Hottest chilli pepper
Ed Currie of PuckerButt Pepper Company
United States (NYC)

The hottest chilli pepper is Smokin Ed's 'Pepper X', grown by Ed Currie of PuckerButt Pepper Company (USA), which rates at an average of 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), according to tests conducted by Winthrop University in South Carolina, USA, on 23 August 2023.

Ed, who also created the previous hottest chilli pepper - the Carolina Reaper - grew Pepper X on his farm.

He spent 10 years developing the pepper to be even hotter than his previous creation, which delivered an average of 1,569,300 SHU.

He did it by cross breeding it with some of his other hottest peppers.

Ed unveiled Pepper X on an episode of hit YouTube series Hot Ones.

Watch it here:

For those who haven’t tasted it, Pepper X’s whopping SHU of 2,693,000 is perhaps best imagined by comparing it to a more common jalapeño pepper, which registers at around 3,000 to 8,000 SHU.

The Scoville scale is used to measure the spiciness of chilli peppers and is based on the concentration of capsaicin – the active component of chilli peppers that creates a burning sensation when it comes into contact with human tissue.

A common misconception is that the heat of chilli peppers depends on the seeds inside of them, however the capsaicin is actually contained in the placenta, which is the tissue that holds the seeds.

As Pepper X has lots of curves and ridges, there’s more room inside for the placenta to grow and become spicier.

Wanna feel the heat? Check out these other chilli pepper records:

Fastest time to eat 50 Facing Heaven chilli peppers

Most Bhut Jolokia chilli peppers eaten in two minutes

Longest chilli pepper

Fastest time to eat three Carolina Reaper chillies