What’s the World’s Hottest Beef Jerky?

What’s the World’s Hottest Beef Jerky?

Everyone wants to be the best — the fastest, the strongest, the smartest and the bravest. It’s natural that we’d have entire institutions dedicated to finding, measuring and rewarding world record holders. 

But who holds all the beef jerky records? 

Who’s the best of the best? 

Whose jerky is the hottest of the hot?

Of course, we’ll probably have to wait a while before the Guinness Book of World Records makes finding the hottest beef jerky on the planet a priority. 

No beef jerky currently holds the title as the official hottest beef jerky in the world, but we did our own research. As merchants of the finest beef jerky, we pride ourselves on having the know-how to make these educated rankings! 

Folks widely contest the “Hottest Beef Jerky” title. Many may claim the name, but one jerky stands out among the rest. 

But first, let’s get educated. What puts the kick in spicy beef jerky?

What Makes Beef Jerky Hot?

To add flavor to beef jerky, manufacturers will add marinades and rubs during the jerky-making process. Of course, most beef jerky connoisseurs will keep their recipes close to their chest to beat the competition, but we know a few ingredients for certain. 

After all, for beef jerky aficionados, the secret is usually in the sauce!

By adding the world’s hottest peppers to their marinades and rubs, manufacturers can craft out-of-this-world, eye-watering, blood-pumping beef jerky. The spiciest foods and hot sauces contain peppers like the Carolina Reaper, bhut jolokia (aka the ghost pepper) and the Trinidad Scorpion. 

This practice is common in other industries as well. Have you ever heard of the world’s hottest chocolate? 

[Related: How to Make Beef Jerky: Your Guide to Homemade Beef Jerky]

The Scoville Scale

But to truly assess the “hotness” of beef jerky, you can’t rely on subjective opinion. A standardized system is in order. 

Anyone who loves spicy foods is likely familiar with the Scoville scale.

American pharmacist, chemist and award-winning researcher Wilbur Scoville created this rating system way back in 1912! We can also thank Scoville for being one of the first to mention milk as an appropriate antidote for pepper heat — in case you wondered how dairy entered the picture. 

Needless to say, the man did his research.

A jerky’s heat ranks according to its measure in Scoville units — a measurement based on the level of capsaicinoids in the final jerky product. Capsaicinoids are the compounds in peppers that create the heat you feel when eating them. 

Basically, the higher the capsaicinoid concentration, the hotter the beef jerky. 

[Related: Explore Different Types of Jerky Recipes With Our Tips]

The World’s Hottest Beef Jerky

So, what jerky has the highest Scoville scale rating? 

The world’s hottest beef jerky literally goes by the name The World’s Hottest Beef Jerky. The Key’s Family Butcher Shop in Van Buren, Arkansas makes this extreme treat. This family business has been making punch-packing jerky since 1952!

This positively destructive beef jerky boasts an impressive score of 15 million Scovilles. Even if it wasn’t officially named “World’s Hottest,” you’d be hard-pressed to find a beef jerky with a higher Scoville score.

The Key’s Family Butcher Shop makes this jerky from premium beef flank steak and a secret spice blend. This blend combines the Carolina Reaper, Trinidad Scorpion, ghost pepper and a new pepper made particularly for its astronomical capsaicinoid concentration. The ominously named “X-pepper” elevates this jerky to extreme levels of hot and spicy. 

[Related: Best Types of Jerky: Beyond Beef]

Explore the Jerky Universe

Have more jerky questions? We have more answers. 

Follow us on social and subscribe to our newsletter below to continue exploring the Jerky Universe!


Featured image via Pixabay

Back to blog