The Hottest Peppers In The World (2024 Update)

Pinterest Hidden Image

The title of “hottest pepper in the world” is something that’s challenged more often than you may expect. Every year hot pepper cultivators find new ways to hybridize chilies and utilize their environment (soil, water, sunlight) to create peppers that will compete for the top position. Below we break out the current hottest peppers based on expected median heat on the Scoville scale. See our full hot pepper list here to see our heat rankings of 170+ chilies.

#1. Pepper X

Pepper X
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
Pepper X2,690,000512 times hotter

Pepper X is renowned for its extraordinary heat, currently holding the title as the world’s hottest pepper. This fiery chili was cultivated by the Pucker butt Pepper Company, located in South Carolina, USA. The company’s founder, Ed Currie, spent over a decade selectively breeding Pepper X to achieve its unparalleled heat level. Measured at its max at an astounding 3.18 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), and officially measured at 2.69 million SHU in the Guinness Book of World Records, Pepper X truly outshines the previous record holder, the Carolina Reaper (also developed by Currie.)

#2. Carolina Reaper

Carolina Reapers
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
Carolina Reaper1,900,000362 times hotter

The Carolina Reaper is also developed by the PuckerButt Pepper Company under the stewardship of Ed Currie. The Carolina Reaper held the title of the world’s hottest pepper according to the Guinness World Records from 2013 until 2021. The pepper’s heat level reaches an astonishing average of 1.6 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), with some individual peppers recorded at over 2.2 million SHU. The Carolina Reaper’s intense heat and fruity flavor make it a unique addition to any spicy dish. And, currently, it’s much more widely available than the Pepper X, both as a fresh chili pepper and as a product additive.

#3. Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon Pepper
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
Komodo Dragon1,900,000362 times hotter

The Komodo Dragon pepper is a fiery chili hailing from the United Kingdom. It’s renowned for its extreme heat, often registering between 1.4 million to 2.2 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), making it one of the hottest peppers in the world. The heat of the Komodo Dragon pepper is not immediate but builds up for 10 seconds before it unleashes its full potential. Flavor-wise, it presents an initial fruity sweetness, which quickly transforms into a fierce, lingering spice.

#4. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion1,600,000305 times hotter

The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion originates from the district of Moruga in Trinidad and Tobago. Its intense heat measures from 1.2 to 2 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU). And it looks wicked, with its scorpion-like stinger tail. This fiery pepper was even recognized as the world’s hottest chili by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2012, although it has since been surpassed by the Reaper and Pepper X. In terms of flavor, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion has a sweet, fruity taste, which is quickly overshadowed by its extreme heat.  

#5. 7 Pot Douglah

7 pot douglah
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
7 Pot Douglah1,388,938265 times hotter

The 7 Pot Douglah, also known as Chocolate 7 Pod, also originates from Trinidad and Tobago, ranging from 923,889 to 1,853,986 SHU, making it significantly hotter than the common 7 pot pepper (roughly 1.1 million SHU.) The pepper gets its name from the local belief (and fact) that one pod is enough to spice up seven pots of stew. Its distinctive, pimpled exterior and dark brown or chocolate color, gives it a unique appearance among chili peppers. The flavor is described as earthy, sweet, and fruity, but the extreme heat often overshadows its flavor.

#6. Dorset Naga

Dorset Naga
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
Dorset Naga1,299,114248 times hotter

Originating from the United Kingdom, the Dorset Naga was developed by Joy and Michael Michaud of Peppers by Post in Dorset, hence its name. It was developed using the best of the best of their Naga Morich crop (see #7 on our list.) The Dorset Naga boasts a heat level of over one million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), placing it among the hottest peppers in the world. Despite its extreme heat, the Dorset Naga carries a fruity flavor, offering a sweet undertone that complements its intense spiciness.

#7. Naga Morich

Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
Naga Morich1,250,000238 times hotter

The Naga Morich pepper, also known as the ‘serpent chili’, is a fiery hot chili pepper that originates from Bangladesh. This pepper is teardrop-shaped and is often a vibrant shade of orange or red when fully ripe. Its heat is intense, with a Scoville rating of 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 units. And it burns slow, taking up to 30 seconds for the true spiciness to take hold, similar to the slow-burn of a ghost pepper (a chili that it’s often compared to.)

#8. 7 Pot Brain Strain

7 Pot Brain Strain
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
7 Pot Brain Strain1,175,000224 times hotter

The 7 Pot Brain Strain pepper hails from the Caribbean and has one of the more unique shapes on the Scoville scale. Its bulbous, pocked fruit has. a similar shape to that of a human brain. With a Scoville heat unit ranging from 1,000,000 to 1,350,000, it’s certainly fiery, too. Like many super-hot chilies, there’s a sweetness to the fruit, but it’s overshadowed by the intense heat.

#9. Infinity Pepper

Infinity Pepper
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
Infinity Pepper1,158,643221 times hotter

The Infinity pepper hails from England and was bred by Nick Woods of Fire Foods in Grantham, Lincolnshire. It held the Guinness Book title of the world’s hottest chili pepper for two weeks in 2011. The flavor and shape of the Infinity pepper is similar to that of a ghost pepper, naturally sweet, with a wrinkled, elongated form and slightly pocked skin. Also like a ghost pepper, there is a slow burn with the heat, taking up to 30 seconds to feel the full effect of the extreme spiciness.

#10. 7 Pot Barrackpore

7 Pot Barrackpore
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
7 Pot Barrackpore1,150,000219 times hotter

The 7 Pot Barrackpore originates from the town of Barrackpore in Trinidad and Tobago. In terms of heat, it has a Scoville Heat Unit range of around 1,000,000 to 1,300,000. The 7 Pot Barrackpore’s shape isoften characterized by a pimply, rough texture and a somewhat elongated form that tapers to a point. Its flavor is fruity and sweet, but it’s a little more bitter and less fruity than many other super-hot chilies.

#11. Naga Viper

Naga Viper
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
Naga Viper1,141,059217 times hotter

The Naga Viper originated in the United Kingdom, bred by chili grower Gerald Fowler. Its heat is intensely fiery, with a range from 900,000 to 1,382,118 SHU. It briefly held the Guinness Book world record as hottest pepper in 2011. Its shape is similar to that of a lantern, with a pointed end, and it possesses a vibrant red color when fully mature. Despite its intense heat, the Naga Viper pepper offers a fruity, sweet flavor behind that intense heat.

#12. Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T”

trinidad scorpion butch t
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T”1,131,850216 times hotter

The Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T” hails Australia, with origins in Trinidad and Tobago. It held the official Guinness Book title of the world’s hottest pepper from 2011 to 2013, boasting a Scoville Heat Unit rating of 1,463,700, significantly hotter than its relative, the ghost pepper. The pepper is distinctively shaped, with a pointed tail (like the Moruga Scorpion) that resembles a scorpion’s stinger. The “Butch T” gets its name from Butch Taylor, the developer of this super spicy chili.

#13. Trinidad 7 Pot

Trinidad 7 pot pepper
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
Trinidad 7 Pot1,100,000210 times hotter

The Trinidad 7 Pot pepper hails from (obviously) Trinidad. Its Scoville Heat Units (SHU) range from 1,000,000 to 1,200,000. Many variations on the Trinidad 7 Pot are here here on our hottest pepper list, including the 7 Pot Douglah and Brain Strain (above) and the 7 Pot Primo (just below.) And quite a few fall just short (7 Pot Bubblegum, 7 Pot Jonah). They take on a habanero-like shape, but the tell that they are much spicier is the wrinkled, pocked skin.

#14. 7 Pot Primo

7 Pot Primo
Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
7 Pot Primo1,034,125197 times hotter

The 7 Pot Primo is a superhot chili pepper with a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) range from 800,000 to 1,268,250. Named after its cultivator, Troy Primeaux (nicknamed Primo), the pepper originated in Louisiana, USA. The pepper is distinct with its bumpy texture and a pointed tail.

#15. Ghost Pepper

Scoville Heat Units (Median)Vs. Jalapeño
Ghost Pepper948,214181 times hotter

The ghost pepper (a.k.a. bhut jolokia) hails from Northeast India. This pepper a Scoville range from 855,000 to 1,041,427 SHU, and it once held the Guinness World Record for the world’s hottest chilli in 2007. It says a lot about the state of the spiciest peppers that the ghost now barely cracks our top 15. But few have the name recognition of the ghost–being one of the most popular chilies on the planet for use in hot sauces and other commercial products. Take care when eating: There’s a slow build to the overall spiciness. It can take 30 seconds or more to feel the full effect of the heat. During that time, there’s a natural sweetness to the pepper that’s quite flavorful.

Honorable mentions

Our honorable mentions sport chili peppers that are hotter than even the Carolina Reaper, but don’t have the consistent heat (yet) to take the official throne as the hottest pepper in the world. Still, you should get to know these incredibly super-hot chilies.

  • Death Spiral Pepper (1,300,000 to 1,500,000 Scoville heat units): Otherwise known as the Death pepper, this super-hot chili is a hybrid of a Naga Bubblegum and a Naga Viper. It’s a wicked mix and rather unpredictable at the moment. The heat ranges widely but tends to hit near the Carolina Reaper range. Its colors and shape, too, vary from fruit to fruit. At some point, when the strain is stable, we’ll see where it lands, but for now, know it’s among the hottest peppers.
  • Apocalypse Scorpion Pepper (1,400,000+ Scoville heat units): Also called “Apocalypse pepper,” this scorpion chili packs around the same weight as the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, but the jury is still out on its consistent performance on heat. It could top the Carolina Reaper, but it will likely not touch one of the incredibly hot contenders further down on the list. Still, it’s one wicked-looking (and tasting) chili with a sweet, floral flavor behind its extreme spiciness.
  • Chocolate Bhutlah (2,000,000 Scoville heat units): The Chocolate Bhutlah is a hybrid of the ghost pepper and the 7 Pot Douglah. It’s not currently stable, but heat tests have shown this chili to be around the 2 million Scoville heat unit mark. Other reports give it a floor of about 1.5 million SHU. But that’s not official. Still, this level of heat easily puts it among the hottest peppers. And it’s certainly among the hottest (if not the hottest) “chocolate” chili varieties around.
  • Dragon’s Breath Pepper (2,480,000 Scoville heat units): The Dragon’s Breath received a lot of attention in 2017 for its potentially record-breaking spiciness. Put it this way, the Dragon’s Breath was originally grown for medicinal use, to use its high level of capsaicin as an anesthetic. Initial tests indicated a peak Scoville rating of 2,480,000 SHU. That would easily beat the Carolina Reaper, but more testing and official Guinness records judging are in order to definitively declare the Dragon’s Breath chili as the winner of the hottest peppers top spot. For now, it’s an honorable mention as an extreme chili, even among extreme chilies.
  • Apollo Pepper (3,000,000+ Scoville heat units): Smokin Ed Currie (the founder of Puckerbutt) is en fuego with another crazy-hot chili. The Apollo pepper is a hybrid of the Pepper X and the Carolina Reaper, and all signs point to it being a contender for the title of hottest pepper. But, like Pepper X, the Apollo pepper has not been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. We shall see if this serious chili has the super-hot staying power to grab the title.

Handling the world’s hottest peppers

Let the names of these chilies–like Scorpion and Reaper–be a warning. These are the spiciest peppers around–holders of multiple Guinness world records and the base for many of the hottest hot sauces around. They all make jalapeño peppers look like child’s play.

And while their differences in Scoville heat units may look vast, your experience will be similar when handling each. These are dangerous chilies, and, as such, they must be handled carefully. If you’re going to dance with the devil, wear kitchen gloves, eye goggles, and take great care throughout the cooking process. Know, too, how to combat chili burn to keep yourself safe.

Must-read related posts

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on February 25, 2024 to include new content.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I fear no man *points at apollo pepper* but that thing, it scares me


Can’t see scotch bonnet in that list ???


do you know what is the actual hottest hot sauce even hotter than mad dog plutonium?


I’ve been following The Puckerbutt Pepper Company… and I heard about the APOLLO PEPPER a cross between the Carolina Reaper and Pepper X. From what I’ve also been informed, they have been certified by Guinness Book of World Records as THE HOTTEST.


Do the test of those 3 peppers at the emergency room desk. Just put them on napkins on top of the desk, then tell them you going to eat them right in front of them. See what they will do right after.


I grow jalapeños, ghost peppers, Carolina reaper, and Scorpion. Grind up when fresh and put in dehydrator. Makes great seasoning. Very hot but very tasty

Collins Blake

Uhmm… A coward as i am, i wouldn’t try it(again). Hym about you trying it? Well i learnt my lessons after mistakenly chewing a carolina reaper raw when i was thirteen. Not my fault i didn’t know it was that hot. I had a fear of spices for the next two months.

James (Mac) McCormick

Who has tried the Chocolate Bhutlah pepper? I was wondering if they are hotter than the Carolina Reaper? LA Beast said they seemed to be hotter and he eats a lot of hot peppers. Any one tried both? I’m just curious.


They are very easy to grow and they are also VERY prolific! One plant will produce dozens of peppers in one season. Good luck with the growing!!


I’ve been growing the Carolina Reaper now for about 4 years. I save seeds from the biggest and best shaped pepper from my plants and then plant seeds the following year. It’s more of a novelty pastime rather than a food source. I’m really not fond of hot peppers.

Lev Smirnov

I am going to try the California reaper and the dragon breath and then the Komodo dragon pepper. Wish me luck. So I ate the peppers and the dragon breath was the hottest of all.


I grew Ghost peppers and Tobbasco peppers last summer. When I harvested I decided to ferment them for six months to make sauce. Had two jars of each kind individually and one bigger jar with them mixed. When I blended them to liquid I set in a ditch oven and smoked for about three hours then strained into jars. It’s very flavorful, but will burn you for hours with just a couple drops. Now going to grow some Reapers for the same purpose


In T’dad, we used to find habs just growing wild on hte side of the road, and my uncle’s cook used to make her own hot sauce which the whole family got jars of. She made it with mangoes and it was awesome!


I grew butch t scorpions. Sooooo hot. Definitely a sting in the tail the next day.

your mom

I ate a Reaper and cried in my room for like 2 days. It sucked do not recommend if it is your first pepper above ghost on the sheet


I’m growing the scorpion now,its a out a foot tall,how long before fruits?