The Scoville scale is used to measure the hotness of chili peppers. A chemist named Wilbur Scoville, who created an unscientific taste test where he mixed capsaicin extract with sugar water and had people sip it developed it.
The more sugar water they needed to make the concoction palatable, the spicier their pepper was said to be. There are now more sophisticated ways of measuring capsaicin levels in peppers, but what are the hottest peppers on the Scoville scale?
What Are The Hottest Peppers On The Scoville Scale?
To understand how a chili pepper ranks on this scale, we must look at its capsaicin content. Capsaicin is what gives chilies their spiciness and makes them hot. The more capsaicin in a pepper, the hotter it will taste.
The original rating system was developed with a rudimentary form of tasting to measure the amount of capsaicin in chilies. In today’s age, an HPLC machine or gas chromatograph (GC) have replaced this method. Here is a list of the hottest pepper you can find around the world:
The Carolina Reaper is the hottest pepper in the world. It’s a cross between the Red Habanero and the Trinidad Scorpion, making it perfect for those who want to add heat to their meals without sacrificing flavor.
When you bite into one of these bad boys, it’ll feel like your mouth is on fire for about 30 seconds before it begins to fade away. But not before giving you a sweet taste that lingers longer than any other pepper.
The Carolina Reaper title is well deserved; at 1.5 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU) to 2.2 million SHU, this pepper can bring even seasoned spice enthusiasts up short with its burn level.
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is a chili pepper that measures 1.46 million Scoville Heat Units and a maximum of 2.01 million SHU. It’s the second hottest pepper in the world.
The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion gets its moniker from its scorpion-like “tail” that looks like the stinger of a scorpion. This fiery little number is native to the lands of Moruga in Trinidad and Tobago, where they grow on sandy soils or rocky hillsides.
Once you bite this formidable pepper, the heat never stops building up until it becomes an all-consuming fire in your mouth. Besides, it also possesses an incredible flavor that offers notes of citrus and chocolate undertones when fully ripened to maturity.
7 Pot Douglah
The 7 Pot Douglah is another prominent hot pepper on earth. It’s a hybrid of two other peppers: 7 Pot Primo and Trinidad Scorpion Butch T.
It’s identical to the Moruga Scorpion pepper in that it has a scorpion-like tail. It can grow anywhere between 2 and 3 feet long. The Scoville rating of this pepper ranges from 923,889 to 1.85 million SHU.
7 Pot Primo
7 Pot Primo is a hybrid chili pepper with a Scoville rating of 1.10 million – 1.47 million SHU. It has a distinctive look with long skinny tails. This pepper can be used in many ways: fresh or dried or freeze-dried, pickled, fermented, or canned in oil or vinegar. You can even use 7 Pot Primo to make your hot sauce.
Trinidad Scorpion Butch
The Trinidad Scorpion Butch is another hottest pepper on the Scoville scale, with an average of 800,000–1.46 million SHU. It’s a hybrid of the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and the Red Bhut Jolokia peppers created by Butch Taylor.
It’s aptly named after its creator and for a stinger found at the tip of each pepper. Also, there were three years when this pepper held the Guinness Book title for the world’s hottest pepper. It lost that throne to the Carolina Reaper later on.
The Komodo Dragon is a hybrid of the Naga Morich and the Trinidad Scorpion. This pepper is one of the hottest peppers in the world, with a Scoville Rating of 1.64 million SHU. The Komodo Dragon is known for slow, sneaky heat action that dawns on you later on.
It starts as a lovely fruity flavor that slowly builds up to an explosion of heat at the back of your throat. It’s hot enough that you’ll need to be careful when eating it fresh or raw if you don’t want your mouth on fire.
The Naga Viper is a chili pepper of the species Capsicum chinense. It was initially bred by crossing the ghost pepper, the Naga Morich, and the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers. Also, years of cross-pollination have helped form this variety of “Superhot” pepper.
The Naga Viper has a heat rating of 900,000 to 1.38 million SHU and can be used in cooking as well as eaten fresh on its own. It combines the high heat of a scorpion pepper with the slow burn of a ghost pepper.
Infinity pepper is also worthy of this list of the hottest peppers in the world. It’s a good name for this chili as it has a slow burn that seems to last forever. This pepper has been tested and measured at 1.07 million Scoville heat units (SHU) to 1.25 million SHU. Now dethroned as the hottest pepper in the world by several other peppers, it briefly held the Guinness Book of World Records title in 2011.
The Ghost pepper was the first recorded chili pepper to attain a Scoville rating of 1 million SHU. Ghost peppers are used in hot sauces and salsas for their flavor, heat, and color. They have a bright orange appearance with an elongated pointed shape similar to a mango’s anatomy.
Although they are very hot, they fall short of some of the hottest peppers, like the Carolina Reaper and the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper. It became famous after being the subject of a challenge by pepper lovers on YouTube and other social sites.
7 Pot Barrackpore
The 7 Pot Barrackpore is related to the Red Savina Habanero and the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. So it’s no surprise that this pepper is one of the hottest on earth, with a heat level of 1.00 million SHU.
Farmers in Trinidad and Tobago have used the 7 Pot for decades as a pest control. They are a natural deterrent for rats, mice, and other unwanted creatures in their fields. The heat from these chilies makes them unpalatable.
This chili can be eaten fresh or pickled, but beware: even when cooked properly, there are still some severe burners among their ranks.
In conclusion, the hottest peppers are ranked in order of heat on the Scoville scale. While some may have more flavor than others, many near the top of this list can send you to the ER, as many people have found out.
If you’re looking for something with a little more kick than your typical chili pepper but want to avoid turning into a crying mess while eating dinner, then stay away from one of these and go with chilies in the hot or mild level.