hottest pepper in the world with flames in background

Pepper X: Meet the NEW World's Hottest Pepper

It's official - Pepper X has now become the hottest chili pepper in the world, according to Guinness World Records. After many years of speculation, this yellow-green, monstrous creation from expert grower Ed Currie underwent official testing and recorded heat levels averaging over 2.5 million Scoville heat units (SHUs), much higher than its predecessor, the Carolina Reaper. With a pepper measuring nearly twice as much as the previous hottest pepper in the world, you know Pepper X contains some serious heat!

Read on to learn more about Pepper X and its addition to the list of world's hottest peppers.

 person holding up pepper x super hot pepper podPhoto from NBC News.

What is Pepper X?

Pepper X was developed by famed grower Ed Currie of Puckerbutt Pepper Company based out of South Carolina. The name "Pepper X" originally served as a placeholder in the midst of their trademarking process, but eventually, it ended up sticking when the time came for its introduction to the world.

According to Currie, this pepper has been stabilized for over a decade now, locked away in what they call their "war chest" of super hot pepper strains. In the event a challenging grower supersedes their world's hottest pepper, there are other strains ready for official testing to take back the crown. However, since the Carolina Reaper's inception as the hottest chili pepper in the world, there hasn't been any pepper able to beat this record. So, Currie decided that enough time passed to release Pepper X to the world.

What Does Pepper X Look Like? 

Pepper X boasts similarities to the Carolina Reaper - bulbous shape, bumpy texture, and gnarly-looking fruit. They change colors to their yellowish-green hue and grow anywhere from 2-3" long, with short little tails just like Reapers. Some say a few of these peppers grow into elongated shapes like the Ghost pepper instead. 

The many lobes found on these peppers provide this monster with plenty of space to develop enhanced capsacinoids. Most of the heat is produced by these particles and can be found in a pepper's placenta rather than its inner seeds. With Pepper X, selective breeding helped enhanced both major and minor capsacinoids to improve both the exceptional level of heat and its flavor.

What Does Pepper X Taste Like?

Pepper X has been said to contain sweet, fruity and floral flavors like most super hot varieties. However, others mention the pepper harboring earthy undertones, as well. It's safe to say that while flavor is important to breeding pepper strains, the most concerning aspect of Pepper X is its heat.

How Hot is Pepper X?

So, how hot is Pepper X really?

Guinness World Records (GWR) recognized Pepper X as having an average of 2,693,000 SHUs in August 2023. For reference, in order to be certified by GWR, growers need a signed statement of authentication from a suitably qualified person and conduct high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) tests at certified locations, along with two independent witness statements.

To put it into perspective, Pepper X contains so much heat that it measures:

  • 1,000,000+ SHUs higher than the Carolina Reaper.
  • 2x hotter than a Naga Viper.
  • 25x hotter than a Habanero.
  • 67x hotter than a Cayenne.
  • 1,077x hotter than a Jalapeno, a common reference point for pepper heat levels.


Pepper X vs. Other World's Hottest Peppers

With Pepper X topping the list of hottest peppers in the world, it sets itself apart significantly from the pack of previous title holders:






Pepper X



Ed Currie

Carolina Reaper



Ed Currie

Trinidad Scorpion Butch T



Butch Taylor

Naga Viper



Gerald Fowler




Nick Woods





Red Savina Habanero



Frank Garcia

World's Hottest Peppers from Pepper Joe's

Pepper Joe's does not sell Pepper X seeds, seedlings, or related consumable products. However, we do offer a wide variety of competitive super hot pepper products considered to be some of the hottest in the world! You can grow your very own super hot peppers right in your backyard, or enjoy throat-burning heat guaranteed to knock the taste buds right out of your mouth from our selection of hot sauces, spices, and snacks.

For any tips on growing super hot peppers, check out our Grow With Joe blog series where you'll find articles on how to grow, maintain, harvest, and save hot peppers from your very own garden.

Shop today through our selection of Pepper Seeds and Pepper Plants!
Back to blog