Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Guide: Heat, Flavor, Uses

What are Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers?

To say the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is hot would be like saying the surface of the sun is hot. It’s true, but you’d be really underselling it. This is a scorching hot pepper (1,200,000 to 2,000,000 Scoville heat units). It’s a chili that’s so hot people have to wear latex suits and gloves just to work with it without (many) side effects. It’s one of the hottest peppers in the world, only surpassed by the likes of the Carolina Reaper.

Trinidad moruga scorpion

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion fast facts

  • Scoville heat units (SHU): 1,200,000 – 2,000,000 SHU
  • Median heat: 1,600,000 SHU
  • Origin: Trinidad
  • Capsicum species: Chinense
  • Jalapeño reference scale: 150 to 800 times hotter
  • Use: Culinary
  • Size: Approximately 2 to 3 inches long, wrinkled with a stinger
  • Flavor: Sweet, Fruity

Well, how hot is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion?

If there could be a category on the Scoville scale named “sweat just thinking about them” hot, the Trinidad Scorpion pepper would be one of those leading the pack. These things make a jalapeño look like child’s play − on average they are 475 times hotter, ranging from 1,200,000 Scoville heat units to an eye-popping 2,000,000 SHU. Even the extremely hot habanero pepper is way distant in total heat. The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is at least 12 times hotter, with the potential for 20 times hotter if you get the right pepper.

What is the heat like?

Like most hot peppers, the heat of eating the pepper raw is not something that hits you right away. It takes some time to build. And when it starts, it builds for quite a long time. It’s sort of like a fire building from inside of you, and you most likely will experience hiccups, sweating, numbness and even more.

That’s hot! Why would anyone want to eat a Scorpion pepper?

Well, for chiliheads, the heat is something of a badge of honor. The hottest peppers in the world always get a lot of press and followers. In fact, for fans of super-hot peppers, it’s quite a rush to challenge their taste buds against this level of extreme heat. Though obviously, Scorpion peppers must be approached with serious caution. It’s so much hotter than you expect.

There are also well-documented health benefits for eating hot peppers, and the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is one of the top options around due to its high level of total capsaicin. In fact, those that work with Scorpion peppers (growing them or cooking with them) have to wear protective gloves, and quite often those gloves aren’t enough to keep their fingers from getting numb for days at a time due to the extreme levels of capsaicin in the peppers. Needless to say, there are easier hot peppers to digest in order to get capsaicin into your diet.

Plus, most people will never be eating a Scorpion pepper raw. It’s something that’ll be mixed into high-heat hot sauces and seasonings, so the heat will be tempered (a bit) from the mixing. And there’s actually a pretty tasty sweetness to this pepper that makes for some very flavorful and spicy hot sauces.

Where can you buy Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers, and what products are out there?

These are not chili peppers that you’ll find at your local grocery store, that’s for sure. More than likely, you won’t even find many of the products made with it either. You’re going to need to buy online (Amazon) to get the best options, including Trinidad Moruga Scorpion seeds, plants, dried Scorpion peppers, hot sauces, and seasonings.

For most people, their experience with this super hot chili will come in the form of those hot sauces. And there are some amazing ones out there. Plus, these hot sauces (like those of the ghost pepper) have some crazy fun names and bottle art, making them immediately collectible for the chiliheads in your family. Collectible hot sauces are also fun for barbecue enthusiasts and nearly anyone into spicy cooking.

So the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is no chili pepper to be trifled with lightly. Proceed with caution. But there are lots of surprisingly tasty (and mega-hot) sauces and seasonings through which you can try this bad boy of the chili world out. They’ll introduce you to flavors and heat that you’ve never experienced before.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on October 23, 2021 to include new content. It was originally published on July 6, 2013.