The world's hottest pepper is part of a group of plants of the genus capsicum chinense. The spiciness of chile ranges from barely edible to so strong that it can cause skin and eye discomfort.
Peppers are, without a doubt, spicy. But which peppers have the most heat? Be warned; our hottest peppers list can set your mouth on fire. These peppers are not for the faint of heart, with temperatures reaching over 1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
In our post, explore the top 16 spiciest peppers from around the globe!
⬇️ Table of Contents
- Hottest Peppers In The World
- Understanding the Scoville Scale and Scoville Heat Units (SHU)
- 1. 🌶️ Pepper X
- 2. 🌶️ Dragon's Breath
- 3. 🌶️ Komodo Dragon
- 4. Carolina Reaper
- 5. 🌶️ Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
- 6. 🌶️ Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate
- 7. 🌶️ Apollo Pepper
- 8. 🌶️ Trinidad 7 Pot Pepper
- 9. 🌶️ 7 Pot Douglah
- 10. 🌶️ 7 Pot Brown
- 11. 🌶️ Dorset Naga
- 12. 🌶️ Naga Morich
- 13. 🌶️ Trinidad Scorpion "Butch-T"
- 14. 🌶️ Naga Viper
- 15. 🌶️ 7 Pot Brain Strain
- 16. 🌶️ Ghost Pepper
- 17. 🌶️ 7 Pot Jonah Pepper
- 18. 🌶️ Spanish Naga Pepper / Gibralta Naga Pepper
- Recipes To Try
Hottest Peppers In The World
This article will give you everything you need to know about the spiciest, hottest chili peppers available. Also, learn how the Scoville Scale works and what SHU ratings mean for those who enjoy spicy foods!
Understanding the Scoville Scale and Scoville Heat Units (SHU)
This question cannot have a firm answer because it is subjective to each individual. But generally speaking, some peppers are thought to be hotter than others. The main measurement is the shu Scoville capsaicin heat level.
The Trinidad Scorpion Moruga Blend, which has a Scoville Heat Index of 2,000,000, is frequently referred to as the spiciest pepper in the world (SHU).
The Carolina Reaper (1,569,300 SHU), the Ghost Pepper (1,041,000 SHU), and the Habanero pepper are some of the other peppers that are among the hottest (350,000-580,000 SHU). Which pepper is the hottest will ultimately depend on the individual and
What Is The Scoville Scale?
The Scoville Scale is a measurement of the capsaicin pepper heat levels. It was developed in 1912 by American chemist Wilbur Scoville to estimate how much spice/heat) an individual pepper possesses, named the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU).
The scale assigns a rating from zero to infinity, with sweet bell peppers at zero and Carolina Reapers at over 2 million Scoville units!
How the Scoville Scale Works
Using the Scoville Organoleptic Test, the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers and other spicy foods is measured in Scoville heat units. When using this method of determining spice levels, there is no need to taste the foods.
Instead, it uses indicator chemicals that interact with active ingredients in high-performance liquid chromatography to determine the amount of capsaicin present.
Scoville heat units (SHU): The score for spice is based on how much capsaicin is present in each unit, which affects the levels of other compounds like dihydrocapsaicin and ß-cis-capsaicin.
The Scoville scale is merely a rough estimate. It determines the overall level of spiciness in a solution or food that contains a combination of capsaicinoids and non-capsaicinoids by measuring the total amount of hot, spicy heat present in both.
1. 🌶️ Pepper X
The New Hot...The new pepper, the X Pepper, developed by Ed Currie, the creator of the Carolina Reaper, said that Pepper X is at least "two times hotter pepper," which makes it hotter than the carolina reaper. This is the newest pepper on this list.
He started developing this new cultivar over ten years ago in an effort to have more heat with less flavor loss when compared with other spicy varieties on display at farmer's markets or grown by home gardeners.
- Rating: 3,180,000 Scovilles (SHU)
- Developed by Ed Currie, the creator of the Carolina Reaper
- Currently not officially recognized by the Guinness World Records
- Remarkably fruity flavor with an extreme heat
Pepper X is a new hybrid pepper that is said to be the hottest pepper in the world. It is a cross between the Ghost Pepper and the Trinidad Scorpion Pepper.
The extreme heat of Pepper X chili deems it unwise to consume the fruit. If the reports are accurate, one bite has the ability to kill the diner.
Hot Ones, a web series produced by First We Feast in which the host and his interview subjects eat increasingly spicy chicken wings. One of their sauces is called 'The Last Dab.' The original sauce for this dish was made with Pepper X as its active ingredient; now, they use pepper extract instead because it has more heat.
2. 🌶️ Dragon's Breath
The newly crowned chili pepper plant, Dragon's Breath, was discovered in the UK. The Dragon's Breath is a type of chili pepper bred to have medicinal properties.
The therapeutic properties of aesthetic treatment with its essential oil, believed by some people who study plants, the scientific value of Dragon's Breath cannot be overstated.
- Rating: 2,480,000 (SHU)
- Bred in the United Kingdom by Mike Smith
- Initially developed for medical use as a numbing agent
- Extremely hot with a slight fruity taste
Mike Smith and his team at Tom Smith’s Plants bred one of the most superhot peppers. They say if you eat one, it will close your airways immediately-burn, mouth/throat out, and possibly anaphylactic shock from the hot spicy, so be careful!
3. 🌶️ Komodo Dragon
Komodo Dragon Pepper is a beast of an ingredient, with over one million Scoville heat units and a 2.2 million on average to compete against some serious peppers in Carolina Reaper territory at 880 times hotter than jalapeños!
- Rating: 1,400,000 to 2,200,000 (SHU)
- Originated in the UK
- Sweet, fruity taste with a sudden, intense heat
- Slowly dissipating burn
Komodo dragon chilies are about 2 inches long and slim. They have skin that twists, turns, and pocks along its length before ending in a point-like tip.
Komodos follow the typical chili pepper color maturation pattern starting green at maturity and followed by bright red when fully ripe.
4. Carolina Reaper
Carolina Reaper still reigns supreme as one of the spiciest commercially available chiles today. The spiciness and heat of the Carolina Reaper are derived from capsaicinoids, specifically those that contribute to its Scoville scale ranking as one of the hottest chilis on earth.
- Rating: 1,400,000 to 2,200,000 (SHU)
At one point, this pepper held the Guinness book of world records for the world’s hottest pepper.
The pepper was bred by "Smokin" Ed Currie in a greenhouse near Rock Hill, where he has been growing chili peppers since 1968. It took him over three years' worth of breeding for this accomplishment!
5. 🌶️ Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (Capsicum chinense), a chili pepper native to the village of Moruga in Trinidad and Tobago, has been identified as one of the spiciest chiles on Earth.
It was measured at 1.2 million Scoville heat units (SHU) by New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute in 2012, making it amongst some other listings, such as Carolina Reaper, with its record-setting designation.
- Originated in Trinidad and Tobago
- Named for its scorpion-like tail
- Slow-building heat with a sweet, fruity taste
The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion has a unique, fiery taste that builds as you eat it. The yellow cultivar of this chili pepper was created by Wahid Ogeer in the 1980s and named after his home country of Trinidad. Paul Bosland says, "You take one bite; then suddenly, your tongue is on fire!"
6. 🌶️ Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate
Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate Pepper is 100 times hotter than a jalapeno. The short (2-inch), wrinkled chocolate brown, red fruits have hints of sweetness.
Its undertones makes it perfect for a spicy peppers fruit-forward sauce.
- Rating: 1,200,000 to 2,000,000 (SHU)
- A chocolate-colored variant of the Trinidad Scorpion pepper
- Rich, earthy flavor with a touch of sweetness
- The intense heat that builds slowly
We recommend wearing protective gear while handling Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate pepper, just as one would do any other of the chilies on our list. This chili has a less acidic flavor profile overall due to some smokiness and earthy tones.
7. 🌶️ Apollo Pepper
Apollo Pepper, created by Ed Currie of the Puckerbutt Pepper Company in 2019, is a remarkable pepper hybrid.
- Rating of 1.5 million SHU
The Apollo Pepper’s heat level is not for the faint-hearted; it has an intense and immediate impact on the taste buds.
The Apollo Pepper delivers a unique blend of sweet and spicy flavors that will tantalize any palate. Its flavor profile boasts fruity notes with hints of citrus, mango, pineapple, and peach.
When used in cooking or garnishing dishes, the Apollo Pepper adds a delicious kick of heat that will not overwhelm other ingredients.
8. 🌶️ Trinidad 7 Pot Pepper
The Trinidad 7 Pot Pepper is a very hot pepper that has gained notoriety in the chile pepper world. It was created by an unknown Trinidad native, and its name comes from the fact that it’s hot enough to put seven pots of food on fire.
- Rating 1,000,000 SHU
The taste of the Trinidad 7 Pot Pepper is described as being fruity and smoky, with a powerful heat that builds up quickly and lingers on your tongue long after you’ve eaten it. It also has notes of citrus and earthiness mixed in.
The Trinidad 7 Pot Pepper is commonly used in hot sauces, marinades, and salsas. It can also be used to add spice to dishes such as stews, curries, and chili.
This pepper was created in the early 2000s by an unknown Trinidad native. The exact year of creation is unknown but it has been around for over a decade now and is a favorite among pepper enthusiasts.
9. 🌶️ 7 Pot Douglah
7 Pot Douglah is an extremely hot pepper from Trinidad. It has skin that’s notably dark chocolate brown and somewhat pimpled but starts off green before maturing to a rich brown coloration. At 1,853,986 Scovilles, it is one of the world's hottest.
- Rating: 923,889 to 1,853,986 (SHU)
- From Trinidad and Tobago
- Also known as Chocolate 7 Pot
- Rich, earthy flavor with a slow-building, extreme heat
The 7 Pot Douglah Pepper has a heat rating of 232 times hotter than jalapenos and more than five times as spicy as habaneros.
10. 🌶️ 7 Pot Brown
7 Pot Brown pepper comes from Trinidad, also known as the Chocolate 7 Pot. The reason is it matures to dark chocolate brown, with a bumpy texture and dimples on its surface that give off fruity flavors followed by nutty notes at the finish.
- Rating: 800,000 to 1,853,396 (SHU)
- A brown variant of the 7 Pot pepper
- Earthy, smoky flavor with a hint of sweetness
- Slow-building heat that intensifies over time
7 Pot peppers are not for the faint of heart. They're hot, with a potency level over 125 times hotter than jalapeños and a close cousin to Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper.
11. 🌶️ Dorset Naga
Dorset Naga is a strain of the Naga Morich. This chili began the modern British obsession. First cultivated by Joy and Michael Michaud at Sea Spring Farm, Dorset, it was named one of the world's hottest.
Some say that the Dorset Naga and Morich pepper are one and the same, but their differences make them unique.
- Rating: 544,000 to 1,598,227 (SHU)
- Developed in Dorset, England
- A close relative of the Naga Morich and Bhut Jolokia
- Distinctive fruity flavor with a creeping heat
The Dorset Naga, which has thin skin and a pointy tip, can be pretty spicy. The heat starts building up almost immediately after consumption with an out-of-this-world fruity flavor that some people might find too intense for their taste buds - but those who love fiery foods thoroughly enjoy it!
12. 🌶️ Naga Morich
Naga Morich is a small-medium shrub with large leaves, and it has five-petaled flowers. The fruit of this chili plant differs from the Bhut Jolokia.
In comparison, it's slightly smaller while having a more pimply texture than other varieties due to being grown at higher elevations where there's less sunlight available for photosynthesis.
- Rating: 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 (SHU)
- Originated in Bangladesh and Northeast India
- Known as the "snake chili" or "ghost chili"
- The intense, fruity flavor followed by a lingering heat
Thus, growing faster but not producing as many fruits over time makes harvesting difficult without destroying part or all its crop yield potential.
13. 🌶️ Trinidad Scorpion "Butch-T"
Trinidad Scorpion "Butch-T" was briefly listed as the hottest pepper in the world in 2011. According to Guinness World Records, it was eventually surpassed by Moruga Scorpions and then again with Carolina Reaper. But still, this fantastic chili will satisfy those craving massive heat.
- Rating: 800,000 to 1,463,700 (SHU)
- Developed by Butch Taylor
- Named after its creator and its scorpion-like tail
- Fruity flavor with an intense, scorching heat
The Scorpion Pepper is indigenous to the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, which was named after Neil Smith from The Hippy Seed Company.
He initially received these seeds through Butch Taylor (the owner of Zydeco Farms in Woodville/Crosby, Mississippi), who sourced them.
14. 🌶️ Naga Viper
- Rating: 900,000 to 1,382,118 (SHU)
- Created in England by Gerald Fowler
- A hybrid of the Naga Morich, Trinidad Scorpion, and Bhut Jolokia
- Slow-building heat with a fruity, sweet flavor
Naga Viper was created in England by chili farmer Gerald Fowler of The Chilli Pepper Company UK. Naga Viper is the creation of a three-way hybrid produced from the Bhut Jolokia (ghost pepper), Naga Morich, and Trinidad Scorpions, which are all on record as registering 1 million Scoville heat units or higher!
15. 🌶️ 7 Pot Brain Strain
7 Pot Brain Strain was developed in North Carolina by David Cappiello. He created it after breeding a pepper that originated from Trinidad and Tobago, which gave its name to this strain because this particular pepper immediately brings to mind an image of the human brain.
- Rating: 1,000,000 to 1,350,000 (SHU)
- Believed to have originated in the United States
- Wrinkled appearance resembling a human brain
- Fruity, citrus flavor with a powerful, lingering heat
It also resembles melting lava and reflects how hot it can be when tasting these fiery fruits! The shape is very similar to that which you'll find on Moruga Scorpiones though they do not have a pronounced tail as many other scorpion peppers do.
This sweet yet spicy chili can exceed 1 million Scoville units depending upon where they're grown but still has enough kick without being overwhelming, thanks to its great flavor.
16. 🌶️ Ghost Pepper
Ghost Pepper is a hybrid of chili pepper endemic to Northeast Asia. They have been measured at over one million Scoville units, though they typically score in the upper hundreds of thousands or lower millions on modern tests.
- Rating: 800,000 to 1,041,427 (SHU)
- Originated in Northeast India
- Former world record holder for the hottest pepper
- Smoky, fruity flavor with a slow-building heat
Ghost peppers are closely related to the Naga Viper variety from India, which is ranked about 400,000 SHU and named after its resemblance to a snake’s hood when fully ripe.
The ghost pepper was formerly considered the hottest chili pepper in the world until recently, surpassed by several others, such as Dragon's Breath pepper and Carolina Reaper pepper.
Raw or unprocessed food can cause intense discomfort; however, this same effect becomes surface only when appropriately cooked.
Other names for ghost pepper include bhut jolokia pepper and Bhutanese pepper.
17. 🌶️ 7 Pot Jonah Pepper
7 Pot Jonah is a pepper 7 times hotter than the standard Habanero. The Chaguanas region of Trinidad is where you'll find the 7 Pot Jonah pepper. It's chili with up to 1.2 million Scoville heat units and can make your stew as hot as it sounds - seven pots worth!
- Rating: 800,000 to 1,200,000 (SHU)
- A variation of the 7 Pot pepper
- Native to Trinidad and Tobago
The 7 Pot Jonah peppers look like typical chilies except for their size; they grow to about five inches long by two inches wide.
18. 🌶️ Spanish Naga Pepper / Gibralta Naga Pepper
Spanish Naga Pepper / Gibralta Naga Pepper Spain. Chilli Pepper Pete was involved with setting up this project to grow them just across from Gibraltar- although there are other places where they're found too!
- Rating: 1,086,844 to 1,200,000 (SHU)
- Developed in Spain
- A hybrid of the Naga Morich and Trinidad Scorpion
- Intensely fruity flavor with a slow-building, searing heat
The hottest chili pepper in India. It beat out other contenders to take first place by many reports of it reaching over 1 million SHU, with some even claiming1,220,000 Scoville heat units!
These chilis grow about 3 inches long and are round on top before narrowing towards an end tapered off into small points.
How Can I Cool Down My Mouth After Eating a Hot Pepper?
Drinking milk or consuming dairy products like yogurt or ice cream can help neutralize the capsaicin and alleviate the burning sensation. Additionally, consuming sugar or honey can also provide relief.
How Long Does It Take For Burn From Hot Peppers to Subside?
-Trying drinking milk for quick relief.