How Hot Is a Carolina Reaper? (Carolina Reaper Scoville)

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How Hot Is a Carolina Reaper

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The pepper that holds the crown for being the world’s hottest is continually changing. New variants of peppers are being discovered and created every now and then, but the current hottest pepper is the Carolina Reaper. Exactly how hot is a Carolina Reaper?

The reaper measured more than 2 million Scoville heat units and was recorded as the hottest chili pepper in the world by the Guinness book of world records on august 11, 2017. This title was previously held by the Trinidad scorpion.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Carolina reaper and its Scoville heat scale!

How Hot is a Carolina Reaper? (Carolina Reaper Scoville Unit)

As I stated earlier, Carolina reaper is the hottest pepper globally, with 2,200,000 SHU. To give you a better insight into how hot a Carolina reaper is, compared to other hot peppers like Jalapeno, which measures an average of 5000 SHU, the Carolina reaper is about 175-880 times hotter than a jalapeño. 

If you are a lover of spice, you may be familiar with ghost pepper which is another hot pepper and was once titled the hottest pepper before the discovery of Carolina.

Ghost pepper measures a mouthwatering heat range of 855,000 to 1,041,427 SHU; compared with Carolina reaper’s SHU figure, you will realize the reaper packs twice as much heat as ghost pepper!

The size Carolina reaper can be quite deceptive to people trying to estimate a pepper’s heat level by its size. Carolina grows not more than 1-2 inches wide and 2-3 inches long. The ripen pods have a vibrant red color, and their skin could have a bumpy or smooth texture. 

A unique feature of the Carolina pepper that makes it stand out from other types of peppers is its scorpion-like tail. 

Which Pepper is Currently the Hottest In The World?

The Carolina reaper is titled the hottest pepper globally by the Guinness World Records. The reaper, known as hp22b, was developed by ed Currie and had been cultivated for seven generations by the year 2013.

Carolina Reaper is bred in South Carolina and measures an average of 1,641,000 to 2.2 million Scoville heat units (SHU). This pepper is a cultivar of the capsicum chinense plant and was created by crossing Pakistani naga with a red habanero from saint vincent island in the Caribbean.

A distinct detail of the reaper is its scorpion-like tail which is similar to scorpion peppers. It is typically in smaller pods and grows not more than 1 to 2 inches wide and 2 to 3 inches long. A fully developed Carolina pepper pod has a vibrant red color with a typically bumpy skin than smooth.

In terms of flavor, Carolina reaper’s fruity taste can be compared to the 7 pot chili pepper. The pepper may deliver a scorching hot punch to your taste buds, but it also has a surprisingly fruity and even sweet hint.

This is why Carolina reaper is commonly transformed into dried powder and used to add heat and flavor to dishes. This makes the king of chilis a star of many hot sauce recipes.

Is There Any Pepper Hotter Than Carolina Reaper?

Different peppers have held the title of the world’s hottest pepper before the Carolina reaper. The reaper was crowned the hottest pepper in 2013, but in 2018, it beat its own previous record by 71,000 SHU!

Officially, there is no other pepper that is hotter than the Carolina Reaper. Still, there have been unconfirmed reports that the dragon’s breath and pepper x, also bred by ed Currie, measures 2,483,584 SHU and 3.18 million SHU, respectively.

But until the report is dutifully confirmed and ascertained, Carolina reaper remains the hottest pepper globally.

Other Spicy Peppers Apart from Carolina Reaper

The Carolina reaper may be the hottest pepper at the moment, but it’s not the only hot pepper sure to blow out the back of your tongue, no kidding! If you are a fan of hot pepper, here’s a list of other spicy peppers you can try today.

Carolina reaper- of course, you can’t make a list of the world’s hottest peppers without mentioning Carolina.

Ghost pepper/bhut jolokia – this pepper ranges from being half as hot as Carolina to being just a few points lesser in hotness

  • Tombstone ghost pepper
  • Trinidad moruga scorpion
  • Devil’s tongue
  • Yellow brain strain/yellow 7 pot
  • Trinidad scorpion
  • Bhut jolokia white
  • Bhut jolokia purple
  • White habanero Peruvian lightning
  • Trinidad scorpion butch t pepper
  • Jamaican hot chocolate- this chili has no similarity whatsoever with chocolate

Last but not least, dragon’s breath- this chili is in close range with Carolina reaper in terms of heat. Its SHU figure is around 2.48 million, which is more than Carolina’s; this report has, however, not been officially confirmed.


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