A Friend Has Challenged Me To Eat A Raw Carolina Reaper - Surely I Can Game This And Do It Safely?

As you can see by reading the thread title, a friend is offering me a very generous reward* if I’ll eat one of his Carolina Reaper peppers raw. I figure that, using the collective resources of the Straight Dope’s medicine, chemistry, and botany communities, there has to be a way that I can game this to my advantage and do it safely**.

Here’s what I’m thinking: spray Chloraseptic throat spray all over every square micrometer of my mouth and even as far down my throat as I can comfortably get it. Then, cut the pepper in half, coat it with KY Jelly, and down each half in one go. I figure between the numbing agent in my mouth and the lubricant on the pepper, I should be able to get it down with minimal capsaicin getting a chance to bind to my mucus membranes. Then, wash it all down with a shot of Vodka - capsaicin being akin to an oil, and alcohol being a solvent.

Am I on the right track here? Or is my plan a one-way ticket to pain and misery?

*My friend is the Dungeon Master, and he’s offering me unlimited Fire Breath potions for the remainder of my character’s life.

** “Safely” here being relative, as capsaicin won’t kill me, but it will likely make me wish I was dead. So here “safely” means “in a way that won’t make me wish I was dead.”

Since this must remain speculative without making the experiment, let’s move this to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

I’m thinking that getting it in is only half the battle. I’ll bet that getting it back out is gonna be quite the experience.

But that too shall pass? :wink:

I don’t know if your strategy will work for ingesting the peppers, but don’t forget the effects at the other end. Not all the capsaicin will be digested, so you may wish you were dead the next day.

Do the conditions of the challenge allow you to modify the pepper in any way you want so long as it is still raw? If so, I can think of things more effective than coating it in KY jelly.

Seems like dissolving the capsaicin with alcohol seems like a bad call. You don’t want to spread it out more, do you? Instead, I think there are chemical reactions you can cause with acids, sugars, and detergents that help, which is why sour cream is so popular (acidic and detergent, apparently).

I came across this recently… The title tells you most of what you need to know. It might be a fluke - but still a painful possible consequence!
An unusual cause of thunderclap headache after eating the hottest pepper in the world – “The Carolina Reaper”

No, NO!

The game on that Firesign album is “[”]Beat the Reaper](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_the_Electrician_or_Someone_Like_Him#Side_two:%22Waiting_for_The_Electrician_or_Someone_Like_Him%22[1)," not “Eat the Reaper”!


You have my attention.

And no, AFAIK as long as it’s raw, DM doesn’t care.

I’ve heard that it’s possible to overload your TRPV1 receptor so they just stop working temporarily, at which point you can eat hot peppers with impunity; however, trying to google it is just getting me medical journal articles about capsaicin as an analgesic. If you’re feeling experimental, you could start eating the hottest pepper you can eat without wanting to die and see if it stops tasting hot in a reasonable amount of time. If so, repeat just before the Carolina Reaper attempt.

It’s gonna hurt. Period. I doubt there is much you can do to avoid it.

As you noted capsaicin won’t hurt you (in amounts you will find in a pepper). Indeed, while it will feel like your mouth is melting, capsaicin actually does no damage whatsoever. It simply triggers those pain receptors so you think something awful is happening.

You can go on YouTube and find plenty of videos of people doing this. Almost always they are very unhappy shortly after eating the pepper.

A few years ago a local brewery sponsored an event at a bar. Along with their usual beers, they’d brought a ghost-pepper stout, which they offered tastes of, maybe 1/4 of a shot glass. Most people smelled it, coughed, then threw it out. I drank mine. It was unpleasant. Then I went back for more. I ended up drinking several shot glasses of the beer. I had vile diarrhea for 48 hours.

In St Martin, I was at Yvette’s, a small, family owned place in the French Quarter. An American tourist questioned a waiter about the little dish of peppers locals were given, but tourists were not. She insisted on trying it. After a small taste she began coughing, eventually collapsing to the floor and struggling a bit to breath. It took a while, but she was eventually OK. After they left, the waiter told me they go through that once or twice a month.

Does it have to be whole? Because my way of gaming the challenge would be to slice the pepper into quarters, stick each piece into a big spoonful of yogurt and swallow whole. The dairy removes/negates any of the capsaicin on the way down. Then stock up on Tucks/Preparation H suppositories for the next day.

Yeah, are you allowed to just chemically destroy the whole pepper? (Something like, extreme blending, then adding hydrogen peroxide until you’ve got very-small-organic-molecule soup). It’s not treated with heat, so arguably not ‘cooked’ and therefore still ‘raw’. [The argument may or may not work, but worth a try right?]

That’s not a safe assumption. There’s no direct harm, but the acute stress can lead to indirect health effects.

Yes, it will stress the person doing it as a knock-on effect. If that person is susceptible to stress-related problems that could be an issue.

Also, possibly some digestive problems…not sure.

My main point is capsaicin itself does not do physical damage to you. It just feels like it is. Indirect problems are something else.

IANADoctor. So understand this is internet advice and not expert advice. You listen to it at your own risk.

A friend of mine threw a whole ghost pepper in a big pot of chili. Thing cooked for hours. Didn’t matter. Whole big pot of chili was unpleasantly hot (to say the least…it was ruined really for all but the most diehard of people who can tolerate that much heat…I like spicy and tolerate it more than most people I know and this was way past what I could deal with).

A little goes a long way.

There is a documentary on YouTube that demonstrates how to handle this.

Eat it with a Bluepoint oyster. It’s a cult thing.

From what I’ve seen on YT, getting it in is the easy part. The peppers don’t just burn coming out your asshole. It burns as it slowly moves throughout your entire digestive tract. The stomach, the intestines… all the way through you will be in pain.

Just YT: “Reaper challenge + emergency room”. And THEN decide if you want to do this.