If you're a fan of extreme heat, hot peppers and world records, then you're about to jump for joy because a new chile pepper officially qualifies to become the newest hottest pepper based on Scoville heat units alone. Hobby chili grower Mike Smith, of North Wales, UK, recently unleashed his latest pepper plant creation: the world's hottest chili pepper, one so spicy and super hot, it could literally kill someone who eats it. Now that's some spicy food!
Meet the World's Hottest Pepper
As the Daily Post reports, Smith's Dragon's Breath chili, honoring the mythology of its birth country of Wales, measures nearly 2.5 million on the Scoville scale, the standard measure of the spicy heat, or pungency, of chili peppers and other tongue-tingling foods. You probably won't find this capsaicin-packed pepper in a hot sauce anytime soon, though stranger things have happened.
Listen as Mike Smith talks about his new pepper that's guaranteed to be a shoo-in as a hot chili world record holder for the Guinness Book of World Records.
The hottest peppers in the world are the Komodo Dragon Chili Pepper, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper, Naga Viper pepper, Infinity Chilli, Naga Morich, the Bhut jolokia (the ghost pepper), and the Spanish Naga Chili, sitting between 855,000 and 2.4M on the Scoville heat units (SHU) scale.
For a little perspective, the smoky-hot poblano pepper measures about 1,000 to 1,500 on the heat intensity scale (about 30 percent as hot as a jalapeño pepper). Bell peppers have a heat level of zero on the Scoville unit scale, with no spiciness at all.
The spicy jalapeño measures between 2,500 and 8,000, cayenne peppers are between 30,000 and 50,000, and the tongue-blistering habanero pepper with its fruity flavor charts between 100,000 and 350,000 on the Scoville scale.
The next pepper on the list, Pepper X or the Carolina Reaper pepper-- the former Guinness World Record World's Hottest Chile as of 2014 -- pales in comparison with its 2.2m Scoville rating. This pepper was created by Ed Currie in South Carolina, and it's no joke. Grow it at home if you really like it hot.
Heck, the pepper spray used by the U.S. military registers only around 2 million on the scale.
That makes the Dragon's Breath pepper, or Capsicum Chinese, with a Scoville rating of 2,500,000, a full 1,000 times as spicy as a jalapeño -- fiery enough to cause close the airways, burn the throat and cause anaphylactic shock in someone who ate it. When it comes to spicy peppers, Smith was not messing around.
The weapons-grade pepper, grown at Smith's store, Tom Smith's Plants, has a benevolent use, though; it was developed as an anesthetic for those allergic to other anesthetics, as its oils are so strong they numb the skin. It can be grown as a pot pepper or in a garden.
Sorry to extreme pepper enthusiasts and chiliheads, but this is one of the superhot peppers you'll never be able to eat.
This post was originally published on October 6, 2020.