There is always a lot of discussion in the chilli community about what the world’s hottest chilli is. We are constantly answering questions about it at festivals and markets, and also by email! The answer is not clear, however here is a rundown as we understand it!
The heat of a chilli is measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU) which is essentially a measurement of the concentration of capsacinoids (the chemical compounds responsible for the “hot” sensation) in the chilli. We have read many news reports over the past 2 years about Dragon’s Breath and Pepper X taking over the world’s hottest position, but as yet, these have not made it to the Guinness World Record status, which is still held by the Carolina Reaper (which has an average rating of 1.6mil SHU, with the highest recorded rating of around 2.2mil).
The difficult part about Scoville testing is that each individual pod is different and each plant can produce pods with a huge variance in heat rating which leads to inconsistencies in testing. The Dragon’s Breath chilli is reported to have an average rating of 2.48mil SHU and the Pepper X of 3.18 SHU which is a huge 3 times the rating of the Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Chilli) which held the title of the world’s hottest in 2007.
The battle goes on in growing and testing, and we have no doubt that the Carolina Reaper’s days are numbered at the top, but for now, it’s still officially the world’s hottest. See the official Guinness World Records website to see for yourself.
I’ve compiled a quick summary of the Scoville Scale for a few of the most popular chillies we hear about and see in Australia;
|Scoville Heat Units (approx.)||Chilli|
|3,180,000||Pepper X *|
|1,600,000 – 2,200,000||Carolina Reaper|
|1,400,000||Trinidad Scorpion Butch-T|
|1,300,000||Naga Viper pepper|
|1,000,000||Bhut Jolokia (Ghost)|
|100,000 – 350,000||Habanero|
|100,000 – 325,000||Scotch Bonnet|
|100,000 – 225,000||Bird’s Eye chilli|
|50,000 – 100,000||Thai chilli|
|30,000 – 50,000||Cayenne|
|30,000 – 50,000||Tabasco|
|6,000 – 23,000||Serrano|
|5,000 – 10,000||Chipotle (smoked dried Jalapeño)|
|2,500 – 5,000||Jalapeño|
|1,000 – 2,000||Poblano|
So then, which chillies do we use in The Chilli Project Hot Sauces?
Jalapeño Hot Sauce: Green Jalapeño, Green Cayenne
Signature Blend Hot Sauce: Red Cayenne, Birdseye, Trinidad Scorpion
Habanero Hot Sauce: Red Habanero, Red Cayenne
Habanero & Orange Sweet Chilli Sauce: Red Habanero, Red Cayenne
Signature Blend Super Hot Sauce: Super Hot Varietals (subject to availability) including Ghost, Trinidad Scorpions, Naga & Carolina Reaper, Red Cayenne
Smokin’ Hot BBQ Sauce: Super Hot Varietals (subject to availability) including Ghost, Trinidad Scorpions, Naga & Carolina Reaper, Red Habanero
Signature Blend Extreme Hot Sauce: Carolina Reaper (20%)