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The new world's hottest pepper, Pepper X, is 3 times spicier than its predecessor
A Pepper X pepper is shown earlier this month in Fort Mill, S.C. Jeffrey Collins/AP hide caption
A Pepper X pepper is shown earlier this month in Fort Mill, S.C.
A small, wrinkly yellow-green pepper known as Pepper X is now officially the hottest chili pepper in the world, according to Guinness World Records .
Ed Currie, founder of PuckerButt Pepper Company in South Carolina, appeared on the YouTube show Hot Ones to receive the Guinness award and announce the spicy new variety to the world.
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To measure the intensity of Pepper X, officials at Guinness turned to what's known as the Scoville Scale . Developed in 1912, the scale determines the heat of a pepper by measuring the concentration of its heat-wielding chemical compounds called capsaicinoids.
Pepper X measures an average of 2.693 million Scoville Heat Units. A jalapeño, by comparison, measures just 2,000 to 8,000 SHUs, while a serrano can land between 10,000 and 23,000 SHUs.
The previous record holder, the Carolina Reaper, which was also developed by Currie, averaged 1.64 million SHUs.
"But that scale's logarithmic, so it's more like three times hotter than a Reaper," Currie said on the show.
An employee in a Carolina Reaper shirt looks over one of Ed Currie's greenhouses on Oct. 10, 2023, in Fort Mill, S.C. Jeffrey Collins/AP hide caption
Currie described the feeling of eating a whole Pepper X: "There's an intense burn that happens immediately. Then your head kind of feels like, 'Oh no! What's going on?' And then your body just starts reacting. You get it in your arms, you get it in your chest," he said.
"It has no real throat burn like the Reaper, but that comes on later when you're in pain."
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Ed Currie holds a handful of his Pepper X peppers. Jeffrey Collins/AP hide caption
Much of a pepper's heat is concentrated not in its seeds but rather in the interior white placenta that holds the seeds. According to Guinness, Pepper X's exterior bumpiness creates more space for that placenta to grow.
Currie said his team stabilized Pepper X about a decade ago, and only decided to release it now because no one had been able to beat his previous record for the Carolina Reaper.
Move aside, Carolina Reaper. Pepper X is now officially the world's hottest chili pepper
The Carolina Reaper has been officially dethroned as the world’s hottest chili pepper.
PuckerButt Pepper Co . founder and pepper expert Ed Currie has spent the past 10 years working on Pepper X, a chili pepper that emits an “immediate and brutal heat,” according to reporting by the Associated Press.
Five of those years were spent proving Pepper X was a different plant with different fruit and documenting its average heat over different plants and generations.
“We covered the genetics, we covered the chemistry, we covered the botany,” Currie shared.
Pepper X, which has a rating of 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units was named hottest chili pepper in the world by Guinness World Records on Oct. 9.
The heat of the pepper lingered with Currie hours after he completed his initial taste test.
“I was feeling the heat for 3½ hours. Then the cramps came. Those cramps are horrible. I was laid out flat on a marble wall for approximately an hour in the rain, groaning in pain,” Currie shared with The Associated Press.
The greenish-yellow Pepper X has an earthy flavor unlike the spicy-sweet taste found in the bright red Carolina Reaper. Pepper X was crossbred with a Carolina Reaper and a pepper from Michigan that is “brutally hot,” Currie said.
More: 'Hot Ones,' Bobbi Althoff and why we can't look away from awkward celebrity interviews
Pepper X makes first appearance on 'Hot Ones'
Currie chose to unveil Pepper X on “Hot Ones,” a YouTube talk show where celebrities are interviewed over an assortment of spicy chicken wings.
He was joined by the show’s host Sean Evans, Claus Pilgaard “Chili Klaus” and Noah Chaimberg from Heatonist , the hot sauce company that partners with Hot Ones to source their hot sauce lineup.
Currie talks all things Pepper X, receives his Guinness World Records plaque and facilitates a Pepper X taste test to end the video.
“There’s an intense burn that happens immediately. Then your head kind of feels like ‘Oh, no. What’s going on?’ Then your body just starts reacting. You get it in your arms. You get it in your chest. It has no real throat burn like the Reaper but that comes on later when you are in pain,” Currie says in the video.
How does Pepper X measure up on the Scoville scale?
The Scoville scale measures the spiciness of chili peppers numerically based on the pepper’s capsaicin concentration, which causes a burning sensation when it comes into contact with human tissue, according to Guinness.
The burning sensation produced by capsaicin also releases endorphins and dopamine into the body, AP reported.
Currie, who began to grow peppers after overcoming substance abuse addictions, says the kick from the peppers is akin to a natural high.
He has shared his inventions with medical professionals in the hopes of helping people who suffer from chronic pain or discomfort.
Currie has hinted at the possibility of pepper hybrids much hotter than Pepper X but has kept his cards close to the vest.
“Is this the pinnacle?” Currie said of Pepper X, a mischievous smile warming his face. “No, it’s not the pinnacle,” AP reported.
Winthrop University in South Carolina spent the last four years conducting tests on specimens to determine Pepper X’s Scoville score.
Here’s how Pepper X compares to other chili peppers in Scoville Heat Units:
◾ Jalapeños (3,000-8,000)
◾ Habanero (100,000-350,000)
◾ Carolina Reaper (on average 1.64 million )
◾ Pepper X ( 2.693 million)
Contrary to popular belief, the seeds of a pepper pod don’t make it hot. Capsaicin is held in the placenta, or the tissue that holds the seeds.
Peppers aren’t the only thing that have a Scoville score, pepper spray has a score of 1.6 million Scoville Heat Units while bear spray has a score of 2.2 million Scoville Heat Units, respectively, the AP reported.
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Contributing: Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press
How the world's hottest new pepper, Pepper X, compares to its top 6 predecessors like the Carolina Reaper and Ghost
Posted: October 18, 2023 | Last updated: October 18, 2023
- Guinness World Records crowned Pepper X the world's hottest pepper.
- It measures in at a blistering 2.693 million Scoville Heat Units.
- It dethroned the previous winner, the Carolina Reaper.
Apparently, when you taste the world's hottest pepper, both your face and chest feel tight, and it's difficult to form words, as evidenced by the reaction on the YouTube show "Hot Ones ."
Ed Currie, creator of Pepper X, appeared on the show to receive the Guinness World Record for the hottest pepper, measuring an average of 2.693 million Scoville Heat Units . A jalapeño , by contrast, measures between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU.
"Did you invent that pepper?" musician Claus Pilgaard, who tried Pepper X, asked Currie on the show. "Why?"
Breaking the streak
Until now, no one had beaten the previous record for the world's hottest pepper in over a decade. Currie is also the creator of that pepper, the Carolina Reaper.
Wilbur Scoville created his namesake metric in 1912, which measures the concentration levels of capsaicin within the pepper.
Capsaicin is a chemical compound that gives peppers their burn. Researchers use laboratory equipment to precisely measure the amount.
Eating these extremely spicy peppers can lead to all sorts of unpleasant effects , including "thunderclap" headaches , when blood vessels tighten suddenly, restricting blood flow to the brain. There can also be more serious complications, including death .
How Pepper X compares to the 6 hottest peppers before it
Since 2011, Guinness has awarded several peppers with the prestiguous honor of "world's hottest." Here's how they stack up to Pepper X.
- Pepper X: 2,693,000 SHU
- Carolina Reaper: 1,569,300 SHU
- Trinidad Scorpion Butch T: 1,463,700 SHU
- Naga Viper: 1,382,118 SHU
- Trinidad Moruga scorpion: 1,200,000 SHU
- Infinity: 1,176,182 SHU
- Bhut Jolokia "Ghost" Pepper: 1,001,304 SHU
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Guinness world records declares pepper x as world’s new hottest chili pepper.
The Carolina Reaper has met its match.
Chili Pepper X has captured the spicy record as the world’s hottest, Guinness World Records announced on Monday.
The new pepper rates an average of 2.69 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), according to tests performed by Winthrop University in South Carolina, beating the previous record holder, Carolina Reaper , which averages 1.64 million SHU, according to Guinness World Records.
The SHU scale to measure chili pepper heat was developed by American chemist Wilbur Scoville in 1912.
By comparison, the average jalapeño pepper scores between 3,000 to 8,000 SHU, according to Guinness.
Pepper X is grown by Ed Currie, founder of Puckerbutt Pepper Company in South Carolina. He also created the Carolina Reaper, which took the record in 2013.
“Ed cultivated Pepper X on his farm for over 10 years, cross breeding it with some of his hottest peppers to increase its capsaicin content,” Guinness said on its website.
Currie first presented Pepper X to the world on an episode of the popular YouTube series, “Hot Ones.”
“Those who don’t fear the Reaper are fools. It is painfully hot,” reads a description of the dethroned pepper on the Puckerbutt Pepper Company’s website.
No word yet on how they describe a pepper that ranks 1 million more units on the Scoville scale than the Reaper.
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Home » Chili Pepper Types » Superhot Chili Peppers » Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) - All About Them
Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) - All About Them
by Mike Hultquist · Jul 6, 2021 · 10 Comments ·
The ghost pepper (aka the Bhut Jolokia) is one of the hottest peppers in the world, topping over 1 Million Scoville Heat Units. Learn more about it.
Ghost Pepper Scoville Heat Units: 855,000 – 1,041,427 SHU Capsicum Chinense
What is a Ghost Pepper?
The ghost pepper (aka the Bhut Jolokia) is one of the hottest peppers in the world, topping over 1 Million SHU (Scoville Heat Units).
It was awarded the distinction of the World's Hottest of All Spices by the Guinness World Records in 2006, topping the Red Savina Habanero , though was eventually toppled several times over. The current record holder for the hottest pepper in the world is the Carolina Reaper .
Ripe peppers measure 2.5 to 3.3 inches long and are usually red, though there are red, yellow, orange, white, purple or chocolate color varieties. They originate in Northern India and the peppers have been around for generations, though only cultivated in the western world since the turn of the century.
History of the Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper)
The ghost pepper was in the running for the hottest pepper in the world for quite some time - in fact, it actually held the Guinness Book of World Record's record for the world's hottest pepper from 2007 until 2010.
The bhut jolokia is a naturally growing pepper that can be found primarily in northeastern India and neighboring Bangladesh.
However, species can also be found in Sri Lanka occasionally. Due to the fact that "bhut" means "ghost" in the Assam language, this pepper is often called the "ghost pepper," in the Western world. These peppers have dented skin that is very thin and easy to tear.
Why is a Ghost Pepper Called a Ghost Pepper?
The word "bhut" means "ghost", given from the Bhutias people, possibly because the heat sneaks up on you like a ghost.
It is also known by the following names - Naga Jolokia, Bhut Jolokia, Bih jolokia, Nagahari, Raja Mircha, Raja chilli, Borbih jolokiai or Ghost Chili.
Note: "Naga" mean "Cobra Snake" in Sanskrit.
How Hot is a Ghost Pepper? (Ghost Pepper Scoville Rating)
The Ghost Pepper measures in at 1,000,000 + Scoville Heat Units. It offers up some intense heat.
They were officially the hottest peppers around, declared the World's Hottest of All Spices by the Guinness World Records in 2006, though was eventually dethroned by a new wave of superhot chili peppers .
The hottest ghost pepper is 416 times hotter than the mildest jalapeno pepper , which averages about 5,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale , and about 208 times hotter than the average jalapeno pepper and about 3 times hotter than the hottest habanero pepper. Quite hot!
Carolina Reaper Vs Ghost Peppers
You can certainly compare a ghost pepper to a Carolina Reaper propagated by Ed Currie as both are intensely hot and both offer up a sweet, fruity flavor. However, as hot as the ghost pepper is, the Carolina Reaper has more than double the heat of the ghost pepper when it is as it's hottest.
Ghost peppers top out at 1,041,427 SHU, where the Carolina Reaper reaches 2.2 Million SHU.
Ghost Pepper Taste and Heat
Ghost peppers offer an intense fruity, sweet chili flavor. The heat does not kick in for 30 - 45 seconds. Once the heat kicks in, expect sweating, watery eyes, hiccups and shortness of breath. The burning generally intensifies over 10 - 15 minutes and subsides after 30 - 40 minutes.
I personally enjoy them for their fruitiness and the fact that the peppers don't sting you with heat like a scorpion pepper (see this superhot - Trinidad Moruga Scorpion ). Instead, they offer a wonderful blooming heat that blooms. It is pleasurable if you can stand that level of heat.
You can reduce some of the heat by removing the pepper innards before cooking, but with superhots, much of the capsaicin (the chemical that makes peppers hot), reaches into the flesh, so they'll still be hot. Consider using them sparingly, or introducing a dairy, which helps to tame the heat.
Cooking with Ghost Peppers (Bhut Jolokia)
Because of their intense heat, but also because of their fruity flavor, ghost peppers are great for making hot sauces , for dehydrating into powders or chili flakes , or for chopping and cooking into larger meals, like pots of stew or pots of chili .
The heat will really bloom in a large pot. A little goes a long way. Use them as you'd use a habanero, but remember that they are much hotter, up to 5 times the heat level. Use caution when cooking with them. Wear gloves and protect your eyes.
See this post on Cooking with Superhot Chili Peppers for more ideas.
Can Eating Ghost Peppers Kill You?
Eating extremely hot chili peppers in large enough amounts can harm you, but it would take A LOT. According to Dr. Paul Bosland of the Chile Pepper Institute, if you ate a large amount in a short period of time, it could kill you.
He said, "A research study in 1980 calculated that 3 pounds of extreme chilies in powder form eaten all at once could kill a 150-pound person," Bosland, told Live Science. "However, one's body would react sooner and not allow it to happen." Potential results could be seizures, heart attacks, and even death.
However, 3 pounds of chili powder is an incredible amount, and it would be practically impossible to consume. That would be roughly equivalent to 12 pounds of fresh ghost peppers.
That said, eating them in moderation can be good for you, as chili peppers offer all sorts of health benefits .
I eat them all the time and love them.
Growing Ghost Peppers
Growing these peppers can be difficult, as ghosts like more humidity and heat. They are native to India and that particular climate, so grow best in those conditions. I've been able to grow them in my own home garden in Zone 5 with good success. The peppers grow to a good size and have great heat to them, and the plants are quite productive.
You might consider growing them in a greenhouse where you can control temperature and humidity more directly. Plant them 18-24 inches apart. They prefer warm soil and full sun. The seeds typically germinate around 35 days and mature 100 days after planting.
Pepper plants grow from 24-48 inches in height. The fruit of the ghost peppers measure 2-3 inches long.
Learn more about growing chili peppers here .
How Much Does a Ghost Pepper Weigh?
An average sized pepper is about 1/3 ounce, so be sure to plan your recipes accordingly.
Handle Ghost Peppers with Caution
When working with any super hot peppers, it is important to wear gloves when handling the peppers both in raw and dried forms. The oils can get on your skin and cause burning sensations.
Also, the fumes from the chili peppers and/or the fine pepper powders may get into the air if you are not working in a well ventilated room. Work with a fan and open windows, if possible. A mask and goggles can help in extreme situations to keep oils and fumes from your skin and eyes. Superhot chili peppers , truly, are called superhots for a reason.
If you do experience burning sensations, see my post on How to Stop the Chili Pepper Burn On Your Skin .
Ghost Pepper Recipes
I love cooking with the heat and flavor of ghost peppers and have a number of spicy foods recipes to share with you.
- Ghost Pepper Jelly
- Ghost Pepper Salsa
- Fresh Ghost Pepper Salsa
- Sweet and Spicy Ghost Pepper Candied Bacon
- Sweet Ghost Pepper-Pineapple-Pear Hot Sauce
- Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
- Spicy Chicken Curry
- Ghost Pepper Chicken Wings
- Pineapple-Mango Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
- Roasted Ghost Pepper Sauce
- Homemade Ghost Pepper Chili Hot Sauce
- Homemade Ghost Pepper Chili Powder
- Homemade Ghost Pepper Chips
- Phaal Curry (the Hottest Curry in the World)
Learn More About Superhot Chili Peppers
- Chili Pepper Types - Here is a list of chili peppers
- What is the Hottest Chili Pepper in the World?
- A List of the Hottest Chili Peppers in the World
- Carolina Reaper
- Brain Strain Peppers
- Trinidad Scorpion Butch T
- Chocolate Bhutlah
List of Chili Peppers Organized by Heat Levels
- Sweet and Mild Chili Peppers
- Medium Heat Level Chili Peppers
- Medium-Hot Chili Peppers
- Hot Chili Peppers
- Superhot Chili Peppers
Got any questions? Feel free to contact me anytime. Happy to help!
NOTE: This content was updated on 7/6/21 to include new information. It was originally published on 10/23/13.
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September 08, 2021 at 9:18 pm
lorraine Johns says
September 02, 2021 at 5:20 am
Hi Would they be ok in a jerk seasoning?
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
September 02, 2021 at 5:37 am
It would be great, Lorraine. Nice and hot!
August 16, 2021 at 1:42 pm
Great info! My ghosts are starting to ripen and turn red! Would you recommend ghosts for a salsa? I’m planning on making hot sauce, but not sure if it will go well with salsa? Thanks!
August 20, 2021 at 6:32 am
Absolutely! The post includes links to a couple ghost pepper salsa recipes . Enjoy!
July 06, 2021 at 11:26 am
July 06, 2021 at 11:31 am
Thanks, Jérémie! I love ghost peppers so much!
Naveen bhandari says
July 12, 2020 at 12:03 am
Hi Mike, is there a degradation in flavour or taste or color to this ghost chilli pepper when subjected to 180 degree temperature ? Can this handle this kind of cooking temperature ? We want to use this as one of the ingredient in our final product called “khakra”which is like roasted wheat crisps.
July 12, 2020 at 11:27 am
Naveen, you'll still get plenty of heat and flavor after cooking with ghost peppers. Great ingredient to work with! Let me know how it goes with the crisps. Sounds wonderful!
Kris Swanson says
August 07, 2017 at 1:08 am
I am trying to find the bhut jolokia pepper in my local grocery store and it's hit and miss. I'm looking for the dried pepper. I grind it up and use it in my artisan cheese. Am I able to order direct through you? Thank you.
REPLY: Kris, sorry, but no, we don't sell pods. Check the Resources link at the top. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.
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Meet 'Pepper X,' the New World's Hottest Pepper
It has an average rating of 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units.
Jelisa Castrodale has been a staff writer with Food & Wine since 2019.
Natalia Garmasheva / Getty Images
If you’ve ever choked down a piece of Carolina Reaper pepper or sweated your way through a splash of Carolina Reaper hot sauce because it was “the hottest pepper in the world,” we hate to break it to you, but that’s not the case anymore. Ed Currie, the South Carolina hot pepper grower (and apparently a full-time spice masochist), has just claimed a Guinness World Record for Pepper X , a fiery hot pepper that is so spicy, it makes his Carolina Reapers look borderline harmless.
According to Guinness , Pepper X, which, like the Carolina Reaper, was developed by Currie and his PuckerButt Pepper Company, has an average rating of 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). That absolutely incinerates the Reaper, which has an average rating of 1.64 million SHU. (By comparison, a jalapeno can have a Scoville rating of between 3,000 to 8,000 SHU, while hotter habaneros typically clock in at around 100,000 SHU.)
Currie unleashed the Carolina Reaper on the world a decade ago, and he told the Washington Post that he had been working on Pepper X even longer than that. He wanted this pepper — a crossbreed between a Carolina Reaper and one he only described as "brutally hot" — ready in case another pepper breeder developed something hot enough to dethrone the Reaper. That never happened, so he decided that he'd have to be the man who broke his own record.
Pepper X was revealed (and Currie was presented with the Guinness Record) during a recent episode of the YouTube series "Hot Ones." During the program, Currie said "a lot of people" deserved credit for the pepper's development. "People said it couldn't be done, they called us liars, and we proved to them that Pepper X is actually the hottest pepper in the world, officially from Guinness," he continued.
Until Currie brought his peppers to the “Hot Ones” set, he was the only person on earth who had eaten an entire Pepper X. So how bad is it? VERY, VERY BAD. “I was feeling the heat for three-and-a-half hours,” he admitted to the Associated Press. “Then the cramps came. Those cramps are horrible. I was laid out flat on a marble wall for approximately an hour in the rain, groaning in pain.”
So, how can you get your hands on Pepper X? For now, you can’t. When Currie released the Carolina Reaper, he did not protect his intellectual property, allowing thousands of people to grow — and profit from — the pepper he developed. He is not (currently) releasing any Pepper X seeds, and a scrolling warning on the PuckerButt Pepper Company website further emphasizes that. “Pepper X seeds and plants are a patented variety,” the bright red text reads. “It is not available for purchase or use by the general public.”
For now, you can only try the record-setting pepper by purchasing one of PuckerButt’s Pepper X-infused hot sauces, wing sauce, or salsa. “Everybody else made their money off the Reaper,” he told the AP. “It’s time for us to reap the benefits of the hard work I do.”
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Ghost Pepper vs Carolina Reaper: 6 Main Differences
By Author Michael Cook
Even for experienced spice lovers, the warriors who scoff at the hot peppers that would make a normal person quake in their boots, the Ghost Pepper and Carolina Reaper can be too much.
These are two of the hottest peppers around and are certainly not for the faint of heart. Any dish made with these will immediately have its heat become its sole defining quality.
When we get into this upper tier of peppery hotness, there are often many misconceptions about which one the hottest pepper is , and that they all pretty much taste the same.
The main difference between the Ghost Pepper and the Carolina Reaper is that the Carolina Reaper is considerably hotter than the Ghost Pepper . The Reaper is rated at over 2 million units on the Scoville scale, while the Ghost Pepper is rated at roughly 1 million.
What are Ghost Peppers?
Table of Contents
The Ghost Pepper, also known as the Bhut Jolokia is often called the hottest pepper in the world. Technically this is not true anymore, but it did hold the Guinness world record as the hottest pepper in the world from 2007 to 2011.
But it’s still one of the most ‘popular’ peppers around when it comes to those extreme levels of heat, this is because it gained a huge amount of exposure as so many people would eat them whole as part of a viral online challenge.
In this challenge, people would film themselves with a friend eating an entire ghost pepper and then capture the ensuing carnage.
In fact, these guys are so hot they have been employed by riot police as ‘Ghost Pepper Grenades’ in order to disperse rowdy crowds. The pepper can also be applied to protective fencing in order to deter animals due to their strong scent.
So as you can imagine, it’s quite strong!
When should you pick a Ghost Pepper over a Carolina Reaper?
Even though it was once considered the hottest pepper in the world, nowadays we place Ghost Peppers in the middle-to-upper tier of heat level.
So they are perfect for when you need a slightly intense and noticeable amount of heat , but you’re not looking to put yourself out of action with something like a Carolina Reaper.
Ghost Peppers are far more commonly used in regular cooking , whereas the uncomfortable levels of heat that the Carolina Reaper offers end up being seen as more of a gimmick for food rather than an actual flavor enhancer.
What are Carolina Reapers?
This is the big one, in 2017 it was awarded the Guinness World Record as the hottest chili pepper in the world. Doubling the SHU number of the Ghost Pepper and knocking the previous reigning champion, the Trinidad Scorpion, off its pedestal.
While some people claim to have bred a hotter pepper than this, nothing has yet been formally acknowledged.
The amount of heat this pepper puts out is exceptionally high and has been described by many as painful and uncomfortable.
This is due to the chemical ‘capsaicin’ which essentially tricks your brain into thinking your tongue is quite literally burning.
And while it’s technically not dangerous to consume, it’s quite common to develop issues such as acid reflux or an irritated stomach/bowl due to the body’s heavy reaction to such a hot pepper.
When should you pick a Carolina Reaper over a Ghost Pepper?
There are a few scenarios in regular cooking you’d use this over a Ghost Pepper. But if you are looking for the absolute hottest of the hot, the Reaper is going to give you a bigger kick than the Ghost Pepper.
What are the differences between the Ghost Pepper and Carolina reaper?
While many people are still confused over the difference between a Ghost Pepper and a Carolina Reaper , these two really hot peppers actually differ in a few characteristics, mainly their spiciness, origin, taste, and cultivation.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the specifics.
Unlike some of the newer ‘hottest peppers’ which have been carefully bred to be the hottest, they can be, ghost pepper grows completely naturally in Northeast India and is part of the Capsicum family which is the same family as the Habanero.
Its technical name, the ‘Bhut Jolokia’ comes from the amalgamation of the two words Bhut, which means ghost, and Jolokia which means pepper.
Since its rise in popularity, it’s now cultivated and grown in many countries and is sold all over the world as sauces , powders , and whole peppers to be used as a seasoning in common cuisine.
Unlike the Ghost Pepper which can be found naturally in a few different countries, t he Carolina Reaper was specifically bred to be an absurdly hot pepper by Ed Currie in, you guessed it, Carolina, USA.
As the Ghost Pepper first starts to form, it will start off as a small yellowy-green color. And then as it ripens the skin will turn a deep red and will become dented and thin, giving it this slightly shriveled look.
This is the case for most Ghost Peppers, although there are many variations on this, such as the yellow Ghost Pepper, which retains its bright color even when ripe .
Carolina Reapers are quite small, usually about 1.5 to 2 inches in length. And they have a deep red color over dented and shriveled skin.
There isn’t a huge difference in color, they are both a deep red color as standard. But both can also be grown in a range of colors including yellow, chocolate , and peach.
The main difference and easiest way to tell them apart visually is that the Carolina Reaper has a sharp ‘tail’ on its tip that looks a little like the end of a grim reaper scythe.
We measure the heat of peppers using the ‘Scoville scale’, which is basically an easy way to determine the overall hotness of a particular pepper.
Of course, other factors come into play such as personal tolerance, what’s firebreathing hot for one person may be a mild tickle for another.
Currently, this scale ranges from 0 SHU (SHU being the Scoville heat units) which is that of the bell pepper , all the way up to over 2 million which is where our current world’s hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper resides.
(That is until technology and careful cultivation allow us to breed an even hotter one.)
And although the Ghost Pepper is no longer the hottest one, it’s still way up there at the 1 million SHU mark, which is described as ‘extremely hot’.
Despite its incredible amount of heat, it’s still very commonly used in cooking. When dried and used sparingly in a meal it adds a surprising amount of flavor and a manageable amount of heat to a dish.
Probably the most common use of Ghost Peppers is in the making of hot sauce . Few other peppers can give you as much bang for your buck when it comes to increasing the heat of a meal without using a lot of ingredients.
This makes it ideal for things like hot sauces and chili oils . It’s also used as a direct ingredient in cooking meals such as hot pasta , salad , or spiced bacon .
The primary use of Carolina Reapers in cooking is to make the hottest sauces in the world. It’s simply too hot to use in our day-to-day cooking so most of the products made with Carolina Reapers are usually prided on the fact they are incredibly hot.
Of course, if you eat a raw ghost pepper while it’s going to taste like pure heat and certainly not have many redeeming qualities in the flavor department.
But when used in a sensible manner it offers a robust , intensely fruity, and slightly sweet chili flavor.
The taste of a Carolina Reaper is described as being initially quite fruity, but as soon as the heat kicks in, that flavor disappears and you’re just left with molten lava.
There are many pepper types out there that are not too difficult to grow, but unfortunately, the Ghost Pepper is not one of them.
It has quite specific requirements when it comes to both humidity and temperature which will affect the pepper’s size and heat level a lot of these are not correct.
You essentially have to grow them in an environment that matches that of their native India, w hich receives about 5 months of very intense heat and humidity a year. So you have your work cut out for you if you want to grow these yourself!
Being the Carolina Reaper a world-record-holding pepper , you’d think it’d be considerably more challenging to grow than the Ghost Pepper, but it’s actually the opposite.
It only requires a temperature of 18-20 degrees and is grown in a small pot to help promote the fruiting phase faster, which actually makes it possible to grow these at home.
Carolina Reaper vs Ghost Pepper: are they the same?
To the average consumer, these are both simply unfathomably hot peppers.
But under more careful scrutiny we can see that the Ghost Peppers is a little more manageable than the Carolina Reaper and is more commonly used in cooking applications to add some nice extra flavor. Whereas the Carolina Reaper is reserved for only the hottest of hot sauces.
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The Tip For Cooking With Ghost Peppers Every Beginner Should Know
Bhut jolokia, otherwise known as the ghost pepper, is an incredibly spicy chili; at their maximum heat, they hover on the Scoville scale at around 1 million heat units. (Just to give you an idea of exactly how hot that is, jalapeños come in at between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville heat units.) They're called ghost peppers because their heat tends to creep up on you as you eat them, just as it does while you cook them.
The most important thing to keep in mind when cooking with hot peppers like ghosts is that temperature and time will affect their spice level. Cooking them low and slow, as you do with chili or curry, can often result in a hotter dish, while introducing them to the quick and intense heat of a grill can break down the capsaicin, taming the spiciness a little.
But don't be intimidated by the complexity of these peppers — or their devilishly red and wrinkly skin. As scary as they look, ghost peppers offer a nuanced flavor and spice to a variety of dishes from salsa to marinades. Despite the fact that ghost peppers are so hot they're often used as the base for military grade pepper spray, they do have a citrusy and smoky flavor. This makes them a wonderful addition to homemade salsa or hot sauces. Just be cautious and use them sparingly until you have a sense of what they're capable of.
How to safely cook with ghost peppers
It's a good idea to have a healthy fear of ghost peppers. Much like kitchen knives, they serve a beautiful function when used properly, but, if mishandled, can result in injury.
First, you'll want to consider seeding your peppers before adding them to any dish because, as with all chilis, much of the heat comes from the seeds. Be sure to wear a mask, gloves, long sleeves, and cooking goggles when handling them to avoid painful chili oil burns . Don't make the mistake of thinking you're skimping out on spice by doing this: We are talking about a pepper that's 11 times hotter than a habanero.
While you are learning to cook with ghost peppers, it's best to stick to recipes with fewer moving parts. Infused chili oil is a good place to start, as it will give you an idea and appreciation for what kind of heat you're dealing with. From there, you can experiment with homemade hot sauce and salsa — better to work out your relationship with these fiery peppers through condiments rather than main courses. Avoid recipes that require a high degree of chemistry and longer cooking times, like curries or other heavily spiced dishes, when starting out. The best tip to remember when cooking with ghost peppers is that a little goes a long way. Think about cooking with ghost peppers like cutting your own bangs: Less is more, and you can always do more later.
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Home » articles » know your ingredients » what’s hotter than a ghost pepper, what’s hotter than a ghost pepper.
The bhutjolokia is actually so spicy that it is used in Military grade pepper spray and smoke bombs as a nontoxic biological weapon. Yet this thumb sized chilli with frightening potency and YouTube star status stands at number 7 on the list of the world’s hottest chilli! Check out the list of super spice bombs that precede even the dreaded ghost pepper in terms of their spice quotient.
7. BhutJholakia- 800,000 to 1,041,427 SHU
If someone dares you to even nibble at these you should know they don’t have your best interests in mind. Also dubbed as the ghost pepper for obvious reasons our very own Indian prodigy remained the world’s hottest pepper for the longest time until it was replaced in 2011.
6. Seven Pot Habanero – 923,000 to 1,853,396 SHU
This one is actually called so because just one of these little fellows can add truckloads of spice to 7 large family sized pots of stew. Its chocolaty brown colour gives it another alias – the chocolate 7 pot or the chocolate douglah. This one apparently has more flavour when compared to the rest, but good luck figuring that out with the kind of heat this evil chilli gives you.
5. Infinity Chilli - 1,176,182 SHU
The infinity chilli had its 15 minutes of fame as it held the title for the hottest chilli in the world for just two weeks. You ought to invest in some fire men gear if you ever plan to cook with or even touch these red hot chilli peppers. Quite an apt name because just a bite of it guarantees infinite amounts of pain that lasts for hours!
4. Naga Viper - 1,382,118 SHU
The naga viper is a hybrid of 3 really-really hot chillies; its cultivation is pretty much limited to areas in United Kingdom. Its growth is unstable which means its offspring may not be exactly like the original chilli and each chilli is slightly different. Better to keep lethal stuff like this carefully guarded and under lock and key, no?
3. Trinidad ‘butch’ Scorpion- 1,463,700 SHU
The Caribbean island of Trinidad is home to a large variety of the world’s spiciest chillies. Scorpion peppers get their name because of their characteristic scorpion stinger like pointy tail end and this one is called ‘butch’ because of its proud cultivator – Butch Taylor. This pretty chilli with its bright orange-red colour and smooth skin should come with a disclaimer – eat at your own risk.
2. Trinidad ‘moruga’ scorpion– 1200,000 - 2,009,231 SHU
The Trinidad ‘moruga’ scorpion also from the Caribbean island of Trinidad is cultivated by a guy who specialized in growing spicy chillies – so you can imagine what to expect. Around 500 times hotter than your ordinary tobacco and the first ever chilli to break the 2 million SHU record in the world – we let you do the math.
1. The Carolina reaper – 1,500,000-2,200,000 SHU
The Carolina reaper – the cross breed of a ghost chilli and red habanero is the ultimate ruling king in this blazing world of chillies. Even a remote whiff of this evil red chilli is enough to bring tears of pain to your eyes. The crinkly texture and the long end tail are classic characteristics of this Caribbean spice bomb that has been ruling the roost since August 2013.
Keep browsing through SanjeevKapoor.com for more spicy reads and recipes to turn up the heat in your kitchen.
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Ghost Pepper vs. Carolina Reaper
Posted on Last updated: 02/18/2022
Every year, we have multiple ghost pepper and Carolina Reaper plants growing in our garden. Some may think these two peppers are similar, but they’re actually quite different. We’ve had the pleasure of growing and tasting both of these varieties over many seasons.
If you’re just interested in heat, the Reaper is hotter, up to twice as hot, in fact. But there is more to it than that – flavor, shape, plant size, and productivity. In this article, I’ll share the similarities and differences between the ghost pepper and the Carolina Reaper pepper.
Ghost Pepper vs. Carolina Reaper History
Originally from Northeast India, the ghost pepper (bhut jolokia) is one of our favorite peppers. It is thought to be a natural cross between Capsicum chinense and Capsicum frutescens species.
The Carolina Reaper was created by Ed Currie, the founder of The Puckerbutt Pepper Company. This unique pepper was actually the result of crossing a Pakistani Naga pepper and a Caribbean habanero pepper called La Soufrière.
Ghost Pepper vs. Carolina Reaper Scoville and Heat
Let’s get one thing straight – both of these peppers are incredibly hot! The ghost pepper used to be the hottest pepper in the world, before the Carolina Reaper took its place as the new Guinness record holder.
Clocking in at about 1 million SHUs, the ghost pepper will send most people straight to the milk. Let’s compare that to the measly 5,000 SHUs of a jalapeno pepper! They are, however, larger in size than reapers, so eating a whole pepper would be seriously hot either way.
So, how hot is the Carolina Reaper in comparison? About double. The Carolina Reaper has been said to reach over 2 million SHUs on the Scoville scale, doubling the heat of the ghost pepper.
Both of these peppers pack a significant amount of heat. There is no wonder they are the star ingredient in so many fiery hot sauces.
Ghost Pepper vs. Carolina Reaper Flavor
The ghost pepper is one of our favorite peppers to grow and cook with. This is because of the delicious, fruity flavor and intense heat. The ghost pepper pairs very well with different fruits and spices, making it a great pepper to make hot sauce with.
We love the sweet, floral-fruity flavor of all the ghost pepper varieties we grow. The heat is a bit more tolerable (but still incredibly hot), so we find it is a slightly more ‘usable’ pepper in the kitchen. Still, it demands the use of proper nitrile gloves when slicing!
If you have ever tried a slice of raw Carolina Reaper, you may have briefly tasted the sweet flavor before the scorching heat came through. This is no pepper to mess with – it’s brutal! Most of the hot sauces we have that are made with Carolina Reaper peppers are a bit too spicy for us to enjoy on a regular basis.
However, if you’re looking for a good Carolina Reaper sauce – look no further than the creator of the pepper himself. After trying many hot sauces, we actually found that PuckerButt makes some of the best Carolina Reaper sauces out there.
Ghost Pepper vs. Carolina Reaper Appearance
It is not difficult to tell these two peppers apart. When shown side-by-side, you can easily see the differences in their appearance.
The Carolina Reaper appears red, bumpy, and has a very evil looking “stinger” or “tail” at the end. Since its introduction in the early 2010s, the Reaper has been bred into many different varieties.
The purple reaper is one of the most incredible plants we have grown to date. The plant grew to over 5′ tall and was much more productive than the original Carolina Reaper.
The ghost pepper has a more traditional pepper appearance, albeit with a bumpy texture. The pods tend to be long and slender with a slightly pointed end.
Since it was the original superhot, ghost peppers have also been bred into all sorts of colors and shapes. Some have smoother skin while other ghost peppers have a more bumpy, gnarly texture. We love growing different varieties of the ghost pepper!
Fun fact : The ghost pepper has been crossed with a jalapeno, resulting in the “ Ghostly Jalapeno .”
Ghost Pepper vs. Carolina Reaper Growing
If you are trying to decide which pepper to grow, we really recommend growing both. In our experience, ghost pepper plants tend to be much larger and more prolific than Reapers. Growing Carolina Reaper plants can be more of a challenge, and we usually end up with less fruit by weight. However, seeing the Carolina Reaper pods come in is incredibly rewarding!
We have a whole guide on how to grow ghost peppers here on Pepper Geek. Be sure to also check out our post on where to buy Carolina Reapers .
If you are not looking to start one of these varieties from seed, you can also buy the plants themselves on Etsy.
- How to grow ghost peppers
- Where to buy pepper seeds
- Growing peppers indoors
Hopefully this article cleared up some of the differences between the ghost pepper and the Carolina Reaper. We hope you’ll incorporate them both into your garden and share the photos with us!
Crystalyn loves spicy food and getting creative in the kitchen. When she isn’t finding new ways to use hot sauce, shes very busy watching cat videos on the internet.
Tuesday 26th of July 2022
I started both peppers from seed at the same time, currently my ghost has a prolific # of fruit on it, but the reaper doesn't even have flowers yet. Is this normal?
Tuesday 22nd of March 2022
Can you purchase seeds for the Ghostly Jalapeno that you mentioned in your ad? If so can you send me the info.
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Carolina Reaper vs. Ghost Pepper: Battle of the Hottest
Posted by Ghost Scream Hot Sauce on Aug 25th 2021
They’re known as two of the world's hottest peppers: the ghost pepper and the Carolina Reaper. However, they’re not the same thing.
As your favorite gourmet hot sauce brand, we decided that our team of experts at Ghost Scream would take this opportunity to compare the two and decide if there’s really a clear winner.
And--while we’re obviously quite partial to the ghost peppers that we use in our specialty hot sauce--we promise to be as impartial as we can throughout the whole process.
Ready to get started? Let’s look at the ghost pepper versus the Carolina Reaper to explore the similarities and differences.
What is a Ghost Pepper?
The real name for the ghost pepper is bhut jolokia, which loosely translates in the Assam language to ghost. It is native to Northeastern India, Bangladesh, and occasional sections of Sri Lanka and has been around for centuries.
There are multiple varieties of the ghost pepper, ranging from the standard red to the chocolate, orange, peach, and purple. And all are just as hot.
While it is still one of the hottest peppers on the planet, the ghost pepper only held the Guinness World Record title from 2007 to 2010.Caronlina
What is a Carolina Reaper?
The Carolina Reaper is a specially cultivated pepper bred in 2013 by a South Carolina chili enthusiast named Ed Currie. It is a crossbreed of the Pakistani Naga and the West Indies Red Habanero pepper.
Currently, there’s only one variety of the Carolina Reaper. Although, with that much heat, it is probably enough! However, we can’t be sure what Ed’s got cooking up in the garden these days and there very well could be something even hotter on the plant as we speak.
It is also important to note that Carolina Reaper peppers are visibly noticeable thanks to their scorpion-like tail and bright red coloring.
Heat Differences Between the Ghost Pepper and Carolina Reaper
There are very marked differences between the heat levels of the ghost pepper and the Carolina Reaper.
For starters, most ghost peppers typically come in between 855,000 Scoville heat units (SHU) and 1.1 million SHU. If you consider that this is a hundred times hotter than the spiciest jalapeño, then you can see why the ghost pepper was once the Guinness Book of World Records’ top spot for hottest pepper .
Of course, it was later dethroned by the Carolina Reaper. Its heat level? An almost frightening 1.4 million to 2.2 million SHU making it the world's hottest pepper on the Scoville scale. That’s nearly double the ghost pepper. Yikes!
The Carolina Reaper is currently the world's hottest chili pepper. Right behind are the Moruga Trinidad Scorpion (2.1 million SHU) and the 7 Pot Douglah (1.8 SHU).
Beware of the Slow Burn
When it comes to the taste of both the carolina reaper and the ghost pepper, both are widely known for their initial sweet, fruity flavor. once you’ve taken a bite, the burning sensation doesn’t come on for twenty to thirty seconds. then it sticks around for around forty-five minutes, which is the reason people are usually clamoring for a glass of milk or ice cream after they’ve ingested either one of them. these spicy peppers will seriously sizzle your taste buds this is why both peppers are known as having what’s referred to by chili enthusiasts as a slow burn. but that’s also what a lot of people like when eating hot peppers, too., finding these peppers fresh, when it comes to finding either ghost peppers or carolina reaper peppers at your local grocery store, it probably isn’t going to happen unless you’re shopping at a gourmet store. why the heat of both is a lot more than most people can handle. at some point, this becomes a health risk that most grocery chains don’t want to assume. in addition, the growth of the peppers is a factor, too. ghost peppers are grown in foreign countries, which makes it harder to ship them fresh. while the carolina reaper is native to the united states, it is a recent cultivation with only a few certified growers available. however, if you’re still clamoring to add either of these two spicy chilis to your favorite recipe, there are plenty of dried options you can buy online., using carolina reaper and ghost pepper hot sauce, now, we mentioned that it might be difficult to find fresh ghost peppers or carolina reaper peppers in your local grocery store. but that doesn’t mean you won’t find seasonings or hot sauces. in fact, there are numerous brands on the market that use either one of the chili peppers or the other. since these are clearly marked and marketed as being extremely hot, most retailers have no problem stocking them on the shelves. of course, we always want you to just come to us with those kinds of requests. (have you tried our el verde hot sauce it’s sure to be your new favorite green hot sauce to keep around the house), carolina reaper or ghost pepper for recipes, so, is it better to use a ghost pepper or a carolina reaper in your favorite recipes well, the choice is ultimately up to your taste and heat tolerance. as we’ve already mentioned, the carolina reaper is nearly double the scoville units of the ghost pepper. this means that you had better be ready for that burn should you attempt to use it in your favorite spicy food. meanwhile, the ghost pepper is slightly lower, but still spicy enough to satisfy your desire for hotness. in that regard, most people prefer it over the carolina reaper, which is more of a novelty heat instead of flavor., shop your favorite online hot sauce store, if you’re looking to see just how hot products made with a ghost pepper are, we’ve got you covered. our ghost scream line of specialty hot sauces is here for you to try for yourself. and they all taste great on everything from eggs to in a spicy martini, making them a perfect addition to any chili fan’s pantry. whether you’re looking for a good keto hot sauce or just want something with a little truffle oil , we’ve got you covered. check out our full range of flavors now to find your new favorite..
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How Hot Is a Ghost Pepper?
The Ghost Pepper measures at 1,000,000+ Scoville Heat Units. It offers some pretty intense heat. The hottest ghost pepper can be said to be 416 times hotter than even the mildest jalapeño pepper which should average about 5,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale.
Why can’t you touch a ghost pepper?
The oils alone of the ghost pepper can cause extreme chili burn from one simple touch. It’s so strong that just being near them can cause eye irritation. After handling – even with gloves – wash your hands thoroughly.
What is hotter than a ghost pepper?
Ghost peppers (aka bhut jolokia) also have an awesome level of heat, and are one of the original superhot peppers, but the Carolina Reaper takes that heat to a whole new level. Ghost peppers range in heat from 855,000 – 1,041,427 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), so the hottest Carolina Reaper is more than twice as hot.
What is the top 10 hottest pepper in the world?
- Carolina Reaper 2,200,000 SHU.
- Trinidad Moruga Scorpion 2,009,231 SHU.
- 7 Pot Douglah 1,853,936 SHU.
- 7 Pot Primo 1,469,000 SHU.
- Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T” 1,463,700 SHU.
- Naga Viper 1,349,000 SHU.
- Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) 1,041,427 SHU.
- 7 Pot Barrackpore ~1,000,000 SHU.
- 7 Pot Red (Giant) ~1,000,000 SHU.
- Red Savina Habanero 500,000 SHU.
Are ghost peppers edible?
Despite (or perhaps because of) the ghost pepper’s searing heat, chili pepper lovers have embraced the pepper as a go-to ingredient for adding spiciness to food. The trick to making the ghost pepper edible is to use it in small amounts, very carefully.
How do you cool your mouth after eating a ghost pepper?
- Do reach for some dairy. The catch here is that the dairy product you choose must contain casein to have any chance of cooling your mouth down (cow’s milk, yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream).
- Do drink something acidic. This means drinking or eating something acidic — such as lemonade, limeade, orange juice or a tomato-based food item or drink — may also help cool your mouth down.
Don’t assume a glass of water will be your salvation. Because capsaicin is oil-based, drinking water will basically just spread this molecule around your mouth — setting off even more of your pain receptors.
What are ghost peppers good for?
They are low fat, low calorie, and contain a healthy amount of vitamin C. But the capsaicin they contain seems to be the greatest source of health benefits. Capsaicin also contains antioxidants called phytochemicals. They lower free radicals in the body, and that can prevent illnesses.
What happens if I eat a ghost pepper?
Those who eat the fiery veggie experience crazy amounts of pain all over their body and some have ended up in the hospital. Ghost peppers contain a neurotoxin that if consumed too quickly can cause heart attacks and seizures.
Why do they call it a ghost pepper?
Due to the fact that “bhut” means “ghost” in the Assam language, this pepper is often called the “ghost pepper,” in the Western world. These peppers have dented skin that is very thin and easy to tear.
How many jalapenos equal a ghost pepper?
According to Pepper Scale, ghost peppers are 107 times hotter than jalapenos. On the Scoville scale, ghost peppers rank between 855,000 to 1,041,427.
Can ghost peppers damage your stomach?
Leading to chest pain similar to that of heartburn, aka acid reflux. Still, it’s important to know that though ghost peppers can feel like they’re burning a hole through your tongue and digestive tract, they’re not actually causing any damage. They’re simply mimicking the effect of an injury.
Can you touch a ghost pepper?
Use food prep gloves when chopping Ghost Peppers so you’re not touching the peppers directly as they will burn your skin. (Whole Ghost Peppers can be safely handled without gloves.) Also be really careful not to touch your face, especially your eyes and nose, when cutting the peppers.
Who invented ghost pepper?
Developed by American breeder Ed Currie, the pepper is red and gnarled, with a bumpy texture and small pointed tail. In 2017, Guinness World Records declared it the hottest chili pepper in the world, surpassing the previous record set by the Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T”. Rock Hill, South Carolina, U.S.
Does milk help with ghost pepper?
Rood says, “but only milk and Kool-aid outperformed plain water.” Milk contains a protein called casein, which can break down capsaicin — much in the same way that dish soap can cut through grease.
What should I drink after spicy food?
Next time a dish sets your mouth on fire, reach for a glass of milk to best quench the burn. If you don’t have milk on hand, a sugary drink, olive oil, or rice can also do the trick. Research suggests that chili peppers are good for more than just spicing up a bland dish.
Can ghost pepper help you lose weight?
Peppers are vegetables rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals but low in calories, making them a great addition to any weight-loss diet. The fiery burn of hot peppers, such as ghost peppers, provide an even better weight-loss boost, containing elements that rev up the metabolism and help you eat less and burn fat.
How long does the burn from a ghost pepper last?
Because the sensation of heat and pain is from a chemical reaction, it will eventually fade once the capsaicin molecules neutralize and stop binding to the receptors. Typically, this takes about 20 minutes, Currie said. It may take longer depending on the person and the heat of the pepper.
Where do ghost peppers grow?
India Northeast India (especially in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland).
How many habaneros equal a ghost pepper?
In 2007, the ghost pepper ranked as the the world’s hottest chili pepper. With a Scoville score of 1,041,427 SHU, it is about 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce, about 200 times hotter than a jalapeño pepper, and about 6 times hotter than a habanero pepper.
Which is hotter scorpion or ghost pepper?
With an average Scoville rating of 1,200,000 SHUs, the Moruga Scorpion easily outshines the Ghost pepper. The hottest individual peppers reached just over 2 million Scoville heat units, meaning that a single Scorpion could be twice as hot as a typical Ghost pepper! Serious heat from a serious-looking pepper.
Are dried ghost peppers hotter than fresh?
As a result, dried peppers have just as much of the capsaicin as fresh ones, just in a more concentrated space. So technically they tend to be hotter.
How hot is a green ghost pepper?
Ghost peppers in general range 850 to 1,041,427 SHU on the Scoville scale and were one of the first varieties to be labeled as a “superhot.” Green ghost chile peppers are favored for their green, grassy flavor and can be used similarly to mature ghost peppers in both raw and cooked applications.
Written by Kelly Turner
I am a chef and a food fanatic. I have been working in the Culinary Industry for the past five years and have published pieces of web content in the form of blog posts and recipes. I have experience with cooking food for all types of diets. Through my experiences, I have learned how to create, develop, and format recipes in a way that is easy to follow.
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Why Does Wasabi Burn?
How to Store Shiitake Mushrooms
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Wasabi Scoville: How Hot Is Wasabi? (Explained!)
- by Annabel Johnson
- April 18, 2022
- 5 minute read
Wasabi is one of the most well-known hot ingredients in the world. But how hot it really is? Read on!
How hot is wasabi? We can compare wasabi to chili peppers with 1,000 Scoville units. But the taste is more refined. Wasabi’s heat sensation is caused by a different compound than that of hot peppers, and it lasts for a shorter duration. Also, true wasabi has more umami than spiciness.
If you want to know how wasabi compares to chili peppers and more, continue reading.
Table of Contents
How many scoville does wasabi have, how spicy is wasabi, why is wasabi spicy, how hot is wasabi compared to peppers, is wasabi hotter than habanero, is wasabi hotter than jalapeno, is wasabi hotter than carolina reaper, is wasabi hotter than a ghost pepper, is wasabi hotter than chili, which is hotter, wasabi or sriracha, is wasabi hotter than horseradish, why is some wasabi hotter than others.
There’s a long-standing myth that wasabi is hotter than hot peppers.
The truth is that there’s no such thing as wasabi Scoville—because wasabi isn’t a pepper and has no capsaicin. But we can make comparisons based on our tastes. In that case, wasabi’s heat level is comparable to that of peppers with 1,000 Scoville units or less.
The technical definition of Scoville units is the amount of capsaicin (the hot chemical in peppers) within the pepper. And wasabi has no capsaicin.
Wasabia japonica (the scientific name for this spicy root veg) belongs to the same family as mustard, cabbage, and horseradish.
How hot is wasabi paste in Scoville units?
The theory with wasabi paste is that it’s comparable to peppers with 1,000 Scoville units like the pepperoncini, anaheim, or poblano. But we can’t tell for sure as we can’t use Scoville units for wasabi hotness.
The heat you experience from wasabi is caused by a different compound than the heat from hot peppers, and it doesn’t last nearly as long. In addition, true wasabi has more umami than spiciness, which further balances out the flavor profile.
It also means that if you’re used to eating spicy food, you probably don’t need to worry about being overwhelmed by wasabi.
If you’ve tried eating raw, spicier peppers with no ill effects, it’s unlikely that even a strong dose of wasabi will get the better of your tolerance.
The main reason wasabi is spicy is due to a chemical called allyl isothiocyanate . This chemical compound plays a role in the defense mechanism of many plants, and it’s also responsible for the spiciness of mustard, cabbage, and horseradish.
It’s suspected that the strong taste is an evolutionary defense mechanism to repel animals.
A strong taste would make the plant less appealing to animals, so they’d move on to other food sources.
If you have ever tried wasabi and felt a burning sensation in your nose , you probably had the misconception that it was as hot as peppers. You might also have compared it to chili, sriracha, or habanero.
This is not true. Wasabi has nothing on any of these hot condiments. It’s actually very mild in comparison with pepper-based spices and sauces. But beware: its effects can be more powerful than you think!
The short answer: no, wasabi is not hotter than a habanero. Habanero peppers are about 100-350 times hotter than wasabi on the Scoville scale. Wasabi has a pungent and sharp taste, but it’s not necessarily hot like habanero peppers.
Heat in chiles comes from a chemical compound called capsaicin . Wasabi’s heat comes from a different chemical compound called allyl isothiocyanate (AITC).
If you’ve ever been to a sushi restaurant that serves fresh wasabi and ginger, you might have noticed the difference in the effects of both foods on your mouth: while spicy food brings tears to your eyes, wasabi makes your sinuses tingle.
No, wasabi falls well below the jalapeno pepper on the Scoville scale. Jalapenos usually come in between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), while the wasabi is comparable to 1,000 Scoville heat units.
Of course, this all depends on where you eat your wasabi. If you think your sushi joint has particularly potent green paste they call wasabi, try making an order of sushi with real Japanese horseradish and see if it hits harder.
No, wasabi’s heat pales in comparison to the Carolina Reaper. The average Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) for wasabi is just 1,000. The Carolina Reaper has an average SHU of 1,641,000—that’s over 1,641 times hotter than wasabi!
And if you thought this meant that wasabi wouldn’t do much in terms of flavor or heat because it can’t compete with peppers like the Carolina Reaper and ghost pepper, think again.
Wasabi packs a punch with its strong taste and sharp hotness, making it perfect for sushi and other dishes you want to add some extra kick to.
No, wasabi is not as hot as a ghost pepper. Wasabi can be compared to about 1,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), while ghost peppers top out at over 1 million SHU! That’s 1,000 times hotter than wasabi!
Wasabi also has a short duration of heat that doesn’t compare to the length of time of burning sensation caused by the capsaicin in chilis.
No, wasabi is not as hot as chili. Wasabi typically measures in at around 1,000 Scoville heat units (SHU). By comparison, the average chili pepper measures about 2,500 to 8,000 SHU. So while wasabi may have a sharp taste, it doesn’t pack the same level of heat as chili.
Then you also have extreme chili peppers that can measure up to 2 million SHU! These include the Carolina Reaper and ghost pepper. Considering all this, wasabi is really mild compared to most chili.
It’s a shock to many to learn that wasabi isn’t actually that hot, and in fact, there are several more common foods that pack a bigger punch.
For example, sriracha has a Scoville rating ranging from 1,000 to 2,500. Meanwhile, wasabi can be compared to 1,000 Scoville units. This means that sriracha is a little bit hotter than wasabi.
While wasabi may not be the hottest thing out there, it’s still a powerful flavor that can really add some zing to your food. So if you’re looking to add a little bit of heat to your next meal, reach for the wasabi!
Well, it’s a little more complicated than that.
The paste you get at most sushi restaurants isn’t made from real wasabi at all, but rather horseradish mixed with mustard and green food coloring . So if you just tasted horseradish and wasabi side-by-side, the horseradish would definitely be hotter than wasabi.
Real wasabi is the rhizome of a plant grown in Japan and China (it can also be grown in other regions with the right environment). If you’ve ever had real wasabi, then you know it has an earthier flavor and a much tamer heat level.
There are several factors that affect the hotness of wasabi. They include:
- The quality of ingredients used
- How fresh the ingredients are
- Growing conditions for wasabi plants
- The freshness of wasabi paste itself
- Amount of wasabi used in a dish
- What it is mixed with (if anything)
- How long it has been stored before using/eating
All of these factors can impact the overall heat level of wasabi paste, so it’s difficult to give a definitive answer as to why some wasabi pastes are hotter than others.
Wasabi is relatively mild in comparison to other peppers. It’s hard to compare, though, as we can’t use the Scoville scale for wasabi as wasabi has no capsaicin. Also, most wasabi consumed in the United States is not real wasabi but rather horseradish mixed with other ingredients.
- Is Wasabi Hot To Taste ?
- Why Does Wasabi Burn My Brain ?
- How Much Wasabi Is Too Much ?
- Can Wasabi Kill You ?
Image credits – Canva
Hi, I'm Annabel, a mother of 4 wonderful children. I had to learn to cook out of necessity - but it’s become a hobby that I (and my family) enjoy immensely. I decided to start this blog to share my recipes and knowledge with you and would love for you to join me.
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Guinness World Records names Pepper X the new hottest pepper
By Aliza Chasan
October 16, 2023 / 6:38 PM / CBS News
Pepper X has scorched its way into the record books as the world's new hottest pepper, Guinness World Records said Monday.
Ed Currie, the pepper expert who crossbred and grew Pepper X, previously broke the record for the hottest pepper on Earth a decade ago with the Carolina Reaper . Currie developed Pepper X years ago, but didn't release it right away, he said in a First We Feast video posted to YouTube on Monday. He said he kept Pepper X in his back pocket in case any other growers released something hotter than the Carolina Reaper. When no one came forward, he decided to bring out Pepper X.
"This is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people," Currie said in the First We Feast video. "People said it couldn't be done, they called us liars, and we proved to them that Pepper X is actually the hottest pepper in the world, officially from Guinness."
What are Scoville Heat Units?
A pepper's heat is determined by how much capsaicin it contains, with that heat expressed with a tool called the Scoville Scale. Pharmacologist Wilbur Scoville invented the scale in 1912. It measures how much water is required to dilute a pepper before its heat can no longer be tasted.
Pepper X was tested by Winthrop University in South Carolina. It rated at an average of 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units. For comparison, a Carolina Reaper averages 1.64 million Scoville Heat Units and a jalapeño is around 3,000 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units. A habanero typically tops 100,000.
How did Currie create Pepper X?
Currie started growing hot peppers as a hobby, eventually moving on to cultivating them full time. The pepper grower raised 800 hot pepper plants "in every inch of his home and the homes of family, friends and neighbors" in the 1990s, according to his Puckerbutt Pepper Company website.
Currie cultivated Pepper X on his farm for over a decade, according to Guinness World Records. He cross bred it with some of his hottest peppers to increase its capsaicin content.
"When we bred this pepper out, first thing we looked for is something to raise that heat level to what we thought was going to be the maximum, and the second thing is flavor," Currie told First We Feast.
Part of the development process was also protecting Pepper X. Currie said people have been trying to steal it for years.
Pepper X is considered a proprietary pepper, so pods and seeds will not be sold, according to a press release . The only way to get a taste right now is through Pepper X hot sauces.
Currie is already working on his next potential record-breaking pepper, according to Guinness World Records.
Aliza Chasan is a digital producer at 60 Minutes and CBS News.
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He held the world record for hottest pepper. Then his Pepper X dethroned it.
Ed Currie and his PuckerButt Pepper Company created the Carolina Reaper, which bagged the Guinness World Records title for spiciest chile pepper on the planet a decade ago. But at the time, Currie was already secretly working on one that was even hotter.
Currie, now 60, stashed it away, an ace in the hole to play on the day a rival breeder challenged Carolina Reaper’s spiciness supremacy, he told The Washington Post. The months turned to years, which turned into a decade, but that day never came.
“No one’s been able to take us out,” Currie said in a Monday episode of the hit YouTube series “ Hot Ones ,” “so I decided to bring it out to the world.”
Meet Pepper X.
On Monday, Guinness announced that Currie and PuckerButt had topped their own record. Pepper X had officially clocked in with an average of 2.69 million Scoville Heat Units, far spicier than the Carolina Reaper’s 1.64 million. Scoville Heat Units are the common measurement to gauge a chile’s spiciness, with the jalapeño registering between 3,000 and 8,000 SHUs, although Currie said even the large numerical disparity doesn’t fully capture the difference.
“The jalapeño is a roller skate,” Currie said. “Those super hot peppers are space shuttles.”
Until the “Hot Ones” episode was taped a few weeks ago, Currie was the only person who’d eaten an entire Pepper X. He did it again for the show. In an interview Tuesday with The Post, he said the pepper’s earthy flavor lasted for a split second, followed by a brutal heat that persisted for three hours, then stomach cramps that went on for four more.
“It just hurts like mad,” he said, adding that he eats whole peppers only when the cameras are on but usually eats smaller amounts mixed in with his food.
Currie started working on Pepper X about 12 years ago, he said. It’s a crossbreed of the Carolina Reaper and a pepper he declined to name but described as one “that a friend of mine sent me from Michigan that was brutally hot.” He grew eight to 12 generations of the pepper to hone and stabilize the heat and flavor he wanted.
In the announcement on the record, Guinness said Winthrop University in South Carolina measured the new pepper’s heat score by running tests on specimens from the past four years.
Currie said he has learned from the business mistakes he made with his first Guinness record winner. He didn’t legally protect the Carolina Reaper name and let others have its seeds, grow the peppers and use them to create hot sauces and salsas.
In one instance, Currie said he discovered someone selling a packet of “Carolina Reaper” seeds that contained a single Reaper seed and a bunch from habaneros. When Currie confronted him, the seller scoffed, saying that people don’t know the difference, he said. In other cases where Currie said he has pressed the issue, people have essentially dared him to sue them, knowing they’re safe.
Currie said he’s doing things differently this time around. He has secret greenhouses where he grows the pepper. He showed up on the “Hot Ones” set flanked by lawyers toting the peppers in a metal briefcase that looked better suited for large amounts of cash. “Hot Ones” host Sean Evans said on the episode that he had seen it handcuffed to someone’s wrist.
People won’t be able to buy whole Pepper X peppers or their seeds until Currie and his team make money off licensed products for the pepper they spent years creating. For now, they’ll be limited to PuckerButt products such as chips, salsas and mustards.
But Currie warned novices tempted to reach for the Pepper X hot sauces too quickly while addressing how eating challenges involving spicy foods has made headlines in recent months. In September, a snack company pulled its “ One Chip Challenge ” product, which contains a chip encrusted with Carolina Reaper powder, after a 14-year-old died in Massachusetts hours after his family said he had eaten the chip.
Currie admits PuckerButt sells its own chip challenge product , which features Pepper X, but said he doesn’t sell it to children. And he cautioned those just starting to eat spicy foods to build up a tolerance. People should start with jalapeños or cayennes and, once they’re comfortable with those, try habaneros, then ghost peppers, working their way through hotter and hotter peppers.
As for Currie’s seemingly never-ending quest, he is already crossbreeding peppers with the aim of once again beating himself. He’s homed in on two candidates but declined to reveal more, including how hot they are.
But he’s also taking the time to bask in the record he already has and use Pepper X to create hot sauces and other products that people enjoy.
“I’m ready to have so much fun with this thing,” he said on the “Hot Ones” episode.
On the episode, Evans surprised Currie by welcoming a Guinness representative to the set to award him the record for the world’s hottest pepper. Although he’d been working with Guinness to earn a record by submitting documentation and specimens for testing, Currie didn’t know that Guinness had awarded him the record or that the organization would send someone that day, he told The Post.
When handed the certificate, Currie directed Evans to his arm by saying, “Look.”
“I can see,” Evans told him, “you’ve got goose bumps.”
As Currie started to explain what the honor meant to him, he choked up a bit.
No chile required.