What are the Hottest Peppers in the World? 2020 List
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)
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.
#2: Trinidad Moruga Scorpion – 2,009,231 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
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.
#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.
#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.
#5: Chocolate 7 Pot Chili Pepper – 923,000 – 1.85 Million Scoville Heat Units (SHU)
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.
#6: Dorset Naga Chili Pepper – 1 million – 1.5 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
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.
#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.
#8: 7 Pot Primo – 1,473,480 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
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.
#9: Trinidad Scorpion Butch T Chili Pepper – 1,463,700 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
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.
#10: Komodo Dragon – 1,400,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)
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.
#11: Naga Viper – 1,382,118 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
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.
#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.
#13: 7 Pot Barrackapore – 1,300,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
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.
#14: Infinity Chili – 1,067,286 – 1,250.000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
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.
#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.
#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.
#21: Bhut Jolokia (or Ghost Pepper) – 1,001,304 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
Yep, 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.
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).
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.
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.