10 Hottest Chilies In The World by Scoville Scale

The Chili Heat if we may call it is measured in the Scoville scale; named after American Physicist Wilbur Scoville who first devised the method in 1912. The SHU’s or Scoville Heat Units simply try to measure the amount of capsaicin present in the chili. Capsaicin is chemical compound (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) which is the prime cause for the burning taste of the chilies. Now since you’ve got the basic idea behind the scale let’s have a look at the Hottest Chilies in the world.

#10 Rocoto

Rocoto-chili-pepper- Image from perurecipes.net
Aka:The Tree Chili

The Rocoto is found mainly in Central and South America. They may measure up to 250,000 in Scoville units. It is unique from other peppers in its ability to withstand low temperatures.

#9 Datil/Fatali

The Datil Peppers
Datil Peppers. Image from fbworld.com

The natural occurring American Datil pepper or its African counterpart Fatali may score up to 300,000 on the Scoville scale. Along with their heat, Datils are known for their fruity flavor.

#8 Habanero and Scotch Bonnet Pepper


The pride of many cusines
The Habanero Chilies

The Habanero is naturally occurring pepper very popular in the Spanish and Mexican culture. Habaneros may score up to 350,000 on the Scoville scale. Its largest produce nowadays comes from Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.

Scotch Bonnet Pepper

Scotch Bonnet Pepper
Aka:Ball of Fire

Scotch Bonnet derives its name from its resemblance to the 19 century Scottish bonnets or Tam caps. It’s stouter shape and slight sweeter flavor differentiates it from its close relative Habanero. The Scotch Bonnet is widely consumed and is largely found in Caribbean islands. Like the Habanero it may score up to 350,000 on the Scoville scale.

#7 Adjuma

Adjuma pepper
Adjuma Chilies. Image by Hankwang Wikipedia Commons
Aka:Aji umba

Originally from Suriname in South America the Adjuma are small yellow and red bell peppers. They may rate up to 500,000 SHU’s and are often confused with Madame Jeanette; a less hotter but more flavorsome pepper.

#6 The Red Savina Habanero

Red Savina Habanero
Red Savina by Avriette wikipedia

The Red Savina was bred by Frank Garcia of Walnut, California. It rated close to 600,000 SHU units and was the Guinness Record holder from 1994 – 2006.

#5 Bhut Jolokia

Red Naga Chili
Bhut Jolokia image by Asit K. Ghosh Wikipedia Commons
Aka:Ghost Pepper, Red Naga

The Bhut Jolokia is endemic to the north eastern states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur in India. In 2007, it was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the hottest chili pepper in the world. A title it lost to the infinite pepper in 2011. The pepper has recorded Scoville ratings of over 1 million.

#4 Infinity Chili

Infinity Chili
Nick Wood with his Infinity Chili – image from guardian.co.uk

The Infinity chili was discovered by accident in the greenhouse of Nick Woods. “I didn’t set out to grow it; it’s really easy for chilies to crossbreed in a greenhouse, one day I just saw this new chili plant growing.” Grown by Mr. Woods, it measured up to about 1,170,000 on the Scoville scale. It briefly held the Guinness Record in February 2011.

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#3 Naga Viper

Naga Viper Chili
The Naga Viper

The Naga Viper is an unstable hybrid between the Bhut Jolokia , Naga Morich and the Trinidad Scorpion. Due to its unstable nature it is unable to produce an offspring like its parent. It was created by English chili farmer Gerald Fowler and measured more than 1,300,000 on the Scoville scale.

#2 The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T

Trinidad Scorpion Butch T
Scorpion Butch T. Image by by Vicary Archangel wikipedia commons
Type:Natural, Different Location

The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T is named after Butch Taylor from Mississippi. It measured 1,463,700 in SHU units. May be due to some official testing reasons, the Guinness Book still lists this as the hottest chili in the world.

#1 Trinidad Scorpion Moruga

10 hottest chili in the world
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

The Trinidad Scorpion is a variety commonly found in the Maruga district of Trinidad and Tobago from where it derives its name. It is currently the pepper in the world. One of its kinds was tested at 2,009,231 SHU at the New Mexico State University making it the first pepper ever to cross the 2 million mark on the scale.

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