Running low on ideas about how to turn up the heat in your dishes?
Incorporate some of these tongue-burners into your recipes to really spice up your creations. Remember to put a warning label in your menus, because these chillies are unbelievably, mind-numbingly hot!
Note: We’d only recommend considering the less “deadly” of these chillies for cooking, and only in minute amounts – the amount of spice they can inflict on tongues may be too much for even the bravest of diners!
Dragon’s Breath is the hottest chilli pepper in the world, coming in at a whopping 2.48 million SHUs (Scoville Heat Units), and was aptly named because it can potentially burn the consumers’ airways and send them into anaphylactic shock. This pepper is strictly for admiring at a distance, as we wouldn’t recommend putting it in any of your dishes – that would just be cruel and unusual punishment for some brave but unfortunate diners!
This hybrid chilli is a cross of the Red Habanero and the Pakistani Naga, and has earned its rather grim name thanks to its spice rating of 2.2 million SHUs. And true to its name, this pepper even comes with a stinger tail to remind you of its deadly power! This is another chilli that you may want to reserve for only the most daring of souls, and only if they’ve somehow bested the other options. If you’re experimenting with super-hot peppers, those lower down this list would be better to start out with.
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
Although not a world record holder, this chilli can still sting you! This rare blend, native to Trinidad and Tobago, was discovered quite recently. With a 2 million SHU rating, only the extremely brave should volunteer for a taste test.
Rated at 1.4 million SHU, the Komodo Dragon certainly lives up to its fiery reputation (although ironically enough, the Komodo Dragon does not breathe fire). This chilli is a hybrid from the United Kingdom.
Hailing from the United Kingdom, the Naga Viper is a hybrid that can potentially burn your mouth with its 1.3 million SHU rating. It once held the world record for the world’s hottest chilli in 2011, and was developed after years of cross pollination attempts.
Ghost pepper (Bhut Jolokia)
The ghost pepper was the first chilli in the world to receive a 1 million Scoville rating, and is perhaps one of the highest SHU-rated chillies that you should think long and hard about before adding to your recipes. Just a sliver of this pepper is all you need to create an extremely hot dish.
Super chillies vs what’s in the kitchen
While ratings of “1 million SHU” and “2.48 million SHU” may sound impressive, how hot are these chillies/peppers, really? How do these compare to what’s already in our kitchens?
Here are the SHU ratings of “regular” chillies and peppers for comparison:
Bell pepper: 0 – 100 SHU
Paprika: 100 – 900 SHU
Jalapeno: 1,000 – 10,000 SHU
Cayenne pepper: 10,000 – 100,000 SHU
And what about the famous Tabasco hot sauce that spice lovers crave? That’s only around 2,500 – 5,000 SHU, making it incredibly tame compared to the fiery selection above.
Remember to include warnings
Using any of these chillies/peppers in your recipes will create an uncommonly (and unexpectedly) spicy dish, which diners surely won’t anticipate.
While this can create lots of fun opportunities for “spice-eating challenges” that friends can be entertained with, also know that these dishes will be more fun for the spectacle and talking points they create, but less enjoyable to eat as an actual meal.
So let your diners know what they’re getting themselves into, then invite them to dive headfirst and enjoy the fun and excitement of these fiery chillies!
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