What is the hottest pepper in the world? The five hottest peppers
Are you a fan of spicy food? How about the hottest peppers in the world? The title is coveted, features in the Guinness Book of World Records, and is held by chilli farmers who want to challenge the meaning of the word “hot”.
There are an estimated 50,000 species of chili peppers in the world that were domesticated in Peru and Mexico over 6,000 years ago. These peppers are divided into five categories: Capsicum annuum, Capsicum chinense, Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum baccatum and Capsicum pubescens.
But one stands above all as the hottest pepper in the world.
What is the hottest pepper in the world?
The hottest pepper in the world is the Carolina Reaper, grown by Ed Currie of the PuckerButt Pepper Company in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Ranked as the hottest pepper in the Guinness World Records, the Carolina Reaper peaked at about 2.2 million Scoville heat units, the scale used to rate how hot peppers are. On average, it is around 1.6 million SHU.
For comparison, jalapeño has about 2,500 to 8,000 SHU and cayenne pepper has 30,000 to 50,000 SHU.
According to Man of Many, Currie created the Reaper by crossing a pepper from a doctor in Pakistan and one from the island of St. Vincent.
Switch your salsa:Try spicy pear, pineapple mint jalapeño, tropical fruit
Chick-fil-A’s Cauliflower Sandwich:We tried it. Here’s the verdict
Can you eat the hottest peppers in the world?
Can You Consume a Carolina Reaper Safely? For some, the idea may never occur to them. In 2018, a 34-year-old man went to the emergency room and complained of a severe headache just days after eating the peppers. Newsweek reported that brain scans showed narrowed arteries that eventually returned to their normal state five weeks later. In 2020, the National Center for Biotechnological Information reported an incident of a 15-year-old boy who ate a Carolina Reaper and suffered an acute cerebellar stroke two days later after being hospitalized for a headache.
Others relish the opportunity to eat the world’s spiciest pepper. League of Fire ranks chili-eating champions with a specific set of rules—they need the details of the official event, testimonials from witnesses present, and no more than 200 Carolina Reapers may be consumed.
The title is held by Gregory “Iron Guts” Barlow of Melbourne, Australia, who ate 160 reapers in one sitting. In second place is Dustin “Atomik Menace” Johnson from Las Vegas with 122 peppers.
Try a milder pepper:Use bell peppers to make these fun summer squash recipes
Grocery store outside of Sriracha?:Try these hot sauce alternatives instead
What are the five hottest peppers?
According to PepperHead, here are the five peppers that pack the most heat:
- Carolina Reaper: 2,200,000 SHU
- Trinidad Moruga Scorpion: 2,009,231 SHU
- 7 Pot Douglas: 1,853,936 SHU
- 7 can of Primo: 1,469,000 SHU
- Trinidad Scorpion Butch T: 1,463,700 SHU
How do you measure how hot a pepper is?
Pharmacist Wilbur Scoville invented the Scoville scale in 1912 to measure the hotness of a pepper. According to Masterclass, Scoville tested peppers by mixing sugar water with an alcohol-based extract of capsaicin oil — the chemical compound in chili peppers that makes them hot. Scoville placed the solution with water on the taste testers’ tongues and diluted it with water to rate how pungent the testers found it.
Now scientists are using a high-tech method instead of tongue testing. High performance liquid chromatography determines the concentration of capsaicin in a bell pepper but uses the same Scoville ranking system.
Pure capsaicin is 16 million SHU.
Just curious?:We answer the everyday questions of life