Carolina Reaper chili peppers can widely vary in appearance depending on the soil and climate they are grown in. Most commonly found in an oblong shape with a signature scorpion's tail or defined point on the non-stem end, Carolina Reaper chile peppers average 2 to 5 centimeters in diameter and 5 to 7 centimeters in length. The pods are deeply wrinkled, creased, and twisted into gnarled shapes and the skin matures from green to bright red with a blistered, glossy appearance. The flesh is crisp and aqueous beneath the surface, containing a few round and flat, cream-colored seeds. Carolina Reaper chile peppers have a sweet, fruity taste with hints of cinnamon and chocolate, followed by a very intense heat that continues to build and lingers in the throat.
Carolina Reaper chile peppers are most commonly added to hot sauces or salsas as sweet flavors and intense heat. When blended into sauces, the peppers can be used to flavor chicken wings, cooked meats, pasta, Asian noodle dishes, chilis, stews, and soups. Carolina Reaper chile peppers can also be dried and ground into a powder and used as a spice. When handling fresh peppers, it is important to wear gloves to protect the skin from the potent capsaicin and if blending, use protective eyewear. Carolina Reaper chili peppers are scorching, and caution should be taken before consuming the pods as the peppers can cause visceral reactions within the body.
The peppers will keep 1-2 weeks when loosely wrapped in plastic and stored whole and unwashed in the refrigerator.