What is ghost pepper spice level?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “What is ghost pepper spice level?”. We will also discuss what exactly is ghost pepper, why it is called ghost pepper, and its appearance. Moreover, we will also talk about the taste of ghost pepper and how they are used in cooking.

What is ghost pepper spice level?

The ghost pepper spice level ranges from 855,000 Scoville heat units to a huge 1,041,427 SHU, making it one of the hottest spices in the world. It is also a one-time Guinness Book of World Records champ. 

When we compare the spice level of ghost pepper to jalapeno which is also considered one of the hot peppers, the ghost pepper is 107 to 417 times hotter than the jalapenos. Even these mild jalapenos feel so spicy in our mouths, so you can only imagine how fiery the ghost pepper is.  

Even when we compare it to the intensely hot peppers like habanero or scotch bonnet whose Scoville heat units range from 100,000 to 350,000 SHU, the ghost pepper is still four to eight times hotter than them.

What is ghost pepper exactly?

The ghost pepper is a cross between Capsicum chinense and Capsicum frutescens. It is an interspecific hybrid chili pepper grown in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur in Northeast India. The ghost pepper is an incredibly variable plant that produces a wide range of fruit sizes. Depending on their ripeness, the peppers might be red, yellow, or orange.

Why is ghost pepper called so?

The name “Ghost pepper” comes from the Indian name of the spice “Bhut Jolokia”. Bhut means “ghost” in Hindi, while Jolokia translates to “pepper or chile.” However, since Northeast India is a linguistically varied region of the world, the ghost pepper is known by many distinct names in each region, including ghost chili, Red Naga chili, Naga Bhut Jolokia, Bhoot Jolokia, and many more.

The ghost pepper is known as bih jolokia by the people of Assam, another Indian state. Bih means “poison” in the Assamese language, and zolokia means “pepper”. The literal meaning or translation is Poison Pepper, referring to its intense hotness or spiciness. It also fits the actual fact that ghost peppers can be poisonous.

What do ghost peppers look like?

The ghost peppers have a pod-like appearance and are usually two to three inches long with a wrinkled and pock-marked surface. Like most hot peppers, ghost peppers are green and turn red as they mature. 

The peppers can vary from red, yellow, and orange depending on their ripeness, red ghost peppers being the hottest of them all. The pods have a tapering end, though not as sharply as the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion’s tail.

What do ghost peppers taste like?

The taste of ghost peppers is beyond the spiciness or heat. Unlike many other hot peppers, ghost pepper actually adds some flavors to your dish along with the heat of course. The heat of this chili pepper builds slowly, allowing you to enjoy the flavor for at least a few seconds before the hot bomb drops. 

They have a sweet, fruity flavor along with a faint smokiness to them. The flavors disappear once the heat starts kicking in. At the end you will be left with nothing but a burning sensation in your mouth that can last as long as 15 minutes. You will enjoy the spice if you can withstand the extreme level of heat. 

How are ghost peppers used in cooking?

Despite their intense heat, ghost peppers can still be used in varieties of dishes. Their spicy nature and fruity flavors are perfect for making hot sauces. In fact, the ghost pepper is one of the major hot pepper ingredients in some of the world’s most popular hot sauces. 

Ghost pepper sauces hit differently with their unique spicy and fruity combination. Since they are way hotter than most of the peppers used while cooking, a little goes a long way. Always handle the spice carefully with precaution. You can find the recipe for ghost pepper hot sauce here.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “What is ghost pepper spice level?”. We have also discussed what exactly is ghost pepper, why it is called ghost pepper, and its appearance. Moreover, we have also talked about the taste of ghost pepper and how they are used in cooking.