14 Hottest Hot Sauces in the World

By: Mitch Ryan  | 
Person pours Tabasco on an oyster at the Paris Market in Bastille
Tabasco is one of the mildest hot sauces out there, clocking in at a gentle 3,750 Scoville Heat Units. Carlos Pereira M / Shutterstock

Some people brag about their tolerance for spicy foods, but how far have you really pushed your heat limits? The hit YouTube show Hot Ones, presented by First We Feast and hosted by interviewer Sean Evans, puts celebrities in the "hot seat," where they answer deeply researched questions while battling the slow burn of 10 wings tossed in increasingly spicy sauces made from the hottest peppers out there.

This creative format has provided fans with hours of entertainment and has sparked a wave of newly initiated hotheads looking to challenge their limits and find the hottest hot sauce in the world. If you can stand the heat, get in the kitchen and try some of these diabolical hot sauces.


How Do You Rank Spiciness?

The short answer is the Scoville scale, which uses high-performance liquid chromatography to objectively measure spice levels in the world's hottest peppers. Without the Scoville scale, you may have trouble conceiving just how hot some of the hottest sauces and extracts on this list actually are.

To put these behemoths into perspective, a fresh jalapeño pepper (which can make an average person sweat) barely reaches 10,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHUs). Pepper X peppers, which appear in a sauce towards the bottom of our list, top out at 3.18 million SHUs.


10 Hottest Hot Sauces in the World

No. 1: Pure Evil, 13 million SHUs

It's debatable whether you could even categorize Pure Evil's pure capsaicin drops as a hot sauce since it is a clear, flavorless food additive with a severe health warning. However, this concoction from the depths of hell uses extracts from the hottest peppers in the world to smash the heat rankings of other hot sauces by roughly 4 million (SHUs), topping out at a mind-numbing 13 million.

No. 2: Mad Dog 357, No. 9 Plutonium, 9 million SHUs

One of the most painfully hot pepper extracts on the market comes in at a close second: Mad Dog 357, No. 9 Plutonium. This diabolical formula from Ashley Food Company, Inc., drops a bomb on the Scoville scale at 9 million SHUs, earning its retro, biohazard packaging and a solid position near the top of our list of scorchers.


No. 3: The Source Hot Sauce, 7.1 million SHUs

This pepper extract (and collector's item) from Original Juan packs a serious wallop at an estimated 7.1 million Scoville heat units. The "extreme caution" labels and "only available to customers 18 and older" disclaimer should be enough warning not to take this third hottest hot sauce lightly.

The Source Hot Sauce comes in a little one-ounce bottle of liquid fury and a hefty price tag of $250, but this could easily be a lifetime investment since little goes a long way.

No. 4 (Tied): The End Hot Sauce, 6 million SHUs

The End Hot Sauce from Pepper Palace is one of the first "true" hot sauces on this list that you could consume directly — but sample this product at your own risk. Even the bravest consumers claim that the tiniest drop on your tongue brings tears to the eyes and a fiery burn that sizzles your taste buds with a seemingly endless barrage of heat waves.

Habanero peppers, Carolina reaper peppers, pepper extract and apple cider vinegar combine in a swirling, chaotic formula to pump out 6 million Scoville heat units, forcing the taster to wonder, "When will it end?"

No. 4 (Tied): Bumblef**ked Hot Sauce, 6 million SHUs

Bumblefoot's Bumblef**ked Hot Sauce is arguably the first selection on this list of the hottest hot sauces in the world that adds flavor to the inferno. Although most adventurous palettes will be hard-pressed to weather the storm and searing pain felt from confronting 6 million SHUs, a touch of Caribbean fruits and ginseng round out the kick-to-your-head burning sensation for a memorable culinary experience.

No. 4 (Tied): Get Bitten Black Mamba 6, 6 million SHUs

Cajohns Fiery Foods couldn't have picked a better name for their deadly blend of chocolate habaneros, vinegar and 6-million-SHU pepper extract. The chocolate pepper provides Get Bitten Black Mamba 6 with a rich, dark color profile that is anything but sweet. Handle with caution. This hot sauce has some serious bite.

No. 7 (Tied): Meet Your Maker Hot Sauce, 5 million SHUs

The Meet Your Maker "death sauce" from Sauceworks Co. comes in a miniature wooden coffin and a blood-red wax seal. If the branding of this extremely hot sauce hasn't already scared you away, the 5 million SHUs will likely have you running for the hills (or at least a glass of milk). Sauceworks crafts Meet Your Maker with a "haunting" mixture of ghost pepper, white wine vinegar, onion and garlic.

No. 7 (Tied): Mad Dog 357 Pepper Extract, 5 million SHUs

Tied for seventh place is another Mad Dog creation that has been barking loud and biting tastebuds for over 25 years. Topping out at an estimated 5 million Scoville heat units, this hot pepper food additive remains one of the hottest hot sauces in the world after almost three decades.

Fruit lovers may also enjoy the peach-pepper combo of the 357 Gold Edition, which offers a bit of sweetness to soften the hard-hitting Carolina reaper peppers.

No. 7 (Tied): Z Nothing Beyond Extremely Hot Sauce, 5 million SHUs

Cajohn's Fiery Foods is back with another banger in Z Nothing Beyond Extremely Hot Sauce. Even with an array of tropical fruits — including papaya, guava, pineapple and passion fruit — this hot sauce earns its namesake, hitting the Scoville scale at 4 million SHUs.

No. 7 (Tied): Mad Dog 44 Magnum, 5 million SHUs

It's safe to say that Mad Dog is a major contender in the industry, with three products landing on the list of hottest hot sauces in the world. Magnum 44 is one of their most palatable options, but even then, the company warns consumers to use it only as a food additive.

At 4 million SHUs, Mad Dog's 44 Magnum is about as intimidating as the one Clint Eastwood wielded in the 1970s Dirty Harry films. It's only right then to steal a line from the loose-cannon cop when thinking about staring down the barrel of this hot sauce: "You gotta' ask yourself one question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

No. 11: The Hottest Hot Sauce in the Universe, The 2nd Dimension, 3.5 million SHUs

Although The 2nd Dimension is not quite the hottest sauce in the universe (or even our planet, for that matter), its 3.5 million Scoville heat units are enough to turn your world on its head. This Pepper Palace masterpiece uses ghost peppers and additional aged red peppers and extracts to achieve more heat than is probably necessary for any sane person from this dimension or the next.

No. 12 (Tied): The Last Dab XXX, 3 million SHUs

The Last Dab XXX is the last sauce Sean Evans presents to his celebrity guests on Hot Ones. With the help of Puckerbutt Pepper Company mastermind and Guinness World Record holder "Smokin" Ed Currie and his three variants of the world's hottest pepper, the Hot Ones team developed this hall-of-fame hot sauce.

This symphony of spice includes Currie's Pepper X, Chocolate Pepper X and Peach Pepper X — a perfect recipe for memorable moments of A-listers sporting snot-nosed tears and lots of laughs for audiences everywhere.

No. 12 (Tied): LD50, 3 million SHUs

The LD of Pepper Palace's LD50 hot sauce stands for "lethal dose," and that's a pretty accurate title since this mixture of reapers and Trinidad scorpion peppers offers a blistering 3 million Scoville heat units. This sauce is unlikely to kill a full-grown adult, but it will undoubtedly wreak havoc on your taste buds for several hours.

No. 14: Reaper Squeezin's, 2.2 million SHUs

"Smokin" Ed is back at it again with his patented breed of Carolina reaper peppers. Reaper Squeezin's is the hottest option that Puckerbutt Pepper Company sells, clocking in at 2.2 million Scoville heat units and earning it the No. 14 spot on our list of hottest sauces.


Why Isn't Da' Bomb on the List?

Hot Ones fans, aka Spice Lords, are well aware that Mad Dog's Da' Bomb Beyond Insanity brings guests to their knees more reliably than any other sauce that's ever been on the show. So why isn't it on our list of the 10 hottest in the world?

The simple but surprising answer is that Da' Bomb doesn't measure very high on the Scoville scale; it tops out around a mere 130,000 SHUs.