10 Best Hot Sauces | April 2017

We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. From the sublime to the ridiculously hot, our selection of hot sauces are perfect for the cook looking to spice up any dish. But be warned, it may be safer to simply stare at some of these in fear and trepidation. Skip to the best hot sauce on Amazon.
10 Best Hot Sauces | April 2017
Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 9
Best Inexpensive
Sometimes you have to choose the reliable old standby, and that's Tabasco Pepper Sauce. In this case, choose a whole gallon of the good stuff for a great price and slather it on everything from eggs to brisket.
  • perfect for restaurants or cafeterias
  • made with pepper, salt, and vinegar
  • original american hot sauce
Brand TABASCO brand
Model 6138
Weight 14.1 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
If you can get past its childish name, Professor Phardtpounders Colon Cleaner Hot Sauce is actually a high quality take on traditional Caribbean-style mustard-based hot sauces. It has a stated heat level of 8.
  • bottle makes a good conversation piece
  • great on burgers and sandwiches
  • name may offend some people
Brand Professor Phardtpounder
Model pending
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
The Zombie Cajun Hot Sauce gourmet gift basket set makes a great gift both for the hot sauce lover or for the zombie culture enthusiast. Not only does it come with cleverly named sauces, but with a zombie-themed novel, too.
  • award winning gift set
  • included novel is not pulitzer material
  • 4 different sauces in kit
Brand Zombie Cajun
Model zcgb4
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
The Cajun Injector Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce Kit is a great price considering it contains six different 3-ounce bottles of unique, top quality hot sauces. Explore flavors ranging from red chili to roasted garlic.
  • includes recipe brochure
  • box makes a great display case
  • perfect for southern and mexican cooking
Brand Cajun Injector
Model 12113
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
Pure Habanero hot sauce contains the planet's hottest commercially grown habanero, the Red Savina, which means this sauce is some seriously hot stuff, as in it is approximately 75 times hotter than a jalapeño pepper.
  • rated at half a million scoville units
  • handsome packaging makes good gift
  • made with just 3 ingredients
Brand Ass Kickin'
Model pending
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
The Cholula Hot Sauce Variety 4-Pack belongs in the kitchen of every cook who loves preparing either Mexican or Southwestern style meals. You can't go wrong with this classic brand, which can be found on restaurant tables everywhere.
  • great range of flavors in pack
  • contains mild and hot options
  • classic part of mexican cuisine
Brand Cholula
Model pending
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
Satan's Blood Hot Sauce may be better kept as a collectible than actually ingested: it is rated at an astounding 800,000 Scoville units. This sauce must be wildly diluted before you consider ingesting it, if you want to avoid the ER.
  • contains just chile extract and vinegar
  • award winning packaging
  • collectible keepsake for enthusiasts
Brand Mad Dog 357
Model pending
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
This Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce was a 1st place Scovie award winner for best tasting hot sauce, so you can count on it being something special. It's a medium heat sauce, suitable for cooking or for pouring right onto your food.
  • developed by punk rock musician
  • made in california
  • amusing copy on bottle
Brand Gringo Bandito
Model pending
Weight 5.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
Huy Fong's Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce is one of the best loved hot sauces the world over, gracing tables from Asia to America and far beyond. It works across many types of cuisine, from its native Thai cooking to Mexican and more.
  • great low price for 17 ounces
  • great in soup, on meats, in pasta, etc.
  • zero artificial coloring
Brand Huy Fong
Model HF-SRI-17-1
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
The Source Hot Sauce should probably be classified as a weapon of war rather than a food stuff: this mighty sauce is rated at 7.1 million Scoville units. The sauce comes with a liability release printed right on the bottle.
  • hundred pots of chili from one ounce
  • great gift for gonzo hot sauce lovers
  • hottest extract on earth
Brand The Source
Model pending
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

A Brief History Of Bottled Hot Sauce

Commercially bottled hot sauce made its first appearance in the United States in 1807, and its first recipe was made made from the cayenne pepper. J. McCollick & Company created a bird chili pepper-based hot sauce sometime between 1840 and 1860. It is believed 1849 was the year of the first tabasco chili crop, but it wasn't until 1860 that a tabasco-based hot sauce was made.

In 1860, Edmund McIlhenny, a tabasco farmer, created a tabasco-based hot sauce. In his first batch he produced 350 bottles, which he sent out to wholesales as samples. In just a few weeks he received orders for thousands of bottles. McIlhenny's farm was located in Avery Island, Louisiana and it wasn't long before the tabasco flavor became synonymous with Lousiana. It is currently the defining flavor in Louisiana hot sauces. Of the many early hot sauce companies from the mid-1800s, Tabasco is the only one still in existence.

The early 1920s was a period of rapid expansion for the hot sauce industry with many well known brands coming to market. Between 1918 and 1928, La Victoria Salsa Brava, Crystal, and Bruce Food were founded. The Great Depression put a hold on the hot sauce industry and for a time there were very few innovations. By the time America had recovered in the 1940s, hot sauce makers were back at it. In 1941, La Victoria released red taco sauce, green taco sauce, and enchilada sauce. Then in 1947, Pace Foods was founded and launched their picante sauce out of a liquor store in San Antonio, Texas.

There were other regions making hot sauce at the time, most notably the Caribbean, but these areas had very few large scale manufacturers. Instead, recipes were handed down from generation to generation and they were made in small batches for local communities. Pickapeppa of Jamaica is one of the few exceptions.

The Hottest Sauces In The World

In today's world, being the hottest hot sauce comes with a badge of honor, as is true for the person crazy enough to consume it. Technically the hottest hot sauce currently on the planet is Blair's 16 Million Reserve, which isn't actually a true hot sauce, but rather a pure capsaicin extract. It measures a stunning 16 million Scoville units, which is the scale used to measure exactly how spicy a pepper or hot sauce is.

The spiciest hot sauce available that isn't a pure pepper extract is CaJohns Get Bitten Black Mamba, which is rated at 6 million Scoville units. To put these numbers into perspective, the standard Tabasco sauce we are all familiar with is rated at between 2,500 and 5,000 Scoville units, with their hotter habanero-based hot sauce rated at a touch over 7,000 Scoville units. The very popular Sriracha hot sauce measures at just 1,000 to 2,500 Scoville units.

Many of the ridiculously spicy hot sauces that are rated in the hundreds of thousands or millions of Scoville units are designed to be a food additive and not poured directly onto food before consumption. Think of them like adding a couple of really hot Thai bird peppers or a touch of chopped habanero to a bowl of chili or a salsa. If you are looking to kick it up a notch with some really hot chicken wings, but would rather not completely burn off your taste buds, consider trying a hot sauce in the 20,000 to 50,000 Scoville unit range before moving on to anything hotter.

Tips For Making Great Hot Sauces

Making a great homemade hot sauce is all about balance. The goal is to balance the flavors, so that they can all be enjoyed without one ingredient overpowering the other. While making hot sauce at home is relatively easy, it takes some trial and error to master the proportions. Luckily hot sauce ingredients are relatively inexpensive, so don't be afraid to experiment.

The three basic components of any hot sauce are fresh chilies, vinegar and salt. After that, the sky is the limit. It is often a good idea to add additional aromatics like carrots, onions, and celery to give it a more refined taste and add layers of flavor. If you are going for more of a sweet and spicy style hot sauce, consider adding some sugar or ketchup. This will also help to thicken the mixture as it cooks down.

If you prefer a fresher hot sauce with a Caribbean flare, try adding some citrus fruits like lemons or oranges. If you choose to go this route, don't cook the citrus as this can make it bitter and also cause it to lose some of its bright citrus flavor. Instead either cook the chilies and other ingredients and add the citrus at the end after cooking, or just make a fresh, completely raw hot sauce. This may turn out to be quite a treat as you won't often find raw hot sauces in the store.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, always make your hot sauce in a well ventilated kitchen. Cooking down chilies can cause your eyes to tear and your throat to burn. Don't forget, pepper spray is little more than extracted pepper oils. Cooking a big batch of hot sauce in an unventilated kitchen can cause you to feel like you've just been hit with a stream of it dead in the face.

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Last updated on April 24 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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