Keeping up with the world’s hottest peppers is a chore in itself. Just when you think a pepper can’t possibly be any hotter, another one takes the reigns. From the ghost pepper to the reaper and the scorpion, it takes a trip around the world to discover some of hottest peppers on the planet.
Also known as the Bhut Jolokia, the extremely hot Ghost Pepper is the stuff military grade pepper spray is made of. Sometimes tipping 1 million Scoville units, the pepper is native to India, where it’s generally used for cooking. About 20 years ago, though, that all changed when it began to hit the rest of the world by storm, named the world’s hottest chili pepper in 2007. Likely derived when the chili pepper was replanted and cultivated in a new climate where the temperature commonly soars, so now does the heat of the peppers that grow there. Another hot contender is the Trinidad Scorpion. Guinness World Records once ranked this pepper as the hottest in the world, packing more than 1.4 Scoville units. Talking its name from its country of origin, the extremely hot pepper can now be grown in most areas of the world.
Finally, the Carolina Reaper took home the honor of the world’s hottest in 2013, and just took the hot spot again for 2018. Said to pack more than 2 million Scoville heat units, the Carolina Reaper is insanely hot. In fact, this pepper was specially bred in South Carolina for its heat, a cross between the Red Habanero and the Naga Viper. This bright red pepper packs much more than a punch, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Of course you don’t have to take our word for it, just one small taste is all it takes for the Carolina Reaper to leave its mark!