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Record heat in Fort Mill! Pepper grower breaks his own world record

The heat of Smokin' Ed's Pepper X is to a jalapeno pepper what an RV weighs compared to 270 RVs.
 Julian Bracero
The heat of Smokin' Ed's Pepper X is to a jalapeno pepper what an RV weighs compared to 270 RVs.

Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper is no longer the world’s hottest pepper. Ed Currie, owner of Puckerbutt Pepper Co. in Fort Mill, has out-scorched himself with Pepper X.

At 2.7 million Scoville heat units – the standard unit of measure for spiciness in foods – Pepper X is the new Gunness World Record Holder for the hottest pepper on earth.

To get a sense of how hot Pepper X actually is, a standard jalapeno usually ranges in the 2,000 to 8,000 SHU. A habanero is usually around 10,000 SHU.

The Carolina Reaper, which held the world record for a decade, is about 1.6 million SHU.

“There’s an intense burn that happens immediately,” said Currie in a video on the First We Feast YouTube channel. “And then your head feels like, ‘Oh no, what’s going on?’ And then your body just starts reacting.”

If you want to enjoy (ahem) Pepper X, you can only do so as a sauce. The pepper is proprietary to Puckerbutt, and so the pepper it self, nor the seeds, will actually be sold.

Pepper X was developed in partnership with Heatonist hot sauces.

"This was a team effort," Currie said in a press release. "We knew we had something special, so I only let a few of my closest family and friends know what was really going on. The Heatonist Team, the Hot Ones Team, and the High River Team all had Faith in me and supported me, even when there was doubt. So I am honored and proud to have them be a part of the launch in Nashville."

Scott Morgan is the Upstate multimedia reporter for South Carolina Public Radio, based in Rock Hill. He cut his teeth as a newspaper reporter and editor in New Jersey before finding a home in public radio in Texas. Scott joined South Carolina Public Radio in March of 2019. His work has appeared in numerous national and regional publications as well as on NPR and MSNBC. He's won numerous state, regional, and national awards for his work including a national Edward R. Murrow.