Grow Ghost Peppers for Heat and Flavor

comments (3) September 27th, 2016

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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Bhut Jolokia, also called the Ghost Pepper, looks as dangerous as its 1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units suggest.Click To Enlarge

Bhut Jolokia, also called the Ghost Pepper, looks as dangerous as its 1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units suggest.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

This is the first season I've been brave enough to plant a Ghost Pepper plant in my container vegetable garden. I'm not sure what possessed me to grow one of the hottest chile peppers on the planet, but now the time has come to harvest them.

Bhut Jolokia is a pod type chile from the C. chinense species that includes the cultivar called Naga Jolokia. In 2006 this chile made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the first chile pepper to exceed 1 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU). The Chile Pepper Institute in Las Cruces, New Mexico, conducted the testing.

Since then other chile peppers have passed them in SHUs, like Smokin' Ed's Carolina Reaper at 1.5 million SHUs. Other superhot peppers are also in the mix.

One of the features that I appreciate about Ghost Peppers is that they look as scary and dangerous as their reputation suggests. The chile peppers on my plant are oddly shaped, bumpy and lumpy, and they turned an angry red.

The heat profile for this chile pepper, as measured on the Chile Pepper Flavor Wheel is a heat that comes on slowly, but then lingers in the back of the throat. 

It's flavor is described as "very fruity, with mango notes and a tropical overtone." Ghost peppers can be used as an ingredient in salsas and barbeque sauces. These chiles can also be dried and ground into a chile powder, using extreme caution to protect the eyes, throat and lining of the nose!

Because these chile peppers are so intense, a small amount goes a long way. My container Ghost Pepper produced about a dozen peppers, but that might well be a lifetime supply.


posted in: chile pepper

Comments (3)

GiannaDow writes: awesome
Posted: 1:03 am on October 21st
EW2014 writes: One time i tried to eat ghost pepper I couldn't breathe for few seconds haha. It's really spicy!
Posted: 3:49 pm on October 2nd
EW2014 writes: One time i tried to eat ghost pepper I couldn't breathe for few seconds haha. It's really spicy!
Posted: 3:49 pm on October 2nd
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