The Carolina Reaper Has Lost Its Spot As The World's Hottest Pepper

The Carolina Reaper's 10-year reign as the world's spiciest pepper is officially over thanks to an absolute monster known as Pepper X. Ed Currie, the founder of PuckerButt Pepper Company known as Smokin' Ed, is the mad scientist behind both peppers. He received the Guinness World Record in 2013 for the Carolina Reaper, and he's received it again for Pepper X, announced as of October 16, 2023. Currie is a titan of the hot sauce scene, and fans are sure to be cheering him on, though competitive pepper-eaters may be sweating already.

The Carolina Reaper's Guinness World Record registers its heat at 1.64 million Scovilles (the Scoville Scale is the measurement of how hot a pepper is). For comparison, a jalapeno is around 5,000 Scovilles, and a habanero is anything from 100,000 to 350,000. Pepper X registers at a monstrous 2.69 million Scovilles. Currie eats some of the hottest peppers in the world on a daily basis. When he ate his first Pepper X, he reportedly lay on the ground for three hours from the pain.

Pepper X is a greenish-yellow color with a shriveled look somewhat akin to the Carolina Reaper. If you can make your way through the heat, it supposedly has a nice earthy flavor to it. Fans of the YouTube series "Hot Ones" will recognize Pepper X as the main ingredient of the hot sauce known as The Last Dab, which the host feeds to celebrities as they answer questions about their life and careers. You can buy a bottle if you dare, from program collaborator Heatonist

Pepper X will be different

Pepper X has been around for several years, actually. Its recent inauguration as the world's hottest pepper may be due to Currie finally feeling the pressure from a competitor: The pepper known as Dragon's Breath. That one was accidentally developed by Welsh farmers and unofficially clocked in at 2.4 million Scovilles.

Currie (on the far left of the above photo) has been critical of his approach to the Carolina Reaper. Before he started PuckerButt, he was giving away his hot sauce and salsa for free to friends and neighbors. That kind of generosity spilled over into his business practices. It was great for the community, but it often led to other people profiting from his hard work. Cross-breeding peppers takes a considerable amount of time, as it requires several generations before you even begin to see a variety's potential. This time, Currie will be playing his cards closer to his chest.

There's reason to believe that Pepper X is only the beginning of an ever-ascending hierarchy of superpeppers. Currie has made comments that seem to indicate that he's working on varieties that could reach 4, 5, maybe even 6 million Scovilles. To all the YouTubers out there looking to make some content off of eating Currie's spicy babies, make sure you have some milk on hand to tame the flames.