Although the Carolina Grim Reaper and the Habanero pepper belong to the same species, they are very different from each other. If you’re trying to decide which of these peppers to grow, we really recommend growing them both. They are completely different in flavor and spiciness.

Carolina Reaper vs. Habanero

We have had great success growing Carolina Reaper and Habanero peppers. Let’s talk about the differences between the two varieties.

Although the history of the Habanero pepper is not 100% certain, it is known that this variety is native to the Amazon. Habanero pepper is named after the Cuban city of La Habana. Some may say that the origin of Carolina Reaper is a bit controversial, but we’ll save that conversation for another day.

Carolina Reaper was developed by the founder of the Puckerbutt Pepper, Ed Currie. The infamous Reaper is the result of a cross between two other varieties of Capsicum. It is a unique pepper that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who dares to taste it.

Mustard Habanero Habanero peppers come in different varieties. In the photo above you see a habanero mustard.

You can hardly compare the heat of these two peppers. Habanero pepper ranges from 100,000 to 350,000 SHU on the Scoville scale. Carolina Reaper, on the other hand, lowers the Scoville value to about 2.5 million.

The Carolina Grim Reaper is no slouch. It is currently considered the hottest chili pepper in the world. Don’t get me wrong, a good habanero has a whiplash, but it has nothing to do with the Carolina Grim Reaper.

We admit we’re not big fans of the Scoville scale. Growing up, we had habanero peppers at home that made us sweat and almost burst into tears. We also had habanero peppers from supermarkets that we could only describe as “fake.” These peppers were as hot as jalapeños.

Simply put, the heat rating of the habanero pepper varies, but the Caroline Grim Reaper will likely be much hotter (much hotter!).

There is no denying that habanero peppers are more versatile than the Carolina Reaper. We love a good hot sauce that kills, but we prefer to prepare our sauces with delicious habaneros and complementary tropical fruits.

If you’ve ever taken a bite of Carolina Reaper, you know that the flavor quickly drowns in the ridiculous, scorching heat on your taste buds. Most of the hottest sauces we’ve tried contain Carolina Reaper.

When it comes to hot sauce, it is often the flavors of the secondary ingredients and spices that outweigh the Carolina Reapers themselves. Carolina Reapers have a sweet initial flavor, but it can be difficult to appreciate the complexity of the initial flavor and the lingering burn.

Habanero peppers have a more floral and fruity flavor and are much more heat resistant. We love habanero peppers so much that we sometimes eat them marinated on pizza. But we would never do that with Carolina Reaper. It’s just not that kind of pepper. There is a time and place for Carolina Reaper, and it is not for the faint of heart.

It is not difficult to distinguish between these two peppers. Habanero peppers have a soft texture and their color varies from yellow to red, depending on the variety. We have several varieties that grow several inches long.

Carolina Reaper peppers are red and knobby, with a distinctive shape and sinister pointed tail. These peppers start out green and eventually turn red. They look as deadly as they taste. Like the habanero, the pods vary in size.

One of the most fun aspects of growing peppers is watching them change color. Here’s a photo of Carolina Reaper in its final stages of ripening.

Carolina Reaper Color change

As for growing peppers, we grow Habaneros and Carolina Reaper every year. We love the versatility of habanero peppers, but we also appreciate the challenge and novelty of growing a healthy plant, the Carolina Reaper.

Habanero plants are much more productive than Reaper plants. We harvested more Habanero peppers than we could use! Also read our article on using habanero peppers. Some of our (huge) cutting plants produced only a few healthy pods, while others were a bit more productive.

In our experience, Caroline’s cutting plants are more difficult to grow and maintain. Sometimes the plants become large and bushy with little fruit. They need a little more attention and tenderness. In the end, we think it is worthwhile to grow both.

We usually grow our peppers from seed, but there is nothing wrong with growing an established plant. There are many places on the Internet where you can buy pepper seeds for the Carolina Reaper and Habanero varieties.

If you are looking for fresh habanero peppers, you can happily find them at the grocery store or farm stand. However, they are not as spicy and tasty as locally grown peppers.

If you are in the market for Carolina Reaper capsules, you face a more difficult task. Don’t forget to check out our post for information on where to buy Carolina Ripers. The best option is to grow them yourself and freeze fresh capsules.

We hope this article has helped you learn more about the differences between Carolina Reaper and Habanero peppers. We hope you will want to grow both varieties so you can fully appreciate the unique character of these two peppers.

More information here:


Crystalyn loves spicy food and being creative in the kitchen. When she can’t find new ways to use hot sauce, she watches cat videos on the Internet.

Frequently asked questions

Is there a hotter pepper than the Carolina Grim Reaper?

Meet the dragon’s breath. Its creator expects it to become the hottest chili pepper in the world. It is much hotter than the revered Carolina Reaper, which currently holds the Guinness World Record for hottest chili pepper. … According to him, the dragon’s breath is estimated at 2.48 million by Scoville.

What will be the hottest chili on earth in 2020?

The hottest pepper of 2020 is the infamous Carolina Grim Reaper! Although many other competitors have entered the market in recent years, Reaper still holds the crown of the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s hottest chili pepper in 2020.

Which chili pepper is hotter than a habanero?

Habanero is a very hot pepper, with a Scoville heat of 100,000 to 350,000. Phantom pepper (also known as Bhut Jolokia) is much hotter with 855,000 to 1,041,427 Scoville Heat Units. Phantom peppers can be 2 to 10 times hotter, increasing the heat significantly.

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