For chiliheads seeking the ultimate thrill, a battle rages over which scorching hot pepper packs more heat – the Apollo pepper or the Carolina Reaper. These two titans of tongue-tingling
So which pepper wins the
While the exact Scoville rating of the Apollo pepper is still unknown, its creator estimates it surpasses 3 million SHU. That makes it likely hotter than the Carolina Reaper, which clocks in around 1.4-2.2 million SHU.
However, beyond just sheer spiciness, these peppers differ in their flavor profiles and availability. The Carolina Reaper offers sweet, fruity notes while the Apollo Pepper tends toward earthy flavors. Only the Carolina Reaper can be readily purchased for cooking experiments.
Read on to learn all about the fiery feud between the Apollo pepper and the Carolina Reaper – from their Scoville ratings to flavor notes and more. We’ll break down how these peppers compare, so you can determine which dynamite chili suits your
How Hot is the Apollo Pepper?
The Apollo pepper is currently the world’s hottest pepper according to its creator, Ed Currie. While its exact Scoville rating is unknown, estimates put it around 3.18 million Scoville Heat Units (SHUs).
To put that into perspective, a jalapeno ranks around 8,000 SHUs. So the Apollo pepper could be a whopping 389 times hotter than a jalapeno! This is due to the expert breeding of its parent peppers – the Carolina Reaper and Pepper X – to create a more potent hybrid.
Some tasting notes describe the Apollo pepper as having an earthy, fruity flavor, but its sheer spiciness overwhelms most tasting attempts. This pepper is not for the faint of heart or tongue!
How Hot is the Carolina Reaper?
The former world record holder for hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper clocks in between 1.4 million to 2.2 million Scoville Heat Units. That’s about 417 times spicier than a jalapeno pepper!
With its gnarly, wrinkled appearance and fierce heat, it’s easy to see how the Carolina Reaper got its ominous name. Originating from South Carolina, this chili packs a mean punch while also imparting some fruity, sweet notes.
Apollo Pepper vs. Carolina Reaper: By the Numbers
Now that we’ve introduced these two fire-breathers, let’s compare their stats:
- Scoville Heat Units:
- Apollo Pepper: ~3.18 million SHUs
- Carolina Reaper: 1.4-2.2 million SHUs
- Times Hotter Than a Jalapeno:
- Apollo Pepper: ~397x
- Carolina Reaper: ~275x
- Both Apollo Pepper and Carolina Reaper are American hybrid breed by Ed Currie, South Carolina, USA
It’s clear from the numbers that the Apollo pepper surpasses the Carolina Reaper when it comes to sheer spiciness. But heat level tells only part of the story when tasting these peppers.
Flavor Profiles: Apollo Pepper vs. Carolina Reaper
Beyond just burn-your-face-off heat, chili peppers also have unique flavor components. Here’s how the Apollo and Carolina Reaper compare:
- Apollo Pepper
- Flavor profile: Earthy, fruity
- Heat: Very slow, building burn
- Uses: Hot sauce (Last Dab Apollo)
- Carolina Reaper
- Flavor profile: Sweet, fruity with subtle smoky undertones
- Heat: Slow, creeping burn
- Uses: Hot sauce, spices, pepper flakes
While both provide some fruitiness, the Carolina Reaper seems more versatile for cooking applications thanks to its more complex flavor. However, the Apollo pepper packs more pure firepower.
Availability: Can You Buy These Peppers?
Given its recent debut, the Apollo pepper is not yet available to purchase. Currently, you can only taste its heat through the Last Dab Apollo hot sauce produced by Smokin’ Ed Currie.
The Carolina Reaper, however, can be readily purchased through online
Cooking with Apollo & Carolina Reaper Peppers
Exercise extreme caution when cooking with either of these blisteringly hot peppers. Their intense heat requires careful measurement when adding to recipes. As a general rule of thumb:
- Use protective gloves and avoid touching your eyes
- Wash hands thoroughly after handling
- Add small amounts and taste frequently
- Have milk or yogurt on hand to counter the burn
For the Carolina Reaper, start with 1/4 teaspoon of dried pepper flakes or 1-3 fresh peppers to add heat to chili, salsa, hot wings, and more.
For the Apollo pepper, you’ll have to stick to the Last Dab Apollo sauce. Add a few drops at a time until your desired spiciness is reached. This sauce pairs well with eggs, pizza, sandwiches, and dipping sauces.
Are You Up for the Challenge?
And for the cutting-edge of