Pepper X

Pepper X – All about Heat, Flavor, Uses, Substitutes

What is Pepper X?

Pepper X, developed by Ed Currie of the Puckerbutt Pepper Company, set the Guinness World Record in 2023 as the world’s hottest pepper with 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units. Its rugged, textured surface, often with a scorpion-like tail, characterizes its appearance. Initially, it offers a fruity and slightly sweet flavor, rapidly escalating to intense heat. Used primarily in small quantities for hot sauces, Pepper X requires careful handling and consumption due to its extreme spiciness, which can cause significant discomfort.

Pepper X
SHU2,693,000 - 2,693,000
Median SHU2,693,000
FlavorSweet, fruity and extremely hot and pungent
SpeciesCapsicum chinense
OriginUnited States
UsesHot sauce, not for home use or cooking

Are Pepper X peppers spicy? How hot are they?

Pepper X scoville: 2,693,000

Pepper X peppers exhibit extraordinary spiciness, with a Scoville rating of 2,693,000 SHU that far surpasses many other well-known hot peppers. Pepper X boasts a staggering heat level, significantly hotter than the Carolina Reaper or the Ghost Pepper. With a rating that elevates it to the world’s hottest pepper, it’s a brutally hot chili that demands respect and cautious handling. Not for the faint-hearted, Pepper X peppers are a testament to the extremes of spiciness, requiring careful handling and consumption due to their potent heat, which can cause significant discomfort.


Where does the Pepper X come from?

The birthplace of Pepper X is in the innovative breeding efforts of Ed Currie and his team at the Puckerbutt Pepper Company in South Carolina. This pepper is a masterpiece of over ten years of dedicated crossbreeding and cultivation. Ed Currie, known for his creation of the Carolina Reaper, took on the challenge to engineer a pepper surpassing all existing heat levels, leading to the creation of Pepper X.

This venture was not just focused on achieving groundbreaking Scoville ratings but also on delving into the depth of flavors unique to chili peppers. His quest mirrored the process used in creating the Carolina Reaper, combining intense heat with a distinctive taste profile, ultimately leading to Pepper X’s exceptional spiciness and unique flavor, marking a significant achievement in chili peppers.


What are Pepper X peppers good for? How to use them?

Pepper X is renowned for creating some of the hottest hot sauces. Spicy food lovers highly seek its extreme heat. However, its current commercial availability is limited to hot sauce, with seeds and raw peppers not accessible for culinary use. Despite this, the high capsaicin content of Pepper X has garnered interest in research for potential health benefits, especially in pain relief. Due to its intense heat, careful handling is essential, and its use in cooking is recommended for professionals only.


What does a Pepper X pepper look like?

Pepper X peppers are distinguished by their rugged, wrinkled, and gnarled texture, complemented by a small, pointed tail. They exhibit a unique appearance, often resembling the Carolina Reaper with a bulbous shape and a scorpion-like tail, adding to their formidable look.

What does Pepper X taste like?

The flavor of Pepper X is as intriguing as its heat; initially, it offers a fruity and slightly sweet taste, typical of many super hot peppers. This brief flavor experience is quickly overshadowed by an overwhelming burning sensation, illustrating the pepper’s intense spiciness. This combination of early sweet flavor and subsequent extreme heat adds complexity to its culinary use, making Pepper X a unique and challenging ingredient for spicy dishes.


How to grow Pepper X peppers?

Currently, Pepper X peppers are unavailable for personal cultivation as their seeds and plants have not been commercially released. Without access to these seeds and plants, detailed growing instructions tailored to Pepper X are not available to the public. Enthusiasts looking to grow this variety will need to wait for its official release by the Puckerbutt Pepper Company.


Cooking / Recipe ideas for Pepper X

The extreme heat of Pepper X, reaching up to 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units, makes it highly challenging to use directly in cooking. Pepper X is not available for purchase in any form other than as a hot sauce, so its direct culinary applications are currently limited.

The primary use of Pepper X is in the production of exceptionally hot sauces. These sauces are noted for delivering intense heat while preserving the natural flavor of the chili, a characteristic often lost in sauces that rely on capsaicin extracts for heat. Due to its extraordinary spiciness, Pepper X is not recommended for everyday cooking or amateur use. It is advised to exercise extreme caution when handling any product containing Pepper X due to the severe heat level it can impart.


Currently, Pepper X is unavailable for purchase in its raw form, such as seeds, plants, or whole peppers. The Puckerbutt Pepper Company, which developed Pepper X, has not released these products for public sale. Therefore, they cannot be found at specialized online retailers or local nurseries. The primary way to experience Pepper X is through its inclusion in hot sauces. These sauces are available from select gourmet and specialty stores and online retailers.


How do I store Pepper X peppers?

Since Pepper X peppers are not available for purchase in their fresh form, enthusiasts can enjoy their fiery taste through hot sauces containing Pepper X.

When storing these sauces, keeping opened bottles refrigerated is important to extend their shelf life and preserve quality. Before opening, they can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight because it can affect the sauce’s color and flavor.

Refrigeration is particularly recommended for hot sauces with additional ingredients like fruits or vegetables, as these can shorten the shelf life. Properly sealing the bottle after each use is essential to minimize oxygen exposure, which can degrade the sauce.


Are Pepper X peppers healthy?

Pepper X, primarily known for its extreme heat, offers potential health benefits thanks to its high capsaicin content.
The health benefits of capsaicin, the active component in hot peppers like Pepper X, are well-known. However, it’s important to clarify that these effects are attributed to capsaicin itself and not directly from consuming Pepper X peppers, which are not available in their raw form for culinary or medicinal use.

Capsaicin is renowned for its pain-relieving properties and is often used in creams and topical applications to alleviate discomfort from conditions such as arthritis and neuropathic pain. It has also been found to reduce the frequency of cluster headaches potentially. Beyond pain relief, capsaicin plays a role in weight management by impacting metabolism and appetite. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also benefit skin conditions like psoriasis, offering symptom relief.


What’s a good Pepper X alternative?

A good alternative to Pepper X peppers culinary use include the Carolina Reaper and the ghost pepper (Bhut Jolokia). While extremely hot, these peppers have slightly lower Scoville ratings than Pepper X. The Carolina Reaper has a Scoville rating ranging from 1,400,000 to 2,200,000 SHUs. In contrast, the ghost pepper measures 855,000-1,041,427 SHUs. For those seeking a significant but more manageable heat level, habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers are good options. Habaneros typically range from 100,000 to 350,000 SHUs, offering considerable heat without reaching the extreme levels of Pepper X, Carolina Reaper, or ghost pepper.

How do you pronounce Pepper X pepper?

Pepper X is pronounced as “Pepper Eks.” The “X” in its name alludes to its extraordinary heat and enigmatic nature.


FAQ about Pepper X

Is Pepper X the hottest pepper in the world?

Yes, Pepper X currently holds the title of the world's hottest chili pepper. As per Guinness World Records, it has achieved a staggering 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). This rating surpasses other renowned hot peppers, setting a new benchmark in the world of chili heat levels. This record emphasizes Pepper X's exceptional spiciness, making it a pepper of unparalleled heat in the culinary world​.

Can Pepper X be used in regular cooking?

Due to its extreme heat, which measures 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units, Pepper X is unsuitable for regular cooking or amateur culinary use. Its intense spiciness makes it a challenging ingredient, primarily used in producing specialty hot sauces. Extreme caution is advised when using products containing Pepper X to avoid discomfort or injury. Its potency and heat level make it an ingredient better suited for professional use or by those experienced with super-hot peppers​.

Is Pepper X available commercially?

Pepper X, known for its exceptional heat, is currently not available for commercial purchase in its raw form, such as seeds, whole chilies, dried chilies, powders, or flakes. The primary way to experience the intensity of Pepper X is through specially crafted hot sauces. These sauces incorporate Pepper X's heat and flavor, offering a unique culinary experience for those seeking extreme spiciness. However, direct access to the raw form of Pepper X remains limited to professional growers and select culinary experts.

How should I handle Pepper X peppers?

Extreme caution is necessary when handling products containing Pepper X due to their intense heat. It's important to use protective gloves and avoid direct contact with the skin or eyes. These safety measures are crucial to prevent discomfort or injury. Given the potency of Pepper X, even in sauce form, ensuring a safe handling environment is key to avoiding adverse reactions from its potent capsaicin content. This approach is especially important for those sensitive to spicy foods or unfamiliar with handling super-hot pepper products.

Can Pepper X be grown at home?

Currently, growing Pepper X at home is impossible as its seeds and plants are not available for public purchase. The unique breeding of Pepper X, developed by Ed Currie and the Puckerbutt Pepper Company, remains exclusive, with no commercial distribution of its seeds or plants. As such, enthusiasts and home gardeners must wait for any future decision regarding the public release of Pepper X for cultivation, which may occur following its official recognition as the world's hottest pepper.

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