Komodo Dragon Pepper: Fire Bringer

Slow-burn super-hot…

Scoville heat units (SHU): 1,400,000 – 2,200,000
Jalapeño reference point: 175 to 880 times hotter
Origin: United Kingdom
Seeds: Komodo Dragon seeds on Amazon

Blistering hot is the only way to describe the Komodo Dragon pepper. With a spiciness that rivals (but doesn’t quite beat) the Carolina Reaper, this super-hot chili is no doubt for extreme eaters only. Like the ghost pepper, it has a “sneaky heat”, a slow burn that allows a lovely fruity flavor to set before knocking your socks off. And unlike most other super-hots, the Komodo Dragon pepper has a place on the supermarket aisle – at least in the United Kingdom where it’s carried in Tesco supermarkets throughout the country.

How hot are Komodo Dragon peppers?

Put it this way, this pepper is well-named. It’s like dragon fire made into chili form. Their heat is comparable to the Carolina Reaper – 1.4 million to 2.2 million Scoville heat units, though the Komodo Dragon tends to fall more often to the lower to middle end of the spectrum. Compared to our jalapeño pepper reference point, it’s in a different stratosphere: 175 to 880 times hotter than a jalapeño. This is not a hot pepper for the masses.

The Komodo Dragon packs a prolonged punch: the spiciness is slow to come on and it’s long to linger, like the ghost pepper (though the super-hot ghost pepper comes nowhere near the minimum heat of this chili, topping out at just over a million SHU).

What do they taste like?

Like many other super-hots, there’s a tasty fruitiness to the flavor. During the slow build-up you can actually enjoy this chili’s fruitiness, until the hammer falls. Then, the flavor is simply heat…and lots of it.

What do Komodo Dragon peppers look like?

Its shape is similar to the ghost pepper, as well as 7 pot and naga varieties of chilies. They are about two inches long and slim. Its skin twists, turns, and pocks randomly along the length and ends in a slight point. Komodo Dragon peppers follow the typical chili pepper color maturation pattern, starting green and ending a bright red when mature.

How can you use Komodo Dragon peppers?

As this is a chili for extreme eaters (and its simply too hot to eat without dilution), its use cases fall into the typical ones for extreme chilies. It makes a wicked hot chili pepper for extreme hot sauces and salsas (use very moderately). And like 7 pot peppers, one Komodo Dragon can be used to heat multiple pots of chili (just a little sliver diced goes a long, long way).

However you use it, be extreme, as well, in your caution while handling. Chili peppers at this level of heat create notoriously painful chili burn when handled without care. Use gloves when handling the Komodo Dragon, as well as kitchen goggles to keep the oils from hitting your hands or eyes. Even with great care, know your remedies for chili burn now before handling, so when it hits (and it will hit at some point for all hot pepper fans), you know what to do.

Where can you buy Komodo Dragon peppers?

Maybe the most interesting thing about Komodo Dragon peppers is that, unlike most super-hot varieties – it’s currently widely available in supermarkets. That is, if you live in the United Kingdom. The Komodo Dragon is available at Tesco stores throughout the U.K.. For those outside of the U.K., you can buy Komodo Dragon seeds online. But for the fresh pods, it’s a much more difficult sourcing challenge.

For those that can get their hands on the Komodo Dragon pepper, do so with care. This is no chili pepper to be trifled with, hanging right up their with the hottest peppers in the world. But if you’re one for extreme eating, enjoy this chili pepper for all its worth. Few are hotter.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on May 8, 2022 to include new content.
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