In this blog post, we will be discussing the Carolina Reaper pepper, which is one of the world's hottest chili peppers with a Scoville rating of 2.2 million. Find out more about this scorching pepper, including its history and how to make your own chili sauce.
🥜 In a Nutshell
- The Carolina Reaper, known as one of the world's hottest peppers, was created by crossbreeding a Pakistani Naga with a Red Habanero type. It's renowned for its extreme spiciness and comes in unique variations like the Peach Reaper and Chocolate Reaper.
- It is the hottest pepper globally, with an average of 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) and the potential to exceed 2.2 million SHU. In comparison, a jalapeño pepper is 200-600 times milder.
- These hot peppers can be used fresh or dried. Dried peppers have a more intense flavor and are widely available, while fresh ones offer versatility but are less common outside their growing region.
- The Carolina Reaper stands out in comparison to other hot peppers like Ghost Pepper, Habanero and Trinidad Scorpion due to its extreme heat, sweet-fruity flavor, and distinctive appearance, setting it apart as the hottest pepper globally.
- If you have a taste for spicy food, making a fiery hot sauce using hot peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt is easy. The recipe card in the post has precise measurements and instructions.
🌶️ What Is A Carolina Reaper?
The Carolina Reaper is a scorching hot chili pepper developed by grower Ed Currie. It's known as one of the world's hottest peppers and goes by HP22B (its code name during creation). This fiery creation resulted from crossbreeding a Pakistani Naga with a Red Habanero type from St. Vincent's Island in the West Indies.
There are some creative variations inspired by the Carolina Reaper, which is known for its intense spiciness. One of them is the Peach Reaper, which stands out due to its peach-colored exterior. Another variation is the Chocolate Reaper, which boasts a rich brown appearance. These unique twists add both visual appeal and extra heat for adventurous taste buds.
🔥 How Hot Is A Carolina Reaper?
According to the Guinness World Records, this particular pepper had earned the prestigious title of being the hottest pepper in the world. However, it was recently taken over by Pepper X.
It's not your ordinary jalapeño as its spiciness level is far beyond that. On average, it registers around 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), but some can even reach over 2.2 million SHU. Just to give you an idea, a jalapeño pepper is considered mild, ranging between 2,500 to 8,000 SHU.
That's about 200-600 times hotter than a jalapeño pepper. Not surprisingly, the Carolina Reaper can cause serious discomfort if not handled properly. When cutting or cooking with this pepper, it's important to wear gloves and avoid touching your eyes or nose.
✨ Fresh vs Dried
Carolina Reaper peppers are one of the hottest chili peppers in the world, and they can be used fresh or dried. Here's a look at the key differences between fresh and dried Carolina Reapers:
- Fresh Carolina Reapers are typically more expensive than their dried counterparts. This is because they have a shorter shelf life and need to be shipped more quickly.
- Dried Carolina Reapers have a more intense flavor than fresh peppers. This is because the drying process concentrates the pepper's natural oils and sugars.
- Fresh Carolina Reapers can be used in a variety of dishes, from salsas to stir-fries. Dried peppers are typically used as an ingredient in chili powder or other spice blends.
- Fresh Carolina Reapers can be difficult to find outside of their growing region. Dried peppers are widely available in supermarkets and online.
When it comes to taste and heat, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between fresh and dried Carolina Reaper peppers. It simply depends on your personal preference. However, if you're looking for convenience, then dried peppers may be the way to go.
⚔️ Carolina Reaper vs Ghost Pepper
Carolina Reaper and Ghost Pepper are two of the world's hottest chili peppers. Here's a comparison of the two in terms of appearance, taste, and heat level:
- Appearance: The Carolina Reaper is a small to medium-sized pepper with a wrinkled texture, ranging from light green to bright red, often featuring a distinctive pointed tip. In contrast, Ghost Peppers are similarly sized but have smoother skin and can be green when unripe, ripening to red or brown.
- Taste: Carolina Reapers start with a sweet and fruity flavor before delivering an intense, rapid-building heat, often accompanied by a hint of smokiness. Ghost Peppers, while still fiery, have a more pronounced smoky and earthy taste with a less pronounced sweetness and sometimes a subtle floral note.
- Heat Level: The Carolina Reaper is among the world's hottest peppers, boasting an average Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating of around 1,641,183 SHU and the potential to exceed 2,200,000 SHU in some instances. The Ghost Pepper, while still incredibly hot, is generally less intense, with an average SHU rating of around 1,041,427 SHU. Individual peppers may vary in heat, so caution is advised when handling and consuming both varieties.
⚔️ Carolina Reaper vs Habanero
Carolina Reaper and Habanero peppers are two of the most popular types of hot peppers. They both have a distinct appearance, taste, and heat level. Here is a comparison of the two:
- Appearance: The Carolina Reaper is a small, red pepper with a pointed tail. It is the hottest peppers in the world.
- Taste: The Carolina Reaper has a sweet and fruity flavor with a hint of spice.
- Heat Level: The Carolina Reaper is extremely hot, with a Scoville rating of 2.2 million.
- Appearance: The Habanero is a small, orange pepper with smooth, wrinkled skin. It is one of the super hot peppers in the world.
- Taste: The Habanero has a fruity, sweet, floral, and subtly smoky taste.
- Heat Level: The Habanero is also a very hot pepper chili, with a Scoville rating of 100,000 to 350,000.
⚔️ Carolina Reaper vs Trinidad Scorpion
They are the two most extremely hot peppers in the world. Here's a breakdown of the differences between them:
- Appearance: Carolina Reapers are red and scaly, while Trinidad Scorpions are orange and smooth.
- Taste: Carolina Reapers are said to have a fruity flavor, while Trinidad Scorpions are also fruit-like flavors with a mix of hot and sweet tastes.
- Heat level: Carolina Reapers are the hotter of the two, with an average heat level of 2.2 million Scoville units. Trinidad Scorpions clock in at around 1.2 million Scoville units on average.
🌱 How To Grow
Growing your own Carolina Reaper peppers is a fun and rewarding experience, and with this step-by-step guide.
Here's what you'll need to get started:
- Carolina Reaper seeds: You can purchase these online or at your local nursery.
- A pot or container: Make sure it has drainage holes so that water can properly drain away from the roots.
- Potting soil: Choose a quality potting mix that is rich in nutrients. Your local garden center will have plenty of options to choose from.
- A warm, sunny spot: Pepper plants need plenty of sunlight, so choose a location that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. A south-facing window is a perfect spot for growing Carolina Reapers indoors.
- Water: Keep the soil moist but not soggy, watering deeply about once a week. Be sure to reduce watering during the winter months when the plants are dormant.
Now that you have all the supplies you need, let's get started!
- Start by planting your Carolina Reaper seeds in starter pots or trays filled with potting mix. Plant the seeds about ¼ inch deep and keep them moist.
- Once the seedlings have sprouted, thin them out so that only the strongest plants remain. transplant the seedlings into larger pots or containers, spacing them about 12 inches apart.
- Place the pots in a warm, sunny spot and water regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy.
- Fertilize your plants every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer to help them grow strong and healthy.
- Once the peppers have reached about 6 inches in length, they are ready to harvest! Cut them from the plant, being careful not to damage the stem.
Just be sure to wash your hands after handling these peppers, as their intense heat can cause irritation. Wear gloves when handling these peppers.
🙋 People Also Ask [FAQs]
Carolina Reaper peppers should be picked when they reach their mature red or orange color, typically around 90 to 120 days after planting. The timing of the harvest depends on personal preference for heat level and ripeness.
Based on the article from The Guardian, the Carolina Reaper pepper, known as the world's hottest chili pepper, led to a competitive eater being hospitalized after consumption. However, it's important to note that while it can cause extreme discomfort and health issues, it is not typically lethal when consumed in moderation.
If you find yourself in agony after taking a bite of a Carolina Reaper pepper, you can do a few things to soothe the fiery sensation. First, reach for some dairy products like milk or yogurt – their fat content can help counteract the heat. For immediate relief, sip on cold water or suck on ice chips. Another trick is to consume starchy foods like bread or rice, as they can help absorb the fiery capsaicin responsible for the burn.
🔑 Key Takeaways: Carolina Reaper
- The Carolina Reaper is a chili pepper native to South Carolina and was developed by Ed Currie, the owner of PuckerButt Pepper Company. It used to hold the title of the world's hottest chili pepper, now its Pepper X.
- The Carolina Reaper is incredibly hot, measuring around 2.2 million Scoville heat units (SHU). This makes it hundreds of times hotter than a jalapeño and even surpasses the heat of police-grade pepper spray.
- Carolina Reapers can be used either fresh or dried. Fresh ones are more expensive due to their shorter shelf life, while dried ones have a more intense flavor and are often used in spice blends.
- The article compares Carolina Reapers with habanero and Trinidad Scorpion peppers in terms of appearance, taste, and heat level.
- If you want to grow Carolina Reapers, you'll need seeds, a container with drainage, potting soil, sunlight, and proper watering. The article provides a step-by-step guide to growing these peppers at home.
- Due to their extreme heat, it's crucial to wear gloves and take precautions when handling Carolina Reapers to avoid skin or eye irritation.
- The article answers common questions, including whether eating super hot peppers can be lethal (typically not, but it can cause discomfort) and how to soothe the heat if you've consumed one (dairy products, cold water, starchy foods). It also provides guidance on when to pick Carolina Reaper peppers for optimal ripeness.
Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce
- 1 ounce Carolina Reaper peppers around 25 pods
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced - medium size garlic
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the Carolina Reaper peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs.
- Place the pepper halves on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes, or until they are slightly charred.
- Remove the peppers from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Place the roasted peppers, garlic, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour the pepper sauce into a clean glass jar and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.