can help you get through the extreme pain of eating flaming hot chilies. Prepare a large glass of extremely cold milk and open containers of sour cream and full-fat yogurt with spoons. You could even indulge in some of your favorite ice creams. You’ll be happy you packed something to comfort your taste senses while your eyes are watering from pain.
Take Stomach Medicine Or Antacids
Take a Pepto-Bismol, Tums, or Alka-Seltzer for 10-15 minutes before eating your super-spicy chip. They may assist in preventing gastric irritation, which could spare you some discomfort later. ( Antacids comparison )
Drink Plenty Of Water
You should start drinking plenty of water after you’ve finally defeated your Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper chip. This will assist in maintaining a smooth flow of events (particularly after consuming so much high-fat dairy).
How long does the Haunted Ghost Pepper Chip challenge’s Burn last?
According to some people, the burning feeling in your mouth can last up to 20 minutes, while the intestinal pain can last anywhere from 2 to 5 hours.
Is it possible to die due to the Paqui One Chip Challenge?
There have been no reported deaths due to the One Chip Challenge. However, a warning on-chip says, “Do not eat if you are sensitive to spicy foods, allergic to peppers, nightshade, or capsaicin, or are pregnant or have any medical concerns.”
It goes without saying that the Haunted Ghost Pepper Chips are the spiciest because three hottest peppers cover this year’s tortilla chip. It has ~1,000,000+ Scoville Heat Units. If you have trouble breathing, fainting, or have prolonged nausea after eating it, seek medical help.
Hopefully, with the help of our article, you now have in-depth knowledge of the Scoville scale of the Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chips.
You May Like This:
- 20 Hot & Spicy Chips For Your Parties
- How Long Does the One Chip Challenge Last?
- The Surprising Reasons Behind the Price of the Paqui One Chip Challenge
Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper vs. One Chip Challenge: Which Is Hotter?
- One Chip Challenge Stomach Pain Remedies
I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click
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How To Make Homemade Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
Published: Sep 22, 2023 by Grace · This post may contain affiliate links · Leave a Comment
This page may contain affiliate links. So, I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link. This post is about How To Make Homemade Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce!
Want to add some oomph to your day? Then make some of this ghost pepper sauce and have it ready to enjoy at breakfast, lunch and dinner!
This homemade hot sauce is made with bhut jolokia, also known as ghost peppers, some of the hottest peppers in the world!
I'm super excited to share this deliciously spicy hot sauce recipe with you, but first a little background on these SUPER hot peppers!
Ghost Pepper - 2007 World's Hottest Pepper!
Why you will love this recipe, 🥘 ingredients, 🔪 instructions, suggestions for serving, some other recipes you may enjoy, join me on a fun food journey.
These hot peppers originate from Northeast India, where they were cultivated. The main regions where they are grown in India are the Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland regions. In fact, "bhut" means "ghost" in Assamese, which is where the name ghost pepper comes from ( sourced from Wikipedia ).
Ghost chiles, also known as bhut jolokia, were certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's hottest chili pepper in 2007. These measure between 600,000 - 1.04 million SHU (Scoville Heat Units) on the Scoville Scale .
Since then, other peppers have surpassed the bhut jolokia as the hottest chile. As of this writing, the Carolina Reaper Pepper from South Carolina, is currently the world's hottest pepper (since 2013).
Ghost chili peppers are still some of the hottest peppers on planet Earth! To give you some perspective, jalapeno peppers are rated between 2,500 - 8,000 Scoville units on the Scoville heat scale . That's quite some difference!
Making your own hot sauce is fun and supremely satisfying! Here's why you'll love this recipe for making your very own most flavorful hot sauce:
- It's a perfect way for us chili heads to control the amount of heat that suits us to a tee! I recommend using 6 bhut jolokia peppers for this recipe, however you can adjust up or down to your preference.
- We are using some of the spiciest peppers on Earth for this recipe, but you'll find this hot sauce is not just spicy but it's got tons of flavor!
- You won't believe how easy it is to make your own ghost pepper hot sauce! All you need is a few awesome ingredients, a saucepan, and a blender or food processor and you are ready to go!
Hot sauce lovers, prepare to make one of the best hot sauces ever!
So here are the simple and fresh ingredients that you will need for this ghost pepper hot sauce recipe:
- Ghost peppers (bhut jolokia) - I used dried Ghost peppers that I rehydrated; you can also use 6 fresh peppers if you are fortunate enough to have them! I love and recommend Sonoran Spice brand of dried Ghost Peppers
- Roma tomatoes
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Apple cider vinegar
- Tomato paste
If you are using dried ghost peppers, then rehydrate them by placing them in warm water for 15 minutes. You can use a small bowl placed on top of the peppers to hold them under the water. Skip this step if using fresh ghost peppers.
Once the ghost peppers have been rehydrated, chop them. You may want to wear rubber gloves when handling the ghost peppers.
Add the olive oil to a saucepan and place on medium heat. Now add the garlic and onion and sauté for around 3 minutes until softened.
Add the carrots and tomatoes, and cook for 10 minutes stirring often. If the mixture gets too dry, add a little water.
Time to add the remaining ingredients. Lower to a simmer, and cover the saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes. Check it every few minutes to make sure it's not drying out. If it looks like it is drying out, add a bit of water.
After the simmer, remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Place the ingredient mixture in a food processor or blender, and process or blend until you have a smooth sauce.
I like to have my sauce a little chunky. However, you can run the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove any larger bits if you prefer.
At this point if the sauce is too thick for you, add water until it thins to your liking.
Then pour the sauce into a lovely container or hot sauce bottles, and refrigerate until ready to use!
Get your taste buds ready for a super tingling experience!
Have your ghost pepper hot sauce on hand to add that oomph to all your favorite dishes!
This is particularly great on chicken wings and eggs. I've also stirred it into mayo to make a spicy mayonnaise in which to dip my fries.
How will you enjoy yours? I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments below!
If your ghost pepper hot sauce is too hot for you, you can tone down the heat by adding some additional water.
To make a very smooth hot sauce, you can use a fine sieve to remove the larger solids.
The sauce contains some vinegar which will help to preserve it so it should last a few weeks in the fridge. However, I don't think it will last that long!
The Carolina Reaper is the hottest chile pepper in the world! These measure between 1.5 million - 2.2 million SHU (Scoville Heat Units) vs. between 600,000 - 1.04 million SHU (Scoville Heat Units) for ghost peppers!
Here are some other recipes you may enjoy:
- Easy Ghost Pepper Salsa
- Easy Carolina Reaper Salsa
- Carolina Reaper Spicy Roasted Almonds
I invite you to come along on this food journey with me! Please sign up to get the latest recipes and inspiration for you to expand your food comfort zone! It's an incredible journey, please join me by signing up here.
- 1 Food Processor could use a blender if you prefer
Ingredients 1x 2x 3x
- 6 each ghost peppers chopped
- 1 cup onion chopped (approximately 1 small onion)
- 2 each Roma tomatoes chopped
- ¼ cup carrots chopped
- 4 each garlic minced
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ts tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
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Top 10 Hottest Peppers on the Scoville Scale
Posted by Ghost Scream Hot Sauce on Jun 4th 2021
Some like it hot and we agree. However, if you didn’t already know, some peppers have a more intense flavor than others. Why is this?
Well, it all comes down to cultivation. With many crossbreeding enterprises popping up, it is becoming more common than ever to see a ton of flavorful peppers with an intense amount of heat.
Keep reading to learn about the ten hottest peppers according to the Scoville scale, a measurement of the pungency of peppers in “Scoville Heat Units”.
10. Red Savina - 500,000 SHU
Developed in California, the Red Savina Habanero Pepper is considered the tenth hottest in the world. With a Scoville Heat Unit rating of just over 500,000, it is a commercial favorite for specialty hot sauce makers around the globe. As a fun fact, the Red Savina held the Guinness Book of World Records top spot for twelve years, from 1994 to 2006.
9. 7 Pot Jonah (Red Giant) - 1,000,000 SHU
Originating in Trinidad, the 7 Pot Jonah has a whopping 1,000,000 SHU. The pods are said to grow as large as a tennis ball and can season up to seven pots of meat per pod. This pepper variety is also known for a slightly fruity flavor, which makes it ideal for use in chili sauces and other condiments.
8. 7 Pot Barrackpore - 1,000,000 SHU
Also hailing from the country of Trinidad, the 7 Pot Barrackpore is like the Jonah, but has a bit different flavor. With right around 1,000,000 SHU, it is slightly more bitter than other varieties from the same family line. However, it can grow slightly larger and in less time than other 7 Pot peppers.
7. Ghost Pepper - 1,042,000 SHU
Of course, you already know we’re awfully fond of the variety that comes in seventh on the hottest peppers list. The Ghost Pepper ranks around 1,041,427 Scoville Heat Units and is primarily grown in India. From 2006 to 2010, it was deemed the hottest pepper in the world, taking over the title from Red Savina. Of course, sometimes you want flavor and not just an insane amount of heat. That’s why we primarily use Ghost Peppers in our gourmet hot sauces .
6. Naga Viper - 1,349,000 SHU
Interestingly, the Naga Viper comes from England, a country that is not typically known for growing peppers. With a Scoville Scale rank of 1,349,000, it is a cross between three other hot peppers: Naga Morich, Ghost Pepper, and the Trinidad Scorpion. It has not competed for the title of the hottest pepper but makes our list.
5. Scorpion Butch - 1,464,000 SHU
If you’re looking for a sweet flavor and tons of heat, then you’ll love the Scorpion Butch from Trinidad. With 1,464,000 SHU, it took over the top spot on the list of hottest peppers in 2011. These plants often grow over three foot tall, providing a bountiful harvest for those who love spicy peppers.
4. Primo - 1,469,000 SHU
Developed by a cultivator named Troy Primeaux, the Primo Pepper originates from New Orleans, Louisiana. While it hasn’t competed for the top spot, the story behind this spicy pepper is quite entertaining. As a member of a local band, Primeaux took a leave of absence to try his hand at pepper farming. The results? Fans of the band decided to market the spicy pepper, making it a Cajun favorite.
3. 7 Pot Douglah - 1,854,000 SHU
Next on the list, we have the 7 Pot Douglah. If you’re noticing a trend here, you’re right. These 7 Pot varieties come from the same farmers in Trinidad, who have made it their mission to continue to outdo themselves with hotter and hotter peppers. With a whopping 1,854,000 SHU, this one is also called the Chocolate 7 Pot, thanks to a dark purple-like exterior.
2. Moruga Trinidad Scorpion - 2,009,000 SHU
The Moruga Trinidad Scorpion is a specialty pepper deemed the world’s hottest in 2012. Later overtaken by the Carolina Reaper, it is known for having a fruity sweet or cotton candy aroma. However, the massive 2,009,000 SHU makes it far from enjoyable as a treat! The moderate size and intense flavor make it easy to use for sauces or other recipes.
1. Carolina Reaper - 2,200,000 SHU
Deemed the hottest pepper around in 2013, the Carolina Reaper comes in at the top on this scale with a massive 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Units. Developed in South Carolina, the intense flavor has garnered this pepper tons of attention over the last few years. Despite the extreme heat level, it is said to have a bit of a cherry or chocolate undertone, which is why it has really gained popularity for use in specialty hot sauce products.
Try Our Ghost Pepper Gourmet Hot Sauces
Are you feeling adventurous? Then you’ll love trying out the 10 super-hot pepper varieties we’ve included on this list. In fact, we have multiple options in our hot sauce store for you to try out.
Our Original Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce contains (you guessed it!) ghost peppers. In addition, we have a truffle hot sauce variety that features the wonderful flavor of black truffle oil.
If you’re looking to try out the Carolina Reaper, you’ll love our Ghost Reaper Hot Sauce . As one of two green hot sauce varieties we offer, it is one of the spicier options in our verde hot sauce inventory.
Itching to try out the Moruga Scorpion pepper? Then you’ll love our Ghost Scream Vindaloo Curry Hot Sauce . It contains fresh Moruga Scorpion peppers, plus curry powder and honey.
Conclusion: The Hottest Pepper Varieties on the Planet
The toughest part about ranking the top pepper varieties on the planet by Scoville Scale is that the list is constantly changing. As new farmers and cultivators get in on the goal of trying to outdo each other, hotter peppers are becoming available. But that's okay! We'll be here to create new ghost pepper sauce recipes featuring these new creations.
While the information presented here is based on 2020 standards, there’s no doubt that summer crops this year will likely yield even hotter variations. Stay tuned to find out if the Carolina Reaper is bumped or it can hang on another year at the top spot!
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Guinness World Records names Pepper X the new hottest pepper
By Aliza Chasan
October 16, 2023 / 6:38 PM / CBS News
Pepper X has scorched its way into the record books as the world's new hottest pepper, Guinness World Records said Monday.
Ed Currie, the pepper expert who crossbred and grew Pepper X, previously broke the record for the hottest pepper on Earth a decade ago with the Carolina Reaper . Currie developed Pepper X years ago, but didn't release it right away, he said in a First We Feast video posted to YouTube on Monday. He said he kept Pepper X in his back pocket in case any other growers released something hotter than the Carolina Reaper. When no one came forward, he decided to bring out Pepper X.
"This is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people," Currie said in the First We Feast video. "People said it couldn't be done, they called us liars, and we proved to them that Pepper X is actually the hottest pepper in the world, officially from Guinness."
What are Scoville Heat Units?
A pepper's heat is determined by how much capsaicin it contains, with that heat expressed with a tool called the Scoville Scale. Pharmacologist Wilbur Scoville invented the scale in 1912. It measures how much water is required to dilute a pepper before its heat can no longer be tasted.
Pepper X was tested by Winthrop University in South Carolina. It rated at an average of 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units. For comparison, a Carolina Reaper averages 1.64 million Scoville Heat Units and a jalapeño is around 3,000 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units. A habanero typically tops 100,000.
How did Currie create Pepper X?
Currie started growing hot peppers as a hobby, eventually moving on to cultivating them full time. The pepper grower raised 800 hot pepper plants "in every inch of his home and the homes of family, friends and neighbors" in the 1990s, according to his Puckerbutt Pepper Company website.
Currie cultivated Pepper X on his farm for over a decade, according to Guinness World Records. He cross bred it with some of his hottest peppers to increase its capsaicin content.
"When we bred this pepper out, first thing we looked for is something to raise that heat level to what we thought was going to be the maximum, and the second thing is flavor," Currie told First We Feast.
Part of the development process was also protecting Pepper X. Currie said people have been trying to steal it for years.
Pepper X is considered a proprietary pepper, so pods and seeds will not be sold, according to a press release . The only way to get a taste right now is through Pepper X hot sauces.
Currie is already working on his next potential record-breaking pepper, according to Guinness World Records.
Aliza Chasan is a digital producer at 60 Minutes and CBS News.
Scoville Scale: How Hot Is a Carolina Reaper?
Posted: October 21, 2023 | Last updated: October 21, 2023
The Carolina Reaper is a chili pepper that was created by “Smokin’” Ed Currie, a chili pepper breeder who founded the PuckerButt Pepper Company in 2003. Today, the company is the largest organic pepper farm in the United States . Currie worked for over ten years to develop the Carolina Reaper. After hundreds of different hybridization experiments, he crossed a La Soufriere pepper from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with a Naga pepper from Pakistan . The result would officially be named, “Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper.” It would also claim a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the hottest chili pepper in history, a record it would hold for ten years.
How Hot is a Carolina Reaper Pepper?
The average Carolina Reaper chili pepper registers 1.64 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU). The hottest individual Carolina Reaper ever documented registered a sweltering 2.2 million SHU.
The Carolina Reaper claimed the record as the world’s hottest pepper in 2013. It topped the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper , which averages around 1.2 million SHU. Individual Trinidad Moruga Scorpions can register over two million SHU.
If you’ve never tried a Carolina Reaper, then these numbers on your phone or computer screen may not mean that much to you. How do these Scoville numbers affect real people who eat a real, authentic Carolina Reaper?
Eating a Carolina Reaper
For starters, there is the story of an NPR reporter who was documenting the story of the Carolina Reaper. According to Currie, the reporter ate a small piece of the pepper, and soon after was rolling around on the floor and hallucinating.
In another instance, a man reportedly arrived at an emergency room in New York after eating a Carolina Reaper. As the story goes, he was suffering from a thunderclap headache, which is a sudden headache that is severe and extremely dangerous. A thunderclap headache can signal blood vessel issues or even bleeding in the brain.
The PuckerButt website says it this way: “If you are ‘stupit’ enough to eat this pepper whole, you may wish to enter the doors of death willingly! Be very, very careful using this pepper. Those who don’t fear the Reaper are fools. Its Scoville rating is 1,641,300 SHU. Flavor has been described as sweet, fruity, with a hint of cinnamon with chocolate undertones. Uses include hot sauces, salsas, cooking, settling old scores, and combat.”
The Carolina Reaper on Good Mythical Morning
As it turns out, two world-famous YouTubers were indeed “stupit” enough to eat a whole Carolina Reaper. Rhett McLaughlin and Lincoln “Link” Neal are the hosts of the wildly popular YouTube series, Good Mythical Morning . In Season 6, Episode 56 of the show (which debuted on September 29, 2014), the duo took on the Carolina Reaper pepper. As you can see in the video below, the searing heat from the pepper sent the two internet stars into nauseated fits of pain, anger, regret, and utter despair.
The Scoville Scale
The Scoville scale was developed by American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. He developed a test to measure the pungency (level of spiciness or heat) in a pepper. The test is based on the concentration of capsaicin and other capsaicinoids in a pepper or other food product. These chemicals are neurotoxins that are released as a fine spray when you bite into a pepper. They produce a burning sensation that triggers a chain reaction throughout your body. As this video from Pfizer explains, you don’t taste spicy food. You feel it.
An Interesting Capsaicin Theory
Capsaicin is present throughout a pepper, but it is most concentrated in and around the seeds. This led to the theory that high capsaicin levels developed as a mechanism to aid the proliferation of these plants.
When mammals eat the fruit of these plants, their teeth grind and destroy the seeds. However, high capsaicin levels cause pain when they contact mammalian tissue, so mammals often shy away from the plants. Birds , however, are unaffected by capsaicin. And, since birds also do not chew, the seeds are not destroyed when a bird feeds on the fruit of these plants. Instead, the seeds are dispersed when the bird defecates, promoting new plant growth.
Other Pepper Scoville Ratings
Here’s a look at how some of the world’s most popular peppers rank on the Scoville scale.
- Bell peppers are the ultimate mild peppers. They have zero SHU.
- Pimientos have only the slightest hint of spiciness, registering just 500-1,000 SHU.
- Poblanos are also relatively mild peppers, with 1,000-2,000 SHU.
- The jalapeño is considered by many to be a spicy pepper. These famous red or green peppers can carry a SHU rating anywhere from 2,500-10,000.
- Tabasco and cayenne peppers are significantly hotter than jalapeños. Both of these peppers register 30,000-50,000 SHU.
- Habanero peppers are very hot, with 100,000-350,000 SHU.
- Ghost peppers carry an intense blast of heat, registering over one million SHU. The SHU content is so high that these peppers are smeared on fences or incorporated into smoke bombs to deter wild elephants in India .
The Carolina Reaper tops all of these peppers with its 1.64 million SHU. It even has a higher SHU rating than many pepper sprays carried by police, which often register around 1.6 million SHU.
The Carolina Reaper’s Name
The Carolina Reaper is a bright red pepper with a rough outer surface. While the pepper was in development, it was known as HP22B (which stood for Higher Power, Pot No. 22, Plant B).
The final product was named the Carolina Reaper, first of all, because Currie developed it in Fort Mill, South Carolina where his company is located. The “Reaper” is a reference to the shape of the pepper’s tail, which has been likened to the mythological scythe of the Grim Reaper.
Carolina Reaper Eating Records
While the Carolina Reaper has left countless victims writhing in its wake, one competitive eater was undeterred by its fearsome reputation. Mike Jack is a vegan speed eater from Ontario, Canada who took on the challenge to become the fastest person ever to consume 50 Carolina Reapers. Jack ate 50 of the insanely hot peppers in just 6 minutes, 49.2 seconds, a world record !
Not satisfied with the speed record, Jack went on to eat 85 more Carolina Reapers. Shockingly, Jack’s consumption of 135 peppers is not the most Carolina Reapers ever eaten in one sitting. That gastronomic record belongs to Gregory ‘Iron Guts’ Barlow, who ate an astonishing 160 Carolina Reapers in 2022 !
The Carolina Reaper held the record for the world’s hottest pepper from 2013 until 2023. “Smokin’” Ed Currie, who is never satisfied with his absurdly spicy peppers, broke his own world record with the release of Pepper X.
Like the Carolina Reaper, Currie spent the better part of a decade perfecting the new pepper. Pepper X is a hybrid of the Carolina Reaper and an unnamed mystery pepper that Currie described as “brutally hot.” As you can see in the video below, Currie is completely dedicated to his craft and to his team, choking back tears when he received the new Guinness world record.
Pepper X registers 2.693 million SHU. That is even higher than bear spray , which typically has 2.2 million SHU.
Is this the end of Currie’s pursuit of hot pepper perfection? Not likely. In an interview with ABC , Currie wryly smiled and said, “No, this is not the pinnacle.”
We’re breaking into a sweat just imagining what he has planned next!
The post Scoville Scale: How Hot Is a Carolina Reaper? appeared first on AZ Animals .
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