What is the hottest pepper in the world? Here are 10 of the hottest - Next Luxury (2023)

People these days are obsessed with hot food. No, we don't mean hot like fresh out of the oven, but rather a sharp taste. The hot sauce business is in full swing as everyday people's appetite for a spicy kick in their meals continues to increase. There's no real reason people are obsessed with munching on the world's hottest pepper, but there are a few factors that may have played a part.

Although it is often reducedsciences, Pop culture has also played a role. show howhot, where celebrity guests are interviewed while they eat chicken wings dipped in various hot sauces, have helped make the hot sauce industry a force. Adding hot peppers to a meal or squirting on a dollop of hot sauce is now the norm. People are more open to trying other foods from other cultures, and hot peppers and sauces are becoming a common feature of Joe's home every day.

Then there are the pepper makers who are constantly making hotter types of chili peppers to try. Many chili growers make these tongue-numbing peppers for dedicated chili lovers who want to push their taste buds to the extreme. Others just want to break the record for the hottest pepper, hoping to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.

So how do you know if a pepper is hot? You mean the Scoville scale.

The Scoville scale measures how hot and spicy a pepper really is. Calculate the amount of capsaicin (the chemical that causes heat) in a pepper and assign it a number to determine how hot it is.

It was invented in 1912 by the American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. His first version of the test involved mixing capsaicin oil from a pepper with a solution of sugar water. Scoville then slowly diluted the solution after each was tested until there was no more heat. He then gave each pepper a numerical value based on how many times he had to dilute the solution. So a pepper with a Scoville value of 100,000 has been tested 100,000 times before it is no longer hot.

Science has advanced over the years and the hotness of peppers is now determined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Although this method does not provide a numbered rating, a formula has been created that allows the Scoville scale to continue to be used when assigning a pepper's hotness.

So what is the hottest pepper in the world?

While you've probably heard of the Carolina Reaper, a pepper widely considered the world's hottest chili, its influence on the title isn't as strong as once thought. The Carolina Reaper pepper has been declared the hottest pepper in the worldGuinness World Recordsin 2017, but that has since been questioned.

Many other chili growers have produced significantly hotter chilies without gaining any credit. Some of the hottest peppers in the world are Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, Naga Morich, Ghost Pepper, Komodo Dragon, and 7 Pot Barrackpore Pepper.

Rumor has it among chilli growers that Guinness doesn't want to keep setting new records when the award goes down. The spiciness and strength of chilies continues to change at an alarming rate, with a new variant seemingly appearing every few months claiming to be hotter than the last.

Despite Guinness' stance, we include the hottest chillies not sanctioned in the record books. Some of these peppers will make you want to eat milk and you will never want to eat another chili in your life. So without further ado, here are the 11 hottest peppers in the world.

12. Pimienta fantasma (Bhut Jolokia) – 1.041.427 SHU

What is the hottest pepper in the world? Here are 10 of the hottest - Next Luxury (1)

Grow N' More/YouTube

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The Bhut Jolokia pepper is often referred to as the ghost pepper. It surpassed the Red Savina Habanero in 2006 and was awarded the Guinness World Record for the hottest chilli in the world. Granted, it's nowhere near the level of spiciness of the best chillies made in the last decade, but it's still present on this list.

It became widely known after someone ate a whole ghost pepper on YouTube and it exploded. Grown in India, it is a hybrid of many different chilies. They come in different colors, but they all have the same pleat shape. They are great for cooking and many Indians use them in curries to give them an extra kick.

11. New Mexico Scorpion – 1.191.595 SHU

The New Mexico Scorpion is one of the hottest chilies in the New Mexico pepper range. These peppers are generally not very hot and are used in everyday cooking by the Mexican locals. The New Mexico scorpion was discovered by National Fiery Foods Show producer Dave DeWitt, chemical engineer Marlin Bensinger and chili grower Jim Duffy.

Analytical Foods Laboratory independently tested the peppers and found that the New Mexico Scorpion has a Scoville heat unit of 1,191,595.

10. Naga-Viper – 1.382.118 SHU

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Bill Moore/YouTube Hot and Spicy Reviews

Long before the Carolina Reaper was ranked as the world's hottest pepper by the Guinness Book of World Records, that title was held by the Naga Viper. This extraordinarily hot red pepper comes from England. It was developed by chili farmer Gerald Fowler of The Chilli Pepper Company.

He created this abominable pepper by combining Naga Morich, Bhut Jolokia (aka Ghost Pepper) and Trinidad Scorpion. These are three of the hottest peppers out there, so it's no surprise that they ended up on this list.

It's a great chili to start with if you're just starting out eating hot peppers. Of course, there are peppers with a lot less heat, but that's still a good start. If you are interested in growing your own, you can purchase Naga Viper seeds for as little as $4.20online. Give it a try and see if you can take the heat.

9. Trinidad Scorpion Butch T – 1.463.700 SHU

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Heirloom/YouTube Reviews

Butch Taylor, the man behind itZydeco Hot Sauce, is the intellectual author of this chili seeking heat. cultivated by theChili Factoryin australia, this pepper is classified as "super hot" and is a real butt burner. It once held the Guinness record for the hottest chilli in the world for three years before being dethroned by the Naga Viper.

This chili is very red in color and round in shape. It's called "Scorpion" because the tip of the pepper resembles a scorpion's tail, and "Butch T" after its creator. It might not be as hot as some of the peppers on this list, but it's still recognized as a truly hot pepper.

8. 7 Bote Primo – 1.473.480 SHU

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Chase the Heat / YouTube

When it comes to hot peppers, 7 Pot Peppers is always part of the conversation. These peppers come from Trinidad and are known and loved by chili lovers. The 7 Pot Primo was developed by grower Troy Primeaux, nicknamed Primo, which is why this particular pepper is known as the 7 Pot Primo.

Primeaux created this hot pepper by combining a Naga Morich pepper with a Trinidad 7 Pot pepper. The result is a super hot pepper with a Scoville heat unit of 1,473,480. Although not quite as hot as the famous Carolina Reaper, the 7-Pot Primo has a record-breaking chilli-like taste.

7. Dorset-Naga-Pfeffer – 1.500,00 SHU

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Heirloom/YouTube Reviews

This super hot pepper is a versatile pepper that can be eaten on its own or used in everyday cooking for those looking to add something to their meals. The English couple Joy and Michael Michaud from Peppers by Post are the makers of these famous peppers. They bought a Naga Morich planet from a local shop. Over the years, they blended the seeds of the pepper plant with those of other fruits to create the Dorset Naga pepper, so named because both live near the English county of Dorset.

The Dorset Naga Pepper is very different in shape and texture from the original Bangladeshi version. It's also much hotter, with a Scoville heat unit of 1,500,000.

6. 7 Pot Douglah – 1.853l 936 SHU

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Peter Stanley/YouTube

The 7 Pot Douglash is one of the most popular varieties in the 7 Pop Pepper pepper range. Not only is it one of the hottest peppers in the world, it is also considered the hottest pepper that is not red. While it starts out green, it turns brown as it matures. The brown color and shape of the chili often makes one think of a plum. But don't let that fool you. This pepper means business.

The 7 Pot Douglas goes by many different names including Chocolate 7 Pod and 7 Pot Brown. Like most peppers, it has a fruity flavor that lingers long after the peppers are eaten.

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5. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion – 2.009.231 SHU

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Peter Stanley/YouTube

Before the Carolina Reaper pepper set the Guinness World Record for the world's hottest pepper, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper held that honor. This hot pepper was named the world's hottest in 2012 by the Chili Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University. It comes from near the town of Moruga in Trinidad and Tobago and has a sweet flavor that pairs well with the spiciness of the peppers.

So said the director of the Chile Pepper Institute, Paul BoslandAssociated Press;"Have a bite. It doesn't look that bad, and then it grows and grows and grows. So it's pretty nasty." It might not be the spiciest chili, but the Trinidad Scorpion is still a pepper that will wreak havoc once it hits your stomach.

4. Carolina Reaper – 2.200.000 SHU

Officially recognized as the hottest pepper in the world by Guinness World Records, the Carolina Reaper pepper is an iconic pepper. Officially recorded by Guinness as 1,569,383 Scoville Heat Units, recent testing has put the SHU at 2,200,000. That's 200 times hotter than a jalapeño pepper!

This deadly pepper was invented by Pepper King Ed Currie. He crossed a Pakistani naga with a type of red habanero from the island of St. Vincent in the West Indies to create this flavorful delicacy. If you ever enter pepper-eating competitions, the Carolina Reaper pepper always shows up, often as the final content obstacle.

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3. Drachenatem-Pfeffer – 2.480.000 SHU

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Chase the Heat / YouTube

This super hot pepper is the brainchild of chilli farmer Neal Price from Nottingham Trent University and NPK Technology. The three teamed up to try to make a skin anesthetic from capsaicin, which is extracted from pepper. It was later bred by Welsh chili breeder Mike Smith, who was trying to grow an attractive pepper plant for competition. He ended up making one of the hottest peppers in the world, which he named Dragon's Breath Pepper after the Welsh dragon.

The third hottest pepper in the world has an SHU of 2,480,000 and is sure to cause serious harm to those not used to eating peppers.

2. Apollo-Pfeffer – 3.000.000 SHU

What is the hottest pepper in the world? Here are 10 of the hottest - Next Luxury (11)

Pepper Geek/YouTube

Another Ed Currie creation, Apollo Pepper will blow your mind. The pepper debuted ashot saucein season 14 of the famous talk showhot. It is the tenth sauce to be used on the show and is used as the "Ultimate Dab".

A collaboration between Currie andhot, the pepper is a cross between Carolina Reaper and Pepper X, two of the hottest peppers in the world. The result is a stunning pepper unlike anything you've ever tasted. The sauce consists of only four ingredients: Apollo pepper, distilled vinegar, Apollo pepper powder and Apollo pepper distillate. It combines the fruity taste of Carolina Reaper with the earthy undertones of Pepper X. This is only for those with a strong stomach.

1. Pfeffer X – 3.180.000 SHU

What is the hottest pepper in the world? Here are 10 of the hottest - Next Luxury (12)


The unofficially hottest pepper in the world goes by the name of Pepper X. This fiery pepper comes from the mad mind of Ed Currie, the man responsible for the Carolina Reaper World Record. Currie developed this heat-seeking chili rocket by crossing several variants of extremely hot peppers. It is said to have recorded a score of 3.18 million on the Scoville Heat Unit. One taste of these hot peppers will probably have you running to the bathroom and shooting fire out of your butt.

If you think you can handle this heatwave, Heatonist has launchedThe classic Hot Sauce: Pepper X Edition. This 5 ounce bottle of chili sauce is only for true pepper lovers.Describe Heatonistaas "a powerful, slow-building burn combines with tart apple cider vinegar, garlic and turmeric for a delicious warmer you can throw on anything." Delicious!

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What is the hottest pepper in the world 2023? ›

1. Carolina Reaper 2.2 Million SHU. Officially the world's hottest pepper as certified by Guinness World Records.

What is the number 1 hottest pepper? ›

The Carolina Reaper is officially the Worlds Hottest Pepper as ranked by Guinness Book of World Records. It's hot, and by hot, we mean HOT! The Carolina Reaper can top-out at 2.2 Million SHU!

What is the hottest pepper sold in stores? ›

Carolina Reaper Pepper - 4 Live Plants - The Hottest Pepper in the World - Walmart.com.

How hot is the dragon's breath pepper? ›

The Dragon's Breath pepper, as it's been named, reportedly measures 2.48 million on the Scoville heat units scale.

How hot is ghost pepper? ›

The ghost pepper has an average of about 1 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), compared to a jalapeño with around 8,000 SHU or a habanero with up to 350,000 SHU.

Is there a pepper hotter than the Carolina Reaper? ›

Dragon's Breath, like Pepper X, still has yet to be confirmed by the Guinness World Records as one of the world's hottest chili peppers, though it has been measured as hotter than the Carolina Reaper many times.

Is the Apollo pepper hotter than the Carolina Reaper? ›

Is the Apollo Pepper Hotter than the Carolina Reaper? Yes, the Apollo pepper is roughly 1.4 times hotter than the Carolina Reaper. The Carolina Reaper measures in at about 2.2 Million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), while the Apollo pepper reportedly measures in at about 3 Million SHU.

What pepper is hotter than the sun? ›

Extremely Hot

Carolina Reaper (1,641,300 SHU): The world's hottest pepper.

Who eats the hottest pepper? ›

California man eats 10 Carolina Reaper peppers in 33 seconds, a Guinness World Record. Greg Foster is on a record-breaking hot streak. The San Diego, California, hot sauce maker recently earned his third Guinness World Record within a year for his ability to rapidly ingest super-hot peppers.

What color pepper is the hottest? ›

The varieties with the most heat are the hot red and yellow varieties, while another variety, that ranges from purple to chocolate brown, are a bit milder.

Is ghost pepper illegal? ›

No. But it is illegal to use them in food and not tell the person.

What is stronger than Carolina Reaper? ›

Komodo Dragon Pepper

The Komodo Dragon Pepper came on the scene in 2015 poised to dethrone the Carolina Reaper as the hottest pepper in the world. A crow between a 7 Pot and a Ghost Pepper, the Komodo Dragon rivals the Reaper in terms of SHUs, but has a delicious fruity flavor that singes every one of your taste buds.

What is the hottest ghost pepper? ›

In 2007, Guinness World Records certified that the ghost pepper was the world's hottest chili pepper, 170 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. The ghost chili is rated at more than one million Scoville Heat Units (SHUs).
Ghost pepper
Scoville scale1,001,304 SHU
6 more rows

What are the top 50 hottest peppers? ›

2018 Top 50 World's Hottest Chillies Scoville Scale Rating
Pepper NameScoville Heat Units (2018 Update)
Pure Capsaicin16000000 SHUs
Police Grade Pepper Spray2000000 SHUs
1.Carolina Reaper2200000 SHUs
2.Trinidad Moruga Scorpion2009231 SHUs
49 more rows

What are the top 20 hottest peppers? ›

The 20 hottest chili peppers in the world
  • Madame Jeanette. Rating: 225,000 SHU. ...
  • Scotch Bonnet. Rating: 100,000 - 350,000 SHU. ...
  • White Habanero. Rating: 100,000 - 350,000 SHU. ...
  • Habanero. Rating: 100,000 - 350,000 SHU. ...
  • Fatalii. Rating: 125,000 - 325,000 SHU. ...
  • Devil's Tongue. ...
  • Tigerpaw NR. ...
  • Caribbean Red Habanero.
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