ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The World's Hottest Peppers

Updated on July 24, 2017

What Is the Hottest Pepper In the World?

What is the most painfully, brutally, insanely hot pepper in the world? You're about to find out. This article presents the top ten hottest peppers as rated by the Scoville Scale. Scoville units measure the amount of capsaicin, which is the caustic chemical that gives hot peppers their burn. A green bell pepper from the grocery store is at the bottom of the scale and is not spicy at all to most peoples' taste. At the highest end of the scale is pure capsaicin crystals, which is essentially a poison and scores a 15 million on the Scoville scale:. For a little perspective on that, army-grade pepper spray measures about three million. The peppers featured in this article are all somewhere in between, and are arranged in order of increasing intensity -- at the bottom of the list you will find the hands-down winner of the world's hottest pepper competition, as well as some brave souls who allowed themselves to be recorded as they tried to eat the little monsters. CAUTION: some of the peppers here can actually be dangerous, and idiots using hot peppers for "pranks," or to otherwise hurt unsuspecting victims have been been arrested for assault. Be careful!

Watch Him Try to Conquer the GHOST PEPPER

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Scoville Heat Scale

The Scoville scale is a measurement of the spicy heat (or piquance) of a chili pepper. The number measures the amount of a chemical called capsaicin, which stimulates nerve endings in the skin, especially in the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and eyes.

The scale is named after the person who created it, an American pharmacist named Wilbur Scoville. His method, devised in 1912, makes it possible to directly measure capsaicinoid content.

photo: Scott Bauer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On to the Peppers!

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Jalapeño -- 2,500 to 10,000 Scoville Units

Chances are good you've come across this pepper and survived intact. It possesses a sharp, pungent spiciness that rarely overwhelms, though fresh-picked, the jalapeno can be pretty searing. Used in almost every part of the world as a cooking spice.

A US Marine Takes on a Ghost Pepper

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Serrano -- 10,000 to 20,000 Scoville Units

Much like a jalapeno on steroids, the Serrano has a bitter edge to its bite -- and it can be twice as hot as a jalapeno. Found in recipes across Latin America, often as a replacement or stand-in for the jalapeno.

Forest & Kim Starr [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

What Happens When You Eat a Datil Pepper?

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Cayenne -- 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Units

This is the ne plus ultra pepper sauce pepper. Ubiquitous in southern dishes, especially in coastal areas like the Mississippi Delta where the conditions are right for the Cayenne to grow in profusion. Jambalaya wouldn't be the same without it! A spicy pepper for sure, but still not anywhere near the hottest on the list.

By PierreSelim (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Do NOT Touch Your Eyes

while handling hot peppers!

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Chiltepin -- 50,000 to 100,000 Scoville Units

This little pepper is sometimes called "the Flea." One to watch out for -- one of the hottest commonly used peppers, sometimes used as a stand-in for the cayenne in cooking and sauces, it's surprisingly hot despite its innocuous appearance. My grandfather used to tell the story of munching down a handful of these in Mexico once, thinking they were capers -- not a mistake he was likely to make twice.

licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Rocoto -- 50,000 to 250,000 Scoville Units

A good-looking little pepper, not often encountered outside of backyard gardens.

Image taken by JoeCarrasco

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Habanero -- 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville Units.

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Datil -- 300,000 to 500,000 Scoville Units.

By Paullassiter (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Red Savina -- 350,000 to 580,000 Scoville Units - Bred by Frank Garcia of GNS Spices in Walnut, California specifically for its hotn

By Michael Bemmerl (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0-de (], via Wikimedia Commons

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Ghost Pepper -- 855,000 to 1,050,000 Scoville Units

By Asit K. ghosh Thaumaturgist (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

The 10 Hottest Peppers: "Chocolate" Bhut Jolokia - Isn't This a Beautiful Pepper?

By Sven Jansen (Selber fotografiert) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Are You Strong Enough?

Would you ever eat an entire ghost pepper?

See results

Are You Ready to Actually Try a Ghost Pepper Yourself?

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Chocolate 7-Pot -- 1,000,000 to 1,800,000 Scoville Units

A very rare breed, this is called the 7 Pot because it is rumored that one pepper can add heat and flavor to 7 pots of stew.

The 10 Hottest Peppers: The Moruga Scorpion -- 500,000 to 2,000,000 Scoville Units

"It is amazing how a small pod can hold so much heat, not to mention that the nutritional profile of a chile surpasses many other fruits and vegetables. Each chile variety possesses it's own heat level, as well as a unique flavor, and the beautiful colors of the chile can rival an exotic flower" -- Jim Duffy, the man who bred the Moruga Scorpion

Red-Hot Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      - This is so exciting! Thank you Bea, Dre9, Haalo, Jen, Lara, Lynne and Patricia. I feel hoorend. By the way, some of the photos aren't showing up on the page, and a few of the links are broken, or don't go where they are intended. Just to let you know. Also, is there html for a fabulous DMBLGIT button to go on our site? From the pictures I can see, there was quite a bit of stiff competition. Thanks again!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Those chocolate ones seem to be really hot. I have never tried them at all.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Excellent list! A lot of people don't know that if you build your heat tolerance, you can actually start tasting the unique flavors of super hot peppers. I grew the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and was surprised to find that it actually has a subtle, sweet taste that was really good!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Mmmmm I love peppers! I have high blood pressure and cant use salt so I put them on everything to spice things up. Eating peppers gives your head a nice buzz :D

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      Hot peppers are very healthy... I always had them in my garden.

      Great lens

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      Hot peppers are very healthy... I always had them in my garden.

      Great lens

    • thingz1 profile image


      6 years ago

      My husband is a big fan of hot peppers and I am slowly acquiring a taste for the heat. But ghost peppers are probably a little too hot for me to handle. Thanks for the great info.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love a nice hot pepper, in fact one of my favorite salsas features ghost peppers - wonderful lens! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      with pasta and olive oil..chili..i can

    • allenwebstarme profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow what an excellent lens, wanna taste Ghost Peppers once.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I wonder if the Ghost Pepper is the same as the Goat Pepper that someone once gave me in The Bahamas. This dried crushed pepper was incredibly hot, great sprinkled lightly on steaks etc, but I know the spelling of items often gets corrupted. I love hot peppers, but over the years they probably haven't done my stomach any favors.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I never tire of you tube videos showing people eating these things. Why do they do that? I'm a great fan of spicy food so this was very entertaining. Thanks!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ahhhh... So spicy! But I love chili soup...mmmm.....

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      Good to know what to avoid!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Well, for a girlie-girl, I do like my things spicy ... but I'll save those hot hot hot peppers for the guys with the cast-iron stomach.

    • SecondHandJoe LM profile image

      SecondHandJoe LM 

      6 years ago

      I had friends come from Peru with a Chiltepin, I think, and it was the hottest thing I'd ever eaten! It burned my lips. Great job on the lens, thanks!

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 

      6 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Great and interesting lens. Reminds me of a pizza I once made for family. Someone had given me a pepper I did not know. chopped, it looked like red bell, but ... I wasn't very popular that day!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful photos, great to see the peppers ranked by heat. Texan by birth and half Cajun by blood, I like spicy food. I know people who use a little habanero, and I find peppers interesting, but I stop at about the cayenne level

    • profile image

      Leanne Chesser 

      6 years ago

      What a fun and informative lens! I love the videos!

    • AnnaAdam LM profile image

      AnnaAdam LM 

      6 years ago

      What i think about Peeper it gives taste to your food. And i love the aroma

    • greenmind profile imageAUTHOR

      GreenMind Guides 

      6 years ago from USA

      @TravelingRae: SUCH a good question. I just find it all really interesting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Why do people do this to themselves?!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      6 years ago from USA

      Cayenne pepper is about the hottest I'll go. Why would anyone want to eat these peppers :) There must be some serious pepper lovers to do it.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)