Watch ‘Hot Ones’ Host Eat World’s New Hottest Pepper


Chili Pepper X has just surpassed the Carolina Reaper as the hottest pepper in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. To celebrate its crowning, Hot Ones host Sean Evans sat down with Chili Kalus as well as Heatonist’s Noah Chaimberg and Ed Currie, “the sick, twisted mind behind Pepper X,” to try one for himself.

Currie revealed he had Pepper X stored away for some time, but was only just bringing it to market. “We stabilized it a while ago and it’s been in the war chest for about a decade now, so I decided to bring it out to the world,” he said.

Before tasting, the men conferred over the pepper’s fresh, slightly tangerine-inflected aroma. Currie promised it would have a vibrant taste of citrus, but as the group dug in it became clear that the Pepper X inventor and Chaimberg had different heat thresholds.

“The freshness of that goes away almost immediately, then just that violent and ever-growing [burn] that makes my skin feel tighter,” Evans said as his face contorted. “Like, the skin of my face feels tighter to my head.”

“It’s very spicy,” Klause agreed between gasps, “[but] I love the flavor. I think there’s some oak in it. And pencil.”

“There’s an intense burn that happens immediately, and then your body just starts reacting,” Currie said as he reassured the men that, even if he didn’t look it, he was experiencing the same feelings they were. “You get it in your arms, you get it in your chest. It has no real throat burn like the reaper but that comes on later, when you’re in pain.”

“I’m in heat. I’m done. Thank you very much,” Klaus said as he collapsed onto the table.

Studies by Winthrop University in South Carolina ranked Pepper X at an astonishing 2.69 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Carolina Reapers notched a comparatively measly 1.64 million SHU. The Scoville test came about in 1912 and was the first laboratory method to measure the heat of chili peppers. It involves some lucky researchers tasting a series of peppers to deduce their heat level.

Andy Glass, a representative for Guinness World Records, presented a stunned Currie with the official plaque designating Pepper X to be the spiciest chili in the world.

“It took a team,” a tearful Currie began. “This is a culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people. They said it couldn’t be done, they called us liars, and we proved to them that Pepper X is the hottest pepper in the world. Officially from Guinness. All the time and effort that we put in to make sure this got stabilized and became the hottest pepper in the world is now validated.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am right now. I really just want to run laps around the building,” Currie concluded.

You can watch the full Hot Ones segment below.

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