Carolina Reaper


Scientific Classification

Capsicum Chinense

Heat rating in Scovilles:

1569383 – 2200000

Since August 2013, Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® was officially the world’s hottest chile pepper, but that changed in 2023. Also created by Ed Currie, the new world’s hottest pepper is officially Pepper X.

Ed Currie began growing peppers because of his interest in the health benefits of hot peppers, born from his family’s history of early death from heart disease and cancer. He found that indigenous populations from around the world who eat hot peppers with meals have extremely small instances of these diseases, prompting his focus on peppers as a delicious and healthy food staple. Read more about Ed Currie here.

Recently, there has been some debate over whether the Carolina Reaper is genetically distinct from the Trinidad 7-Pot Primo strain, another hybrid species that are very similar in heat level and appearance.

SHAPE: So the look of these fruits kinda tends to be all over the place. Most images you will see of the Carolina Reaper have distinctive lobes and a stinger tail. But some Reapers do look more like Ghost Peppers. Check out the photos below of various Carolina Reapers. One gentleman was kind enough to send me photos of his Reaper crop. The below photos are all from the same plant. You can clearly see the variance in shapes.

TASTE: Typically superhots have chemical undertones, as if you can actually taste the capsaicin. The Carolina Reaper has a sweet and fruity flavor, right before the heat kicks in. The Puckerbutt Pepper Company wants its peppers to not only challenge the taste buds but also enhance the flavor of food. There’s a lot more flavor to the Carolina Reaper than you’ll find in most extremely hot peppers. With that being said, this still is an extremely hot pepper. Eating it raw is not really advised.

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