Are There Peppers Hotter Than the Carolina Reaper?

Are There Peppers Hotter Than the Carolina Reaper?

If you consider yourself a chili pepper guru, you know by now that the Carolina Reaper pepper is on record as the hottest pepper in the world. However, you’d also know that other pepper gurus are constantly trying to out-do the Reaper by growing pepper strains that pack some serious (we mean serious) heat. And so far, there have been some contenders that want to take the title of the World’s Hottest Pepper.

According to Guinness World Records, the Carolina Reaper is still officially the hottest chili pepper in the world, reaching 1,569,000 Scoville heat units, although some Reapers have apparently tested even higher! This pepper earned its title on November 14, 2013 and has since dominated the pepper growing community with its unique flavor and high-intensity heat.

But is the Carolina Reaper sitting in the hot seat? Unofficial tests held around the world indicate that there are peppers out there that blow the Reaper away in terms of heat. We’ve gathered our list of super-hot peppers that have either come close to, or are close to, officially knocking the Carolina Reaper off its throne as the World’s Hottest Chili Pepper.

1. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

Species: Capsicum Chinense
Heat Level (SHUs):
Trinidad and Tobago
Days to Harvest:
150+ Days

Before the Carolina Reaper was dubbed the World’s Hottest Pepper back in 2013, this pepper held that honor the year prior. One of the most underrated peppers on this list, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion can pack just as hot of a punch as the Reaper does, yet provides an almost fruity, cotton-candy-like flavor when you taste it. You can put this on your food to give it a massive kick or apply it to your garden as a pest repellant – the uses of the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion are far and wide.

A side note: don’t underestimate the heat on this pepper. The capsaicin can be strong enough to penetrate through latex gloves…multiple times over. That’s according to Danise Coon, Senior Research Specialist at New Mexico State University, whose handling of the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion during testing was unlike anything that she had ever experienced before with super-hot peppers. In other words, handle these peppers with caution.

2. Komodo Dragon Pepper

Species: Capsicum Chinense
Heat Level (SHUs): 1,500,000+
Origin: United Kingdom
Days to Harvest: 90-100 Days

The Komodo Dragon Pepper came on the scene in 2015 poised to dethrone the Carolina Reaper as the hottest pepper in the world. A crow between a 7 Pot and a Ghost Pepper, the Komodo Dragon rivals the Reaper in terms of SHUs, but has a delicious fruity flavor that singes every one of your taste buds.

This pepper is sneaky when it comes to taste; as it starts out with its fruity flavor, the intensity builds and builds until the heat is too much and it feels like you’re breathing fire out of your mouth.

3. 7 Pot Douglah

Species: Capsicum Chinense
Heat Level (SHUs)
: 923,000-1,853,396
Origin: Trinidad & Tobago
Days to Harvest: 90-110 Days

7 Pot Douglah peppers are a variation of the “7 Pot” pepper family, the name deriving from the pepper’s ability to spice up seven pots of stew with one pod. That’s some major impact! The 7 Pot Douglah boasts a dark brown almost deep purple color with a dimpled surface that develops as it grows and ripens. Most 7 Pot peppers have a fruity flavor to them, but the Douglah has an almost nutty taste that pairs well with stews, chilis, and salsas.

Other 7 Pot peppers boast similar heat levels to the Douglah while having a wide variety of different flavors.

4. Chocolate Bhutlah

Species: Capsicum Chinense
Heat Level (SHUs):
Origin: United States
Days to Harvest: 90+ Days

There’s some mystery behind this super-hot pepper, but the Chocolate Bhutlah has been rumored to be hotter than the Carolina Reaper and could maybe take the crown away if it underwent official testing. This pepper is a cross between a ghost pepper and the 7 Pot Douglah, two peppers that were previously listed as some of the hottest in the world. If you enjoy earthy flavors with an almost dangerous bite to them, you will love the Chocolate Bhutlah.


5. Gator Jigsaw Pepper

Species: Capsicum Chinense
Heat Level (SHUs):
Origin: Italy
Days to Harvest: 110+ Days

The Gator Jigsaw pepper is another one that’s rumored to be hotter than the Carolina Reaper. This is a relative of the Jigsaw pepper and shares some characteristics to Pepper X (another entry on our list). These peppers ripen from green to a yellow mustard color which makes them a little difficult in knowing when to pick them off. Keep a close eye on your Gator Jigsaw plants to prevent overripened peppers from rotting your plants.


6. 7 Pot Primo

Species: Capsicum Chinense
Heat Level (SHUs): 1,000,000-1,500,000 (unofficial)
Origin: Trinidad and Tobago
Days to Harvest: 90 Days

The heat on a 7 Pot Primo pepper is nothing to bat an eye at. This creation is a cross between a Naga Morich and the 7 Pot Pepper plant, yielding some very sinister-looking pods that have scorpion-like tails and pimply skin. They do have a sweet taste and caramelized flavor to them, but it’s the heat that should be concerning you when you nibble away at these peppers.

The 7 Pot Primo has been mired in controversy ever since online speculations surfaced that this pepper has many similarities to the Carolina Reaper – so much that people believe the Carolina Reaper is a 7 Pot Primo in disguise. Troy Primeaux, the grower of this pepper, stated these two peppers were in fact identical, and claims testing done at the New Mexico State University Chili Pepper Institute showed the 7 Pot Primo having higher heat levels than the Reaper. These results have not been officially corroborated, however.

7. Primotalii Pepper

Species: Capsicum Chinense
Heat Level (SHUs): 2,200,000+ (unofficial)
Origin: United Kingdom
Days to Harvest: 90+ Days

This super-hot pepper is a SCORCHER! The Primotalii red pepper doesn’t have an official Scoville Heat Unit rating, but word has it it’s just as hot – if not hotter – than the Carolina Reaper. Primotalii peppers have many different flavors from fruity, citrusy, sweet, earthy, and floral – we’ll let you be the judge of how it tastes, though!

Primotalii is a cross between the 7 Pot Primo and the Yellow Fatalii cross-bred in England by Chris Saunders back in 2012. They are very long and have skinny tails to them. Primotalii pepper plants grow up to 3-feet tall and can yield large peppers with skins that look like they’re boiling.

8. Dragon's Breath Chili Pepper

Species: Capsicum Chinense
Heat Level (SHUs): 2,480,000+ (unofficial)
Origin: United Kingdom
Days to Harvest: 100-120 Days

Our next contender is the Dragon’s Breath chili pepper, one of the spiciest peppers to have ever been recorded in history. Coming all the way from the U.K. from pepper grower Neil Price, this incredibly spicy pepper is the spawn of the 7 Pot Infinity pepper and contains an immense amount of heat.

There’s been a lot of controversy revolving around the Dragon’s Breath, with many stories suggesting that if you ingest a little bit of this pepper, it would kill you. (NOTE: It wouldn’t, and it would have to take a LOT of peppers to get close to doing that.) But if this pepper would undergo official testing, there’s a serious possibility that the Dragon’s Breath could overtake the Carolina Reaper as the hottest pepper in the world.

Photo courtesy of PepperScale.

9. Pepper X

Species: Capsicum Chinense
Heat Level (SHUs): 3,180,000 (unofficial)
Origin: United States
Days to Harvest: Unknown

Speaking of mystery, we have to mention Pepper X. There’s not a lot of information to go off, but with the little info that we have, this is a crazy-hot, almost super-human kind of pepper! When comparing this to the reigning Hottest Pepper in the World, Pepper X edges it out by a mere 1,500,000 SHUs – to put this into perspective, this is over 300 times spicier than a jalapeno. That is, if the testing is 100% accurate.

Pepper X is said to have originated in the United States from cultivator Ed Currie, the one behind the Carolina Reaper. For the last decade, Currie has worked on crossing multiple peppers to out-do the Reaper. Reports have said that Pepper X resembles the look and flavor of the Reaper – bulbous, gritty-looking, and has a sweet pepper taste to it underneath all that heat.

Photo courtesy of PepperScale.

10. Apollo Pepper

Species: Capsicum Chinense
Heat Level (SHUs): 3,000,000+ (unofficial)
Origin: United States
Days to Harvest: Unknown

Our last mysterious contender is another wickedly hot pepper from Ed Currie that has recently shaken up the pepper growing scene. The Apollo Pepper is a cross between the Carolina Reaper and Pepper X, and if the readings are accurate, it looks like the Apollo and Pepper X are well within a league of their own when it comes to heat.

This pepper is concerningly hot. You would need to be one brave person to try eating this (not to mention having paramedics on standby). With a heat level that reaches 3,000,000 SHUs at MINIMUM(?!), we caution experienced super-hot eaters with these peppers. Unfortunately, the Apollo and Pepper X is only a pipe dream as the seeds haven’t been released to the growing public. For now, you can get these peppers in a diluted hot sauce form.

What do YOU think of our list? Brave enough to try some out? Check out our fresh hot peppers and see what you like!

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We are beta testing a technology on growing peppers that could send the Scoville level over the roof. We’re feeding the pepper plants radical hydrogen to see what happens. We will soon find out. Radical hydrogen is proven to increase photosynthesis but will it make the peppers hotter? If anyone want to know the results of the test email me


I’ve tried all the pepper and the Apollo is the hottest so far I can’t wait for the next hottest pepper to come out

Mark Ashurst

Michael Wilkes I am a store manager with Pepper Palace 1st off thanks for the shout out much appreciated. Now with that being said The End isn’t our hottest sauce the hottest is Flat Line which is a 7 Pepper blend with a 7mil Scoville reaper extract. Delicious flavor but definitely hot.


I’m looking for a pepper hotter than or at least as hot as pepper palaces the end hot sauce which claims 6,000,000 shu but I put in on everything from oysters to chilli but can’t find anything hotter in the realm actual peppers or pepper plants

Michael wilkes

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