The Top 10 Hottest Chili Peppers In The World

Hottest chili peppers

In this article, I give my take on the top 10 hottest chili peppers from around the world.

Many new superhot peppers have appeared in the last couple of years. 

Table of Contents

A Comparison

In the table below, you can find the top 10 independently confirmed hottest peppers in the world as of mid-2021. The peppers are arranged according to their estimated Scoville Heat Unit values. Each heat level is an estimate because the Capsaicin content of individual hot peppers can vary even if they are from the same variety.

Chili PepperScoville Heat Unit (SHU)
Carolina Reaper~ 2.400.000
7 Pot Douglah~ 1.853.936
7 Pot Primo~ 1.469.000
Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T”~ 1.463.700
Naga Viper~ 1.382.000
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion~ 1.200.000
Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia, Naga Jolokia)~ 1.041.427
Naga Morich~ 1.000.000
Infinity Chili~ 1.000.000
7 Pot Barrackpore~ 1.000.000

Two other chili peppers are claimed by their creators to be hotter than those in the table above. These peppers are known as the "Pepper X" and the "Dragon's Breath Pepper." The claims of extreme heat made by their creators are not yet independently confirmed.

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For comparison, here are some well-known peppers that you can easily find in a shop and are often used in dishes worldwide.

PepperScoville Heat Unit (SHU) ranges
Sweet Bell Peppers0
Jalapeño Pepper2.500 - 8.000
Cayenne Pepper30.000 - 50.000
Habanero Pepper100.000 - 350.000

The 10 Hottest Peppers

Below is a more in-depth description of each of the 10 hottest peppers.

Mature Carolina Reaper
"Mature Carolina Reaper" by Magnolia677, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Carolina Reaper

Officially the hottest chili pepper on the planet is the Carolina Reaper. These peppers have a red color and show a tiny tail. They are very hot, with an average of 2.4 million Scoville heat units.

This chili pepper was created by Ed Currie, a chili grower living in the state of South Carolina in the United States. The name of the pepper is an apparent reference to the location in which it was developed. They are now grown commercially in California as well as other parts of the United States.

It is not considered safe to eat these chili peppers as they are, but instead, you should use them in a sauce or dish. The Carolina Reaper has a slightly fruity taste before its heat kicks in. For this reason, in addition to being extremely spicy, this pepper has been used by chefs worldwide because it's so flavorful.

The Carolina Reaper is 200 times hotter than the well-known Jalapeño pepper.

7 Pot Douglah

The 7 Pot Douglah pepper is sometimes also called the Chocolate 7 Pot. This is another chili pepper that originates in Trinidad. It is the rarest of the 7 Pot chili pepper family.

This pepper is very popular in the whole region of the Caribbean, where it is used in various hot sauces.

The pepper starts out green and then matures to a brown color, which explains the 'Chocolate' in the alternative name. This is similar to the Chocolate Habanero Pepper, which has the same brown color.

The surface of the pepper is described as 'pimpled.'

The taste of the 7 Pot Douglah is primarily sweet and fruity but also slightly nutty.

The heat is mild at first, then becomes more intense starts rising. Its Scoville scale value is about 1.84 million SHU.

7 Pot Primo

The 7 Pot Primo is a cross between the original 7 Pot Chili and the Naga Morich. This chili pepper was bred by a horticulturist from Louisiana called Troy "Primo" Primeaux.

This pepper has a characteristic scorpion tail, similar to one on the Carolina Reaper. The skin is 'pimpled' and bumped. The color is usually red, but it also comes in orange and yellow.

This hot pepper has a fruity taste.

Trinidad Scorpion Butch T Pepper
"Trinidad Scorpion Butch T" by "Kouya", licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Trinidad Scorpion "Butch T"

The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper was grown in Missouri in the United States. The chili grower who grows these is called Butch Taylor, hence the name. These peppers are also related to the other Scorpion peppers from Trinidad.

Butch Taylor is the owner of a hot sauce company called Zydeco Hot Sauce. He grew his own chilies for many years until he decided to sell them. His goal was to create a new type of hot sauce that would stand out among all others. So he started growing different kinds of peppers, including the Trinidad Scorpion.

Naga Viper
"Naga Viper" by "WiKhioter", licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Naga Viper

The Naga Viper pepper was created as a hybrid of three other chili peppers. These three peppers are the Naga Morich, Ghost Pepper, and the Trinidad Scorpion. Unfortunately, this variety is relatively unstable.

The Naga Viper pepper was created by Gerald Fowler of the Chili Pepper Company, based in the United Kingdom. It is challenging to get hold of seeds for this chili pepper, as the creator has a long waiting list.

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
"Trinidad Moruga Scorpion" by "Hankwang", licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

The Moruga Scorpion is from the island of Trinidad. It is a stable non-hybrid variety.

The skin is bumpy and wrinkly. The pepper grows from green to orange to red colors.

Apart from the intense heat this hot pepper delivers, it also has a nice fruity flavor. The heat is not very bad at first, but then suddenly it rises fast.

This chili is used in small amounts by food lovers in Trinidad to spice up their dishes.

Ghost Pepper - Bhut Jolokia
"Bhut Jolokia" by "Asit K. Ghosh", licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Ghost Pepper

The Ghost Pepper is also known as the Bhut Jolokia or the Naga Jolokia.

This pepper originates in the region of Assam in North East India. Some researchers even claim that this pepper belongs to its own separate species of the Capsicum family. They call this species the Capsicum Assamicum.

It is a very popular pepper and is currently being used in various dishes by more and more restaurants. Given the high heat of these peppers, the restaurants only use small amounts of these peppers per meal. But even then, these dishes are scorching.

Dorset Naga - Naga Morich
"Dorset Naga" by "Mwp", licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Naga Morich

The Naga Morich pepper originated in India and Bangladesh. In these countries, people tend to eat these peppers raw as a side dish. These chilies have a slightly fruity taste that resembles a mix of oranges and pineapples.

The color of this spicy pepper grows from green to orange to red. The skin is bumpy and wrinkled.

The name Naga Morich allegedly means "serpent chili."

A chili pepper that is very closely related to the Naga Morich is the Dorset Naga. This pepper was developed from a Naga Morich plant by Joy and Michael Michaud from Dorset.

Infinity Chili

The Infinity Chili was created by a chili grower in the United Kingdom, called Nick Woods. He is the owner of a company called 'Fire Foods.'

This pepper has a red color. The skin is rimpled and bumpy.

7 Pot Barrackpore

The 7 Pot Barrackpore is a variation of the 7 Pot Chili pepper from Trinidad.

This pepper has a sweet tropical flavor. It is trendy to grow because of its fantastic taste and because the plant's yield is usually very high.

The skin of the Barrackpore is pimpled. The color starts out from a green color and turns bright red as it ripens.


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