The World's 10 Hottest Chile Peppers (Slideshow)
May 9, 2014
We wouldn’t advise going anywhere near these
10) Red Savina Habanero
With 500,000 Scoville units, this pepper was the world’s spiciest for a long time before the “spice wars” of the 1990s. Today, it barely makes the top 10!
9) Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper)
Bobby Flay once told us that after being gifted a ghost pepper he finely diced about a fingernail-sized portion and added it to a big batch of risotto, and that tiny amount completely overpowered and ruined the dish. Clocking in at about 1,000,000 Scoville units, a ghost pepper is nothing to fool around with. While many still believe it’s the world’s spiciest, it actually doesn’t even come close.
This evil-looking pepper tops out at about 1,300,000 Scoville units.
7) Naga Viper
No, it’s not a character from Game of Thrones, it’s a super-rare, lab-grown pepper that took years to cultivate, packing about 1,350,000 Scoville units. Here’s what will happen if you eat one.
6) Trinidad Scorpion Butch T
wikimedia commons/ vicary
While this pepper was the Guinness World Record holder for quite some time (at 1,463,700 Scovile units), there are, amazingly, five peppers that have proven to be hotter.
5) 7 Pod Douglah
This pepper is renowned not only for its extreme heat (rocking about 1,850,000 Scovilles), but also for the fact that it actually also tastes really good (before your whole head ignites, obviously).
4) 7 Pot Primo
The “scorpion’s tail” on this pepper makes it considerably more terrifying than other peppers, and with good reason: it packs 1,900,000 Scoville units. This is the stuff nightmares are made of.
3) Brain Strain
Also topping off at about 1.9 million Scoville units, the bumpy Brain Strain almost resembles a brain. And after eating one of these you’ll most likely feel like yours has melted.
2) Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
wikimedia commons/ hankwang
As we venture past the two million Scoville unit mark, we enter into territory that Satan himself wouldn’t even dare to tread. OK, we might be getting a little carried away, but at 2,009,000 Scovilles, this evil-looking little pepper is what you might call damn spicy.
1) Carolina Reaper
wikimedia commons/ seamfaster
Ladies and gentlemen, the spiciest chile pepper on earth. Bred by researchers in South Carolina and confirmed last year to be the world’s spiciest at Winthrop University, the Carolina Reaper was bred for heat and heat alone (and for the horrifying scorpion’s tail). Topping out at 2,200,000 Scovilles, this pepper actually has a pleasing, sweet and fruity flavor. As opposed to most other peppers, which take a second to kick in, the Carolina Reaper kicks in immediately, and once it does you’ll be descending to the depths of chile pepper hell, like these poor guys.