Here we go! Let’s count down the Top Ten Hottest Chili Peppers, but let’s not stop there. I will also be including the best hot sauces that actually contain each pepper, along with other interesting facts. Hope you are as excited as I am!
Vocabulary– Just to make sure you understand everything
- Capsaicin- This is the compound found in peppers that creates the sensation we call Spicy
- Scoville Scale- measures the capsaicin levels in each respective pepper in the form of Scoville Heat Units or SHU. (There is a short video on my home page that explains the history of it if you’re interested.)
- For comparison’s sake the average SHU of a jalapeno is 2,500-5,000
- The average SHU for a standard habanero is 100,000- 350,000
Hottest Scoville Heat Units (SHU)- Possible 2.48 million
Average SHU- Unknown
Created by- Mike Smith in association with Nottingham Trent University
Where- St. Asaph, Wales
As of 2017 this new pepper claimed to take the lead as the hottest pepper in the world! It has been said to have reached 2.48 million Scoville Units! Holy Cow! There is no way I would put this thing in my mouth!
There are rumors that someone who took a bite, chewed it, and spit it out was left with a numb mouth for two days! They are actually investigating the pepper’s properties to see if it would be good to use for a low cost anesthetic.
Due to this being a new species of pepper, and as far as I can tell as of May 2017 there was only one plant (there may be more now). Because of this, I have not been able to find a hot sauce that contains the Dragon’s Breath pepper. I am sure we can look forward to some in the future…that is if it is cleared for human consumption. Sound’s a bit scary to me.
The really crazy thing is that this pepper is really tiny. Which makes some people skeptical that it is as hot as they are claiming it is. There is still some research to be done on this little guy.
This pepper is actually very controversial right now. Many tests still need to be administered and confirmed. Until The Guinness Book of World Records states that the Dragon’s Breath pepper is all that it claims to be, The Carolina Reaper still holds the official #1 spot.
True #1- The Official World’s Hottest Pepper
The Carolina Reaper
Hottest SHU- about 2.2 million
Average SHU- is a little over 1.5 million
Created by- Ed Currie of Puckerbutt Pepper Co
Where- South Carolina, USA
This is a gnarly looking pepper. I have to be honest, I have not tried this pepper yet. I am a bit intimidated by it. It was literally bred to be the hottest pepper in the world.
The original plant was said to be a mix between a Bhut Jolokia Pepper and a Red Savina Habanero. It has been officially ranked number one by the Guinness Book of World Records since August 2013.
Recommended Reaper Hot Sauce
For the Carolina Reaper I am going to have to go with Puckerbutt’s Reaper Squeezin’s. Puckerbutt is actually where the pepper was first cultivated, so who would make a better sauce than the creators themselves!
This super hot sauce is all natural and even contains little bits and seeds of the Reaper pepper itself. (A lot of other sauces fully puree the peppers) It has a good flavor and plenty of heat!
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
Hottest SHU Level- 2 million
Average Heat (SHU)- 1.2 million
Created by- Earth
This pepper has similar outward characteristics to the Carolina Reaper pepper to me, but from everything I have read they do not claim that they are related.
They both have that alarming bumpy skin thing going on, and a similar shape. And they both often have the thin pointed end coming out like a scorpion tail. However, they do apparently taste different and one is hotter than the other.
This incredibly hot pepper was the #1 Hottest Pepper in the World from 2012 until it was beat by the Reaper in 2013.
Recommended Trinidad Scorpion Hot Sauce
For this pepper I am going with the Heartbreaking Dawns Cauterizer Trinidad Scorpion Sauce. It has a kind of a strange name, but with that name comes truly unique flavor. This is no run of the mill hot sauce. This sauce is packed with things I have never even seen in a hot sauce before. We are talking some special ingredients like apricot, blueberry, and carrot with the heat of one of the hottest peppers in the world!
This hot sauce is actually a sequel to their original- Heartbreaking Dawns Trinidad Scorpion Sauce. They got so many comments and reviews from people saying it was one of the most delicious hot sauces ever, but that it just needed to be spicier. So they took their customers input and came up with the Cauterizer, which still has all the great flavor but with the heat you would expect from a Trinidad Scorpion sauce! (Click here or the on the image for more info on how to try it for yourself.)
A Word About The Rest Of The Countdown
There seems to be a bit of a debate on a few of these. Some peppers that are ranked by some authorities, are not counted by others. It can be because of a disagreement on the actual Scoville Rating, or possibly because a new breed of pepper is not accepted by everyone.
I did a lot of research to get this list as accurate as possible. So, if you see one you don’t think should be here, or you think one is missing, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment at the end of the article.
7 Pot Douglah (Chocolate 7 Pot Chili Pepper)
Hottest SHU Level-1.85 million
Average Heat (SHU)-1.17 million
Created by- Earth
This super hot pepper is the hottest variety of the 7 Pot Peppers. There are said to be called 7 Pots by the locals, because one pepper is enough to spice up 7 Pots of stew.
The 7 Pot Douglah is pretty rare to come across, but it is surely a scorching hot pepper if you can get your hands on one. My recommendation below may be able to help you with that!
Recommended Chocolate 7 Pot Hot Sauce
I actually have not been able to find a purchasable hot sauce for this pepper. What I have found though is that you can buy seeds to grow your own 7 Pot Douglah on Amazon! I had no idea you could buy something like that on Amazon. I am really excited about it. They actually offer several varieties of hot pepper seeds and even live plants.
If you click on the picture of the Chocolate 7 Pot Douglah plant right above this, it will take you to the page where all the hot pepper seeds and plants are listed. I am not sure if they allow them to be shipped everywhere, but it is totally worth taking a look at. I spent quite a while checking out all the varieties. I am going to try to order later today. I am not sure if I want to try to grow from a seed or a starter plant, but I have a feeling my state may not allow live plants to be shipped in.
I urge you to check it out for yourself, and I will do an update on how it went for me too. Look for an article on growing my hot pepper plants in the near future also.
7 Pot Primo
Hottest SHU- 1.47 million
Average Heat (SHU)- 800,000 – 1.2 million
Created by- Troy Primeaux (aka. Primo)
This pepper, like many on this list, can be very hard to come by. It is a cross breed of the Naga Morich Pepper and a 7 Pot pepper.
Troy Primo crossbred and grew this plant for 7 generations. It is now considered to be a totally stable variety that can be grown from seed.
Like other 7 pots, it has a fruity flavor, followed by tongue numbing heat.
Recommended Hot Sauce
For this tasty and mega hot pepper I have got to recommend the Hydra 7 Pot Primo Hot Sauce made by CaJohn’s.
The ingredients include the 7 Pot Primo Pepper, Distilled Vinegar, Sugar, Sea Salt, Garlic, Spices, and Lemon Extract…can’t get much purer than that, other than just chomping into the pepper yourself!
Average- 1.4 milllion
Hottest Tested Ever- 2.2 million
Created by- Salvatore Genovese
Where- United Kingdom
This potent little pepper is said to trick you into thinking it is no big deal at first. It has a nice fruity flavor to begin with, and then the heat starts to rise intensely and you begin to realize that you may have made a big mistake popping this pepper in your mouth.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?!
This is the hottest pepper to ever come out of the UK. This has apparently inspired lots of British people to challenge themselves to eating these on video, as I have found from spending a bit of time on Youtube. It is pretty hilarious actually.
I have been trying to find one to post on here, but due to the heat most of the videos contain a few curse words. So, I apologize for any language, but this one is pretty entertaining. What is really funny is to watch it till after they are totally freaking out, then rewind back to the beginning and see how their demeanor was dramatically changed!
Just a side note- I watched quite a few different Komodo Dragon Challenge videos. Most of the peppers got quite a reaction from the person who ate it, but there were a few that seemed to be duds.
That is why when they do Scoville tests they generally take samples from several plants. The heat can vary greatly from one pepper to another, which you may have experienced yourself with other, more common peppers.
I was just recently given a bag of Cayenne peppers. I presume they were all from one bush, because someone just brought them into work from their garden. And even with these, a couple of the peppers had no heat at all, while a few of the others were much, much hotter.
Recommended Komodo Dragon Hot Sauce
Strangely, although it was all the rage to challenge yourself and your friends with these hot peppers, no one seems to have commercially sold any hot sauce using the Komodo Dragon that I can find. It is actually quite amazing.
It may have something to do with the peppers only being sold at one chain of stores (Tesco), and also being somewhat pricey.
Since I cannot find a hot sauce that uses these peppers (it appears they call it chilli sauce in the UK- let me know if I am incorrect), I am going to suggest trying some other interesting “Chilli Sauces” I found that are least made in the UK.
There is a company called South Devon Chilli Farm that has quite a few products that sound wonderful. They grow their own peppers and make all kinds of things with them. They have everything from plants and seeds, pepper jellies and jams, to their wide selection of Chilli sauces. They even make and sell spicy chocolate!
Their products do not appear to be available on amazon, and I haven’t yet tried to purchase anything directly from them. But in case you would like to check them out, here is the link to their website- South Devon Chilli Farm. I have personally never bought something on a completely foreign site (where the money is not listed in dollars), so I am not really sure how it works, but I am anxious to find out.
If you have tried any of their products, please let us know about it in the comment section at the end of the article. I would love to hear about it!
Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T”
Tested at- 500,000- 1.46 million SHU
Created by- Butch Taylor
Although this pepper seems to get its own ranking fairly unanimously, it is really a strain of the #2 pepper the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. Butch Taylor just tweaked the original. This version isn’t quite as hot as the Moruga and looks just a little different.
He passed the seeds on to Neil Smith from The Hippy Seed Company who gave the pepper its makers namesake name- Butch T.
Recommended Hot Sauce
Because I already recommended a Trindad Scorpion Hot Sauce above, I thought I would suggest something a little different here. This is a BBQ Sauce made with Trindad Scorpion Peppers, Habaneros, Cayenne peppers, and other tasty BBQ sauce ingredients. It is also made by Cajohn’s, as are some of my other recommendations. They make really good quality sauces that are very highly rated across the board.
This has got to be a must try for people who love grilling and spicy foods! I have not had it yet, but I hope to see it in my mailbox soon! You can click on the picture to get current prices and to see close ups of the label too.
Hottest Tested Ever-1.382 million
Created by- Gerald Fowler of The Chilli Pepper Company
This pretty pepper was actually declared the hottest pepper in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records for a brief stint in 2011. This is definitely one hot pepper, but it was beat out by our now #2 pepper, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion in 2012.
Recommended Naga Viper Hot Sauce
Sadly, just because a pepper is made famous by being one the hottest, or even The Hottest, it does not always mean they are readily available. Actually, it seems that it is quite the opposite. Especially with peppers that were “man-made” to some degree.
Just because they move forward and get it tested to see if it is hotter than other people’s peppers, does not mean they have a bountiful supply to share all over the world. Many times, you kind of need to “know someone” to even be able to sample these rare treasures.
In this case there is a Naga Viper Hot Chilli Wing Sauce made by, who else but the creators themselves- The Chilli Pepper Company out of the UK. You can check out their site if you wish by clicking here. I have never tried any of their products, so I cannot recommend anything to you, but if you would like to try the Naga Viper flavor and heat for yourself this would be the place to do it for now…
…Or instead you can get this adorable Halloween Costume! I was looking for a hot sauce and came across this. Just couldn’t resist posting it in case any of you have a little baby in need of a super cute Halloween costume, or just an outfit for a photo shoot.
I just can’t get over how cute this is! You can click on the image and it should link you directly to it on amazon, and it is only like 14 bucks!
7 Pot Peppers
The two 7 pot peppers higher up on the list are the hottest varieties of these peppers. Here in position #8, I am going to included four more 7 pot peppers. They are all pretty close in capsaicin levels and not all experts seem to agree on the strains, names, potency, and consistency of these.
Due to this I thought I would list these together to leave room for two other styles of peppers to round out our top ten hottest chili peppers list. As a basic rule the darker the 7 pot pepper, the hotter it is. They are said to have a nice fruity flavor to start out with, and then the heat creeps in and takes hold.
7 Pot Brain Strain
Scoville Units- 1-1.35 million
Created by- David Capeillo
Where- North Carolina
There is some controversy as to if this is actually even a 7 pot pepper because of some of the traits it shares with the Trindad Moruga Scorpion.
This pepper was purposely bred to look a little different than its 7 Pot cousins. The grower of this pepper continuously bred together pepper plants with more intense ridgy, wrinkly patterns, on the inside and out.
Eventually he was able to end up with this Brain Strain that actually resembles a human brain. If I saw this pepper in the store and didn’t know what it was I would probably think there was something wrong with it.
Actually, most of the peppers on this list are kind of scary looking. Someone may even be able to conclude that they look this way to warn animals and people not to eat them, but what do they know…people have been eating weird looking things that grow on trees and bushes forever. If it doesn’t kill you, it’s good for you, right!
7 Pot Barrackpore
Average SHU- 1-1.3 million
Created by- Earth
The video below shows one of these 7 Pot Barrackpore plants with an exciting musical background. This is an extremely hot pepper that can grow in a wide variety of colors.
Just as I was stating before, not every pepper of the same type will have the same heat. For example, the hottest Barrackpore is hotter than the mildest Trinidad Scorpion.
7 Pot Jonah
Average SHU- 800,000- 1.2 million
Created by- Earth
All these 7 Pot Peppers are obviously related. Some of them are naturally occurring and have been brought to outsiders attention over recent years.
Of course, some of them have been modified by either cross-breeding or by continuing to regrow peppers that have certain traits till they actually just continue to grow that way on there own after a few generations of planting. That goes for many of the peppers on this list and peppers to come in the future.
7 Pot Infinity (Infinity Chili)
Highest SHU- 1.067-1.18 million
Created by- Nick Woods of Fire Foods
The Infinity Chili has the unique distinction of having been the Hottest Pepper in the World per the Guinness Book Of World Records for just 2 weeks in February of 2011.
On firefoods.co.uk you can check out the spicy stuff that the creator of the Infinity Chili produces. Including their new Flaming Ale that is made using the Infinity Chili (they are hoping to have it available in November). They produce everything in small batches, so supplies are limited, but I am going to keep an eye on it and see if I can score one.
There are constant new 7 Pot arrivals to the public eye, either from nature or from growers. I just wanted to list a few more that I am aware are out there, but I wasn’t quite sure where they would have gone in the list.
7 Pot Red Giant
7 Pot Katie
7 Pot Lucy
7 Pot Bubblegum
And probably many more, but I tried to include the main varieties that have actual Scoville ratings.
Recommended Hot Sauces
For this section I am going to recommend CaJohn’s El Chupacabra Hot Sauce! This sauce has everything. Great flavor and super heat! It is actually hard to find hot sauces with the 7 Pot Peppers in them, which is strange because they have that great natural sweet flavor that one would think would be great in a sauce.
The CaJohn’s El Chupacabra Hot Sauce actually has bhut jolokia (ghost pepper), 7 pot, Trinidad Scorpion, Scotch Bonnet, and Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers in it!! Oh my gosh! That is some crazy stuff right there. Other ingredients include carrot, mustard, garlic, onion, vinegar, and spices.
This is a top of the line must have hot sauce for any self respecting chilihead! This sauce would make a really great gift for someone who loves hot stuff too!
Bedfordshire Super Naga
Scoville Units- 1.12 million
Created by- Salvatore Genovese
Where- United Kingdom (Bedfordshire)
Yes, this is the same guy who came up with the Komodo Dragon. But before the dragon in 2015 there was the Super Naga, and when it was released in 2012 it was the hottest pepper to have ever come out of the UK.
Just like the Komodo, it was exclusively sold through the Tesco stores. And also just like the Komodo, it was sold in small packages of just a couple peppers for people to sample them. The packages included warnings to be careful with these extremely hot peppers.
Both times UK’s mega hot peppers were released in this fashion, it became all the rage to accept the challenge and subsequently post the self torture online for all of us to enjoy.
Recommended Bedfordshire Super Naga Hot Sauce
So, here we are stuck again with a UK pepper that is next to impossible to get, and therefore does not have a hot sauce.
There are, however, a ton of great hot sauces that use the pepper that is #10 on this list. Since I cannot include a hot sauce here, I will recommend a few of my favorites for the next, super popular pepper.
Bhut Jolokia (aka. Ghost Pepper)
Highest Scoville Rating (SHU)- 1.01-1.05 million
Average SHU- Depends- 300,000-800,000+
Created by- Not sure- it is a hybrid that appears to have been around a long time
Where- Four states in India
The infamous Ghost Pepper actually goes by a lot of names. Most commonly the bhut jolokia, naga jolokia, ghost chili, and ghost pepper.
As we know, hot chilis originated in South America. So, although this one seems like a native of India, it cannot be. Therefore, it must have made its way over to India at some point when the Spanish were going back and forth across the Atlantic.
However it got there, the jolokia has been there for quite some time. It seems there are a few variations on the pepper, but the differences are so small it is hard to really notice.
One really interesting fact about the bhut jolokia plant is that depending on where it is grown the intensity of the peppers’ heat varies drastically.
It is hottest when growing where it thrives, in India. When grown other places the heat can dissipate to an average of only 300,000 SHU, which is more like a habanero.
In 2007 this pepper was named the Hottest Pepper in the World by the Guinness Book of World records. It has the special place in history as the first pepper to surpass the one million Scoville Units mark. It held onto that Guinness record until 2011 when it was dethroned by the Infinity Chili.
Recommended Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
I am going to recommend four hot sauces in this category to make up for some of the peppers that there is no sauce for. The fad of the bhut jolokia pepper has really become a force to be reckoned with.
The jalapeno is probably still the most popular and widely used pepper (Cayenne may be giving it a run for its money though), and the habanero is probably the most widely used of the spicier peppers.
But since the ghost pepper hit the scene in 2007 it has really blown up. Most people may not dice this up for there pico de gallo, but I guarantee most people have heard of this infamous chili.
Even though this pepper has come to be beaten out in intensity several times over in the past 10 years it still reigns supreme as the most used 1 million+ SHU pepper in the hot sauce world.
So here are four of my top Bhut Jolokia- Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce Picks in no particular order. None of these sauces use extracts. They all use actual peppers and spices:
Cranky Rooster Ghost Chili Pepper Crushed Pepper Sauce– This sauce boasts some good flavor with quite bit of heat, which to me is what I am looking for in a hot sauce. One thing about this sauce though, is that it only comes in a 2-pack (one for you and one for a friend is what they say). They also sell a 6-pack of all six of their flavors! I think that would be fun!
Elijah’s Xtreme Ghost Pepper Sauce– This is another hot sauce that packs a punch, while still maintaining a great flavor. It isn’t the hottest sauce out there, but it is still not for the faint of heart. The really, really, really, hot sauces, where you can only use one drop, do not typically have a good flavor (extract). I try to stay clear of those for the most part. A good hot sauce builds with each bite and reaches a high level of hotness in my mouth, and that is just fine with me.
Melinda’s Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce- If you have never tried Melinda’s hot sauces, you are missing out! They are the masters of using great fresh ingredients to bring out the best flavors while still putting on some heat. They are not out to just make the hottest sauce possible, its about quality. I can barely keep a bottle of Melinda’s in my house, because I go through it so fast.
Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce Wicked Tickle XXX– Ok, this one is for the people who want something even hotter. I decided to include this one even though it does have a little capsaicin extract in it to add extra heat. It still has a good smokey flavor, even though some of us may not be able to eat enough of it to fully let the palate analyze all the ingredients. Along with the ghost pepper, this sauce also has habanero, serrano, and jalapeno, along with other tasty stuff like apple wood smoked garlic.
If you are looking for something just ridiculously hot I can recommend a couple things. They may not taste great, but you won’t be able to eat enough of it to matter anyway. If you decide to try any of these, beware, this stuff is no joke!
I watched a guy lick a spoon of the Mad Dog 357 Plutonium 9 million Scoville (Yes 9 million!!!!). It did not go well for him. If you are into that kind of thing, this is the hottest thing out there that I know of…
(Well, there is the Blair’s 16,000,000 Reserve. It is a collectors item. Only 999 were made, and they are sold out. It is pure capsaicin crystals. This could do some severe damage! The only one I even found that was supposedly for sale was $2,999. )
The extracts can get quite pricey, so I tried to show the hottest you can get for the money. I also included Dave’s Ultimate Insanity, which may not be in the caliber of the pure extracts, but it is still insanely hot!!
I hope you enjoyed this list of the Top Ten Hottest Chili Peppers and the Hot Sauces that go with them. It was quite an adventure putting it all together! I eagerly look forward to hearing from all of you! You can leave your comments, suggestions, and questions below.
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