The World’s Hottest Chilli?

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 crystal clear, as there are a number of growers worldwide that are forever attempting to grow something hotter, 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 3-4 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 SHU).

The Carolina Reaper (the current Guinness World Record holder) features in our Signature Blend Extreme Hot Sauce.

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 *
2,480,000 Dragon’s Breath*
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
0 Capsicum

So then, which chillies do we use in The Chilli Project Hot Sauces?

Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce: Red Cayenne, Red Habanero

Horseradish & Apple Hot Sauce: Green Cayenne

Jalapeño Hot Sauce: Green Jalapeño, Green Cayenne

Signature Blend Hot Sauce: Cayenne, Birdseye, Trinidad Scorpion

Habanero Hot Sauce: Red Habanero

Habanero & Orange Sweet Chilli Sauce: Red Habanero, Red Cayenne

Tropical Blaze Hot Sauce: Red Habanero, Red Ghost

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%)

The Chilli Project - How hot can you handle it?


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