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Is Pepper X Really The Hottest Pepper?

Update 10/2024: Yes, it is! Coming in at 2.69 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), a full 1 million more than the Carolina Reaper.

The short answer is, no one knows for sure.

There was a bit of a dust-up this week in the Fermented Hot Sauce Society Facebook group that got so intense the admins turned commenting off. The post itself was innocent enough with one gentleman asking if anyone was growing it yet and where he could get some seeds. The thread became flooded with all sorts of chaos around Pepper X not being real, to the tired “Ed Curry is a thief” comments, to folks saying they were already growing them in their backyard. Pepper X is still a bit of a mystery overall, so we thought we’d dive further into some of the facts and mythos of Pepper X.

Pepper X, What We Know

These are statements of fact, as we understand them to be, feel free to let us know if there is any skepticism around the validity of these claims.

  • Pepper X is currently included as the primary pepper in The Last Dab and first appeared in the original Last Dab sauce in 2017
  • The Last Dab XXX contains multiple variations of Pepper X including Peach Pepper X and Chocolate Pepper X
  • Pepper X was created by Ed Currie
  • Currently, no legitimate Pepper X seeds are available for sale
  • Gator Sauce by Puckerbutt also has Pepper X listed as its top ingredient
  • Someone stole peppers from Ed Currie’s farm in 2017 after the announcement around Pepper X (unconfirmed which peppers were stolen)

That’s as far as we can get on facts alone.

Pepper X, What’s Debatable

  • Pepper X has a Scoville Heat Rating of 3.18 million SHUs: the public has not seen the evidence to substantiate this claim. In 2017 on its release, Ed Currie noted that they had sent Pepper X away to the Guinness Book of World Records for testing to surpass the Carolina Reaper and that by November of 2017 it would be confirmed, but this did not pan out. The current record is still the Carolina Reaper in at 1.641 million SHU.
  • Seeds for home growing of Pepper X will be available in the near/distant future
  • Ed Currie began the cross-breeding that led to Pepper X’s creation in 2007, as noted in a Heatonist interview

Where Can I Get Pepper X Seeds?

At this point, you can’t. Some sites say you can buy Pepper X seeds from them, but don’t be fooled. This is a Puckerbutt Pepper Company hybrid, so unless it’s coming from Puckerbutt Pepper Company, don’t trust it. Especially if someone is selling them on eBay (which someone is) don’t be fooled. Hybrid peppers typically need to get to stabilization before a reputable source will sell them which can sometimes take decades.

Typically noted as F1 or “first filial generation,” a hybrid creator will mix two plants together and generate a pepper that contains the genes of the hyrbid (the seeds are now considered F1). When those F1 seeds are planted, the creator will pick the fruits that best show off the characteristics they are going for with heat, flavor, shape, color, and so on. Once they pick the best they harvest the F2 seeds. This goes on and on until the creator feels they are stable. I tend to trust a seller that notes the generation of the pepper like Pepper Joe’s and their Golden Carolina Reaper. “Expect some variation from the Golden Carolina Reaper pepper as it is an unstable, new strain.  It’s in the fourth filial, going to the fifth filial (filial means generation), so you may see different results.”

We imagine that you’ll see some legit Pepper X seeds pop up in the next five years, but until then be skeptical when you see any Pepper X seeds available that aren’t from Puckerbutt Pepper Company.

Pepper X Is Real Because It’s In A Heatonist Sauce

Yes and no. While we’re no, there’s always the possibility that the whole thing is a marketing ploy where Heatonist teamed up with Ed Currie to continue feeding the heat seeking fandom that surrounds the extremely popular series “Hot Ones.” We choose to believe Pepper X is real, regardless of its affiliation with Heatonist. In general our stance is “what’s the point of lying about something like that?”

Did Ed Currie Lie About Pepper X?

There’s a whole lot of drama in the pepper hybrid world when it comes to Smokin’ Ed Currie, the first man to grow and sell the Carolina Reaper. Many point back to his getting of seeds from Troy Primeaux as a shady way to tweak the 7-Pot Primo into the Carolina Reaper everyone knows today. From interviews, Troy doesn’t seem to care much and overall neither do we since hey, when someone makes a new pepper we all win (though yes, we agree the actual creator should get credit where credit is due.

It is our hope and belief that Ed Currie did not lie about Pepper X (and the Apollo Pepper) and instead is going on information that he himself has. Without a doubt, Ed Currie is out there creating new hybrids every year, but the stability of those peppers is unknown. He has said himself numerous times that he sends peppers and sauces to universities to get them tested. The findings of those tests have yet to be released.

There are additional seed flareups around the Internet, the latest of which was with Jim Duffy and Khang Starr and the sales of KSLS.

Jim Morrow, well-known in the hot pepper seed community, also weighed in: “I’m not saying the pepper is fake. Never said that. Where’s the results. Keep in mind I do this for a living. I also believe they use extract in that bottom line where’s the test results where’s the test results where’s the test results you can make any claim you want to in the public that’s the same damn crap that they did with dragons breath. The people in England. Where’s the Southwestern laboratories chili institute lab tests. No one has seen them”

So did Ed Currie lie about Pepper X and its claims as the hottest pepper yet? No one can truly know until the test results are released.

Final Thoughts on Pepper X

Pepper X is a bit of a mystery, as is the Apollo pepper. Both are use in Heatonist sauces, but neither has much info for public consumption. There will remain an air of skepticism around Pepper X until test results are revealed, but until then we know two things to be true. First, don’t buy Pepper X seeds until they come from Puckerbutt. Second, Last Dab is still an ultra-hot hot sauce. We hope to someday update this page with new facts and information that name Pepper X the hottest pepper on record, but until then we’ll keep our eyes peeled.



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