The 5 hottest chilies in the world

Bristol’s Clifton Chilli Club holds an annual contest, which takes place in rounds where participants must eat increasingly hot chili peppers. Contestants start with the jalapeño; only a few go as far as the Carolina Reaper. Drinking to quell the burn is not allowed, as doing so results in disqualification.

Is money the motivation to participate? Doubtful, since the first prize is only 70 dollars. It would seem then that they are moved by the love of eating spicy food. Would you participate in said contest? Would you eat a chili pepper 600 times more irritating than a jalapeño? The Scoville Heat Units (SHU) scale is used to measure the intensity of chili peppers. Here are the 5 hottest chili peppers in the world.

Pepper X

chile peper x
Photo: El Holandés Picante

Created in the United States by crossing several varieties, this could be officially recognized as the most intense chili in the world. According to its producers, it reaches 3.18 million SHU – data that have yet to be corroborated by Guinness World Records.  After 10 years of research and development, Chili Pepper X was put up for sale by Ed Currie, creator of the Carolina Reaper chili. It is still not seen in contests, since its consumption could be dangerous.

Carolina Reaper

chile carolina reaper
Photo: Salsas Picantes

The Carolina Reaper was created in South Carolina by crossing the Naga Bhut Jolokia chili and the red habanero. According to Guinness World Records, it is the hottest chili in the world with 1.5 million SHU and can reach 2.2.

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

chile trinidad scorpion moruga
Photo: Pepper Geek

Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, this chili has 2 million SHU, and it is a slow burn. Few have dared to taste it, though for those who have, at first they thought they had been spared – but in a matter of 2 or 3 minutes experienced a scorching sensation from the intense heat!

Chile 7 Pot Douglah

chile 7 pot douglah
Photo: Salsas Picantes

Also known as Chocolate 7 Pot because of the deep brown of its skin, this chili reaches 1.8 million SHU. Like the Moruga Scorpion, it is native to Trinidad and Tobago. The flavor suggests a mixture of dried fruits and gives way to an extreme heat.

Infinity Pepper

infinity pepper chile
Photo: Pepper Scale

This hybrid chili from the United Kingdom has 1.2 million SHU, and was at one point the hottest in the world – although it only stayed in first place for a couple of weeks.

If you are feeling a burning curiosity to learn more about chilies and competitive chili eaters, the series “We Are The Champions” (Netflix) has an episode titled “Chili Eating”- check it out!

You may also like…