New hottest pepper burns its way to a Guinness World Record

The world’s new spiciest pepper officially has no chill whatsoever.

Fans of hot and spicy food have something new to add to their menu. A tiny new pepper on the scene has enough punch to claim the top spot in the Guinness Book of Records as the “world’s hottest chili pepper.”

“Pepper X” is officially the world’s hottest chili pepper, with an average sizzling rating of 2.69 million Scoville heat units (SHU), reported local station WISH in South Carolina, where the pepper was cultivated. For comparison, a jalapeno pepper is rated at 2,500 SHU to 8,000 SHU.


Scoville units measure a pepper’s capsaicin concentration. Capsaicin is a chemical inside the pepper’s white membrane that produces a burning feeling when it comes into contact with the human body.

The newly crowned spiciest chili pepper took over the Guinness top spot from the Carolina Reaper pepper, which claimed the title back in 2013. That pepper has an average 1.64 million SHU rating.

Even though Pepper X doesn’t double up on the Carolina Reaper’s SHU rating, don’t let the numbers deceive you. A specialized logarithm, or non-linear scale, measures the heat.

“So, it’s more like three times hotter than a Reaper,” Ed Currie, creator of both the Carolina Reaper and Pepper X, told popular YouTube show “Hot Ones,” where the new pepper debuted. It didn’t look like a pleasant experience for anyone on the show, and the pain was evident within seconds of popping Pepper X into their mouths.

“Then, um, it’s just that violent and ever-growing thing that is somehow making my face tighter,” sputtered “Hot Ones” host Sean Evans.

Currie appeared much more in control with his description.

“There’s an intense burn that happens immediately, and then your head feels like, ‘Oh no, what’s going on?’ and then your body just starts reacting,” Currie shared with the team.

In the 10 years since its rise to the top, the Carolina Reaper had no contenders in the spice wars. So Currie decided it was time to introduce something even hotter. After nearly a decade of cross-breeding the Carolina Reaper with other hot peppers, Currie hit on the right combination to create an even more explosive entry into the culinary world.

Interested in trying the Pepper X yourself? Hot sauce purveyor is selling The Last Dab: Xperience hot sauce made from Pepper X for adventurous foodies to try.

This story was originally published by Marie Rossiter at