The Carolina Reaper

We get asked a lot by people about the Carolina Reaper, so we've put together a few interesting facts and figures for you.

The Carolina Reaper is a chili pepper that holds the title for being the hottest pepper in the world. With an average Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) of 2 million, this pepper is not for the faint of heart. Developed by Ed Currie, a grower in South Carolina, the Carolina Reaper is a crossbreed between a Pakistani Naga and a Red Habanero. Its unique shape and fiery flavor have made it a favorite among chili pepper enthusiasts.

What makes the Carolina Reaper so hot?

The intense heat of the Carolina Reaper comes from its high concentration of capsaicin, the compound responsible for the spiciness of chili peppers. Capsaicin stimulates the nerve endings in your mouth, creating a burning sensation. The Carolina Reaper contains significantly more capsaicin than other peppers, which is why it is considered the hottest pepper in the world.

How does the Carolina Reaper compare to other peppers?

To put the heat of the Carolina Reaper into perspective, let's compare it to other well-known peppers:

- Jalapeno: A jalapeno pepper typically ranges from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU, making it significantly milder than the Carolina Reaper.

- Habanero: A habanero pepper measures between 100,000 and 350,000 SHU, making it hot but still not as intense as the Carolina Reaper.

- Ghost Pepper: Also known as the Bhut Jolokia, the ghost pepper ranges from 800,000 to 1,041,427 SHU, making it slightly less hot than the Carolina Reaper.

What are the effects of eating the Carolina Reaper?

Eating the Carolina Reaper can have intense effects on the body. The heat can cause sweating, increased heart rate, and even endorphin release, which can create a sense of euphoria. However, it's important to note that consuming the Carolina Reaper in large quantities or without proper preparation can lead to severe discomfort, including stomach pain and digestive issues.

How to handle the Carolina Reaper safely?

If you dare to try the Carolina Reaper, it's crucial to handle it with care. Here are some safety tips:

1. Wear gloves: The capsaicin in the pepper can cause skin irritation, so wearing gloves is essential when handling it.

2. Use in moderation: Start with a small amount of Carolina Reaper and gradually increase the quantity to gauge your tolerance.

3. Have dairy products on hand: Milk or yogurt can help alleviate the burning sensation if it becomes too intense.

4. Avoid touching your face: Capsaicin can easily transfer from your hands to your eyes or other sensitive areas, so be cautious.


The Carolina Reaper is not your average chili pepper. With its extreme heat and unique flavor, it has gained a reputation as one of the spiciest peppers in the world. However, it's important to approach it with caution and respect its fiery nature. Whether you're a chili pepper enthusiast or simply curious about the Carolina Reaper, remember to handle it safely and enjoy the experience in moderation.

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