Armadillo Pepper Simple Backyard Cooking & Sauce Reviews
The Backyard Southern Gourmet

Ed Currie's Carolina Reaper Sauces Now Available at Armadillo Pepper

Ed Currie Carolina Reaper Sauces

By now, most true pepper heads have heard about Ed Currie's world-record Carolina Reaper pepper (a.k.a. HP22B pepper). At Armadillo Pepper, we are proud to announce that all of the Carolina Reaper hot sauces, salsa and pepper jelly made by Ed Currie's PuckerButt Pepper Company are now available at Armadillo Pepper.That's right, we are even the very first company to offer PuckerButt's The Reaper Hot Sauce!

The Reaper Hot Sauce

In November 2013, Guinness World Records announced that the hottest pepper in the world is Smokin' Ed's Carolina Reaper (a.k.a ", grown by The PuckerButt Pepper Company, which rates at an average of 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) and some peppers exceeding 2 million Scoville Heat Units.

Ed Currie worked on this pepper for over 5 years. If you can get past the heat, the pepper has subtle hints of chocolate and cinnamon with floral overtones and an earthy base/ Ed has a genuine interest in creating hot peppers and to create extreme hot peppers for their potential in attacking cancer (not a medical claim).

Armadillo Pepper offers PuckerButt's The Reaper Hot Sauce, The Reaper Puree, I Dare You Stupit Hot Sauce, Purgatory Hot Sauce, I Dare You Stupit Salsa and I Dare You Stupit Pepper Jelly.....all made with the world record Carolina Reaper pepper.

Have you tried the Carolina Reaper? If so, let us know your impression!

Gallon Size Honey Now Available at Armadillo Pepper

Orange Blossom Honey Gallon

You spoke and we listened. Many of our customers that regularly use honey had requested that we carry larger sizes which are more economical. Armadillo Pepper is pleased to announce that we now have 1 gallon jugs of honey available.

We currently have Orange Blossom and Wildflower available in the 1 gallon sizes. Orange Blossom honey has a sweet, medium flavor and carries a hint of the heady aroma of orange blossoms. This honey is produced here in Florida.

The other gallon size that we are offering is Wildflower honey. Because the mix of flowers in blooms varies each year (highly dependent on weather) the taste will vary from year-to-year. Wildflower honey is usually a little darker that some of the other honey varietals with a rich, sweet and sometimes slightly stronger honey taste.

1 Gallon Wildflower Honey

Gallon jug sizes are much more economical for the person who regularly uses honey such as someone who takes honey in their tea or coffee every day. Gallon jugs are also more economical for all of the Mead makers out there. In recent years, the home-making of Mead has gained a resurgence in popularity.

Armadillo Pepper is already a leading retailer of honey on the internet. We offer over 40 different types of honeys plus a variety of honey gifts. In the next few months we also plan to add Gallberry and Tupelo honey in the 1 gallon jug sizes. So, please check back with Armadillo Pepper for more honey types in the not so distant future!

Scoville Pepper Scale

Hot Pepper Heat Scale

What's the hottest pepper? How hot is a your favorite pepper? For any specific pepper the heat level will vary depending on many factors such as where was the pepper grown, the amount of moisture it receives and amount of sun, etc. Although heat intensity will vary among a group of the same type of peppers (e.g. jalapenos grown in Florida vs. jalapenos grown in New Mexico) and the heat level obviously varies depending on the type of pepper (e.g. Jalapeno Peppers vs. Ghost Peppers) there is a universally accepted "heat measurement system" referred to as the Scoville scale.

Ghost Peppers

The Scoville Pepper Scale identifies a numeric value of "hotness" for any chile pepper. Named after pharmacist Wilbur Scoville, who in 1912 came up with today's standard for measuring heat in the peppers that we all love.

The Scoville scale measures the amount of capsaicin (pronounced cap-SAY-sin or you may hear cap-SAY-i-sin) that each type of pepper contains (technically speaking it is the amount of capsaicin per unit of dried pepper weight). Simply stated capsaicin is the stuff that makes a pepper hot. The number of Scoville heat units (SHU) indicates the amount of capsaicin in the pepper.

Habanero Peppers

So, how does one determine the number of Scoville heat units in a pepper? The standard approach takes a solution of pepper extract from each pepper and then dilutes it in sugar syrup until the "heat" is no longer detectable to a panel of taste testers (typically 5 tasters). The degree of dilution equates to a measure on Wilbur's "Scoville" scale. To illustrate how this works, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (currently the world's hottest pepper) peaks at 2,009,231 SHU's. This means you have to dilute the pepper extract over 2,000,000 times before the capsaicin is not detectable to your taste buds.

Is 2,000,000 SHU's a lot? Although SHU's for any pepper will vary based on several factors as we mentioned earlier, most people are familiar with jalapeno peppers which typically have 4,000 to 5,000 SHU's (jalapenos can actually vary in SHU's from 3,500 to 8,000). So, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper is approximately 400 to 500 times hotter than a jalapeno pepper. In comparison common grade pepper spray is similar to the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion at approximately 2,000,000 Scoville Units. Police grade pepper spray is around 5,000,000 Scoville Units.

Cow Horn Peppers

So, what is the hottest pepper in the world? In the last few years we've had three lead changes. The Bhut Jolokia (a.k.a. Ghost Pepper) originally from India was the hottest pepper. But, in early 2012 the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion from the Caribbean became the world's hottest pepper. Now, as of November 2013, Ed Currie's Carolina Reaper was crowned with the honor of world's hottest pepper. How hot is your favorite chile pepper? Refer to Armadillo Pepper's Scoville Pepper Scale to see the heat level of the most popular peppers.

This post was updated in January 2014 to represent the Carolina Reaper as the World's Hottest Pepper.

Carolina Reaper - New, World's Hottest Pepper!

Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce

After a couple of years of feuding in the hot sauce community it is now official. According to Guinness World Book of Record's, Smokin Ed's 'Carolina Reaper', grown by The PuckerButt Pepper Company is now the hottest in the world. As most know, the Moruga Scorpion had been the world's hottest pepper until now.

The Carolina Reaper averages 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), according to tests conducted by Winthrop University in South Carolina, USA, throughout 2012. How hot is 1.5 million SHU's. It's more than 100 times hotter than a Jalapeno Pepper.

Armadillo Pepper offers a variety of Carolina Reaper Hot Sauces ranging from savory to insanely hot, including well known hot sauce maker CaJohns Reaper Sling Blade hot sauce and Reaper Puree. Also, available are Evil Seed's God's of Thunder (savory) and their "no name" blueberry Carolina Reaper hot sauce which is scorching hot!

Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce Gift
And, if you are looking for the ultimate hot sauce gift this year we even have the Armadillo Pepper Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce Gift Box.

If you would like to learn more about Ed Currie's quest to make his Carolina Reaper the hottest pepper in the world then check out this article at ABC News. If you want to try one of the new Carolina Reaper Hot Sauces then visit us at Armadillo Pepper.

6 Ways to Use Pepper Jelly

With the holidays approaching everyone is always looking for quick and easy appetizers for their guests. Today, I will show you six different ways use pepper jelly, but don’t limit this versatile spread to only the holidays and appetizers. Pepper jelly can be used to enhance your dishes throughout the year and works equally well on some of your favorite entrees. (There's a video below that shows you how to use pepper jelly for all these dishes.)

Probably the most popular and easiest way to use pepper jelly is on a block of cream cheese as an appetizer. Some relatives or friends pop-in unannounced simply put some cream cheese in the center of a plate, spread your favorite pita chips or crackers around the cream cheese and then pour the pepper jelly on top of the cream cheese. I like to use Blackberry or Blueberry pepper jelly for this appetizer.

Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly Appetizer

Another easy and great way to use pepper jelly is with Jalapeno Poppers. Of course you can make the poppers from scratch or when in a hurry grab some of the frozen ones. Simply prepare your poppers, plate and add a dipping dish with pepper jelly. I like a habanero pepper jelly or jalapeno pepper jelly with poppers.

Number 3 on our list today is using pepper jelly as a dip for Coconut Shrimp. This is probably my second most favorite way to pair pepper jelly. The sweetness of the coconut along with the sweet heat of the pepper jelly is something that leave our guests always asking "How do you make this"? Two of my favorite pepper jellies with the shrimp are One Screw Loose Brew Ha Habanero Beer Pepper Jelly Rub and One Screw Orange Apparition Pepper Jelly.

Coconut Shrimp with Pepper Jelly

Looking for a way to give your guests something they've not had? Grilled pineapple with pepper jelly glaze (you can find the recipe here) can be a wonderful appetizer or served as a side. The char flavor coupled with the sweet pineapple and heat from the pepper jelly always makes a lasting impression. For this dish I like to use a blueberry pepper jelly or (for those who like more heat) Heartbreaking Dawns Strawberry Trail Preserves. As pepper jellies go, Strawberry Trail Preserves is hot due to the use of scorpion peppers.

Everyone has had meatballs in grape jelly either at a wedding reception or large event. Of course you can throw the meatballs in the crock pot and add pepper jelly for an updated recipe, but why not add an entirely new twist to this old favorite. I like to wrap meatballs with bacon an grill, then glaze your bacon-wrapped meatballs with pepper jelly (see our Bacon Wrapped Meatballs with Pepper Jelly Glaze recipe). For this tasty treat, I like to glaze the meatballs with a heartier pepper jelly such as One Screw Loose Cup O Joe Lapeno Coffee Pepper Jelly.

Bacon Wrapped Meatballs with Pepper Jelly Glaze

Last, but not favorite way to use pepper a topping on vanilla ice cream. The taste sensation from the cold sweetness of the ice cream and the sweet heat of the pepper jelly is almost indescribable. This is one way to user pepper jelly where you can use a hotter pepper jelly. I have seen people who find a particular pepper jelly too hot, but enjoy it with ice cream. If you only try one of my ways to use pepper jelly make it this one!

Ice Cream with Pepper Jelly Topping

In our Ways to Use Pepper Jelly video, Donna shows you some of our favorite dishes to pair with pepper jelly.

Have any favorite ways of your own for using pepper jelly? Please let us know.

Heartbreaking Dawns 1498 Trinidad Scorpion Hot Sauce Review

Heartbreaking Dawns 1498 Scorpion Pepper Sauce Review

Today we are reviewing Heartbreaking Dawns 1498 Trinidad Scorpion Hot Sauce. 1498 was the same year Columbus landed in Trinidad and Heartbreaking Dawns has taken fresh Trinidad Scorpion Peppers and added apricot, blueberry and carrot for a unique flavor.

For those not yet familiar with Heartbreaking Dawns, the company is from Hudson Valley, New York and owned/operated by husband and wife team Chef Johnny and Nicole McLaughlin.

In the same tradition of other Heartbreaking Dawns sauces, the label of 1498 has a very modern, artistic design that includes a naked lady and skeleton drinking from a martini glass.

The bottle 5 ounces with ingredients: Trinidad Scorpion Peppers, Scotch Bonnet Peppers, Cider Vinegar, Apricot Preserves, Water, Blueberries, Carrots, Honey, Onion, Soy Sauce, Sea Salt, Garlic, Ginger, White Pepper. All Natural. Preservative Free.

The color of this sauce is a nice brown color. After you open the bottle and pour some of the sauce you will see chunks in the sauce from the peppers. The initial aroma is vinegar and soy sauce. On first taste you will get a tang from the apple cider vinegar and blueberries. You can definitely taste the blueberries. Of course all of these flavors are coming at you along with the heat. The heat on this sauce is around 7 out of 10 for pepper heads and for casual hot sauce tasters the heat level is a 9 out of 10.

For our complete review of Heartbreaking Dawns 1498 Trinidad Scorpion Hot Sauce please see the video below.

Like Grapefruits? Try a Pomelo!


This past weekend I stopped by a Farmer's Market and was introduced to the Pomelo. I usually write about fiery foods and backyard barbecuing, but found this interesting fruit worth mentioning. What is a pomelo? Pomelos are the largest of the citrus fruits and native to South and Southeast Asia. These fruits are usually yellow when ripe and have a white to pink flesh.

Pomelos are similar to grapefruits (which are believed to be a cross of pomelos and oranges), but much larger and also have a thicker yellow skin. The pomelo is also similar in flavor to the grapefruit, but not as sour. It has a sweeter taste. Although pomelos are not as well-known as the grapefruit, th

A single pomelo (600g) has over 600% of the Vitamin C and over 20% of the fiber recommended for a single day, but only a little more than 200 calories.


Pomelos have become more readily available in recent years due to commercial exportation orchards in warmer climates around the world including here in Florida. The fruit remains the most popular in it's deeply rooted Asian cultures and cuisines.

I find the simplest way to remove the thick skin is to score the pomelo with a paring knife. Make 4 separate, circular cuts completely around the pomelo. Then, you will be able to peel away the thick skin.

Polmelo with Peel Removed

Once the skin is removed, I peeled away the cut sections much like you would eat an orange. I've always been a fan of grapefruits and although the polmelo is similar I found it to not be very tart like grapefruits. It was a very pleasant surprise. Because the fruit is large, half of it can be sealed in a container and placed in the refrigerator for a snack the next day. If you get the chance to try a pomelo, I strongly recommend you give one a try.


5 Steps to Grill Chicken with Bob Gibson White Bar-B-Q Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Bob Gibson White BBQ Sauce

If you haven't sat down with some chicken and Big Bob Gibson White Bar-B-Q Sauce then you might want to add it to your bucket list. For those not familiar with white BBQ sauce, there is often some hesitation when its mentioned; however, white sauce with its tangy, pepper taste pairs perfectly with chicken.

Diners have been enjoying chicken dipped in white BBQ Sauce at Big Bob Gibson's Alabama restaurant since 1925. Their white sauce has collected the 1st Place award at the American Royal Barbeque Contest in Kansas City, Missouri.

This is an easy recipe and the whole family will enjoy. Simply follow my 5 easy steps below and you can grill delicious chicken breasts using Bob Gibson White Bar-B-Q Sauce.

Step 1. Season the chicken
You can make your own seasoning blend using many of the recipes that are available on-line or some excellent prepared chicken rubs are Virginia Coastal Poultry Rub, Stubb's Chicken Spice Rub and what I am using today, Knox Yummy Chicken Rub (all of these are available at Armadillo Pepper).

Chicken Seasoning & Rub

Step 2 Heat your grill on high for at least 10 minutes
Set all of the burners to "max" and bring the grill to over 450 degrees. We will sear the chicken initially to seal in the juices.

Step 3 Apply a light coating of oil to the grill grates

Apply a light coating of oil to the grill grates which will help prevent the chicken from sticking. Be careful during this step. If you drip oil through the grates you will cause flare-ups on your grill and you could get burned if you are not paying attention. I use a paper towel with a light coating of oil to minimize flare-up.

Grilled Chicken Breasts

Step 4 Grill the chicken breasts
Place the chicken breasts on the grill using tongs. Don't use a fork because inserting holes in the chicken will allow juices to escape during grilling. Grill on high for 5 minutes, then flip the chicken breasts and grill for 5 more minutes. You should now have nice grill color on each side. Next, turn your grill down to medium low and now cook the chicken for 20 to 30 minutes turning a few times to prevent burning. To determine when your chicken is ready, cook until the internal temperature (using a good thermometer) is 165 degrees F.

Step 5 Dip the chicken breasts in the Bob Gibson White Bar-B-Q Sauce
I like to pour the sauce in a baking dish or bowl. With your tongs remove each chicken breast from the grill, dip in the white BBQ Sauce and plate. Let the chicken breasts rest for at least 5 minutes.

Chicken dipped in Bob Gibson white BBQ Sauce

That's all you need to do to experience an Alabama tradition of tangy white BBQ sauce with your grilled chicken. To see all of the steps in more detail watch our How to Grill Chicken with Big Bob Gibson White Bar-B-Q Sauce below.

Mad Dog 357 No. 9 Plutonium 9 Million Scoville Pepper Extract

Mad Dog 357 No. 9 Plutonium 9 Million Scoville Pepper Extract

The same company that brings us the Mad Dog 357 Hot Sauces and Pepper Extracts has introduced Mad Dog 357 No. 9 Plutonium 9 Million Scoville Pepper Extract. This is now the world's hottest pepper extract and is available at Armadillo Pepper.

Mad Dog 357 Plutonium No. 9 is a highly-refined extract of peppers from all over the globe. Processing for one bottle of Plutonium No. 9 starts with 1,000 ounces of raw peppers and ends up with 1 ounce of power-packed extract that registers 9,000,000 on the Scoville scale. This is 450% hotter than the hottest, known Scorpion Pepper.

As with all hot pepper extracts, Mad Dog Plutonium No. 9 must be handled with extreme care and caution. According to the manufacturer, "This extract truly is dangerous, which is why the box contains a six-point disclaimer about how not to use it, with phrases such as: “can cause serious injury if directly consumed, ingested or applied to the body” and “I fully understand the potential danger if used or handled improperly” and “If I give this product as a gift, I will make the recipient fully aware of the potential danger if used or handled improperly.” The manufacturer also advises to never use more than one drop in any food or consume it directly.

This pepper extract is targeted to the hot pepper collector and chile head aficionado, the individual who must have the very best (in this case very hottest)! Released just in time for the holiday shopping season, Mad Dog 357 Plutonium No. 9 will certainly be on the wish list of many pepper lovers.

You can purchase Mad Dog 357 No. 9 Plutonium 9 Million Scoville Pepper Extract at Armadillo Pepper, but you must be 18 years of age and agree to a product disclaimer. After all, this is the world's hottest pepper extract! USE CAUTION.

Use Caution with Hot Pepper Extract

How to Grill Filet Mignon with 4 Rivers Smokehouse Coffee Rub

Filet Mignon with 4 Rivers Coffee Rub

One of the most expensive cuts of beef is Filet Mignon. Because of the cost many folks are a bit intimidated to grill this steak. Using my 5 simple steps and a little 4 Rivers Smokehouse Coffee Rub, I will show you how to grill an awesome Filet Mignon every time.

First, why is Filet Mignon so expensive? Once you understand that only a very small portion comes from a cow as the "Filet Mignon" this becomes quite easy to understand. Filet Mignon is taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin of typically a heifer or steer. The tenderloin (not to be confused with the short loin) runs along both sides of the spine, and is usually harvested as two long snake-shaped cuts of beef. A typical cow produces 1 lb to no more than 5 lbs of Filet Mignon. So, it is a very small percentage of a cow and from Econ 101, low quantity and high demand = expensive.

Cow showing Filet Mignon

Cooking an awesome filet is really quite easy as long as you follow a few simple steps.

These steaks are thick, so step 1 is "Set the Filet Mignon out at room temperature for 45 minutes". Because these steaks are so thick, if you remove from the refrigerator and place on the grill the center will be much colder than the outside. As a result, your steak will not cook properly. You want the entire steak to be the same temperature.

Step 2. There are many opinions about seasoning steak. Traditionalists say that a real steak needs no seasoning. Others say only salt and pepper and yet another crowd seasons, sauces, etc. I definitely believe a good steak should not require sauce, but do like to add some mild seasoning while grilling. That's why at a minimum I always use salt and pepper and today really appreciate this 4 Rivers Smokehouse Coffee Rub. This seasoning blend was formulated specifically for steak. The coffee flavor is subtle while at the same time really enhances the flavor of the Filet Mignon.

Filet Mignon seasoned with 4 Rivers Coffee Rub

You can season your steaks while they are coming up to room temperature. There is no need to re-season before you place of the grill. You don't want to overwhelm the steaks with too much seasoning.

Step 3 is to set your grill to high. Now, your biggest decision is to decide how you want to cook these. Personally, I would strongly encourage you to cook to medium-rare and certainly no more than medium. If you are well-done or well steak eater, then I suggest you select a thinner cut of beef. To cook a Filet Mignon to medium-well or well requires you to cook the steak so long it almost always ends up tough.

Step 4 is to grill these steaks 8 to 10 minutes on each side to achieve medium rare. You can read many on-line articles instructing you how to cook and turn these steaks. Cook for 4 minutes, turn 1/4 turn for 5 minutes, turn the steak over and repeat. This if fine for "general guidance", but quite frankly if you are using bacon wrapped Filet Mignon like I am you will find it difficult to meet those times without burning the steak on one side. The problem is  that you are grilling on high heat and the bacon fat drips onto the fire and causes flames to flare up. If you don't move the steak then you run the risk of burning a side.

Filet Mignon on Grill

Some guidelines to achieve the best possible grilled Filet Mignon.
  • If you are using bacon wrapped steaks, then place them far apart on the grill. This helps to minimize grill flare-up in a location.
  • Don't worry if you have the perfect "criss-cross" on your steaks. Focus on cooking and a nice char.
  • Do use a high temperature on your gill. You do not want to drag out the cooking time and run the risk of a dry steak. The longer the steak cooks, the less juicier.
  • Don't poke holes in the steak (with a fork) and let the juices escape.
  • Grill your steaks with the grill lid open. If the grill lid is closed you can't see flare-ups which may burn your steak.

The 5th and final step is to let your steak rest after removing from the grill. The steak has been moved from room temperature to extremely high heat on your grill. The juices inside the steak have worked their way toward the outer edges of the steak. As tempting as it is to cut the steak, let is rest for at least 5 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute back through the steak and give your steak the best possible opportunity to be juicy when you cut it!

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