There are so many different varieties of chilli peppers and most of them can be used in making a Hot Sauce. The exception at least for me would be the ornamental peppers as they normally don’t have a unique or desirable taste.
I’ve added information on some of the chili varieties that I grow at home. Which include the fruity Fatalii Chili Pepper, Trinidad Scorpion Butch Chili peper, Chocolate Bhut Jolokias, Yellow Bhut Jolokias, the tasty Dorset Naga,Barrack Pore 7 Pod Chili Peppers and NagaBon Chili Peppers.
Trinidad Scorpion Chilli pepper
The new Guinness world record holder has just been handed the crown for the hottest pepper in the world. The prior record holder was the Bih Jolokia or Ghost Pepper. The official difference in heat between the two isn’t significant but when tasting the difference its another story, this is by far the hottest chilli pepper I’ve ever grown. Originating from Trinidad and with the distinctive scorpion stinger at the base of the pepper it’s easy to see where the Trinidad Scorpion got its name. Compared to the ghost pepper the trinidad scorpion has a much thicker pod wall and a lot more surface area for oil to accumulate on the inside of the pepper.
The taste is actually very good and I’d say it’s a unique taste. There’s a lot of yellow colored peppers and their taste can’t be differentiated from each other but the Trinidad Scorpion’s taste is refreshingly unique and stands out whereas most super hot chilli’s lack considerable flavor.
Over the last four years my Trinidad Scorpion plant has proven to be a hardy plant that thrives in most conditions but has proven to enjoy direct sunlight. The plants grow fast and over time the Trinidad Scorpion develop’s a dense canopy. The dense canopy can be thinned out towards the fruiting period of the season to maximize pod size and quantity. Unlike some of the other super hots the BT scorpion develops a very thick and strong branch network making it look as tough as it’s reputation for extreme heat.
The Trinidad Scorpion plant are prolific producers of chilli peppers that have nice thick walled fruit but I have found that the fruit size tend to be smaller. The Butch T Scorpion strain tends to produce pods throughout the entire season, it’s normally one of the first plants to start producing peppers and it’s always the last plant to finish.
I would definitely recommend growing the Trinidad Scorpion pepper for the use of making Hot Sauces. You will want to work with the mellow flavor of the pepper, it’s a clean taste without any bitter or tart tones. I like to make sauces with the Scorpion pepper that are either puree’s or have a very bland sweet taste like pears or apples.
Barrack Pore 7 Pod Chillies
If you can manage to track down some Barrack Pore 7 Pod seeds them snap them up, I wouldn’t rank it as the best plant I’ve ever grown but the chillies produced have a nice smooth after taste that I enjoy. The Barrack Pore chillies look very similar to Butch Trinidad Scorpions but without the stinger. The shape is very deformed, short and fat with lots of folds twisting then ending at the stubby base of the chilli. The wall thickness of the Barrack Pore 7 Pod chillies isn’t very exciting, I would say it’s half the thickness of a Scorpion.
The plant is a strong grower producing large leaves and decent amount of foliage. I’d still suggest tipping the plant a number of times early in the growing season then just let it be for the second half of the season. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of Chillies produced by my Barrack Pore 7 Pod plants, it doesn’t produce a copious amount of chillies but I would say it has the potential to produce a lot more than most plants (excluding the amazing Fatalli which can produce three to four times more than most chilli plants).
Okay so the big question is this going to be the new hottest chilli in the world? I would say no. It’s hot thats for sure but to give you an idea of the heat level I’ll let you know now that while typing this I’ve managed to eat about half of a rather large Barrack Pore 7 Pod chilli and I haven’t had to run off for a drink. There is some decent heat, after the first bite my lips were numb but there isn’t any stinging unmanageable pain happening.
Okay, straight away I have to say this, go and buy some seeds. The Nagabon Jolokia is the best pod producer I have ever seen. Neil from the Hippy Seed Company in Australia managed to cross a Bih Jolokia for heat with a Scotch Bonnet for size. All of my plants are producing large sized pods in seriously large quantities.
The only bad news is although its a four or five generation cross at this point it is still rather unstable. When planting a large number of Nagabon seeds you will definitely end up with some plants with different characteristics. I’d suggest planting more than you need for the first season and then cull any unfavorable variations at the end of the season. I grew four Nagabon Chilli plants this year, three produced very similar smooth, thick skinned pods and the other plant is producing pointy, thin walled spiky skinned pods.
This would be a great plant for most growers including first timers. The Nagabon plant grows very fast, produces at least 2 – 3 huge harvest throughout the season and is great for making sauces. One plant will produce a lot of Hot Sauce.
Dorset Naga Chilli Pepper
I still can’t understand why the the Dorset Naga is commonly overlooked by most chilli plant growers when their choosing a grow list for the season. The plants germination rates are rather low compared to most chilli plants so they are considered hard to grow, also the amount of peppers produced by each plant can be rather small in the first season of growth but the plants rather hardy and once established will produce a good number of very tasty peppers. Starting over four years ago the Dorset Naga was one of the first chilli plants I ever grew and I still have them growing today in my back yard.
The Dorset doesn’t seem to like direct sunlight, it has a very open structure and will need to be either positioned up against a wall or it will need to be supported by tying loosely to stakes. My Dorset Naga plants have at times produced too many pods and the plant couldn’t support the weight of the pods without the use of stakes to support the branches.
The actual Dorset Naga peppers are fairly thinned walled but aren’t quite as thin as peppers like the Ghost Pepper. The lanky nature of the plant isn’t good for pod production but what branches that are available will be packed tightly together. The pod size of the Dorset Naga varies a lot depending on the time of the season, early in the season they tend to produce stumpy pods that are close to a Bih Jolokia pepper but by the middle of the season the pod size is more likely to be longer and fatter.
The heat level of the Dorset is above the Fatalli but not by much, its still an extremely hot pepper and you won’t need many in a sauce to add a lot of heat.
But this is possibly one of my most favorite plants due to its flavor. In my opinion the Dorset Naga is by far the most flavorsome pepper available. The Hot pepper’s flavor binds well with tomato which is an ingredient commonly used by most sauce makers. Although the Dorset holds an enormous amount of heat when you make a sauce with this pepper its likely that the taste of the Dorset Naga will linger on the tongue for a long time.
Chocolate Bhut Jolokia Chillies
Overlooked by the masses the Chocolate Bhut Jolokia has a very subtle smooth taste, it’s an excellent addition to the grow list and to a Hot Sauce recipe. The Chocolate Bhut Jolokia plant is one of the tallest growing chilli plants I’ve ever grown, with my plant growing to over 6 foot during the season. The disappointing side to this tall growth is that the plant’s branch system is really spread out. Try to encourage branching early with this pepper plant otherwise your plant won’t be very productive towards the end of the season.
The pod wall of the Bhut Jolokia is rather thin compared to some of the other peppers like the Trinidad Scorpion chilli or the Fatalli pepper. I’ve had some Bhut Jolokia pods grown to over five inches in length. The Chocolate Bhut Jolokia does produce a large number of closely packed peppers through the season and tends to be one of the first and last plants to produce fruit.
The heat level of the Chocolate Bhut Jolokia is up there with the best, being a cross it’s not as hot as it’s famous cousin but it should be considered as extreme.
The Chocolate Bhut Jolokia flavor is great for Hot Sauces due to it’s mellow soft taste. When using this pepper in a Hot Sauce I don’t try to highlight the flavor of the pod, instead I add it to fairly rich flavors like BBBQ Sauces where a deep but subtle pepper flavor is favorable.
Fatalli Chilli Pepper
If your looking for an attractive dense chilli plant that produces a huge amount of hot peppers then the Fatalii plant is a great choice. They have yellow thick walled pod’s that are sweet and work perfectly in fruit based sauces especially in purees as their taste can be the highlight of a sauce. The Fatalli Chilli Pepper is a favorite of many growers due to extremely large yield of pods but the number one reason is that the Fatalli has probably the sweetest taste of most pepper varieties.
The Fatalii plants are very hardy chilli plants but dislike direct sunlight, they favor slightly shaded area’s and will produce copious amounts of chilli peppers. Try to encourage branching in the early stages of growth and you will get a lot more pods by the end of the season.
The Fatalii chilli peppers heat level is more of a painful tongue burn than a searing heat. It should not be taken lightly and is not too far off the heat level of the more famous superhots like the ghost pepper.
When making a sauce with Fatalli peppers I would try to highlight the taste of the pepper, its can easily hold its own as a puree so adding softly flavored ingredients like fruit to the sauce is a great idea.
Yellow Bhut Jolokia Chillies
The Yellow Bhut Jolokia chilli pepper is an off shoot of the wildly popular Bhut Jolokia. The bad news is that it’s lacking any just about every possible way.
Firstly the taste of a ripe Yellow Bhut Jolokia chilli pepper is very bland compared to other yellow chillies like the sweet Fatalii Chilli pepper and Bonda Ma Jacques. The taste of a Yellow Bhut is closer to a very plain capsicum, not sweet in any way.
Secondly the heat level, it’s a bit off the mark. When I think of Bhut’s it’s a scary thought, a red Bhut Jolokia Chilli pepper is a seriously hot pepper and a Yellow Bhut just doesn’t come close. I have talked to Neil from the Hippy Seed Company about the lack of heat and mentioned that the first season of growth for his Yellow Bhuts produced very mild Chillies but by the second year of growth the same plants produced extremely hot peppers.
The plants structure is rather lanky, it’s structure is comparable to Dorset Nagas. My suggestion would be to heavily tip the plant during the season to promote more branching and a thicker trunk.
As you can see in the picture the fruit size and volume produced is good. On average the pod size is around 2″ in length, my Yellow Bhuts are producing the largest pods out of all of the different super hot Chilli varieties I’m currently growing. The wall thickness is a bit thicker than most super hots, definitely thicker than say a Bih Jolokia but half of a Habanero chilli pepper.
A side note to keep in mind is that my Yellow Bhut Chilli seeds took an extraordinarily long amount of time to germinate. 100% of the seeds took and produced seedlings but I had to wait nearly two months for them to emerge.