UPDATE: 06/14/2022 - The hottest pepper in the world currently is the Carolina Reaper, measuring up to 2.2 Million Scoville Heat Units.
The Carolina Reaper is The Hottest Chili Pepper in the World
The Guinness Book of World Records has recognized the Carolina Reaper chili pepper as the world’s hottest chili pepper. We have a new record holder! Smokin’ Ed Currie of Puckerbutt Pepper Company, LLC was notified today that it was official.
With a Guinness-submitted 1,569,383 SHU (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.
The flavor is fruity and similar to a 7 Pot chili pepper. The Carolina Reaper can grow to a height over 4 feet tall.
Are There Any Peppers Hotter than the Carolina Reaper?
There are some peppers reported to be hotter than the Carolina Reaper, but none have been officially recognized. Those peppers are the Dragon's Breath Pepper (announced in 2017, measuring in at 2.48 Million SHU), Pepper X (also developed by Ed Currie, announced in 2017, measuring 3.18 Million SHU), and the Apollo Pepper (also developed by Ed Currie, announced in 2022, measuring around 3 Million SHU).
Learn More about the Carolina Reaper Here
Below are previous record holders for the hottest pepper in the world.
Moruga Scorpion – Formerly the Hottest Chili Pepper in the World
We have a new chili pepper heat champion on the block. The 2012 New Mexico Chile Conference, in association with Jim Duffy of Refining Fire Chiles, has announced that the Moruga Scorpion is the hottest chili pepper in the world as of February 2012. This chili pepper has undergone rigorous study and testing in the lab. It clocks in at 2,009,231 Scoville Units.
The previous record holder was the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T, at 1,463,700 Scovilles. More on that below.
Learn more about the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Chili Pepper
The world's hottest chili pepper since 2011, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is the "Trinidad Scorpion Butch T" chili 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.
About the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T Chili Pepper
The growers named the pepper the "Trinidad Scorpion Butch T", after Butch Taylor, who propagated the chili peppers in 2011. This chili pepper is the possible cross between a Trinidad Scorpion and as as-yet-named chili pepper that Butch is holding close to his chest in hopes of creating even hotter peppers in the future.
The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T measures in at a blistering 1,463,700 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). A typical jalapeno pepper measures around 5,000 SHU, while a habanero pepper measures up to 350,000 SHU.
Learn More about the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T
Also see: The Hottest Peppers in the World List.
Karen holloway says
How do you decide what is the hottest pepper? Do you taste test them? What elements and tests do you go through to come to an conclusion at the end.
Mike Hultquist says
Karen, it's done through chemical analysis in a lab. See my page on What is the Scoville Scale (https://www.chilipeppermadness.com/frequently-asked-questions/the-scoville-scale/) and Capsaicin (https://www.chilipeppermadness.com/frequently-asked-questions/what-is-capsaicin/) for further info.
Mohamed Aslam says
It's a very useful for chilie lovers.