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14 March 2014

What are the hottest peppers in the world? Here is the most current top 20 list from hottest to mildest with Scoville Heat Units and info. Updated December 2020.

The list of the hottest peppers in the world is growing all the time. Growers are producing hotter and hotter hybrids with hopes of pushing the Scoville Heat Scale limits.

2017 saw a flurry of news articles with potential new “hottest pepper in the world” claims, including the “Dragon’s Breath Pepper” and the ultra blazing “Pepper X“. However, there have been no official confirmation of tests performed.

The “Dragon’s Breath Pepper” quite possibly may have been a publicity stunt, so there is little hope for that particular pepper, though “Pepper X” was propagated by Ed Curie, the man behind the current record holder, the “Carolina Reaper”. But for now, we can only await for more official announcements.

I spoke with Ed at the Chi-Town Hot Sauce Expo in mid 2018 and he didn’t have any new news.

Please note that while this is a list of officially tested peppers, you will still find a large range of heat from pepper to pepper, so you might personally experience a 7 Pot Primo as hotter than a Carolina Reaper. Still, all of these peppers are quite hot!

Here is a list of the world’s hottest peppers to date, from hottest to mildest (if you can call that mild!). 

#1: Carolina Reaper – Hottest Pepper in the World. 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Carolina Reaper Pepper

With a Guinness-submitted 1,569,383 Scoville Heat Units average and recently measured peak levels of over 2,200,000 SHU, SMOKIN’ ED’S CAROLINA REAPER® has officially completed its long journey to the top of “super-hot” chili charts. This is an extremely hot variety developed by a grower named Ed Currie. It is also called HP22B pepper. As of 2013 it is over 7 generations old. Ed created this chili pepper plant variety by crossing a Pakistani Naga with a Red Habanero type from St Vincents Island in the West Indies.

What is the Hottest Chili Pepper in the World?

Learn more about the Carolina Reaper chili pepper here.

#2: Trinidad Moruga Scorpion – 2,009,231 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Peppers

In February 2012, the 2012 New Mexico Chile Conference, in association with Jim Duffy of Refining Fire Chiles, announced that the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is the hottest chili pepper in the world. Clocking in at 2,009,231 Scoville Units, this chili pepper is beyond blistering.

Learn more about the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper here.

#3: Chocolate Bhutlah – Up to 2 Million Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Do not let the name fool you – the Chocolate Bhutlah is nothing close to being a dessert dream. It is, in fact, one of the hottest peppers on the planet. Let’s learn a little more about this tempting devil.

Chocolate 7 Pot Peppers

Learn more about the Chocolate Bhutlah pepper here.

#4: 7 Pot Douglah – 1,853,936 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

The 7 Pot Douglah is an extremely hot pepper from Trinidad. It’s skin is notably dark chocolate brown and somewhat pimpled. It starts off green but matures to a rich brown. Aside from the color, it looks very much like other superhot chili peppers, roughly habanero shaped, about two inches long.

7 Pot Douglah Pepper

Learn more about the 7 Pot Douglah pepper.

#5: Chocolate 7 Pot Chili Pepper – 923,000 – 1.85 Million Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Chocolate 7 Pot Peppers

From Trinidad, an island just northeast of Venezuela, the 7-Pot is a Caribbean chile. It’s similar in shape to the Habanero and has similar “pimpling” to other super hot peppers, like the Naga Morich. Its flavor is fruity, sweet and nutty, if you can get past the intense and sweat-inducing heat.

Learn more about the Chocolate 7 Pot chili pepper here.

#6: Dorset Naga Chili Pepper – 1 million – 1.5 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Dorset Naga Pepper

Development of the Dorset Naga began near Dorset, England, around 2001 when Joy and Michael Michaud of “Peppers by Post” bought a Naga Morich plant from an Oriental foods store in southern England. The Naga Morich chile is from Bangladesh and is highly regarded in that community. Over several years they selected fruit with the specific characteristics they were looking for, and extracted seeds.

They planted those seeds and continued until they were satisfied with the result. The heat level has been tested repeatedly since 2005 and has ranged from 661,451 SHU for green fruit up to 1,032,310 SHU for ripe fruit in 2009. Another test has measured the heat level as high as 1,598,227 SHU, making it one of the hottest peppers in the world.

Learn more about the Dorset Naga Pepper here.

#7: Naga Morich – 1 million – 1.5 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

The Naga Morich is a superhot pepper from Northeast India and Bangladesh. It is closely related to the bhut jolokia, or ghost pepper, and reaches up to 1.5 million Scoville Heat Units. 

Learn more about the Naga Morich.

#8: 7 Pot Primo – 1,473,480 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

7 Pot Primo Pepper

The 7 Pot Primo is a cross between a Naga Morich and a Trinidad 7 Pot pepper. It was created by Troy Primeaux, (nickname Primo), a horticulturist from Louisiana. He began crossing the Naga Morich and Trinidad 7 Pot seeds around 2005. It has a scorpion-like tail.

Learn more about the 7 Pot Primo pepper.

#9: Trinidad Scorpion Butch T Chili Pepper – 1,463,700 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Trinidad Scorpion Pepper

The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T has been rated at 1,463,700 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), according to recent tests. It was propagated by Butch Taylor of Zydeco Hot Sauce and grown by the Chilli Factory.

Learn more about the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper here.

#10: Komodo Dragon – 1,400,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Komodo Dragon Peppers

Grown by the UK’s largest producer of peppers, Salvatore Genovese, who has a seven-acre farm in Blunham, Bedfordshire. He seems to have made it his goal to produce hotter and hotter chilies. Looking forward to his future work.

Learn more about the Komodo Dragon Pepper here.

#11: Naga Viper – 1,382,118 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Naga Viper Peppers
Naga Viper Peppers

The Naga Viper has been rated at 1,382,118 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), according to tests conducted by the Warwick HRI Mineral Analysis Laboratory, UK, in November 2010. The Naga Viper chili pepper is a hybrid of three different chili peppers – the Bhut Jolokia, the Naga Morich, and the Trinidad Scorpion.

It was created by Gerald Fowler, who runs the Chili Pepper Company in Cumbria, England. This pepper is hotter than the Naga Jolokia (or Bhut Jolokia) by a scorching 300,000 Scovilles, and is claimed to be able to peel paint. In comparison, pure capsaicin is rated at between 15,000,000 – 16,000,000 Scoville units, and police grade pepper spray is rated at about 5,000,000 Scovilles.

Learn more about the Naga Viper pepper here.

#12: 7 Pot Brain Strain – 1,350,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

The 7 Pot Brain Strain was created using selective breeding by grower David Capiello, who cultivated only those peppers with specific traits, eventually producing peppers that resembled tiny pocked brains. In terms of heat, they will truly strain your brain.

Brain Strain Chili Pepper - One of the Hottest Chili Peppers in the World

Learn more about the brain strain pepper.

#13: 7 Pot Barrackapore – 1,300,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

7-Pot Barrackapore Chili Pepper

From the region of Barrackpore on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. The Trinidad 7 Pot Barrackpore produces larger pods that most 7 pot varieties, with more wrinkles and longer pods. If you can get passed the heat, you’ll enjoy a fruity flavor.

Learn more about the 7 Pot Barrackapore.

#14: Infinity Chili – 1,067,286 – 1,250.000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Infinity Chili Pepper

Created in England by Nick Woods of “Fire Foods,” the Infinity Chili pepper held the World Record for the world’s hottest chili pepper for two weeks in 2011, before it was ousted by the Naga Viper chili.

Learn more about the Infinity chili pepper here.

#15: 7 Pot Jonah – 1,200,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

The 7 Pot Jonah produces pods that are typically larger than most 7 Pot varieties with bumpy, pocked fruit and scorpion-like tails. They mature to a bright red.

#165: Trinidad 7 Pot – 1,200,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

#17: 7 Pot Inifinity – 1,176,182 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

#18: Bedfordshire Super Naga – 1,120,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Another superhot produced by UK chili grower, Salvatore Genovese, in Blunham in the county of Bedfordshire, produces 500,000 chilli peppers every week. He also produces the Komodo Dragon chili pepper.

#19: New Mexico Scorpion – 1,191,595 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

A New Mexico-based team has developed a super-hot chile known as the “New Mexico Scorpion” The New Mexico Scorpion has been rated at 1,191,595 Scoville Heat Units by an independent laboratory.

Learn more about the New Mexico Scorpion pepper here.

#20: Spanish Naga (Gibralta Naga) – 1,086,844 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

The Gibralta Naga, or Spanish Naga, is of course grown in Spain, but was developed in the UK from Indian chili peppers. It beat out the Bhut Jolokia for hottest pepper, but was soon overtaken. As they are grown, they are stressed by creating a hot environment, which helps to make the chiles extremely hot.

Spanish Naga Peppers

Learn more about the Spanish Naga (Gibralta Naga)

#21: Bhut Jolokia (or Ghost Pepper) – 1,001,304 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

A Pile of Ghost PeppersYep, these babies were officially the hottest peppers around, topping the Red Savina Habanero. It was awarded the distinction of World’s Hottest of All Spices by the Guinness World Records in 2006, though was eventually toppled several times over.

Learn more about ghost peppers here.

Honorable Mentions

The following peppers may no longer be on the list of the hottest peppers in the world, but once they were and are still considered very hot in their own right.

Trinidad Scorpion CARDI Yellow – 850,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

The Trinidad Scorpion Yellow is from Trinidad. It was given the name “CARDI” as it was developed in part by the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute. The strain was created in order to standardize the industry for yellow scorpion peppers. The pods start green and mature to a golden yellow, growing to about 4 inches in diameter.

Red Savina Habanero – 200,000 – 580,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Red Savina Pepper

This pepper is a cultivar of the habanero. It once held the Guinness Record for the hottest chili pepper, but the Bhut Jolokia now claims that prize. The red savina is a bright red and robust fruit, with up to 50 fruits appearing per pepper plant.

Learn more about the Red Savina Habanero pepper here.

Got any questions? Or information about new peppers that should be added to the list? Please contact me anytime. I’d love to hear from you. — Mike Hultquist, Chili Pepper Madness.


  1. Gerardus-Benedictus

    Thanks Mike for the very useful tips, hints and suggestions. We live at the tip of Africa and love chillies. However, don’t have many varietals. Grow my own which thrive in our hot, dry summers. Am making two batches chilli sauce today: 1) Fermented (probiotic) and 2) “Regular”. Both quite ‘hot’! Thanks again. Have subscribed to your web

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks so much. I appreciate the comments. Enjoy the peppers and spiciness!

  2. Phil Chouinard

    Most commercial pepper spray is in the range of 2-5.5 million SHUs. But, there are some “hot sauces” (actually, “sauces” that contain capsaicin and/or oleoresin extracts and are “cut” with other ingredients) that clock in above that. Mad Dog Plutonium 9 is one of a few… the claim is that was measured at 9 million SHUs. That said, you’re right… anything above 2 million SHUs — raw hybrid pepper or not — starts getting into a realm that not many people are at (or aspire to get to). Then again, I remember when the Red Savina hab was the king-of-the-hill, and that was about 30 years ago. Now look where things are 🙂 Elevations in tolerance can happen, so who knows where this will end up.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hey, Phil. Right, they keep getting hotter and hotter. It does beg the question of WHY? What’s the point of making hot sauces so crazy hot? I believe the only real answer is – because we can! I’ve had extract drops directly onto my tongue, and DANG, I can tell you – pure heat. At least we know there is a limit.

  3. What’s the deal with Ed Curie and why is he being disingenuous? It is safe to say that he used a pepper from Trinidad to cross with in the creation of the Reaper. Because although St Vincent is in the Caribbean, they actually don’t have any hot peppers to boast about. Meanwhile several peppers on the hottest list hail from Trinidad since its climate is very ideal for hot peppers by being close to the equator.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      I really just haven’t heard any news on this at all. I should reach out to Ed directly to learn more.

  4. I am interested in planting chilli pepper for farming purposes and would appreciate guidance and market outlets.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Michael, check out chili pepper growing groups on Facebook.

  5. 5 stars
    Im growing these fornthe first time this season. Its in soil and i feed it fish emulsion. So far the Reaper plant is HUGE .biggest healthiest pepper plant so far. Im going to dry most of the pods and experiment with seasoning blends. Wish me luck all!! 🙂

  6. Chiligirl123

    Wow. I have planted very few peppers before, and I love spicy food. I am very used to it, but it’s still super spicy! I have never tried a pepper in this list though.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Yeah, there are some crazy HOT peppers out there! A bit of heat for everyone!

  7. After being pepper sprayed multiple times by police I can tell you that whatever the scoville of that spray was will be the turning point for pepper edibility.. eat a gram or two of that spray and you may not complete that bucket list.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Yeah, it makes you wonder how far these peppers can go! The max of the entire scale is 16 Million, which is pure capsaicin. It remains to be seen.

  8. Deo, I am aware of two people that have passed on after having consumed hotter peppers than they were acustomed to. In both cases these people already had serious health issues and should not have been eating hot or acidic food and certainly should not have been trying to douse them in alcohol.

    When we are talking about anything over 250,000 SCU, you can definately send yourself to the hospital in serious pain and digestive problems. As an old friend used to say, no matter how bad or how good things were, “And this too shall pass”. It hurts just as bad going out as it did going in.

    If you are not used to the heat, never start with anything above a jalapeno.

  9. yesteray i planted in my garden the TRINIDAD SCORPION BUTCH T CHILI PEPPER, thge red savina habanero and the NAGA VIPER PLUS A GREN SWEET AUSTRALIAN PEPPER ,HOW LONG THEY GET TO GROW?

    1. Yesterday? Lol they need to start around mid May and they die off around first frost which is just about right now.

    2. jeffrey palmer

      I have a store that sells green jalapenos – yeah they are nothing – or the real spice hot heads – is there any way of ripening those pepps into red? I absoutely love the taste of red jalas

  10. Mike Waldman

    I planted my first hot peppers this year. Before that I’d only been growing a nice Wiri Wiri plant which I started from seed.
    Anyway my Q is this. Among the varieties planted my Naga Morich plants are doing really well and I’ll be harvesting my first batch this weekend. I’ve tried to get more info on these and while I have seen info on the Naga hybrids I don’t see much info here on the Naga. Where do these average in the SHU dept.
    Thanks, Mike

    REPLY: Mike, the Naga Morich has a range of 1,000,000 – 1,500,000 Scoville Heat Units, some of the hottest peppers out there. Love them! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      No, superhot chili peppers will not kill you. However, it is possible to overdose on capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers hot. One would need to eat more than 3 pounds of extremely hot peppers for this to happen. There are stories of people ending up in the hospital in extreme situations after eating crazy hot peppers and foods, particularly those with previous medical conditions. There is also the story of a man who burned a hole in his esophagus from eating super hot peppers, but that was from his vomiting, not from the peppers themselves.

      1. I grow Carolina reapers, ghost chilies, Trinidad scorpions habaneros jalapenos and birds eye and native chilis ( the little round ones ) hot yes but am eating birds eye fresh whole in salad right now eat them like candy have for years ever since I found it is a tolerance and after awhile you crave them with everything even my Carolina reapers I slice thin and sprinkle on salads and on tacos and sandwiches. Any one can eat them in a silly contest but eat them and enjoy them and eat another cause the last was soooo good. That’s a higher plane. 😉

        1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

          Agreed, billybobsayz. Eating superhots on a regular basis like you do is the best way to enjoy them!

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