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The 11 Spiciest Chile Peppers on Earth Slideshow

The 11 Spiciest Chile Peppers on Earth Slideshow

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Eat these fiery peppers if you dare…

The hottest peppers on earth make a jalapeño look like a bell pepper.

The 11 Spiciest Chile Peppers on Earth

The hottest peppers on earth make a jalapeño look like a bell pepper.

#11 Red Savina Habanero

With 500,000 Scoville units, this pepper was the world’s spiciest for a long time before the “spice wars” of the 1990s. Today, it doesn’t even make the top 10!

#10 Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper)

Bobby Flay once told us that after being gifted a ghost pepper he finely diced about a fingernail-sized portion and added it to a big batch of risotto, and that tiny amount completely overpowered and ruined the dish. Clocking in at about 1,000,000 Scoville units, a ghost pepper is nothing to fool around with. While many still believe it’s the world’s spiciest, it actually doesn’t even come close.

Related: Guide to Chiles 101

#9 7 Pot Red

#8 Barrackpore

maxsol7/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

#7 Naga Viper

#6 Trinidad Scorpion Butch T

Wikimedia Commons

While this pepper was the Guinness World Record holder for quite some time (at 1,463,700 Scovile units), there are, amazingly, five peppers that have proven to be hotter.

Related: The Chile Pepper Arms Race Rages On

#5 7 Pot Douglah

julie deshaies/Shutterstock

This pepper is renowned not only for its extreme heat (rocking about 1,850,000 Scovilles), but also for the fact that it actually also tastes really good (before your whole head ignites, obviously).

Related: World's Spiciest Pizza May Make Your Tongue Bleed

#4 7 Pot Primo


The “scorpion’s tail” on this pepper makes it considerably more terrifying than other peppers, and with good reason: it packs 1,900,000 Scoville units. This is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Related: The World's 10 Spiciest Hot Sauces

Image via

#3 Brain Strain

Slobodan Zivkovic/Shutterstock

Also topping off at about 1.9 million Scoville units, the bumpy Brain Strain almost resembles a brain. And after eating one of these you’ll most likely feel like yours has melted.

Related 10 Spiciest Dishes in America

Image via

#2 Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

As we venture past the two million Scoville unit mark, we enter into territory that Satan himself wouldn’t even dare to tread. Okay, we might be getting a little carried away, but at 2,009,000 Scovilles, this evil-looking little pepper is what you might call damn spicy.

Related: What's the Spiciest Dish in New York City?

#1 Carolina Reaper

Wikimedia Commons

Ladies and gentlemen, the spiciest chile pepper on earth. Bred by researchers in South Carolina and confirmed a couple years ago to be the world’s spiciest at Winthrop University, the Carolina Reaper was bred for heat and heat alone (and for the horrifying scorpion’s tail). Topping out at 2,200,000 Scovilles, this pepper actually has a pleasing, sweet and fruity flavor. As opposed to most other peppers, which take a second to kick in, the Carolina Reaper rears its ugly head immediately, and once it does you’ll be descending to the depths of chile pepper hell, like these poor guys.

Related: 10 of the World's Spiciest Dishes Worth the Heartburn

Hottest Peppers In The World 2021: Eating On The Edge

The title for &ldquothe hottest pepper&rdquo is something that&rsquos challenged more often than you may expect. Every year, hot pepper cultivators find a new mix of hybrid, soil, and temperature to create peppers that will combat for the top position, if not beat it. The competition is fierce. Below we break out the top 15 hottest peppers in the world based on potential peak heat (via their total Scoville heat units). Each chili pepper has a range of spiciness possible, so some of the chilies below may rank lower than they would if we measured by floor heat and average overall heat.

[clickToTweet tweet=&rdquoThe World&rsquos Hottest Peppers Guide &ndash like dancing with the devil&hellip #spicy #cooking #hotpeppers&rdquo quote=&rdquoWorld&rsquos Hottest Peppers Guide &ndash like dancing with the devil&hellip&rdquo]

IMPORTANT: Let the names of these chilies &ndash like Scorpion and Reaper &ndash be a warning. These peppers are wicked hot, and, as such, they must be handled carefully. If you&rsquore going to dance with the devil, wear kitchen gloves, eye goggles, and take great care throughout the cooking process. Know, too, how to combat chili burn to keep yourself safe.

These 17 Recipes Will Hook You on Hatch Chiles

Slightly sweet, somewhat smoky, and more than a little spicy, Hatch chile peppers are the pride of New Mexican cuisine. Cooks from the Land of Enchantment typically roast their Hatch chiles and add them to salads, stews, soups, sandwiches, mac & cheese, corn fritters, biscuits, dips -- or they'll process them into a versatile sauce for topping scrambled eggs, enchiladas, chile rellenos, and much, much more.

Now, to be called Hatch, a chile pepper is really supposed to hail from the Hatch Valley in New Mexico. But these days, you'll find peppers labelled "Hatch" that were grown beyond the Hatch Valley, in places like Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and Mexico. These peppers are also sold under names like Big Jim, Barker, R-Naky, and New Mexico chile peppers.

Look for fresh Hatch and related chile peppers in grocery stores in early fall. Hatch peppers are also a popular pepper for canning. To satisfy your hankering for Hatch peppers, try these simple preparations:

4 of 14

Red Chili With Beef, Queso Fresco, and Lime Crema

Don't be afraid to swap the meat in this dish. Brisket has great flavor, but boneless chuck roast would also work well in a pinch.

Ingredients: Fire-roasted diced tomatoes, frozen organic corn kernels, red bell pepper, garlic, all-purpose flour, ancho chile powder, ground cumin, kosher salt, beef brisket, olive oil, low-sodium beef broth, queso fresco, sour cream, lime zest, fresh lime juice

Calories: 316

Slice these and mix with cured meats for a fresher take on antipasto salad.

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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We tested this tamales recipe with both instant and fresh masa. Fresh masa yielded the best corn flavor and best texture, but we’ve included instructions for using instant since the flour is easier to find. You can find fresh masa and dried corn husks at tortilla stores/factories, in the international section at larger grocery stores, or online. Whichever masa you choose, be sure to save some of the tomatillo purée from the chicken filling.

Jaew is a tart, smoky dipping sauce from Thailand, usually served with grilled meats and sausages. Hot Joy chef Quealy Watson takes it to a Tex-Mex place in this eggy, cheesy rice dish that might remind you of nachos (it works).


Heat: Mild, Medium, Hot, or Scorching-Hot. You get the picture. We break them down by color (green, yellow, orange, red). This is the simplest way to explore our hot pepper list and get an idea of where things sit. Note &ndash &ldquoMedium&rdquo is plenty hot here. It contains the likes of jalapeños and cayenne peppers which many with milder tastes find very spicy.

SHU: Scoville heat units. The units by which the Scoville scale is measured (read more about them here). It is the key numerical value of our (or any) hot pepper list.

Min/Max SHU: Even individual hot peppers have a range of heat, depending on where they are grown, how long they&rsquove matured, and even the amount of sun they&rsquove received. The minimum SHU is the mildest a pepper could be, the maximum SHU is the hottest possible for the variety.

Median SHU: The number exactly in the middle between the minimum and maximum Scoville heat units of the pepper. This gives us one number by which to compare our jalapeño reference point.

JalRP: Jalapeño reference point. Our hot pepper list gives you a perspective of how hot these peppers really are by comparing them against a reference point most everyone has tried. We offer this data in two ways:

  • Decimal: Based on the median heat of the peppers. The jalapeno is &ldquo1&rdquo and the other peppers are either less than one (less spicy) or above one (hotter). As you&rsquoll see some peppers are much, much hotter than a jalapeño. You can read the hotter pepper numbers as &ldquoX times hotter than a jalapeño&rdquo. For instance, the median heat of a habanero (at 42.86) is nearly 43 times hotter than the median heat of a jalapeño.
  • Range: Based on the minimum and maximum SHUs of the pepper. We offer this option in the Fast Facts pop-up. It shows how the range of potential times hotter/milder given each chili has a range of heat.

Origin: Where the chili pepper has its roots. Try typing an origin into the search filter to see all chilies from that region. All chili peppers are native to South and Central America, but here we consider &ldquoorigin&rdquo as the place where the pepper is now regionally connected or primarily cultivated.

Use: We reference the typical use case: culinary or ornamental. Note, all ornamental peppers are also edible, so consider that when exploring the list. Many, though, are not as flavorful (and often surprisingly spicy) as they are grown for looks, instead of flavor or mildness.

Flavor: Our hot pepper list breaks down the overall basic flavor of each chili pepper, using a common glossary of terms: sweet, fruity, citrusy, tropical, smoky, earthy, crisp, floral, nutty, bright, grassy, salty, peppery (as in black peppery), and tangy. This is a simplified description to give you a starting point to considering flavor. We highly recommend clicking through to our pepper profile for more detail on the overall heat and flavor profile of each pepper. As the heat rises on the Scoville scale it becomes harder to detect the nuances of flavor, but they are still there.

Note: we do use the term &ldquoneutral&rdquo in flavor. By neutral here we mean simply a standard fresh pepper taste without any distinct flavor nuance.

Decrease the amount of red chile flakes if you're not into super spicy food.

Use two arbol chiles for a hotter, slow-burning mousse.

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

© 2021 Condé Nast. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement and Your California Privacy Rights. Bon Appétit may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Ad Choices

Growing the &lsquoHabanada&rsquo

To grow the &lsquoHabanada&rsquo pepper, start the seeds indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost. Plan to transplant the seedlings outdoors 2 to 4 weeks after the last frost. Plant the seedlings 4 inches apart in an indoor bed with well-draining soil and a pH of 6.5. You can also start them in individual seedling containers. The young plants will emerge about two weeks after initial planting.

When moving the plants to your garden, space them at least 1 foot apart &lsquoHabanada&rsquo plants are thick and bushy, so they&rsquoll need plenty of room to spread out. The mature bushes will reach 4 to 5 feet in height. &lsquoHabanada&rsquo peppers also do well on trellises, and the extra support will result in higher pepper yields.

Immediately after they&rsquove been transplanted, water the plants generously this will help overcome any transplant shock. Afterward, fertilize them every two weeks.

&lsquoHabanada&rsquo peppers take about 100 days to mature, and only reach a length of 2 to 3 inches. Patience is key for growing these peppers, and the wait and the effort are worth it in the end.

Andrew Moore is a freelance writer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He&rsquos the author of Pawpaw: In Search of America&rsquos Forgotten Fruit .

The authors of the best-selling Fermented Vegetables are back, and this time they&rsquove brought the heat with them. Whet your appetite with more than 60 recipes for hot sauces, mustards, pickles, chutneys, relishes, and kimchis from around the globe. Chiles take the spotlight, with recipes such as Thai Pepper Mint Cilantro Paste, Aleppo Za&rsquoatar Pomegranate Sauce, and Mango Plantain Habanero Ferment, but other traditional spices like horseradish, ginger, and peppercorns also make cameo appearances. Dozens of additional recipes for breakfast foods, snacks, entrées, and beverages highlight the many uses for hot ferments. Order from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Store or by calling 800-234-3368.

15 Heartwarming Chili Recipes Perfect for Cozy Season

As the seasons shift colder, our kitchens are going to get hotter. After all, we can finally start cooking up our favorite warm and comforting foods and taking advantage of all the festive fall flavors. Case in point? Chili season. Let's celebrate.

We've rounded up our best, most crowd-pleasing chili recipes, from a classic Beef and Bean Chili Recipe that will warm you up from the inside out to a hearty (and super healthy) Slow-Cooker Black Bean Vegan Chili, seasonal Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Harissa Vegetarian Chili, and plenty of perfect sweet potato chili dishes. Whether you&rsquore craving something meaty, spicy, or vegetarian, you can&rsquot go wrong with one of these crazy-cozy recipes. Truly, what's more lifesaving than a one-pot dinner that practically cooks itself? Grab your favorite oversized mug and cheddar cheese, and let's get after it.

Watch the video: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication Full Album (June 2022).