Sure it’s easy to say that a ghost pepper (Bhut Jolokia) is around 1,000,000 Scoville heat units, but what does that mean in reality? How hot is a ghost pepper? What does a million SHU look like when eaten?
Luckily, there’s YouTube and a whole bunch of extreme eaters out there. Lots of people have tested their taste buds against one of the hottest peppers in the world in either chili pepper dares, hot pepper contests, or via a ghost pepper prank. And they’ve been good enough to record these moments on video for all to see.
So how hot is a ghost pepper? Take a look at these three ghost pepper videos which show the slow extreme heat in action. As you’ll see, eating Bhut Jolokia fresh is NOT something to try at home. Use it in moderation, or better yet, stick to the ghost pepper hot sauces which typically dilute the spice, if only slightly.
A Million Prickly Needles on the Tongue
Ghost peppers are a slow heat – the spice builds up over time to an intensity few can manage. And this guy’s not one of the few. Even big guys can’t handle this tiny pepper! You’ll see he goes for milk. That’s the move to make over water. Water makes the heat feel worse while milk tends to coat the heat.
There’s a Fire Inside
As this guy can tell! He works through heat as best as he can, but the take away here is seeing him thirty minutes later when he’s feeling even worse. That’s the build up over time of the Bhut Jolokia. It’s not like other peppers. Think of it like a volcano that continues to build in intensity. Expect some down time as you recover.
Gordon Ramsay Meets The Ghost
Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape television show covered hot pepper pro Anandita Dutta Tamuli as she set herself to breaking her own world record for most Bhut Jolokia eaten in one sitting. That would be 60. To top it off, she created a NEW world record for most ghost peppers rubbed into eyes. That would be 24. Yes, you read that right, and that’s insane. That’s like spraying yourself with pepper spray over and over and not flinching. As an added bonus, check out Chef Ramsay taking a bite of the ghost before Ms. Tamuli goes about her business. It’s a great surprise reaction.