Top Ten Hottest Peppers

Top Ten Hottest Peppers


This week it's all about the peppers. The chili pepper (also chile pepper or chilli pepper, from Nahuatl chīlli [ˈt͡ʃiːli]) is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum. Chili peppers were thought to have originated in Mexico thousands of years ago. The Columbian Exchange and Portuguese navigators largely affected the spread of chili peppers cultivars across the world. About 9.4 million acres of land produce 33 million tons of chili peppers worldwide (2010 data). India is the world's biggest producer, consumer and exporter of chili peppers.[1]

There are five domesticated species of chili peppers, but the most common pepper varieties we tend to break down into three groupings: bell peppers, sweet peppers, and hot peppers. If you read our blog a couple of weeks ago, the Top Ten Hottest Hot Sauces on Earth, then you are familiar with the Scoville Heat Scale and SHUs (see Scoville Scale below). You can see the difference in heat between a bell pepper (green pepper) and a hot pepper (Carolina Reaper). Below, we will be discussing some of the hottest peppers according to the Scoville Heat Scale.

To get our weekly discount code or to read more about peppers or the hot sauce industry in general sign up for our weekly newsletter - Honey Brown Low-Down.


The Top Ten Hottest Peppers

No. Pepper SHU Description

7 Pot Jonah


1,200,000 The 7 Pot Jonah is a larger plant that produces larger and rounder Trinidad 7 Pot strain pods, with a fruitier flavor than the standard 7 Pot and slightly higher heat. 7 Pot Jonah can get larger than a golf ball and weigh up to a half ounce. The peppers mature from light green to red. Surface of pods are pimply and lumpy with some even growing little Scorpion tails.[2]

7 Pot Barrackpore

1,300,000 This 7 Pot variety comes from the region of Barrackpore on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. The Trinidad 7 Pot Barrackpore has an elongated pod structure sometimes similar to the Bhut Jolokia. 7 Pot Barrackpore bears somewhat larger and more wrinkled pods as compared to the regular 7 Pot. It has a nice fruity flavor like other 7 Pots and is a heavy producer.[3]

7 Pot Brain Strain

1,350,000 This variety is not a hybrid, instead it was developed using selective breeding by saving pods from plants that would produce certain desired traits. In 2010 David Capiello, a well known grower and chile hobbyist from North Carolina, obtained 7 Pot seeds from another grower in Trinidad. This chili pepper is believed to be closely rated to the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion.[4]

Naga Viper

1,382,118 The Naga Viper was created in England by chilli farmer Gerald Fowler of The Chilli Pepper Company in Cark, Cumbria. It is claimed to be an unstable three-way hybrid produced from the Naga Morich, the Bhut Jolokia and the Trinidad Scorpion (some of the world's hottest peppers). Due to its hybrid nature it is unable to produce offspring exactly like the parent due to segregation of alleles, and therefore traits.[5]

Komodo Dragon

1,400,000 The latest variation on the 7 pod, naga, jolokia, etc. is the Komodo Dragon. Grown by the UK’s largest producer of chillies, Salvatore Genovese. Salvatore has a seven-acre farm in Blunham, Bedfordshire where he spends his time trying to create even hotter varieties.[6]

Trinidad Scorpion Butch T

1,463,700 It was named by Neil Smith from The Hippy Seed Company, after he got the seeds originally from Butch Taylor (the owner of Zydeco Farms in Woodville/Crosby, Mississippi and a hot sauce company) who is responsible for propagating the pepper's seeds. The "scorpion" peppers are referred to as such because the pointed end of the pepper is said to resemble a scorpion's stinger.[7]

7 Pot Primo

1,473,480 Created by Troy Primeaux, (nickname Primo), a horticulturist from Louisiana. He began crossing the Naga Morich and Trinidad 7 Pot seeds around 2005 and has since grown them out for 8 generations. The 7 Pot Primo can get very lumpy and distorted and even grow a skinny little tail. Like other 7 Pots it has a fruity/floral flavor and is extremely hot. Orange/yellow varieties of this pepper have also been seen.[8]

7 Pot Douglah

1,853,936 From Trinidad, it’s said that 1 pod will spice seven pots of stew. It is a rare and extremely hot chili. The Douglah is characterized by a dark brown/deep purple skin with many “pimples” over the surface. The pepper starts out green and matures to the dark color unique to the Douglah.[9]

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

2,009,231 The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion was created by Wahid Ogeer of Trinidad. Aside from the heat, the Trinidad moruga scorpion has a tender fruit-like flavor, which makes it a sweet-hot combination. The pepper can be grown from seeds in most parts of the world. In North America, the growing season varies regionally from the last spring hard frost to the first fall hard frost.[10]

Carolina Reaper

2,200,000 Bred in a Rock Hill, South Carolina greenhouse by "Smokin" Ed Currie, the Carolina Reaper has been certified as the world's hottest chili pepper by Guinness World Records since August 7, 2013. The original crossbreed was between a Ghost pepper (a former world record holder) and a red habanero and is named 'Reaper' due to the shape of its tail.[11] 



Well, there you have it! If you've tried any of these peppers before, let us know in the comments!

Check back next week for our: Top Ten Hot Sauce Recipes To Try
Happy Eating!

-The HBH Team

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.