Time for a pepper showdown! It’s a comparison of Bhut Jolokia (Ghost), Trinidad Scorpion, Carolina Reaper and Jay’s Peach Ghost Scorpion — the hottest peppers in the world. Come and join me?
Bhut Jolokia (Ghost) Pepper
I already have a post from some time ago, where I grew a Bhut Jolokia pepper plant. It was several years ago, and I’ve not re-grown it since. It was rather nice — it grew about 2 feet tall, and was quite bushy. The peppers were a pretty red, and resembled a cross between a habanero and a Fatali pepper. The heat was just over 1,000,000 Scoville. (For reference, the hottest habanero is less than half that, and a jalapeno comes in at about 5,000 Scoville.)
Trinidad Scorpion Pepper
Bhut Jolokia held the title of hottest pepper for a few years, but then the Trinidad Scorpion took the crown in 2012 with approximately 1,200,000 Scoville. This will be the first time I’ve grown the Scorpion pepper, so I am interested to see what I get, for both plant and fruit.
Jay’s Peach Ghost Scorpion Pepper
This is supposed to be a stable cross between the ghost and the scorpion peppers. The pepper is supposed to be larger than either of its parents, The color is different — a more pastel, rather than the brightness of the Jolokia and Scorpion peppers. From the photos I’ve seen, it’s really pretty. The heat is supposed to be somewhere between the two – or so I understand.
Carolina Reaper Pepper
Poor Scorpion — it only held the title of “World’s Hottest Pepper” for one year, because in 2013 he Carolina Reaper pepper took that honor. I tried growing it once, but ran into a bit of a problem and the plant (sadly) didn’t survive. Time I tried again, I think, because the fruit looks quite interesting. It racks up something like 1,400,000 Scoville.
How This Will Work
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, this experiment will take awhile. When it comes to these peppers, the seeds take a long time to sprout — somewhere between 3 and 5 weeks, if I recall correctly when I grew (or tried to grow) Bhut Jolokia and Carolina Reaper. I have no reason to doubt that Jay’s and the Scorpion won’t take just as long to germinate.
The showdown will really start once the seedlings are large enough to go out into the garden. I will be comparing:
- Plant height — is it a tall plant or short?
- Plant width — dues it grow up or out?
- Plant vigor — how well does it take to outdoor life? Also, is it a prima donna or is it easy to grow?
- Time to fruit — how long does it take the first fruits to set?
- The peppers themselves — what they look like, how big are they — things like that.
The one thing I will not be comparing is the heat! I am not brave or stupid enough to actually try to eat one of these peppers — habaneros are as hot as I feel comfortable going.
What to Do With the Fruit?
I might try drying some and grinding them to a powder — I’d only need a minuscule amount to heat up a pot of chili or a large bowl of salsa. I probably will go ahead and save some seeds from each of them, though. Before I do, I’ll put some insect netting around the flowers I want to use for the seeds, so I don’t get cross-pollination.
Hmmm, now that I think of it, I may try doing a deliberate cross-pollination fo one flower bunch, just to see what I get. It would be interesting!
I will be posting throughout the year, with photos — I may try some videos as well, once the plants are large enough. In my little corner of the world (S. Florida), the plants will have a very long growing season — they should be fine up through the first frost. And of the winter of 2016-2017 was anything like 2015-2016, I may be growing these peppers for quite some time!
Bhut Jolokia is the reigning world’s hottest pepper. The most pungent tested over 1,000,000 Scoville Units. That’s beyond hot!
I decided to grow some jolokia in my garden, along with some mustard habanero and some scotch bonnet peppers. The ultimate comparison should be quite interesting!
About Bhut Jolokia
This nuclear-heat chile pepper is known by several names. In addition to Bhut Jolokia, it’s also known as Naga Jolokia, Nai Miris, Ghost Chili, Ghost Pepper and Naga Morich. Yes, it’s a little confusing (to say the least).
This chile pepper comes from the Indian sub-continent, and thought to have originated in Northeast India, in Nagaland.
There’s been some controversy over this pepper; some say that the testing (done by 3 different labs) was hoaxed and nothing could top 1 million Scoville. But, the Chile Pepper Institute, run by New Mexico State University, ran tests in 2005 and yes, it was over 1,000,000 Scoville.
In February 2007, Guinness World Records certified the Bhut Jolokia (Prof. Bosland’s of the Chile Pepper Institute’s preferred name for the pepper) as the world’s hottest chili pepper.
There’s a question if the jolokia pepper is a member of the capsicum chinense or capsicum frutenscens family. I’m going to go with c. chinense, because the plant looks very similar to the Mustard Habanero plant I am growing in a different part of the garden.
(You can read read my pepper types post for more information on the different species.)
Growing Bhut Jolokia
The seeds aren’t exactly cheap (I paid about $1 per seed), and I started 2 seeds. Both sprouted, but one was felled by (I assume) the weather. The other one is doing beautifully!
The photo above is about a week before I planted it in my new raised bed garden. Since it’s been in the raised bed it has flourished and is a beautiful plant. It’s just now starting to form some flower buds, and before the buds open, I am going to bag the blossoms, so I can be sure of having more seeds going forward.
I’ll be posting more about Bhut Jolokia, the world’s hottest pepper, in the future, especially once the peppers start to form. And it will be quite interesting to compare it against my Mustard Habanero and Scotch Bonnet Early peppers.