Dragon’s Breath Vs. Pepper X: The Difference Explained

Pepper X vs Dragon’s Breath: A Fiery Showdown

For extreme chiliheads seeking the ultimate thrill, two peppers stand out as the hottest on the planet: Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath. But what exactly makes them so fiery hot, and how do they compare?

Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath were created with one goal in mind – to be the hottest peppers in the world. Through crossing super-hot pepper species, the creators of Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath succeeded in developing record-breaking levels of heat.

While both peppers will torch your tastebuds, Pepper X ranks #1 and technically contains more heat with its 3.18 million Scoville Units. Dragon’s Breath comes in second at a still-deadly 2.48 million Scoville Units.

Beyond just brute heat, you can also expect some key differences between Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath:

  • Origin: Pepper X hails from South Carolina, while Dragon’s Breath comes from Wales.
  • Purpose: Pepper X was created solely for heat, but Dragon’s Breath was meant as an anesthetic.
  • Appearance: Pepper X is long and green at 2-3 inches. Dragon’s Breath is a petite 0.5 inch red ball.
  • Availability: Pepper X seeds are tightly controlled, but Dragon’s Breath seeds can be purchased.

Get ready for a fiery showdown as we explore the origins, heat levels, looks, and availability of these two tiny terrors! Just make sure to handle them with extreme caution – we’ll also cover safety tips for these face-melting peppers.

A Quick Comparison

Before diving into the details, here is a quick overview of how Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath compare:

  • Origin: Pepper X was created in South Carolina, USA. Dragon’s Breath was created in Wales, UK.
  • Scoville Heat Units: Pepper X technically ranks hotter at 3.18 million SHU, while Dragon’s Breath clocks in at 2.48 million SHU.
  • Size and Color: Pepper X is 2-3 inches long and green. Dragon’s Breath is 0.5 inches long and red.
  • Purpose: Pepper X was created to be the world’s hottest pepper. Dragon’s Breath was created as an anesthetic.
  • Availability: Pepper X seeds are not sold commercially. Dragon’s Breath seeds can be purchased online.

Below is a table that presents a side-by-side comparison of the various qualities possessed by Dragon’s Breath and Pepper X.

ComparisionDragon’s BreathPepper X
Scoville Heat Units      2,480,0003,180,000
OriginUnited KingdomUnited States
SizeAbout 0.5 inches long About 2-3 inches long
Purpose of CreationTo create a hotter spiceTo create medical anesthetics.
FlavorSweet, SpicySweet, Fruity

The Origin Stories: Born to Burn

Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath were each created with fire in their bellies. But their origin stories have key differences.

The Welsh Dragon’s Breath

Dragon’s Breath was developed in Wales through a partnership between Neal Price of a UK hydroponics store and researchers at Trent University.

Their goal was to create an affordable natural anesthetic that could be used in developing countries. To do this, they crossed several ultra-hot pepper varieties to produce their scorching spawn.

Horticulturist Mike Smith later joined the project and began cultivating the interspecies hybrid. He named the pepper Dragon’s Breath as a nod to the iconic Welsh dragon.

Although anesthetic applications were its intended purpose, Dragon’s Breath unexpectedly also earned the #2 spot on the Scoville scale. It dethroned the previous record-holder, the Carolina Reaper.

South Carolina’s Pepper X

Meanwhile, halfway across the globe, a hot pepper arms race was brewing. Ed Currie of PuckerButt Pepper Company in South Carolina was hard at work crossing superhot peppers to create Pepper X.

By maxing out the levels of capsaicinoids, the compounds that give chili peppers their trademark fire, Currie succeeded in developing the world’s new hottest pepper.

Pepper X seized the #1 position on the Scoville leaderboard in 2017 with a blistering 3.18 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU). That’s over 1 million SHU hotter than the Dragon’s Breath.

Heat and Flavor: A Scalding Scale

The defining feature of both Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath is their extraordinary heat. This heat comes from natural chemical compounds called capsaicinoids that give all chili peppers their spicy kick.

Between the two contenders, Pepper X contains higher concentrations of these flammable compounds.

The Scoville Scale: Measuring Heat

To put their heat levels in perspective, the Scoville Organoleptic Test measures a chili pepper’s pungency in Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Pure capsaicin tops out at 16 million SHU. In comparison:

  • Bell peppers: 0 SHU
  • Jalapeños: 2,500-8,000 SHU
  • Habaneros: 100,000-350,000 SHU
  • Ghost peppers: 1,000,000+ SHU
  • Carolina Pepper: 2,200,000 SHU
  • Dragon’s Breath: 2,480,000 SHU
  • Pepper X: 3,180,000 SHU

As you can see, Dragon’s Breath and Pepper X are astronomical outliers on the far, far end of the scale. They are hundreds of times hotter than everyday peppers.

Flavor Beyond Heat

Beyond blowtorch heat, Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath also differ slightly in flavor.

The Dragon’s Breath is said to have a more sweet, fruity taste, while Pepper X leans more toward a classic chili pepper flavor.

However, for most sane people, the nuances of flavor are irrelevant in the face of their extreme heat. It’s hard to notice notes of sweetness when your face is melting!

Size, Shape and Color: Tiny Terrors

In addition to heat, Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath have visual differences that set them apart.

Dragon’s Breath: Petite and Red

True to its name, the Dragon’s Breath pepper is small and red. It looks like a little red fireball!

Specifically, it measures about half an inch long and is bright orangey-red. It has a round shape that tapers into a pointed, curled tail at the bottom.

The color and textured wrinkled skin resembles other super-hots like the Ghost Pepper.

Pepper X: Elongated and Green

In contrast, Pepper X looks more like its Carolina Reaper parent. It has a gnarled, pockmarked green exterior that almost looks diseased!

Compared to the petite Dragon’s Breath, Pepper X is elongated at 2-3 inches in length. It is green in color and also has a curved scorpion-like tail.

So in summary: short and red vs. long and green.

Availability: Where to Find Seeds

For daredevils looking to try growing these hellish peppers at home, Dragon’s Breath seeds are more accessible for purchase than Pepper X.

Dragon’s Breath Seeds

Dragon’s Breath seeds can be ordered through specialty online retailers. Expect to pay around:

  • $4 for a 10 seed pack
  • $25 for a 100 seed pack
  • $85 for a 500 seed pack

Dragon’s Breath seeds can also sometimes be found on Amazon.

Once grown, harvesting Dragon’s Breath demands caution. Wearing gloves, goggles, and a mask is highly recommended!

Good Luck Finding Pepper X

On the other hand, Pepper X seeds are not available for commercial sale.

The only way to legally obtain Pepper X right now is to buy products like Hot Sauce that list it as an ingredient. Seeds are tightly controlled to protect Pepper X’s reign as the world’s hottest pepper.

Growing and Cooking: Handle with Care

Speaking of growing these hellish peppers, extreme caution is advised. They should only be grown and handled while taking proper safety precautions.

Step 1: Start Plants Indoors

Dragon’s Breath and Pepper X seeds can be started indoors on seed mats like other peppers. Plant the seeds in starter trays once the weather begins warming up.

Step 2: Transplant Outdoors

After sprouting, transplant the seedlings into your outdoor garden after the last frost. Space plants at least 3 feet apart in fertile, well-draining soil.

Step 3: Add Support and Mulch

It’s a good idea to add trellises or cages to support the spindly pepper plants. Mulch around the base to retain moisture.

Step 4: Harvest with Caution!

Once fruits develop, it’s time for the dangerous harvest! Wearing gloves, goggles, and a mask is not an exaggeration. The oils can burn skin and eyes, and vapors can irritate airways.

Cooking Peppers X and Dragon’s Breath

Exercising similar caution, Dragon’s Breath and Pepper X can technically be used sparingly in cooking. But why subject yourself to such unnecessary suffering?!

Pepper X vs. Dragon’s Breath: Side Effects

Handle Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath carelessly, and you’ll quickly regret it. Brief exposure can cause:

  • Burning pain on skin and in eyes
  • Coughing, gagging, or vomiting
  • Headache and nausea
  • Runny nose and breathing difficulty

In rare cases, someone might experience a dangerous allergic reaction accompanied by:

  • Hives or rash
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, or throat
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing

If this happens after eating Pepper X, call emergency services immediately. Anaphylaxis can be deadly if not treated promptly with epinephrine.

Can Pepper X Kill You?

Pure capsaicin can cause death in high enough doses. However, Pepper X is unlikely to kill a healthy adult if eaten.

That said, these are not peppers to be trifled with. Always wear protective gear when handling Pepper X or Dragon’s Breath to avoid chemical burns or other injuries.

The Hot Take: Who Wins the Heat Battle?

When it comes to bringing the heat, Pepper X currently ranks #1 and Dragon’s Breath #2 based on their Scoville rating. However, Dragon’s Breath is easier to obtain and was created for the noble purpose of helping people.

While both peppers deserve caution and respect, Dragon’s Breath seems a bit less sinister overall. But Pepper X still reigns supreme for pure face-melting hotness.

Regardless, only the boldest, most daring chiliheads should ever attempt tackling these tiny terrors! Their extreme potency puts them in a class of their own.

The Fiery Conclusion

Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath represent the upper limit of heat attainable in pepper varieties today. From their origins to availability and side effects, these are peppers not to be trifled with.

While their nearly inedible heat makes them impractical for cooking, they do allow us to marvel at the outer boundaries of nature’s scorching possibilities.

Just don’t say you weren’t warned!

Share your love
Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *