I'm growing some bhut jolokia peppers, and they are almost ready for harvesting.

However, I've since seen that the naga viper pepper has beaten the bhut jolokia as the hottest pepper. I've also seen that a variety of Trinidad Scorpion pepper has beaten out the naga viper.

The store I bought my bhut jolokia from now is selling "the world's hottest pepper" called naga jolokia.

Is the naga jolokia the same as the naga viper? Is it the same as the bhut jolokia?

I understand that the naga viper was an unstable hybrid. Presumably this means that it cannot be reliably sold for home gardeners. Is the Trinidad Scorpion variety stable? If not, how do the stable varieties compare with the naga viper and bhut jolokia?

To summarize the questions:

  1. What is a naga jolokia, and where does it stand in comparison to the other "contender" peppers?
  2. What is the world's hottest pepper?
  3. What is the hottest pepper that the average home gardener can purchase, and then grow at home (local climate permitting)?
  • 4
    Keep those crazy things away from me please sir!
    – Brian
    Sep 2, 2011 at 18:02
  • I recall vividly a claim made for the Dorset naga, mainly because it was made in a newpaper on April Fool's Day, and I was never entirely sure whether it was true or not. Sep 3, 2011 at 8:46
  • @Peter: The business is real and makes the same claim on their site, so I suppose it could be misinformation but it's definitely not an April fool's prank. The pepper itself now seems to have its own dedicated site.
    – Aaronut
    Sep 3, 2011 at 16:31
  • 2
    Ya could just go buy crystalline capsaicin, can't find a pepper hotter than that.
    – derobert
    Sep 4, 2011 at 5:41
  • Just curious - what is your intended use? Do you want "the hottest" pretty much for bragging rights? I'm just curious - if you use the Scorpion pepper, and it's insanely hot, and then find out the Fukushima Daiichi Jalapeno is 2,000 Scoville units hotter, does that really impact what you've done or intend to do with the Scorpion peppers? Sep 20, 2017 at 14:42

7 Answers 7


The world record holder is currently the Carolina Reaper according to Guinness (as of AUG 2013).

This pepper began its family tree as a crossbreed between a Ghost Chili pepper and a Red Habanero.

The LA Times reports that the hottest Reaper has been clocked at 2.2 Million Scoville units. That's higher than some commercial pepper spray products. They go on to cite a study conducted by Winthrop University (South Carolina, US) that claims the average is closer to 1.5 M.

Carolina Reaper peppers. Image courtesy of delectationoftomatoes.wordpress.com

There is a hotter pepper contending for the throne. "Pepper X" (a codename pending a permanent name) is now supposedly clocking in over 3M but is pending Guinness verification.

What a time to be alive.


What is the world's hottest pepper?

According to the Scovile Scale the hottest pepper is Bhut Jolokia. The one you are currently growing

Scovile Scale Visualized

Scovile Scale Visualized

What is a naga jolokia, and where does it stand in comparison to the other "contender" peppers?

Bhut Jolokia or Naga Jologia

According to some sources, they indicate that Bhut and Naga are the same pepper. Naga means Ghost.

MSNBC has a great article covering this world record chili:

The pepper is known by any number of names across India’s northeast. It’s the “poison chili” in some areas, the “king of the chilis” in others. Just to the south of Assam is Nagaland, it’s eaten in nearly every meal. As a result, it is often called the Naga mircha — the “Naga chili.”

Naga Jolokia or Bhut Jolokia

  • Nice touch on the charts Sep 3, 2011 at 4:09
  • so according to this answer, if I want to get a hot meal, I should just get a little bit of pepper spray ;)
    – Lie Ryan
    Sep 4, 2011 at 11:46
  • 1
    @Lie Ryan Yes you should. It's easier to make as well. Spray it on everything; or just cut to the chase; spray it in your mouth!
    – chrisjlee
    Sep 4, 2011 at 21:48
  • 1
    Pablano should be spelled Poblano. And there are only two peppers: chilaca and poblano (pasilla ancho), not three. (Pasilla sometimes refers to dried poblano or chilaca, and incorrectly refers to the poblano in North America; unfortunately this is common.) Sep 8, 2011 at 4:07
  • 1
    Bhut means "ghost". Naga means "cobra". They are the same pepper, just different regional names. Jolokia means "pepper".
    – Rob K
    Sep 20, 2017 at 13:42

According the Scoville Scale the peppers you mention (the Bhut Jolokia chili pepper) are ranked with the hottest of the peppers, albeit in a 'wide range' (855,000–1,463,700 Scoville heat units).

The Scoville explanation on Wikipedia (linked above) does not include "naga jolokia" but does include "Naga Viper" and "Bhut Jolokia". It is likely that "Naga Jolokia" is a hybrid of the two, which may or may not be stable and reproducible. These are all in the that same "hottest of the hot" range and "which is the hottest?" is likely a moving target. Frankly, I would put all of these in the "too hot to matter" category. There is no reason that I am aware of that the average home gardener could not purchase any or all of these varieties and even produce your own hybrids using relatively simple cross pollination techniques.

This answer should not be confused as volunteering to taste or sample anything prepared with any of these peppers.


Let me just clarify why some places will say the Bhut is the hottest and some will say the Viper is the hottest. It's because there are two different notions of "hottest".

One notion is this: If I were to grow some peppers, what variety would get me the hottest peppers on average? The answer to this is the Bhut. They consistently produce peppers over 1,000,000 SHU when grown casually by amateurs.

The other notion is this: What variety is the world record, hottest pepper ever? The answer to this is the Viper. But if you were to grow a Viper casually, you would not get a heat level anywhere near the world's record.

The reason for the discrepancy is not very well known. Most likely, the Viper is just more responsive to the techniques used by expert growers to produce record-breaking peppers. (Controlled light patterns, intentional drought stress, and so on.)


Updated list of hottest pepper of 2016 year is show on this site http://browse-read.com/the-15-hottest-pepper-in-the-world-other/ Carolina Reaper takes 1st place on 2013 year and are there until now. but 2nd and 3rd place are Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and 7 Pod Douglah Pepper :)


The hottest pepper is pepper x even though it does not say that in the book of Guinness(1). The hottest pepper you can grow is the “ghost pepper”. Sadly I don’t know the answer to your first question.

  • Sorry that I don’t know how to make one word a link.
    – Joshua
    May 6, 2020 at 23:31
  • 1
    it's pretty simple to make the link - there should be a menu above your text. One of the symbols looks like a chain or two intertwined circles. Highlight the word you want to make into a link, click on that symbol, paste link into the pop-up box, hit enter.
    – bob1
    May 7, 2020 at 21:08
  • @bob1 thanks for the description. I will do what you said.
    – Joshua
    May 9, 2020 at 12:34
  • Until Ed Currie releases test results confirming Pepper X's SHU measurements, it is not the hottest pepper. Likely he is waiting until it is stabilized after 8 or more generations before moving forward, assuming it isn't overly hyped (there's a lot of concern in the pepper communities about the validity of his claim). Additionally, there are plenty of other contenders for "hottest pepper" that have not yet gone through formal testing (and may never do so). Ed Currie is a remarkable promoter, but the loudest voice does not automatically make it the hottest pepper.
    – Beofett
    Jun 10, 2020 at 13:15
  • Example: the owner of the Redwood City Seed company claims that his new Chocolate Champion is hotter than the Carolina Reaper, as well. Plus there are countless other varieties that are still unstable, but which many people feel are much hotter than the Reaper.
    – Beofett
    Jun 10, 2020 at 13:18

A good crop of red thin Thai peppers. They vary,but when they are strong they are untouchable with a distint aftertaste

  • From a quick Google search, Thai peppers range from about 50,000 to 100,000 on the Scoville scale, which isn't anywhere near the other contenders mentioned here. Nov 16, 2020 at 22:46

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