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Let's discover the 5 hottest peppers in the world.

Do you really like heat? Are you sure you have tried all the chillies out there, and most of all the hottest? Do you think you can eat them without starting to drink liters of milk?

Below is the ranking of the hottest peppers in the world, only for real chilli veterans who love capsaicin to the extreme, with descriptions and advice. The acronym SHU indicates the level of spiciness on the Scoville scale, created by the imagination of the American chemist Wilbur Lincoln Scoville.

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  1. Carolina Reaper

  2. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

  3. Naga Viper

  4. Bhut Jolokia

  5. Seven Pod

  1. Carolina Reaper (HP22B): 2,200,000 SHU. In 2013, it was declared the hottest pepper in the world. Currently (11/2014) it holds the official record for capsaicin content. It is originally from Rock Hill, South Carolina, made by crossing a Pakistani Naga Morich and a Red Habanero. The ripe fruit is deep red, has a fruity, sweet taste with hints of chocolate and cinnamon and has been tested for more than 4 years at the Winthrop University laboratory, obtaining an average of 1,569,300 SHU on the Scoville scale for each individual fruit.

  2. Trinidad Scorpion Butch T: 1,463,700 SHU. The chilli is native to Central America and was developed in Australia. It is so spicy that it must be handled with adequate protection. The fruit when fully ripe is red, as big as a golf ball, with a fruity taste. In 2012, it was classified as the hottest in the world, only to lose its place to the Carolina Reaper. It is mainly used as a base for spicy sauces.

  3. Naga Viper: 1,382,118 SHU. It held the Guinness World Record until 2011 when the title was passed on to Trinidad Scorpion Butch. It was created in a greenhouse by the farmer Gerald Fowler of the Chilli Pepper Company in England, crossing the Naga Jolokia with two other varieties of chili pepper, Naga Morich, and Trinidad Scorpion. The variety is not stable so it can not generate other fruits. They are still working to stabilize the variety.

  4. Bhut Jolokia: from 855,000 to 1,041,427 SHU. It is a hybrid between Capsicum chinense and Capsicum frutescens Guinness World Records holder in 2007 until 2011 when it lost the title to Naga Viper.
    The fully-ripened fruits reach 5/7 cm in size, are deep red in color and leave an almost sweet, very fruity taste in the mouth. This variety is native to and grown in India. It is also known as "Ghost Pepper". Just because it's in fourth place doesn't mean it isn't strong. You have to be very careful with such a high quantity of capsaicin!

  1. Seven Pod Douglah: from 800,000 to 1,030,000 SHU. It is a Capsicum Chinense species of chilli pepper and comes from the Chaguanas area of Trinidad & Tobago. It is very rare. The fully-ripened fruits look like a ping pong ball with an intense red color and almost fruity aftertaste. This chilli got the name 7 POD because of its incredible spiciness. It is said that 7 fruits of other common chilli varieties are needed to reach a similar heat. Very, very spicy.


Chilli Eating Contest | Reading Chili Festival | Saturday Sept 2015

Chilli Eating Contest | Reading Chili Festival | Saturday June 2017

A final consideration on the Calabrian pepper

Calabrian cuisine is considered very spicy by the Italians, a Calabrian pepper reaches 20,000 on the Scoville scale. The peppers listed in this guide reach over 1,000,000 on the Scoville scale, now imagine the level of spiciness of these peppers.


When handling all the peppers remember to always rinse your hands, use nitrile gloves (thicker and more resistant than ordinary latex gloves), and avoid contact with eyes and all sensitive areas. Back to Index