Apollo Pepper Guide: Heat, Flavor, Uses

What are Apollo peppers?

If you love the hottest peppers in the world and enjoy a good mystery, then the Apollo pepper is right up your alley. This super-hot chili from Smokin’ Ed Currie, the founder of Puckerbutt Pepper Company, pairs two extreme chilies into something too wicked for words. Born of the famous Carolina Reaper and the infamous Pepper X (both Currie creations), the Apollo pepper is said to exceed 3,000,000 Scoville heat units. Will it officially top the hottest pepper charts? Time will tell, but the Apollo pepper has already created quite a stir in the chili pepper world.

Apollo pepper fast facts

Scoville heat units (SHU)3,180,000
Median heat (SHU)N/D
Jalapeño reference point389 to 1,272 times hotter
Capsicum speciesChinense
OriginUnited States
FlavorSweet, Earthy

Where do these chilies originate?

Outside of a hot sauce label, little is currently known about the Apollo pepper. This super-hot chili pepper stars in its own hot sauce, made by Hot Ones. The Last Dab: Apollo Hot Sauce is chock-full of the Apollo, in fresh, powdered, and distillate form. Oh, there’s some vinegar in there, too. But really that’s it. The result? A hot sauce that reaches 2.5 million Scoville heat units.

Yes, you read that right. A hot sauce with the Apollo — where the chili heat is somewhat diluted — still reaches 2.5 million Scoville heat units. That makes it hotter than the top heat range of a Carolina Reaper (2.2 million SHU.) For some common store-bought sauce perspective, Tabasco Original Red is a mere 2,500 to 5,000 SHU. Even Tabasco’s spicier scorpion pepper sauce only hits the heat level of the spiciest cayenne (50,000 SHU.) The Last Dab is on another planet with its level of Apollo peppers.

But beyond the hot sauce, little has been released about the Apollo. Right now, it’s a chili pepper with an air of mystery surrounding it, even more than the Pepper X.

How hot are Apollo peppers?

Unfathomably hot. Seriously. As a hybrid of the Carolina Reaper and the Pepper X, the Apollo pepper is reported to easily reach above 3 million Scoville heat units. It’s thought to be hotter than the Pepper X, which is claimed to reach 3.18 million Scoville heat units, so expect above there. We’re talking military pepper spray levels of heat here.

Putting that in culinary perspective, the current official hottest pepper in the world, the Carolina Reaper, runs from 1.4 million to 2.2 million Scoville heat units. So the Apollo chili could easily double its heat. Versus another super-hot, the ghost pepper (roughly 800,000 to 1,000,000 SHU): The Apollo would be triple its spiciness.

And compared to our jalapeño reference point, it’s no contest. Jalapeños range from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units, making the Apollo pepper 398 to 1,272 times hotter than a jalapeño.

It’s obvious to say, if you ever got your hands on one, great care would need to be taken: gloves, cooking glasses, and even masks are necessary here to not experience what would be an ungodly level of chili burn.

What do Apollo peppers look like?

Again, little has been released about the Apollo, and that includes even what it looks like. But we do know what both the Carolina Reaper and Pepper X look like, so expect something similar.

Reapers tend to range from 1.5 to 2 inches long, wrinkly, round, and (sometimes) with a slight stinger tail. Imagine something similar here.

Carolina Reaper planting
In terms of looks, the Apollo pepper likely takes on traits of the Carolina Reaper

What do they taste like?

As always, kudos to Smokin’ Ed Currie and Puckerbutt Pepper Company for growing some of the hottest peppers in the world, but, while doing so, thinking about flavor as well. There’s supposedly a mix of fruity and earthy flavors here, what would be expected with a cross between the fruity Carolina Reaper and the earthier Pepper X. This specific flavor combo is perfect for extreme spiciness, as sweet and earthy tend to not get dwarfed quite as quickly as more subtle flavors.

What are some good uses for it?

For now, the Apollo pepper is only available in The Last Dab: Apollo Hot Sauce. So anywhere you’d use an extreme hot sauce, you’ll enjoy the intense heat of the Apollo. Take care: a drop at a time in soups, spreads, or sauces will go really far. You may not need more than that.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on March 15, 2022 to include new content.
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