We Taste-Test The Chilli Factory’s Hottest Sauce Ever [Video]

We Taste-Test The Chilli Factory’s Hottest Sauce Ever [Video]

Last week, we taste-tested an advance batch of the Chilli Factory’s most hellish concoction yet: the dubiously named ‘Reaper Paste’. The main ingredient is Carolina Reaper chillies — AKA the hottest pepper in the known universe. This is the story of eight men who sampled it and the hospitalisation that nearly ensued.

The Carolina Reaper is a hybrid chili pepper of the Capsicum chinense species that is grown in the same US state as its namesake. It currently holds the Guinness World Record as the hottest chili pepper known to man with a heat rating of up to 2.2 million Scoville units. To put that number into perspective, habanero chillies have a typical Scoville rating of 150,000 — which makes the Carolina Reaper nearly 15 times hotter.

The Carolina Reaper is described as having a fruity, sweet taste with a hint of cinnamon and chocolate undertones. However, without serious dilution the only flavour most people will experience is gum-searing pain.

The Australian-owned Chilli Factory is in the process of testing a new chilli paste that consists of an eye-watering 80 per cent Carolina Reapers, plus some vinegar for preservation and taste. Against our better judgement, we requested a batch of this vegetable-based lava fresh off the factory floor.

As the previous Guinness World Record holder for its Trinidad Scorpion strain, the company knows a thing or two about bottling extreme heat. The Reaper Paste is their most fiery offering to date — even hotter than Scorpion Strike BBQ sauce. It’s essentially supercharged holy water that turns you into a gibbering demon and then kills you.

To give customers an idea of what they’re in for, the Chilli Factory has slapped the Reaper Paste with a heat rating of ’15+’ out of ten. In other words, you’d have to be crazy to use this stuff as a dip… which is exactly what we went and did. Go hard, or stick to ketchup!

Here’s the video:

The above footage doesn’t give any indication of the horror that would later unfold. The paste tasted like fire going down and took ages to dissipate, but all in all it was pretty tolerable. This all changed around forty minutes later.

Here’s a sampling of reactions from those who lived to tell the tale:

Mark Serrels, Kotaku editor (the Scotsman):

The minute I put this godawful substance in my mouth I knew it was hot. Like instantly. Sometimes these chilli things take a while to get going, but this one was really, really hot from the outset, and then somehow found a way to get hotter. At one point I was just sitting there trying to meditate through the pain.

About an hour later, I felt an agonising churn at the base of my gut. I rushed to toilet by pure instinct and stood for like 30 seconds in front of that porcelain beast contemplating which end to point at it. One way or another, I was sure, that chilli was coming back out.

I was terrified of throwing something that hot back out through all those internal tubes, so I managed to hold it down. But seriously — that stuff is hardcore. Easily the hottest thing I’ve ever consumed.

Rob Hussey, Allure Media developer (the eerily calm bloke on the left):

The chili burn in the mouth was as expected, hot, but tolerable, whilst also maintaining some actual chili flavour rather than just the pure burn like from some of the other super-hot chili sauces/oils.

After around 30 mins, things started to get a little unexpected, with the chili mouth burn long passed, I suddenly started getting an intense burn within the chest, which I presume were the stomach acids getting a little lively and causing some heart-burn.

It was a little concerning for a few minutes as it just kept intensifying like my stomach acids were going into a meltdown, but after 10-15 minutes it all calmed down again. For a genuine hot but tasty sauce, I’d recommend.

Chris Jager, Lifehacker journalist (me):

Despite being Allure Media’s chief chilli aficionado, I think I copped it worse than anybody. Around 40 minutes after the Reaper Paste taste test, I headed out of the office to grab some lunch at the local markets, assuming that the worst was behind me. The worst hadn’t even started.

I barely made it up the road before a crippling stomach cramp set in. This was accompanied by a dizzying wave of nausea that literally floored me where I stood. The next ten minutes were spent writhing on Circular Quay boardwalk in a groaning, sweaty hell of my own making. At one point I even undid my pants in a fruitless bid to ease the agony. To the passersby giving me a wide berth, I must have looked like a psychotic in the midst of a drug-fueled mania — which wasn’t too far from the truth.

Eventually, I managed to will my limbs into motion and slowly hobbled back to the office while simultaneously holding my pants up. One shaky step at a time, I engaged in a Herculean journey across 50 metres of horizontal footpath. There were frequent stops. At one point, the pain was so excruciating that I seriously considered calling an ambulance.

I eventually made it to the cafe outside our building, requested a water and promptly sank back into the dirt. Two of the waitresses ended up carrying me to a chair where I received a pity serve of chamomile tea. I was physically unable to leave my seat for about half an hour and continued feeling dizzy for the rest of the day.
Best. Chilli. Ever.

The Chilli Factory Reaper Paste will make its official debut at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show from 10 April 2014.

See also: Chilli Challenge: What’s The Most Effective Way To Stop The Burning? | Taste-Test Video: Blair’s “Ultra Death” Chili Sauce


  • “The Carolina Reaper is a hybrid chili pepper of the Capsicum chinense species that is grown in the same US state as its namesake.” There is no such US state called Carolina nor Reaper. There is North Carolina and South Carolina though.

  • Chris, after the testing of all the chili remedies last month, you ended up with water on the table?

  • So, if I was doing a ground-beef-and-bean chili dish, is 5 tablespoons enough? Because that jar looks like it holds at least 6.

    • Depends on how much you’re making. If it’s to feed 2-to-4, a couple of tea spoons would probably give enough of a kick. This stuff is hardcore.

      • Whilst I was being quite idiotic in my comment, I do want to try this!

        I’m a massive chili fan, when I was in the states a while back I had a ghost chili sauce and loved it, so I might look into this.

        Good review btw!

  • from all the reaction videos ive seen online, yours just looks like you took general wasabi

    • Real wasabi’s crazy hot, though, isn’t it? Don’t know which I’d rather take (fake wasabi’s nasty enough, thanks!)

  • Chris, from one writer to another: your description of the aftermath was a joy to read, even if it was not a joy to experience. The ability to find humour in one’s pain seems to often lead to great written accounts.

  • Sooooo….

    What I wanna know… did it burn just as much going out as it did going in? Hottest thing I’ve eaten so far was one of those ‘Worlds hottest burgers’ in Brisbane around six months ago roughly. We went to the ‘off the wall diner’ and I split one of their burgers with a mate of mine (despite their insistance we don’t, due to only one pair of gloves lmao). Anyhow needless to say, neither of us got through even HALF of our half a burger each. *Way* too hot.

    And then a few hours later the fun started… and kept going… and I’m positive I lost a liver, a pancreas and a kidney or two with that epic battle with the toilet and all that straining and burning.

      • Sincerely laughed at the wording of that. It’s like it was hell on the way in, did its damage to you and left with a slight pat on the back lol.

        • I’m totally in an abusive relationship with this stuff – the tender exit keeps me coming back.

          • I think you just sold me on it lol. Though if there’s any screamings coming from my bathroom late at night due to it… they’re getting recorded and sent to the lifehacker office care of you!


    If you can read this whole story without laughing then there’s no hope for you. I was crying by the end.

    Note: Please take time to read this slowly.

    For those of you who have lived in Natal, you know how typical this is.
    They actually have a Curry Cook-off about June/July. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Royal Show in PMB.

    Judge #3 was an inexperienced food critic named Frank, who was visiting from America.

    Frank: ‘Recently, I was honoured to be selected as a judge at a
    Curry Cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment
    and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking for
    directions to the Beer Garden when the call came in. I was assured by
    the other two judges (Natal Indians) that the curry wouldn’t be all
    that spicy and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the
    tasting, so I accepted’.

    Here are the scorecard notes from the event:


    Judge # 1 — A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.

    Judge # 2 — Nice smooth tomato flavour. Very mild.

    Judge # 3 (Frank) — Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could
    remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the
    flames out. I hope that’s the worst one. These people are crazy.


    Judge # 1 — Smoky, with a hint of chicken. Slight chilli tang.

    Judge # 2 — Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

    Judge # 3 — Keep this out of the reach of children. I’m not sure what
    I’m supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who
    wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver! They had to rush in more beer
    when they saw the look on my face.


    Judge # 1 — Excellent firehouse curry. Great kick.

    Judge # 2 — A bit salty, good use of chilli peppers.

    Judge # 3 — Call 911. I’ve located a uranium pill. My nose feels like
    I have been snorting Drain Cleaner. Everyone knows the routine by now.
    Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my
    backbone is in the front part of my chest. I’m getting pissed from all the beer.


    Judge # 1 — Black bean curry with almost no spice. Disappointing.

    Judge # 2 — Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or
    other mild foods, not much of a curry..

    Judge # 3 — I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable
    to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Shareen, the beer maid, was standing
    behind me with fresh refills. That 200kg woman is starting to look HOT…just like
    this nuclear waste I’m eating! Is chill i an aphrodisiac?


    Judge # 1 — Meaty, strong curry. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding
    considerable kick. Very impressive.

    Judge # 2 — Average beef curry, could use more tomato. Must admit the
    chil li peppers make a strong statement.

    Judge # 3 — My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can
    no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics.
    The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chilli had given me brain

    Shareen saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher.

    I wonder if I’m burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked
    me to stop screaming. Screw them.


    Judge # 1 — Thin yet bold vegetarian variety curry. Good balance of spices and peppers.

    Judge # 2 — The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.

    Judge # 3 — My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous,
    sulphuric flames. I am definitely going to shit myself if I fart and I’m
    worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand
    behind me except that Shareen. Can’t feel my lips anymore. I need to
    wipe my arse with a snow cone ice-cream.


    Judge # 1 — A mediocre curry with too much reliance on canned peppers.

    Judge # 2 — Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chilli peppers
    at the last moment. (I should take note at this stage that I am worried about Judge # 3.
    He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably).

    Judge # 3 — You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I
    wouldn’t feel a thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds
    like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with curry which
    slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my
    shirt. At least, during the autopsy, they’ll know what killed me. I’ve
    decided to stop breathing – it’s too painful. Screw it; I’m not getting
    any oxygen anyway. If I need air I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch
    hole in my stomach.


    Judge # 1 — The perfect ending. This is a nice blend curry. Not too bold
    but spicy enough to declare its existence.

    Judge # 2 — This final entry is a good, balanced curry. Neither mild
    nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted,
    passed out, fell over and pulled the curry pot down on top of himself.
    Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor man, wonder how he’d have
    reacted to really hot curry?

    Judge # 3 – No Report.

  • The Reaper only had an average of 1.5mil. Not the fudging 2.2 mil you say. All chillis have a genetic range of heat, i.e. the hottest they can get, and the lowest they can get. The GBWR is based on the highest recorded. The ACTUAL record is for the highest average.

    NO CHILLI has a 2.2mil average.

    Also the Trinidad Scorpion (ButchT) is not, was not, a “strain” of the chilli factory. James “Butch” Taylor from Crosby Mississippi grew the strain. He sent seeds to Neil Smith at the Hippy Seed Company. Alex and Marcel bought some of these seeds that Neil marked “Trinidad Scorpion (ButchT)”.

    I also bought some seeds and had a crop growing. Neil was the one that alerted us all to this new superhot strain. Marcel and Alex merely had it tested.


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