The habanero was once considered to be one of the hottest peppers on earth. Today, however, the spiciest variety of habanero, the Red Savina, packs less than a quarter of the heat of the hottest chile on the planet.
Being credited with creating the world’s next hottest pepper is a big deal and comes with fame in the chile community. Many growers are continually working on creating the next world record holder, including Ed Currie, creator of the current hottest pepper in the world, The Carolina Reaper. Read more about Ed Currie here.
Also keep in mind that Scoville testing will only give SHU of the tested piece of pepper, while other peppers on the same plant can be hotter or milder. Plus peppers grown in different regions and/or environments can also vary widely. Find out more here.
For the time being, the following are currently the hottest peppers in the world.
#1 – The Carolina Reaper 2,200,000 SHU
As of August, 2013, Guinness World Records stated that Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® is officially the world’s hottest chile pepper. Originally named the “HP22BNH7”, bred by cultivator Ed Currie, who runs PuckerButt Pepper Company in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
#2 – Trinidad Moruga Scorpion 2,000,000 SHU
The New Mexico State University’s Chili Pepper Institute identified the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion as the newest, hottest chili pepper in the world as of February 2012. The current world record holder is the Carolina Reaper. However the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion wasn’t certified as the hottest pepper by the Guinness Book of World Records.
#3 – 7 Pot Douglah 1,853,936 SHU
From Trinidad. It’s said that one pod will spice seven pots of stew, hence the name. 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.
#4 – 7 Pot Primo 1,473,480 SHU
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.
#5 – Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T” 1,463,700 SHU
Propagated by Butch Taylor of Zydeco Hot Sauce and grown by the Chilli Factory, the Trinidad Scorpion ‘Butch T’ variety pepper was formerly ranked as the hottest pepper in the world, but lost that title to the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion as of February 2012.
#6 – Komodo Dragon 1,400,000 SHU
The latest variation on the 7 Pot, Naga, Jolokia, and etc. is the Komodo Dragon. Grown by the UK’s largest producer of chillies, Salvatore Genovese. In 2012 he gave us the Bedfordshire Super Naga. Salvatore has a seven-acre farm in Blunham, Bedfordshire where he spends his time trying to create even hotter varieties. “It’s the really hot ones that gain the most interest and so each year I try and grow one hotter than the last” said Genovese.
#7 – Naga Viper 1,382,118 SHU
The Naga Viper was created in England by chilli farmer Gerald Fowler of The Chilli Pepper Company, based in Cark, Cumbria. It was briefly the “World’s Hottest Chilli” in 2011 according to the Guinness World Records. It is an unstable three-way hybrid produced from the Naga Morich, the Bhut Jolokia and the Trinidad Scorpion.
#8 – 7 Pot Brain Strain 1,350,000 SHU
This variety is not a hybrid (which is created by crossing varieties), 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.
#9 – 7 Pot Barrackpore 1,300,000 SHU
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. Some think this chile is the missing link between the 7 Pot and the Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper). It has a nice fruity flavor like other 7 Pots and is a heavy producer.
#10 – 7 Pot Jonah 1,200,000 SHU
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 golfball 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.
#11 – 7 Pot Infinity 1,176,182 SHU
The Infinity Chilli pepper is a chili pepper created in England by chili breeder Nick Woods of Fire Foods, Grantham, Lincolnshire. It held the World Record for the world’s hottest chili pepper for two weeks in 2011, before it was ousted by the Naga Viper chili.
#12 – Bedfordshire Super Naga 1,120,000 SHU
The UK’s largest chilli grower, Salvatore Genovese, whose farm is in Blunham in the county of Bedfordshire, produces 500,000 chilli peppers every week. Genovese unleashed the Super Naga in 2012 and it was sold exclusively by Tesco. Currently he is producing the super hot Komodo Dragon, one of the hottests peppers in the world.