The World's Hottest Pepper
Carolina Reaper - HP22B
2013 – Present
The Carolina Reaper was originally named the HP22B, and was created in Rock Hill, South Carolina by Ed Currie. It was certified as the hottest pepper in the world by Guinness World Records on August, 7th 2013. The pepper was originally created by crossing the Ghost Pepper, with a red Habanero. Though some within the chile community dispute this, suggesting that the Carolina Reaper is merely a 7 Pot Primo, because of how similar the chile strains are to each other.
The official average heat rating, as stated by Guinness, is 1,569,300 Scoville. With peak Scoville levels going as high as 2,200,000 Scoville. The Reaper has a sweet and fruity flavor, and is championed by many for it’s great flavor and taste. It is a relatively small chile pepper, with most specimens only reaching a size just larger than a ping pong ball. But don’t let it’s size fool you – it will steam-roll whoever dares eat one.
It ripens to a bright red, sports an unmistakable stinger shaped tail, and has been reigning as the world’s hottest pepper for nearly three years now.
Trinidad Scorpion Butch T
2011 – 2013
The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T was developed by Butch Taylor, and was named the hottest pepper in the world by Guinness World Records in 2011. The official average heat rating, as certified by Guinness, is 1,463,700 Scoville. Though some specimens rated as high as 2,000,000 Scoville. It originates in the Isles of Trinidad, and ripens to a bright red. Most have a stinger, though it is not nearly as dramatic as the stinger on the Carolina Reaper, but wider and less pronounced.
The Naga Viper briefly held the Guiness World Record title of the world’s hottest chile pepper in 2011, before being dethroned by the Scorpion Butch T. It was developed by Gerald Fowler in the UK, with a heat rating of 1,382,118 Scoville. The Naga Viper is a cross between a Naga Morich, Bhut Jolokia, and Trinidad Scorpion, though it was an unstable strain when it was tested. Which made it’s title of world’s hottest a bit precarious, as it’s high level of heat could have been a fluke. It ripens to a bright red, and has a thick and slightly elongated shape.
The 7 Pot Infinity chile was developed by Nick Woods in the UK, and held the title as the world’s hottest chile for two weeks. It’s heat rating was certified by Guinness at 1,067,286 Scoville. It was only semi-stable when it was tested, which led to some debate at whether it deserved the title, since it’s level of heat could have been a fluke.
Bhut Jolokia - Ghost Pepper
2007 – 2011
The Bhut Jolokia, aka Ghost Pepper, originates in India, and was certified as the world’s hottest pepper by Guinness World Records in 2007. It averages at just over 1,000,000 Scoville, but peaks at up to 1,300,000 Scoville units. There are several different strains of the Bhut Jolokia, which will all have differing heat levels. The original strain ripens to a bright red, and has a long tampered shape.