He's On Fire

This Guy Says He’s Invented the ‘World’s Hottest Burger’

“Hot” in every meaning of the word. Photo: Grill X/Facebook

Loren Gingrich, owner of Xtreme Smokehouse and Grill in Washington, Iowa, is so sure his Hellfire Burger is the world’s hottest hamburger that he’s asked the Guinness Book of Records to create a new category for it. Reportedly clocking in around 1,000,000 Scoville units (about half the burn of pepper spray), the burger packs a many-waved assault on an eater’s mouth: There is a relish made from habaneros, jalapeños, and serranos. Then, the beef slab itself gets infused with ghost peppers, cayennes, and pure chile extract. After that, a ring of something called “Hellfire Sauce,” and, finally, there’s a floater of grain alcohol on top because, as Gingrich explains, “I wanted to take it a step further, so I set it on fire.”

You have to be 18 or older to order this thing, and it comes with gloves, protective eyewear, and a required waiver — isn’t there always a waiver with this stuff? — that goes on about “possible loss of life” — all of which is to say the Hellfire packs as much gimmickry as it does potential heat. Here’s the full setup, from one reporter who tried the thing:


This Guy Says He’s Invented the ‘World’s Hottest Burger’