Scorpion Pepper vs Carolina Reaper: The Truth is Here!


If we were to ask you what you thought the two hottest chilis in the world are, the ones that would most likely come to mind are the Scorpion Pepper and Carolina Reaper. Some people have found these two so similar that they think they are one and the same kind!

Hate to break it to you, but these folks have got it wrong. There’s a difference between the Scorpion Pepper and Carolina Pepper. But what are they?

Short Answer: The Scorpion Pepper and Carolina Reaper differ in appearance and heat level. As one would presume, the Carolina Reaper is hotter, though you can still use them interchangeably.

Read on because we’ll get the nitty-gritty on the details between the Scorpion Pepper vs Carolina Reaper!


What is the Scorpion Pepper?

There aren’t specific peppers called the Scorpion Pepper. The Scorpion Pepper is merely a group of different peppers with a scorpion-like tail, all notoriously hot! (*)

One prime example is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, which measures over 2,000,000 SHUs. There’s also the Trinidad Butch T pepper measuring almost 1,500,000 SHUs. These peppers are award-winning chilies during their times, and even if they aren’t as spicy as the Carolina Reaper, they pack the heat and will have you crying for water and milk. (*)

Scorpion Peppers are a cultivar of the Capsicum Chinense, and as the name suggests, they don’t only look like a scorpion’s tail, but they can also feel like a sting of one when eaten.

Fun fact: Even the spiciest peppers can’t burn or tear through organs so that they won’t kill you. The only thing eating too many hot chilies can do is cause symptoms like stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. Eat-in moderation and at your own risk!

image of Carolina Reaper Pepper

What is the Carolina Reaper?

When you read the name alone, you know the Carolina Reaper can take you to the depths of hell with its spice levels! Currently, it holds the record holder as the hottest chili in the world, so you just know that you’ll be feeling the intense spice for a long time! (*)

Fun fact: What makes the Carolina Reaper so hot isn't its seeds but the white flesh near it. Weirdly enough, only mammals can feel the spice, while birds don't feel it at all!

Like the Scorpion Pepper, it’s a cultivar of the Capsicum Chinense and bred by Ed Currie, who crossed a ghost pepper with a red habanero. This pepper surpassed the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper in 2013!

On average, the Carolina Reaper measures about 1,641,000 SHUs. The highest measurement was a whopping 2,200,000 SHUs!

Fun fact: Carolina Reapers are 200 times hotter than a jalapeno, and because of their intense spicy strength, you'll need gloves to hold it. 

What’s The Difference Between Scorpion Pepper vs Carolina Reaper?

Now that you know more about these hot peppers, the next question is: what makes them different?

The significant difference between the two is their heat level. As you can see, the Carolina Reaper is the spiciest of them all, overtaking the Scorpion Pepper by almost 1,000,000 SHUs at its peak. But again, these two are already extremely spicy, so they aren’t a force to be reckoned with or taken for granted.

Besides their heat level, their appearances are also different from one another.

The Carolina Reaper has a gnarled and bumpy texture along with a small, pointed tail. As for the Scorpion Pepper, they are small, wrinkly peppers that appear angry, with some species featuring the scary scorpion stinger tail.

Frequently Asked Questions

For those who want to learn more about the Scorpion Pepper and Carolina Pepper, feel free to check out our frequently asked questions:

1. Can you use Scorpion Pepper and Carolina Reaper interchangeably?

Yes, as mentioned, you can use Scorpion Pepper as a Carolina Reaper substitute and vice versa! Use them interchangeably in recipes like fresh salsa, chilies, soups, stews, or hot sauces.

Fun fact: They may have slightly different flavors and heat levels, but both the Scorpion Pepper and Carolina Reaper have held the Guinness Book of World Records title as the “world’s hottest pepper’ at one point!

2. What recipes use these hot peppers?

If you’re brave enough to try it, you can find Scorpion Peppers in recipes like hot sauces, salsas, barbacoa, bread bowls, chili con carne, or even chili jam!

As for the Carolina Reaper, you can also make your own hot sauce or salsa. Some people even try to make mac and cheese with it or use it as dry rubs for barbecues and jerky.

Wrapping It Up

Did you learn a lot from our Scorpion Pepper vs Carolina Reaper article? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! And also, don’t forget to look at our other blog posts for more information on the world of food and drinks.

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