Imagine spending a night or a few in the hospital wishing there was a concise and quick list that covered the 15 hottest peppers in the world that you looked at before and knew what to avoid. Well, aren’t you in luck! We’ve gathered information to give you the peppers that top the Scoville Scales at ridiculous levels. Want to find out the quick story behind the scale and why it’s important? Want to see the side effect of eating hot peppers? Find out on this list, and who knows? Maybe you’ll be in a quiz one day asking for the scale’s name or what’s the hottest pepper at the current point in time, and you’ll have all the answers. We even went so far to even include a BONUS section at the end of the article after counting #1 to #15, including examples of other hot products but you have to read the article to find out exactly what is in this elusive section.
What is Scoville’s scale?
The Scoville Scale was created by Wilbur Scoville in 1912, to test how peppers or anything that comes from peppers can be. Peppers are measured in SHU – which we’ll be using on the list – which basically shows the amount of capsaicin. Capsaicin produces the burning heat you experience when eating a hot pepper, and is found a lot in the skin and seeds of peppers. Various scales have been produced over the years, with some peppers still being present for some time in different positions while new ones are discovered that push the envelope on how hot a pepper can get and still be edible. A Google search comes up with about 216,000 results.
15 Hottest pepper in the world
And now we come to our list, going through the 15 hottest peppers, going from 1 to 15 to show you the change and just how hot we can get with the peppers we’re talking about: PS We don’t encourage the consumption of the top peppers and to do so, is at your own risk. A quick Google search will tell you why you should not eat them, okay?
#1 Caroline Reaper pepper
After handling a Caroline Reaper pepper, it’s best to avoid your eyes or sensitive skin until you’ve washed your hands. 1,569,300-2,200,000 is what it comes to on the Scoville, making it our #1 because of the blistering experience of eating even the smallest piece of the pepper. Avoid the burning sensation at all costs folks!
#2 Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
Trinidad Moruga scores 1,200,000-2,000,000 SHU, making it the second highest on our list. It contains the same amount of capsaicin as a shot glass of pepper spray, making it truly spicy and truly hot! Considering that you can get blisters from eating this pepper, would you risk it to try?
#3 7 Pot Douglah pepper
The hottest of the 7 group, the 7 pot Douglah peppers tip the scale at 923,889-1,853,396 SHU. They are also called the chocolate pepper because of the chocolate brown colour they turn when ripe. Like the other 7 pots on the list, they are very rare, so unlikely to encounter one.
#4 Trinidad Scorpion Butch T
Trinidad Scorpion peppers are so hot, you can’t handle them without protective gear. They normally end up being used as the basis for hot sauce, with a scoring 1,463,700 SHU score. Even watered down and in the sauces, they add a very clear and very hot kick to any meal.
#5 Naga Viper pepper
Naga Viper is the offspring of three of the hottest peppers ever, briefly being the hottest in 2011. 1,382,118 SHU means it’s 270 times hotter than the Jalapeño. The heat overpowers the sweet taste of the actual pepper, and you know, the pepper was created in Cumbria, England. We know!
#6 7 Pot Primo pepper
7 pot Primo sauce is a prime example of a little going a long way. 800,000-1,268,250 SHU is where it hits on the scale, and it contains some of the highest levels of capsaicin in the world. It is incredibly rare however, so you’re unlikely to feel your face melting.
#7 Bhut Jolokia/Naga Jolokia/Ghost Pepper
The Bhut Jolokia or the Ghost Pepper originates in India. Getting the name “ghost” because of the way it’s reported to sneak up with intense heat on anyone who eats one. Only introduced to the West in 2000, getting the hottest pepper in 2007, it comes in at 1,041,427 SHU.
#8 7 Pot Barrackpore pepper
7 pot barrackpore is very similar to the pot red, coming from Trinidad also and having a sweet flavour. Very quickly the heat builds and builds, but are you surprised when it comes in at 1,000,000-1,300,000 SHU? It comes not only in red, but also brown, yellow and even white.
#9 7 Pot Red pepper
7 pot red have a nutty, fruity taste like other Caribbean peppers. Originating in Trinidad, it’s used in military grade tear gas and is extremely hot and hard to find, making it a rare pepper. It comes in at 800,000-1,000,000 SHU, being our first pepper to hit the 1,000,000 SHU.
#10 Red Savina Habaneros pepper
The Red savina habanero. Like #11, it used to have the title as the hottest and is like it’s cousin in that it has a unique, fruity taste. At 350,000-577,000 SHU, too much can cause a numbing sensation days from ingesting and isn’t like the others you can easily find in-store.
#11 Habaneros pepper
Habaneros were once considered the hottest peppers in the world, while they don’t now, it hasn’t lost the heat that got it there to begin with. A huge leap from the last peppers at 100,000-350,000 SHU, the taste of the pepper is a unique citrus taste, making it popular.
#12 Cayenne pepper
Cayenne peppers are available in cream to treat muscle pain, did you know! You might know it better by Paprika and how often it’s used in hot sauces. It adds a little heat to any dish and with a rating of 30,000-50,000 SHU, it is not hard to see the appeal.
#13 Serrano pepper
Serrano peppers originate in Mexico, essentially being a smaller version of the jalapeño. They are hotter than their cousin, getting 6,000-23,000 SHU on the Scoville, having been used for salsas and sauces because of the spice kick they have. They are considered the most favourable hot peppers on the market.
#14 Pimento pepper
Pimento are the classic red shaped peppers. They are registered lowest on Scoville, coming between 100-500 SHU but still having a kick to them. Sweet, barely spicy and very mild, they are ideal because you don’t run the risk of burning your insides as you eat one or a few.
#15 Sweet Bell Pepper
Juicy with a mild, sweet flavour of these peppers make them the most used in food. Normally coming in red, yellow and green shades they even come in brown, purple and orange. It’s at the bottom of our list coming in at 0 SHU, making it the least hottest here.
BONUS – Other 3 Hottest Products
These aren’t comparable to the peppers, pepper products and chillies found on the Scoville Scale, but are known for being hot to eat. They are more easily bought than some of the peppers above, and much more versatile, like wasabi as a sauce rather than an extra ingredient to a dish. Like any of the peppers, excessive eating of any of these won’t be good for you, especially the Blair’s, with a SHU of 16 Million!We’ve listed them in no particular order, giving you the low-down on these and what they are like:
Like mustard and Wasabi, the kick of horseradish means it causes a burning sensation in your nose rather than your throat. If you leave it cut up to the elements, within 30 minutes you have a muted but fiery taste experience.
The spice and kick of Wasabi creeps on you as quickly as it fades away. The spice of Wasabi is similar to that of mustard, rather than those of the collected peppers above.
#3 Sos 16 Million Reserve
Or Blair’s 16 Million, is pure crystallised Capsaicin, making it 16 Million SHU, the highest it can get. It’s not a sauce with only 999 jars being made and signed by the creator, making it extremely rare.
What are the side effects of hot peppers ?
Even if you don’t eat a hot pepper, handling a hot enough one can lead to sunburn-eqsue result on your skin. Eating some of the hotter ones on the main list could easily end up with you having blisters in your mouth. But even more on the list can cause problems when you ingest them, with many people often talking about an extreme burning sensation and numbing of the taste buds. Patients with bowel disorders are told to avoid peppers because of the intense heat as the peppers are digested, which would only aggravate any problems. In studies on rats and mice testing capsaicin toxicity, high levels begin to affect the cardiac and respiratory systems, causing failure in both, though it wasn’t clear which one was the ultimate cause of death.
In humans, large amounts of capsaicin can cause seizures and heart attacks. It’s obviously different from person to person, not everyone will have the exact same experience with peppers. While some might find it rather tasty if not a little too hot, others might find it unbearable and be rushing to find something to take the heat off. ( It’s also shown that bread and rice will help with the heat more than a drink, which will only help spread the taste and therefore the heat everywhere. )
When you take a bite, almost immediately you feel hotter without any real temperature change. This comes from the capsaicin’s ability to latch onto the TRPV1, activated when heat is present. Slate reported that once this activation has happened, your brain is told you’re too close to the heat source. Your nose and eyes start to run because of the extra fluid created from the heat, alongside more saliva. Then you start to sweat. This is the body’s way to get out extra fluid, and coupled with the extreme heat your brain thinks you are near, means you sweat quite a lot even if you have a small bite. The digestive system also takes a hit when you eat hot peppers, and if you aren’t used to the heat, might result in some time spent in the toilet. Even those who are used to the heat might find themselves in the same situation, as it’s the body’s way to get rid of things quickly.
So, will eating a hot pepper result in you visiting the hospital or heading to an early grave? Probably not. Urban legends shared through group of friends will tell you that “so and so died eating this pepper you know?” and “Oh, don’t eat that! It’s a one way ticket to the ER/A&E” but then again, stories of people doing pretty much anything and dying are rampant in real life and online. Of course, sometimes somebody does end up in the hospital eating a pepper that’s clearly too hot for them to handle or they have a reaction, but it shouldn’t put you off. Researchers believe humans have been eating peppers for over 8,000 years and we’ve survived this long, so! As someone who does like spice and pepper, I wouldn’t be trying the ridiculously hot peppers on the list above, and even those which aren’t. Not because I don’t like peppers, but I’m not sure how I would react. Especially when you get to the peppers that see you washing your hands and wearing gloves to handle, I’ll pass. I can see hospital visits happening because of touching your eye by accident, making it worse by rubbing and only agitating the capsaicin in the pepper. These sort of peppers in my opinion should really stick with those who know exactly what to do with them, with minimal contact with the pepper themselves and being able to get the heat, flavour, texture and taste of the pepper in a dish without using too much pepper which can easily ruin a meal.So the next time your friend tells you John Smith died in 2009 eating the exact hot pepper you want to eat, maybe have a look online and take it with a pinch of salt? Or with a piece of bread to take away the heat.
Sweet pepper What Are Pimiento Peppers? Serrano Peppers What are the benefits of cayenne? Habanero Pepper: Serious Heat And Serious Flavor Red Savina Habanero: Legendary Heat 7-Pot Chili Pepper The Hottest Pepper in the World 7 Pot Barrackpore Ghost Pepper - Bhut Jolokia Trinidad 7 pot primi The Naga Viper Pepper What If You Eat an Entire Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Chili Pepper? Top Ten Hottest Peppers in the World