What is Pepper X?
When the man known for cultivating the hottest peppers on the planet says “We’re playing with fire”, you know you’ve got world bending, Inception-level heat on your hands. Ed Currie, of Carolina Reaper fame and the mad scientist behind PuckerButt Pepper Company, has done a BIG one better with the Pepper X. Weighing in at 2,693,000 Scoville heat units, the Pepper X dwarfs most other super-hot peppers on the Scoville scale. And, as of October 9, 2023, it is officially the hottest pepper in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Pepper X fast facts
|Scoville heat units (SHU)
|Median heat (SHU)
|Jalapeño reference point
|336 to 1,077 times hotter (approximately)
|Approximately 2 to 3 inches long, stinger tail
How hot is Pepper X?
It’s nearly on its own level. Seriously, based on the reported peak of this super-hot (2,693,000 Scoville heat units), very few come close. Only PuckerButt Pepper Company’s other super-hot new sensation, the Apollo pepper, is fabled to be as much (and potentially more.)
Let’s put some perspective around the estimated spiciness that we do know. Compared to the jalapeño, our reference point, the Pepper X is up to 1,077 times hotter than the mildest jalapeño. At minimum, it’d be 336 times hotter. Yes, you read that right.
But let’s not stop there. How about compared to a habanero? For many, the habanero is the the upper end of eatability (and a very hot chili in its own right). Compared to the mildest possible habanero, it’s 27 times hotter. The Bhut Jolokia (ghost pepper)? Three times hotter. Even compared to the current official hottest chili pepper in the world, the Carolina Reaper (1,400,000 to 2,200,000 SHU), the Pepper X is exponentially hotter – at its maximum, it can nearly be twice as hot as the mildest Reaper. Comparing against a max Reaper, it still overpowers it by 400,000 Scoville heat units.
What does it look like?
They have a shape similar to a Carolina Reaper, bulbous often with a scorpion-like tail (but other photos show them a little more elongated, looking more like a Bhut Jolokia). These are gritty-looking chilies, to put it lightly: pock-marked, gnarled, and misshapen. If the devil is a gardener, this would be his fruit of choice. They just look evil – very befitting for the beyond intense heat they hold.
What does the Pepper X taste like?
Little is reported on the overall Pepper X flavor, though Ed Currie and PuckerButt are well known for cultivating super-hot peppers with legit sweet peppery taste, not just super-spice. If it’s like the Carolina Reaper, there will be a sweet fruitiness to the chili, particularly when first bitten (before the heat hammer drops).
Growing Pepper X
You can’t buy the seeds or plants yet, they aren’t available commercially, at least not until PuckerButt secures the Guinness world record, and maybe not even then. Time will tell when this super-super-super hot hits extreme gardens.
Can you cook with it?
Like with seeds, finding this super-hot chili fresh is not possible. So, for now, cooking with it is not an option. And even if it were, we don’t recommend amateurs (or even semi-professionals) try it. Pepper X takes extreme caution when handling, with a lot of safety measures in place. This is a level of heat that you don’t get near without kitchen gloves, kitchen goggles, and even a gas mask. The chili burn possible would be severe and prolonged, and common chili burn remedies would likely only make a dent. We recommend leaving the cooking to the pepper professionals for this one.
Can you buy Pepper X anywhere at all?
Currently, you won’t find Pepper X for purchase in any form, other than as a hot sauce. That includes as seeds, whole chilies, dried chilies, powders, or flakes – none are available. Again, time will tell whether this chili will become commercially available, but given its extreme heat level, it may not be widely available even then.
What’s available now: The Pepper X Hot Sauce
We’re talking military grade hotness here, so this is not a chili you would reach for in everyday cooking, even in extreme eating households. In fact, the best use case for chilies of this magnitude is in extreme hot sauces. And there’s currently one on the market featuring Pepper X.
The Last Dab XXX features three types of the super-hot Pepper X, and it’s a hot one for sure. But not quite as hot as you may have heard in our books. There’s good flavor here, too. Usability trails some (as it does with all extreme hot sauces), but The Last Dab makes up for it in spades with collectibility.
- Big on heat, for those looking for the extreme
- Highly collectible
- No sodium
- Not nearly as spicy as some reports say it is
The Last Dab is the brainchild of PuckerButt, in collaboration with First We Feast’s Hot Ones and Heatonist. And it features Pepper X in all its infamous glory. It’s a small batch hot sauce, so it’s not always in stock, but for those looking for an extreme hot sauce challenge, this is potentially the ultimate experience. It’s, no doubt, among the hottest sauces around.
Perhaps what’s best about Pepper X and The Last Dab is the fact that it has a unique benefit compared to other extreme hot sauces. Most super-hot sauces use capsaicin extract to get their mega heat. There’s no taste to capsaicin extract, just 100% spiciness, so the sauces can be lacking in overall peppery flavor. Not here – The Last Dab is made from Pepper X mash, so the flavor of the chili is intact in the sauce itself. This is rare air among the hottest sauces around.
Must-read related posts
- The Hot Pepper List: This super-hot is one of more than 150 that we profile on our list, covering heat, flavor, origin, and use.
- Our Hot Sauce Rankings: Looking for your new “best hot sauce”? Check out our rankings of over 100 hot sauces. We rate flavor, heat balance, usability, and collectibility.
- Our Spicy Recipes: We have over 750 different spicy recipes, using chilies from mild to super-hot, for you to enjoy.