Born Again Gardener
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Anyone growing Bhut Jolokia?

I would like to hear how you get on with this remarkable plant. I have some seeds and would appreciate hearing your stories.
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tedln
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Hi Born Again Gardener,

Happy to see a new member on this forum. We have a really good time discussing our hobby. I have always been fascinated by the United Kingdom allotment system and belong to an allotment forum in Great Britain.

In answer to your question, I don't think many United States gardeners are familiar with the Bhut Jolokia. I am really interested in them and will possibly plant some this spring. I simply find it hard to believe a pepper can be that much hotter than a habenero pepper. I think the habenero has a very unique taste. It is very different than most chilies. I am really curious about the taste of the Bhut Jolokia.

This forum is very, very slow right now because most North American garderners are hibernating for the winter. Not many gardens growing. Most people are ordering seed and planning their spring gardens. At my house in North Texas, the temp will drop to 15 degrees F. tonight. I know in England, you typically relate high temps in fahrenheit and low temps in celsius but I am not good with celcius temps. Stay on the forum and it will get busy in a couple of months.

Ted
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rainbowgardener
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Agree with all of what tedlin said.... welcome to our forum and do come back in spring when it will be much more active. There are tons of UK members here.

I had never heard of Bhut Jolokia, didn't even know it was a pepper, but then I don't grow hot peppers anyway, just sweet bells. But I looked it up, Wikipedia has a nice article on them here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhut_Jolokia_pepper

JEEZ!! 1 million Scoville heat units, where Tabasco sauce rates at 2,500! (Habaneros which we think are pretty hot are 100,000 or so)

What do you do with something like that, once you grow it? Sounds like not only couldn't you eat it, you wouldn't want to touch it. Here's a little piece from that Wiki article:

"In northeastern India, the peppers are smeared on fences or used in smoke bombs as a safety precaution to keep wild elephants at a distance. ... In 2009, scientists at India's Defence Research and Development Organisation announced plans to use the chillies in hand grenades, as a less lethal way to control rioters."

Less lethal than gunpowder maybe ....

One more bit from Wiki:

The pepper is used as a spice in food or eaten alone. One seed from a bhut jolokia can produce sustained intense pain sensations in the mouth for up to 30 minutes before subsiding.

So why would you eat it?

tedln
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As with habenero, the flavor intensity seems to track heat intensity. It is my hope the bhut can be deheated and the taste will remain. I love habenero sauce, but I can't eat a habenero pepper. If the bhut is the same, it may have a pretty unique taste. I won't know until I try. Most processing like cooking, and mixing with other ingredients seem to reduce the heat, but leave the taste.

Ted
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Born Again Gardener
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Thanks for replying to my post.

Sounds like you react to the winter in the same way as we do here; we'd be hiberbnating if we could. However, there are still seeds to be considered.

Its possible to start your chillie plants early, and with the tropical types, its advisable even, if you want a nice big crop.

I'm trying the Bhut Jolokia this year simply because I'm curious. And because I can. Not that I consider myself a 'chillie head' at all; they will most certainly be too hot for me. But if they are the hottest in the world I have to know! I too am hoping that the heat can be tempered with processing somehow, it would be nice to taste the pepper itself; chillie peppers usually taste good.

Tedlin. . I am in the Midlands, a well sheltered area of England. Tonight the temperature will just drop below freezing, and tomorrow rise to about 7 degrees (centrigrade that is) The UK is roughly 900 miles long from tip to tip and the climate is very diverse. Some areas can have very severe winters, whilst others may never see frost. Here minus 5 is about as cold as it gets, with the summer rarely exceeding 90. Yes you're right we do mix them up! (the same goes for ounces/grams, inches/centimeters, pints/litres . . everything in fact.

I look forward to this forum to coming to life; it will be so interesting to swap stories.
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a0c8c
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The little I know about the "Ghost Chili" makes me not want to grow it. When preparing it for dishes you MUST wear latex gloves or other hand protection as it's so hot it burns your hands. Not only that, if not prepared correctly or if you try to get to cocky eating it you can end up with third degree burns in your mouth. Any chile that causes third degree burns is not allowed in my house, and I love spicy food. Then again, you can buy pure capsaicin(15,000,000–16,000,000 Scovilles) at Whole Foods, and make something as hot as you want, if you have a death wish...
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

Born Again Gardener
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Third degree burns? Thats crazy.
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tedln
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Hey Born Again,

I once saw a video linked on the allotment forum about the bhut. An old dude in England drinking in a pub made a wager that he could eat one. The entire pub went outside and watched him. I have to give the guy credit. The video seemed about ten minutes long and they kept the camera on his face the entire time. I have never seen so many facial expressions in so short a time period. He had tears pouring from his eyes. His nose was running like a faucet. His face was changing colors but he never complained. When the heat began to subside, they asked him what he thought and he said not bad, not bad. He was determined to win that wager. I bet he is king of the hill in that pub for the rest of his life. (You can probably find the video by looking on google for "man eating bhut jalokia".

Ted
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TZ -OH6
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From what I gather they are a bit finicky, definitely needing warmth to sprout, and being a bit shy about setting fruit.

The most professional videos of someone eating them [for review purposes instead of for a drunken bet] are from Neil of TheHippySeedCo on You Tube.

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pharmerphil
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We have raised Bhuts for 3 consecutive years now,
Taste when fresh, A slight citrusy taste at first, then Very hot.
The Habanero pales in intensity and flavor.
Any hot pepper can be dangerous to handle, and rubber gloves are advised for any types, all canning and cooking books reccomend this, and always have, even before we knew about Bhuts, habanero's...it's just a good precaution, not a requirement
I have known folks who got blisters under their fingernails from MUCH MILDER peppers.
As for burns in your mouth, Possibly some folks could get this.

The Bhut Is a wonderful pepper, great tasting, can be used in any dish you make, You JUST NEED TO ADJUST the AMOUNT...
recipe sez: 1/4 tsp.
add a 1/4 of that, and taste/adjust.
We have sold pounds of the ground seeded pods to a local business that makes a "hot Mix" similair to chex mix...He uses less, has a better tasting/hotter product, and both He and the Wife and I are very happy with his success...

I can understand the confusion, TOMATOES...were once considered poisonous

Beastmaker
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Sitting here ready this thread munching on a freshly picked Serrano. Growing Bhuts right now, inside in containers - it's really in preparation for transplant to the outside once the snow and cold is gone. They are from 12-24 inches tall. The tallest has blossoms on it already - wondering if I'll get an early spring present. Been growing inside now for 2 years. VERY successful too. I've got a hot cherry plant over 2 foot with 11 peppers and around 25 more blossoms all in a DWC hydro set-up. I guess the 240w T5 grow/bloom light above it has help immensly this year.

Can't wait to check out the Bhut when it comes out. Might make some chili with one of those and a Scotch Bonnet. JUST ONE of each and see what it tastes like.

tedln
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I remember when the Habenero pepper was hard to locate in the states. I remember a program on chili peppers on the discovery channel which declared the Habenero to be the hottest pepper on earth. I remember friends in New York emailing me to send them some of those Habenero peppers or Habenero sauce. They assumed since I live in Texas, we probably have easy access to the Habenero. Now you can obtain Habenero products all over the place. The cuticles on my finger nails are still sensitive from stupidly trying to deseed some Haberneros without rubber gloves and that was probably three years ago.I wonder how long it will be before we can buy Bhut Jolokia seed from Burpee and plants at Walmart. I will be keeping my eyes open for the first Bhut Jolokia sauce to hit the market. I won't be deseeding them even with rubber gloves. I was really disappointed with the Habenero sauces. They diluted most of them so much you couldn't taste the pepper. They will probably do the same with the Bhut Jolokia sauces.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

dragonthumbs
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Re: Anyone growing Bhut Jolokia?

I am actually trying Scorpion Trinidads myself. Oh, hello. I am new :p

I'm from Ontario Canada and have been growing hot peppers for the past few years. I have to admit thought I am having trouble this year compared to the last couple of years with my seedlings. I've been battling seedling collapse. (More than likely from the jiffy pods I was using... NEVER AGAIN!) but those that have made it are doing well.

Here's a little tip that I am using this year. Soak your seeds in warm tea before planting. It really cuts down on the time it takes for them to germinate. I did this with many of my hot pepper seeds and found that they sprouted in a week and a half! That was really fast compared to last year. Just make certain the tea isn't too hot. Warm water works well too.
Oh, and when you plant, don't forget to put unlit matchsticks in the garden. Weird I know, but Pepper plants LOVE sulphur, the tip of the matchstick IS sulphur, great little trick to help your plant on its way. :D

gumbo2176
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Re: Anyone growing Bhut Jolokia?

I grew Trinidad Scorpion Butch T's last year and they overwintered and now putting out new peppers. I also have 1 of the 3 Habanero pepper plants to survive the winter and it is coming back strong. I also have 10 Carolina Reaper plants in small pots that are almost ready to go into the garden. Those have supplanted the Ghost Pepper as the World's Hottest and are close to and sometimes over 2 million Scoville Units.

To round out my pepper plants, I have several different types of sweet bell peppers, banana peppers and Hungarian Hot Wax peppers that can easily be confused with Banana Peppers------until you bite into them that is.

imafan26
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Re: Anyone growing Bhut Jolokia?

I just planted some Ghost peppers. The seeds are still very expensive but not as bad as a few years ago. The last ghosts I planted had some peppers with zero heat. It is not uncommon to find new hybrids to be unstable. I know when a Ghost pepper is hot because once when I handled the outside of a pepper my hands burned for 2 hours. I learned after that to make sure I wear gloves just in case. Even when I open a hot pod, my eyes will burn and I will start sneezing from just smelling it. By the way, the current hottest pepper is the Carolina Reaper at an average 1.59 million shu. The hottest reaper measured a whopping 2.2 million shu. The ghost pepper is between 960,000 and 1.1 million. A habenero pepper which was the reigning champ for a long time is a mere 250,000-300,000 SHU. Ghost peppers were used mostly for police grade pepper spray. The heat of a ghost pepper is misleading. It is not that hot when you first bite into it. It gets hotter as your body warms it up. Most people are sick for 15-20 minutes after that.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

SQWIB
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Re: Anyone growing Bhut Jolokia?

Yes, I'm growing them this year, 2nd year for me. Got the seeds from a member on a Smoking Forum.

Made some hot sauce that was actually pretty good. I try to add fruit to each sauce I make.

The Hot sauces are a little hobby of mine I try to make some every year.


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It's more of a conversation piece type thing, when friends and family are over having a few drinks we smoke some food, grab the hot sauce and some moonshine and have a blast.

I have a batch of Tabasco sitting on charred oak for a year, I'll add to it this year and bottle it next year or the year after.

Here's a link to my Hot Sauces for 2016

SQWIB
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Re: Anyone growing Bhut Jolokia?

Next year I'm gonna try an even hotter pepper!
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

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