The World’s 5 Hottest Peppers and How to Eat Them

The World’s 5 Hottest Peppers and How to Eat Them

Eating these might make you hallucinate, spit, vomit and breathe fire out your ears but at least they’ll give you bragging rights.

Some like it hot, no doubt. If you immediately reach for the Tabasco sauce to liven up your pizza or put chili flakes on everything from eggs to mashed potatoes, you might already know about these ultra-hot dandies.

The hottest peppers in the world have been rated by those in the know according to the amount of capsaicin in them-a chemical that gives them their ‘hotness’.


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Are the ratings completely accurate? Actually, it’s all kind of subjective. The peppers have been rated according to taste, by testers who use Scoville Heat Units (SHUs).

The SHU scale was invented by the American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville back in 1912, and it relies on a taste tester’s personal sensitivity.

That being said, if just about everyone agrees that something’s flippin’ spicy as heck, it probably is.

Based on this system, here are 5 of the world’s hottest peppers, and ideas on how to eat them:

1) Bhut Jolokia

The Bhut Jolokia, otherwise known as the Ghost Pepper, was rated as the hottest chili pepper in the world in 2007. It hasn’t maintained its title but it’s still extremely pungent: about 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce, scoring more than 1 million SHUs.

You can find Bhut Jolokia in Phaal Curry, the world’s hottest curry and other Indian curries, pickles and chutneys.

2) Infinity Chili

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The Infinity Chili took over the title of the world’s hottest pepper in 2011, if only for about 2 weeks.

Amazingly, its origins lie in a country with some of the blandest native food around- England- but nonetheless, it’s a scorcher.

The spice is the creation of Nick Woods, a chili breeder of Fire Foods, Grantham, Lincolnshire, and like the Bhut Jolokia, it also scores over 1 million SHUs.

The story behind the Infinity Chili goes like this: Woods claims that he wasn’t trying purposely to create it, but that the chili came about by accident, through crossbreeding in a greenhouse.

This hottie is so potent that it can cause hallucinations due to the endorphin rush that goes along with eating it.

If you’re brave enough to try the Infinity Chili, you might find it in a curry dish called The Widower, served at a restaurant called Bindi in Grantham, England.

3) Naga Viper

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Vipers are venomous snakes with large fangs, and this hot pepper comes close.

The Naga Viper was the World’s Hottest Chili for a moment in 2011 with a rating of a whopping 1,382,118 SHUs.

Like the Infinity Chili, this plant was created in England by a farmer. Gerald Fowler of The Chilli Pepper Company in Cark, Cumbria is the hero behind the hybrid which is said to have been born as a three-way cross between a Noga Morich pepper, the famed Bhut Jolokia and the Trinidad Scorpion.

How to eat it? If you can find hot sauce that isn’t lying about its ingredients and claims to contain the Naga Viper give it a try. Or, you could try one straight, but it isn’t recommended.

4) The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

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Ok, so there’s more than a bit of competition going on in the world of hot peppers. The aforementioned Infinity Chili and Naga Viper went unrecognized as the hottest peppers in the world by New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute.

The serious institute did, however, agree that the Bhut Jolokia pepper of India was indeed a winner, and feels that the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion out did the BJ in 2012.

The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion measures more than 1.2 million SHUs and can fool those who eat it, with a tender fruit-like flavor, at first. The real heat is said to build and build into a roaring crescendo of fire.

5) The Carolina Reaper

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Alright, we saved the best for last. The Carolina Reaper is currently rated as the hottest chili pepper in the world and is a lethal cross between a Bhut Jolokia and a habanero pepper.

It was bred by “Smokin” Ed Currie, owner of the PuckerButt Pepper Company in South Carolina, and scores a raging average of 1,569,300 SHUs.

If you’re looking to torture yourself by consuming it, check out these Carolina Reaper sauces on Be sure to have lots of milk and a bunch of freezies onhand.

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