Bhut Jolokia Chocolate Guide: Heat, Flavor, Uses

What is the Bhut Jolokia Chocolate?

The infamous ghost pepper is a devil of a chili: A slightly sweet super-hot chili pepper with a deceiving slow burn. And its cousin Bhut Jolokia Chocolate (a.k.a. ghost pepper chocolate) follows suit with plenty of super-hot heat (800,000 to 1,001,304 Scoville heat units), but with a twist beyond its dark complexion. It has a more subtle flavor – slightly sweeter with a hint of smoky – that’s reminiscent of other “chocolate” chili varieties like chocolate habaneros and chocolate scorpion peppers. Used with extreme care, it’s delicious in extreme barbecue sauces, hot sauces, and marinades.

bhut jolokia chocolate
Chocolate Bhut Jolokia, growing on the vine – the same shape as a red ghost pepper

Bhut Jolokia Chocolate Quick Stats

Scoville heat units (SHU)800,000 – 1,001,304
Median heat (SHU)900,652
Jalapeño reference point100 – 400 times hotter
SpeciesCapsicum Chinense
Size2 to 3 inches long, pod-like
FlavorSweet, Fruity, Earthy, Smoky

How hot is Bhut Jolokia Chocolate?

It’s on par with the typical red ghost pepper (855,000 to1,041,427 SHU), with a slightly lower minimum and maximum heat (800,000 to 1,001,304 SHU). In terms of our jalapeño reference point that’s 100 to 400 times hotter than a jalapeño. Obviously, the ghost – no matter the color – is not a chili to trifle with lightly. It’s used in military grade pepper sprays and even as an elephant deterrent in India.

In comparison to other chocolate varieties of super-hot chilies, the ghost pepper is certainly eclipsed. The 7-Pot Douglah ranges from 923,889 to 1,853,986 SHU. And the Chocolate Bhutlah is even more extreme with a range from 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 SHU – touching near the heat of military grade pepper sprays. And, of course, the Chocolate Carolina Reaper can reach up to 2,200,000 SHU.

The heat can be deceiving. Ghost peppers are infamous for their slow burn that build up over time. On first bite, you actually taste the chili’s unique flavors, but soon the heat upticks (approximately 30 seconds) and continues to build for 30 minutes before (again slowly) dissipating. Eating a ghost pepper of any type, with its propensity for delayed heat, is a commitment to fire.

There are many questions over which is hotter, the chocolate ghost pepper or the typical red? On paper, the Bhut Jolokia Chocolate’s range is, as mentioned, slightly lower at both ends. But that’s a range, not the average heat. It’s often the case that the “chocolate” variety of these fresh peppers tend to taste slightly hotter due to them staying on the vine a little longer to reach their full mature brown color.

Of course, a chili’s heat varies, too, on the geography in which it’s grown, the soil type it’s planted in, and even the plants that are grown around it. When it comes down to it, expect the same extreme heat with the possibility of the Bhut Jolokia Chocolate being on the upper end of its range a little more often.

What does it look like?

Its shape is identical to the common red ghost pepper: roughly two to three inches long with a pod-like shape tapering to a point. The chilies skin tends to some wrinkling and pock marks, similar to all super-hots. But, of course, the big difference is the color: the Bhut Jolokia Chocolate ripens to a rich dark brown color, a sure sign among chilies to expect some additional earthiness and smokiness.

What does a Bhut Jolokia Chocolate taste like?

The flavor profiles are somewhat similar, but the chocolate ghost pepper is a bit more nuanced in its profile. It’s a bit more fruity with a hint of smoky flavor. You’ll enjoy these flavors before the hammer comes down with that slow burn heat.

How can you use the chocolate ghost chili?

As with any extreme hot pepper, extreme caution should be taken with the Bhut Jolokia Chocolate. One simple touch can lead to painful chili burn, so kitchen gloves should always be used. Kitchen goggles, too, are highly recommended as simply being around the oils of the ghost pepper can cause that burning sensation. Learn more about treating chili burn here.

With safety covered, start enjoying these super-spicy chilies in extreme hot sauces, BBQ sauces, and marinades. It’s also tasty in rustic Indian and Mexican dishes, providing just that hint of smoke. We also love it in smoky bean or beef chilies or stews. Know a little goes a long, long, long way. Just a sliver of any ghost pepper can be enough to spice up a pot.

Where can you buy Bhut Jolokia Chocolate?

Don’t expect to find the chocolate ghost pepper at your supermarket. The heat is so extreme that most general stores won’t carry it. Just like with other super-hots, look for farmer’s markets (you may get lucky if you have a local pepper farm) or (your better bet), pick up Bhut Jolokia Chocolate seeds, plants, hot sauces, and powders through online vendors.

Remember, if you decide to explore the heights of the pepper scale, do so with safety in mind. The Bhut Jolokia Chocolate may look mellow in color compared to the normal red variety, but it carries that same extreme kick. Explore with care and remember less is more until you get comfortable with proportion vs. heat ratio.

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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on August 19, 2023 to include new content.
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