Do You Want Your Hot Sauce Sweeter
Sometimes sweetness balances out the spicy and brings out flavor even more. You can add sugar to the final hot sauce to taste or do it by adding sugar containing vegetables to the sauce.
For flavor and a bit of natural sweetness, add chopped onion* when you first chop up the chilies and garlic. Or you can add a carrot at this point! Carrot is a great earthy tasting, natural sweetener.
*Doesnt really what kind of onion you use, but white and yellow onions wont muddy the color of the final sauce like red onions might.
You could try making a mango hot sauce by rehydrating dried mango and blending it into the final sauce. This is really nice with a spicy sauce like habanero hot sauce.
Ingredients For Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe
- 20 Peppers of your choice
- 1 1/2 cups vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
Supplies: gloves, medium sauce pan, jars with lids for storage OR an old hot sauce bottle
Note: If youre making your own homemade Franks hot sauce, use cayenne peppers!
The gloves are for your own protection, especially if youre working with a crazy spicy hot pepper. The oils from the pepper can rub off onto your hands without you even knowing it, or without any adverse reactions.
That is, until you go to wipe your eye or scratch your nose. The oils can easily transfer and cause all sorts of irritation in places you dont want to be irritated!
Special note to contact lens wearers wear your glasses for this one!
What You Need To Make Southern Pepper Sauce
To make your own pepper sauce at home, all you need are three simple ingredients to make it!
- White vinegar: Simple white vinegar works great but you can also try it making homemade pepper sauce with different flavors.
- Hot peppers: The signature ingredient in this recipe. Experiment with using different varieties for varying levels of spiciness and color.
- Glass container or jar: Nothing special here just make sure it has an airtight lid.
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The Fermentation Of Homemade Hot Sauce:
Dont get scared away from the idea of fermenting peppers to make hot sauce! Fermentation is a big word, but luckily chilies are some of the easiest foods to ferment.
Both the heat of the chilies, the salt, and garlic that are added to the mix help prevent unwanted bacteria from growing, while the naturally occurring good bacteria on the produce itself is able to culture.
Fermenting the peppers helps the flavor develop and helps preserve the hot sauce. I dont do a long fully fermented version of this hot sauce, where the pepper mash made in the first step is submerged fully in brine and left to ferment for 1-2 weeks .
But we get a bit of fermentation going and then let it at room temperature.
What Happens When You Eat Hot Peppers
For starters the capsaicin in the pepper, which is an irritant to humans, binds itself to pain receptors on the tongue, as well as heat receptors in the mouth.
This is why spicy food feels hot.
The spicy feeling you feel in your mouth is the sensation of pain, and should not be confused as a flavor.
Peppers can and do certainly have many different flavors, but spicy is not one of them simply because it is technically not a flavor.
Capsaicin fools your brain into thinking that your mouth is on fire, as if your mouth is literally being burned.
In reality nothing is on fire or burning, and yet your brain is convinced it needs to take action to protect you.
Immediately your body will try and cool itself by making you breathe fast, and begin to sweat.
In an attempt to drive out the offending substance, your body will produce extra mucus, tears, and runny nose all in an undertaking to protect you.
Your brain may feel like you need a glass of water to reduce heat, and help cool things down.
Dont do it, it will only make things worse!
The only thing that will dissolve the capsaicins hold is oil, fats and alcohol.
This is why a typical meal at the local Indian curry house will often be accompanied by a beer, and hot Mexican salsa is regularly served with sour cream.
Even though spicy food can hurt, there is no danger that it will actually burn anything on the way down.
It can, however, burn on the way out at the end of its journey through your digestive system.
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What Peppers Are Best For Hot Sauce
Any of the hot peppers below or a combination of peppers work to make this vinegar-based hot pepper sauce recipe. I have listed some of the more popular hot peppers below out of the hundreds that exist.
Also, it is helpful to remember that as a general rule of thumb, the larger in size a chile pepper is, the milder the heat will be.
Jalapeño Chili Peppers: One of the most common chili peppers and a definite favorite around here for jalapeno vinegar sauce. These peppers are usually green but if they ripen more sometimes they turn red.
Most jalapeno peppers are between four and six inches long and with a Scoville heat score of 2,500 and 8,000, they range from mild to hot. This is the most common chili pepper and is recommended in many Mexican dishes.
Chipotle Chili Peppers: This chili is actually a smoked, ripe, jalapeño chili pepper. They have a somewhat smoky flavor and are similar in spiciness to a jalapeno.
Serrano Peppers: Spicier than jalapeños with a heat unit of 5,000 25,000. These smaller dark green chilies are often used as substitutes for jalapeños but can be quite a bit spicier.
They are most commonly used with Mexican dishes such as salsa or guacamole.
Habanero Chili Peppers: These chilies look like mini bell peppers but are extremely hot with a SHU of 100,000 to 350,000.
They are usually yellow to orange or red but can also be white, brown, or pink, depending on when the peppers are harvested. They are 1 to 3 inches long and 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
Fermented Hot Sauce Recipe
- 8 cups hot peppers, such as red or green Jalapeno, Serrano, Habonero, or Cayenne peppers
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 1 quart cool, un-chlorinated water
- Optional: 1/4 yellow onion, or up to 6 garlic cloves
- Optional: Apple Cider Vinegar, at the time of blending
Oh, beware. Beware not the fiery bite of the fermented pepper no, beware the compulsion that may seize you, once youve tasted this sauce, to gather peppers by the crate, ferment them by the gallon, blend them and shake them over every meal you eat for the next 11 months. Thats what has happened to many of us here As you can imagine, there are many ways to personalize a recipe as simple as this. Feel free to tinker with it, as you are moved to do.Here is the most basic recipe for fermented Hot sauce. Some ideas for variations include: Adding a quarter of an onion to the batch, or replacing a few jalapenos with a bell pepper, to temper the fiery heat, while keeping the fermented tang. Of course, you can use peppers other than jalapenos, too, but the thinnest peppers may require the addition of another pepper to the mix, in order to have enough sugars for the bacteria to digest.
Makes 1 quart of finished hot sauce, but it can be scaled up infinitely.
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Did You Make This Recipe
Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on
This recipe was originally published on May 16, 2017. The amounts have been adjusted in this updated recipe to make it easier to work with smaller amounts of peppers. The original amounts were:
- 1 1/4 lbs cherry bomb peppers, or your choice of fresh chiles, tops removed
- 6 garlic cloves
What Is Louisiana Style Hot Sauce
Louisiana Hot Sauce is certainly one of the more popular hot sauce varieties here in the United States. It was originally made back in the 19th century with chiles fermented in large oak barrels. With its Southern roots, it’s brought Cajun dishes to life for decades! It’s made with simple ingredients, and generally has a mild-moderate kick, making it a great “everyday” hot sauce.
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More Ways To Use Hot Peppers
If you have a bounty of hot peppers, here are some other ways we like using them.
Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to using and enjoying seasonal foods. She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, a mom and veggie gardener. delivered to your inbox. Youll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.
Jalapeno Hot Sauce Recipe
This Jalapeno Hot Sauce is still one of the most popular recipes on the site, have you made it yet?!
Its super easy to make and I love keeping some in the fridge for a quick blast of zippppp!
For any green hot sauce lovers out there. please consider giving this one a go, you wont be disappointed!
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Hot Trinidadian Pepper Sauce
In a Trinidadian Pepper Sauce, the pepper of choice is the Scotch Bonnet. Its a very spicy pepper, use in a lot of Jerk dishes. This pepper sauce is hot hot hot
The pepper sauce is often made with Yellow Scotch Bonnet peppers and yellow mustard, giving this sauce a School bus Yellow Color.
Traditional Trinidadian Sauce includes an ingredient Shado Beni Ive never found this in my green grocer. But, Ive heard its a herb that tastes like cilantro so in this recipe, Ive swapped out shado beni with Cilantro
Trinidadian Pepper Sauce Ingredients
- 2 Cups Yellow Scotch Bonnet Peppers
- 20 Garlic Cloves Minced
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend till smooth.
- Bottle immediately.
- Because of the vinegar, this pepper sauce will keep for several months.
Where Can You Get Those Snazzy Hot Sauce Labels
These are designed to print on Avery 2 1/2 round water-resistant labels. The water-resistant part is really nice when working with a food product that inevitably ends up on the bottle. If you cant get your hands on these labels, you could also affix a regular paper label and just cover it with clear packing tape.
Read Also: Dr Assburn’s Hot Sauce
How To Make Cayenne Pepper Sauce
First, gather up your cayenne peppers. Clean and dry them.
Chop up the cayenne peppers along with garlic cloves and add them to a pot with white wine vinegar and a bit of salt.
Bring the mix to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer everything for 20 minutes. The peppers and garlic will be nicely softened.
Cool the mixture slightly, then transfer it to a food processor or blender. Process it until the sauce is nice and smooth.
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve if you’d like a smoother sauce, or pour it into bottles as-is for a thicker sauce.
Done! Simple enough, right?
How To Make Fermented Hot Sauce
Making this hot sauce recipe, as with most fermented foods, is easier than you think and fairly straightforward. There are requires two primary steps: fermenting the chili peppers, and then blending the sauce.
- Prepare the ingredients. You’ll want to prep the chilies and any other ingredients you have in advance. You’ll rinse the chilies to remove any debris, and then cut away the stem end. Coarsely chopping the chilies can speed up fermentation, too.
- Mix the brine. A typical brine for fermentation is about 2% however, for both hot and sweet peppers a higher level of salt is optimal, and you’ll typically need to ferment these ingredients in a 3-3.5% brine. You can mix the salt and water together on the stove, and then allow it to cool to room temperature before adding it to the chilies.
- Combine the chilies and brine. After about two weeks, your chilies will be done fermenting and ready to make into sauce. You’ll purée chilies and any other ingredients, as well as some of the brine together to form the sauce.
- Strain the finished hot sauce. If you prefer a thinner sauce, you can strain it if you like.
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How To Use Hot Pepper Sauce
- On average, use about one to two tablespoons at a time for most recipes but you can add as much or little as you want to make it to your own tastes.
- Use it in just about any recipe to add flavor. Hot pepper sauce can make a bland bowl of fried cabbage into something truly special. I cant eat fried cabbage without it. Try it out in our Old Fashioned Cabbage Kielbasa and Bacon recipe. I think you will be glad you did!
- You can puree your hot sauce, as long as your blender can handle hot liquid. If you arent sure you can always wait until the sauce has cooled and blend it then!
- Use the hot peppers on sandwiches, on hamburgers, or hot dogs!
- Add the juice in the jar to salads such as potato salad or coleslaw to add a bit of spiciness.
Easy Fermented Hot Sauce
Mar 12, 2022 by Jenny McGruther· This site earns income from ads, affiliate links, and sponsorships.
In the late summer and early autumn, you’ll find baskets brimming with ripe hot peppers at your local farmers’ market. And, one of the best ways you can make use of all that fiery abundance is to toss the peppers in a jar with plenty of garlic and make Fermented Hot Sauce.
Jump to Recipe | What is it? | Ingredients | Equipment | Tips | Troubleshooting | Storage | Variations | Questions
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Ingredients For A Simple Habanero Hot Sauce
Peppers, especially habanero varieties, are full of unique flavor. With habaneros, you get powerful floral notes paired with intense heat. Its definitely one of our favorites.
This recipe lets the habanero peppers take center stage, with a touch of sweetness and some oil and garlic. The texture is silky smooth, and the flavor is incredibly bright and tangy, perfect for chicken wingsor just about any type of food.
Can I Use Different Peppers In Louisiana Hot Sauce
Yes! Traditionally, Louisiana hot sauce is made from fermented long cayenne peppers. We use red jalapeno peppers which lend a similar flavor profile, however, this recipe lends itself well to using nearly any variety of chile you can think of. I recommend using organic or top quality peppers for the tastiest hot sauce!
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Homemade Hot Sauce Is Awesome Sauce
When thegarden does well and we get an overabundance of peppers, its time to make hot sauce!
There are times when itsbest to make things from scratch and times when it isnt the best use of your time or money.
But if you use hot sauce on everything frompizza totacos toscrambled eggs then you should definitely make your own hot sauce.
Adjusting The Heat In Your Hot Sauce
Want to increase or decrease how hot your hot sauce is? Try one or a combination of these strategies.
- Use a combination of sweet and hot peppers. Keep the overall amount in the recipe the same, but add in some red bell peppers for a milder sauce.
- Check the Scoville chart to determine where your peppers rank on the scale from mild to hot and choose accordingly.
- Remove the ribs and seeds for less heat. The highest concentration of capsaicin is in the white ribs or membranes inside peppers. Because the seeds cling to these membranes, theyre often hot too, but the heat is really in those white ribs! You can choose whether to keep them or remove them.
- Adding the onions builds flavour and helps tame the heat just a little.
- Add a little sweetness. While it wont change the actual heat level, it makes our taste buds think theres less heat.
- Add a little more acid. More vinegar, wine, lemon or lime juice will help.
- Add a little tomato paste.
To get a nice smooth sauce, we strain the cooked sauce using a fine sieve. If the sauce is a little too thick, I add a little more vinegar to make it runnier.
The leftover pulp, I spread on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate. When its thoroughly dry, I put it into a grinder and turn it into a powder we call it Sriracha powder and use it just like cayenne pepper.
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A Word Of Warning About Working With Hot Peppers:
Lets stay safe here when working with hot peppers. So even when youre working with mild hot peppers like poblanos and jalapeños, its important to:
- Wear gloves while handling and cutting.
- Wash hands extremely well after handling.
- Wear goggles and work in a well-ventilated area .
- Wash all cutting boards, knives, and utensils well after preparing.
Difference Between Fermented And Non
Fermented hot sauce requires a longer process and can take 7 days to several weeks. Basically, you mix hot peppers and a salt brine and then wait for naturally occurring yeast and bacteria to transform the peppers. Its relatively easy, it just takes time. There are many different ways to make fermented hot sauce which may or may not use commercial vinegar at some point. As a result, the taste profile can vary greatly, but most agree that fermented hot sauce has a little more complex taste.
Fermented food also has the benefit of providing healthy probiotics, but unless youre using spoonfuls of sauce daily, I dont think thats a major advantage when it comes to hot sauce.
Ive made fermented hot sauce several times and havent found the flavour of the end product to be worth the extra time. I would rather get the added complexity by experimenting by using different ingredients in my quick cooking sauce adding cumin, onions, sweet peppers, fruit, etc.
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