The Best Hot Sauces From 10 Southern States And Great Recipes For Foods That Deserve Them
Southern Kitchen contributor Conne Ward-Cameron went on a search for hot sauces made in the South. From artisan hot sauce you can only get at the source, to hot sauce made in huge vats at vast manufacturing facilities and shipped across the country, any and all was fair game. Here she shares her results and recipes.
As it turns out, finding hot sauces made in 10 different Southern states isnt as easy as it seems, despite what anyone looking at dozens of bottles on grocery store shelves might assume. Those bottles dont always tell you where the sauce is made and the name isnt always a clue. For example, Texas Pete is made in North Carolina. Who knew?
I wasnt looking for the ones that promise theyre so hot youll be lucky to hold onto the top of your head. I went out seeking hot sauces packed with flavor, and personally tasted and tested 23 different types. After that, youd think Id be ready to put the little bottles of heat away for a while, right?
Instead, I now find myself adding a drizzle to sandwiches, a teaspoon to salad dressing and a little bit more to my pimento cheese. And its all delicious even to someone like me, who didnt really know she was a hot sauce fan. Turns out a little flavorful Southern heat really grows on you, and in the South we make it all.
Real Hot Sauce Realer Reviews
What other humans are saying about our sauce….
I don’t know what these guys are doing, but there’s some voodoo going on. The heat is perfect, the flavor is perfect, it’s good for anything longing for hot sauce. And 20 oz. for eight bucks is bonkers. Please don’t change your recipe. I’d pay twice the price, easily. Very good.
~ BILLY D. ~
Awesome sauce! Perfect amount of medium to high heat and a really great flavor that I wasn’t expecting. I finished 40 oz. in less than a week!
~ DAN N. ~
Love the Yellowbird!! These are wonderful, rich, and unique flavors all sent in a perfect size variety packa great alternative to the standard Tabasco and Sriracha. They come in an easy pour design to manage your dosage and every flavor is legit. I’m really glad I found this company and will have Yellowbird in the house at all times from now on.
~ STEPHEN G. ~
The Best Hot Sauce From Mississippi: Devereux Foods Pepper Sauce Rouge
In 2013, Ashleigh Aldridge took her fathers hot sauce recipe, and her newly minted marketing degree, and started DEvereux Foods, named for her family home in Natchez, Mississippi. She now makes three varieties of hot sauce, along with jalapeno jams in strawberry, sweet pepper and huckleberry flavors. The original recipe, Pepper Sauce Rouge, immediately makes you think Bloody Mary, with a distinct celery seed top note and a nice level of heat thats not overwhelming. DEvereux Pepper Sauce Fantome carries more heat, with chile darbol and ghost pepper chilies as part of its base. As its name suggests, the Pepper Sauce Fermente is fermented and has a bit more twang. Order from DevereauxFoods.com.
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Boerne Brand Original Jalapeo Texas Style Hot Sauce
This hot sauce-style condiment may not seem like a traditional Texas barbecue sauce at first glance, but in some ways, it is the most traditional style of Texas sauce. Back in the early days of Texas barbecue, when smoked meats were sold by German grocers in Central Texas, there was no sauce served alongside the brisket. Instead, grocers sold homemade hot sauces for customers who wanted to spice up their meals. Boerne Brand continues this tradition with a spicy jalapeño sauce that proves to be the perfect barbecue pairing.
Lewis Barbecue Hatch Green Chile Barbecue Sauce
A young legend in the Texas barbecue scene, El Paso native John Lewis turned heads when he moved his custom pits to Austin and began assisting Aaron Franklin at the legendary Franklin Barbecue. Lewis has since moved on to Charleston, South Carolina, where he evangelizes the Deep South on the secrets of Texas barbecue. Luckily, his signature sauce with its distinctive hatch green chile kick can still be ordered and shipped back to his native state.
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The History Of Texas Pete
Before the first drop of Texas Pete hot sauce was ever tasted, there was a dream in the great imaginations of the Garner family. Heres their story.
The Year was 1929.
So how is it that a tasty red pepper sauce made in North Carolina happens to be named Texas Pete anyway? Legend has it that, when Sam Garner and his three sons, Thad, Ralph and Harold, were trying to come up with a brand name for this spicy new sauce they had created, a marketing advisor suggested the name Mexican Joe to connote the piquant flavor reminiscent of the favorite foods of our neighbors to the south. Nope! said the patriarch of the Garner family. Its got to have an American name! Sam suggested they move across the border to Texas, which also had a reputation for spicy cuisine. Then he glanced at son Harold, whose nickname was Pete and the Texas Pete cowboy was born. Movie cowboys were very popular in the 1930s, men like Tom Mix and Hopalong Cassidy, representing a sort of universal image of rugged independence and self-reliance, the perfect ideal for a family business trying to survive tough times. Actually, Texas Pete Hot Sauce was not the first product the Garner family made and sold. That distinction belonged to Garners Barbecue Sauce.
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The Best Hot Sauce From North Carolina: Elijahs Xtreme Reaper Sauce
Its not often you taste a hot sauce and your first thought is, This would be great on ice cream! Elijahs Xtreme Reaper Sauce was hot even very hot. But with black cherries, brown sugar and cranberries high up in the ingredient list, the fruity top notes immediately put you in mind of all kinds of unusual ways to enjoy it. In Gastonia, North Carolina, father and son Bret and Elijah Morey make their original sauce with Carolina Reaper peppers and a version with ghost peppers. Your palate is distracted by the fruit and vanilla flavors until the heat breaks through, reminding you that the sauce is made from some of the hottest peppers in the world. Maybe the ice cream idea is brilliant though the cold sweetness might offset the sweet heat. Find out yourself after ordering it from Amazon or ElijahsXtreme.com.
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Find Your Flavor With Texas Hill Country Hot Sauce
As a newlywed, Leslie Oakeson remembers being offended every time her husband would douse his dinner in hot sauce. For years it would make me mad, she says. Dont you want to try the food before you coat it?
He insisted it wasnt a slight to her cooking it was simply the way he enjoyed the food he loved the most. A graduate of the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Oakeson remained unconvinced but eventually gave in and even created her own hot sauce recipe using peppers from the garden to accompany their meals. We add it to salad dressing, ketchup, barbecue sauce, pizza, she says. Its one of those things where you can add a little bit to anything.
When they moved home to Texas in 2010 after living in California and Colorado, Oakeson began sharing her signature jalapeño hot sauce with family, friends and her husbands hunting buddies. She continued to hear requests for more sauce and had friends ask where they could purchase their own, so at the start of 2020 she acquiesced and launched Texas Hill Country Hot Sauce.
Getting the word out about a new business during the pandemic was certainly a challenge, she says. But after dozens of events and the twice weekly farmers markets that she started attending as soon as they reopened, Oakeson now sells several cases of sauce each weekend.
The Best Hot Sauce In Florida: Tabanero Hot Sauce
Tabanero Hot Sauce is made in Palmetto, Florida, but traces its roots to back to Tabasco, Mexico, and a trip made there by the hot sauce companys founders in 2004. Tabanero makes three hot sauces Original, Extra Hot, and Agave Sweet & Spicy as well as a Spicy Bloody Mary Mix. Theyre also the official hot sauce of AMC TV show The Walking Dead, and are official sponsors of National Hot Sauce Day. The non-vinegar-based sauces are made with a variety of peppers, carrots, onions and Key lime juice. Their agave version has alluring sweet and smoky flavors, and brings the heat at the end. Order from Tabanero.com.
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The Best Hot Sauce From South Carolina: Palmetto Pepper Potions
Order up a sample pack of all four Palmetto Pepper Potions hot sauce varieties and youll receive four flask-shaped bottles of sauce, in four very different flavors. Julie Blevins, CEO and Potion-ologist of the Forest Acres, South Carolina-based company, was inspired to create her potions after receiving a gift of multiple chile pepper plants. The plants went into the landscape, and when it came time to harvest the peppers she cooked them up with herbs, seasonal fruits and vegetables, creating the sauces she sells today. Daily Red has bits of habanero and tomatoes and a lot of heat, while Molten Golden is a fun sauce whose blend of mangoes, habaneros, curry and cumin makes a delicious marinade or glaze. Larynx Lava is full of citrus flavors , and the fiery, peach-based Trenholm Venom is as biting as its name. Order from PepperPotions.com.
The Best Hot Sauce In Tennessee: Trymes Cajun Sunshine Hot Pepper Sauce
TryMes Cajun Sunshine Hot Pepper Sauce, made in Knoxville, Tennessee, is one of those classic hot sauce combinations of cayenne, vinegar and salt. The cayenne pepper heat is spicy but not incendiary you can imagine this sauce complimenting almost any dish. TryMe makes three different hot sauce varieties, as well as a Wine & Pepper Worcestershire Sauce. Their most famous product might be their Tiger Sauce, and they also offer Tiger Seasoning. Order from ReilyProducts.com.
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The Best Hot Sauce In Louisiana: Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce
Folks in Louisiana may not have invented hot sauce, but the state is home to some very traditional favorites including Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce, made in New Iberia since 1928. You should have no trouble finding a bottle on the shelves of your favorite grocery store, maybe alongside the bottles of their Tabasco Peppers in Vinegar, which are a staple at meat-and-threes whose customers wouldnt dare imagine eating good Southern-style greens without adding a dash. The original hot sauce recipe has only three ingredients peppers, vinegar and salt which provide a straightforward flavor profile. In addition to the original recipe there are now six other flavors including chipotle and roasted garlic, and the company also sells wing sauces and pickled jalapeno peppers. Look for retail locations at Louisiana-Brand.com.
The Hottest Salsas In Texas
May 2, 2019 by clairewilson
When it comes to condiments, Texans prefer a little more pizazz than simply ketchup and mustard.
As you might have guessed, salsa and hot sauce far outrank such mundane condiments. In fact, salsa overtook ketchup as Americas number one condiment back in 2013. According to the PEW Research Center, the Hispanic population accounts for eighteen percent of the nations population, and that statistic is higher in Texas, thanks to its proximity to Mexico.
What that means for us is an abundance of incredible salsas! Sure, there is no shortage of family and friends with their grandmothers traditional salsa recipe, ones that have been passed down for generations. You might even have your own favorite recipe, but what if you do not? Truth be told, we have quite a number of exceptional salsa companies right here in Texas, so many that we cannot list them all, but here is a good start to whet your appetite. Get your chips ready!
These salsas can be used for even more than just a snack. Salsa, indeed, may be taking over Texas as a must-have product in the kitchen. It can be used to cook just about anything, from enchiladas to crockpot dinners.
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Our Top 10 Favorite Southern Hot Sauces
Whether you stash one in your bag , keep one on the table in an unnecessarily fancy decorative holder, or store in the console of your truck, Southerners never stray far from their beloved bottles of hot sauce. It has been our time-honored secret weapon to help out a helping of under-seasoned collards or to add vinegary verve to fried chicken. Such devotion often leads to fierce allegiances. Are you a Tabasco traditionalist? Do you crave Crystal? Or have you joined up with the hot sauce revolution for a new-school brand? Your hot sauce of choice can indeed become an extension of your personality. While our staff can’t agree on just one, these are the bottles we regularly reach for.
Variety Hot Sauce Set
Variety Hot Sauce Set is the ultimate sauce set. The sauce set comes with eight of our hot sauces including all the sauces that have been featured on the hit Youtube hot wings show, Hot Ones.
- Gluten-Free | Vegan | All Natural | Grain-Free | Dairy Free
- Products in hot sauce set:
- Creamy Herb & Jalapeño Hot sauces
- Red Wine Vinegar, Jalapeño, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, Italian Parsley, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Red Pepper, Cilantro, Oregano
- Pineapple & Habanero Hot Sauce
- Pineapple, Habanero, Yellow Bell Pepper, White Wine Vinegar, Garlic, Sea Salt
- Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce
- White Wine Vinegar, Serrano Pepper, Tomato Paste, Garlic, Basil, Brown Sugar, Sea Salt
- Ghost Pepper & Blueberry Hot Sauce
- Blueberry, White Wine Vinegar, Ghost Pepper, Sea Salt, Black Pepper
- Garlic & Árbol Moruga Scorpion Hot Sauce
- Ingredients: Vinegar, Moruga Scorpion Pepper, Garlic Árbol Chilis, Cumin, Black Pepper, Lime Juice, Sea Salt
- Black Garlic Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce
- Ingredients: Vinegar, Red Serrano, Carolina Reaper, Roasted Garlic, Maple Syrup, Black Garlic, Black Pepper, Sea Salt
- Aka Miso Ghost-Reaper Hot Sauce
- Ingredients: Ghost Pepper, Carolina Reaper, Rice Wine Vinegar, Aka Miso, Tamari, Sesame Oil, Togarashi, Sea Salt
- Ancho Masala Scorpion-Reaper Hot Sauce
- Ingredients: Moruga Scorpion, Carolina Reaper, Ghost Pepper, Rice Wine Vinegar, Roasted Garlic, Tomato Paste, Garam Masala, Medjool Dates, Ancho Chili, Sea Salt
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The Best Hot Sauce In Alabama: Alabama Sunshine
Last year, Julie Smith Madison and her brother David Lee Smith took over Alabama Sunshine, a hot-sauce-selling company run by a different Smith family in Fayette County, Alabama. The newer batch of Smiths grows most of what goes into their hot, barbecue and wing sauces, along with jams, jellies, salsa and relishes. They sell 10 varieties of hot sauce, priced from $3 to $5 per bottle, ranging from the original red jalapeno Alabama Sunshine to extra-hot, habanero-based Alabama Wild Fire. Their Cayenne Sunshine is also thick with tiny flecks of cayenne pepper — they suggest it as the perfect accompaniment for oysters. Order from Alabama Sunshines website.
The Best Hot Sauce In Kentucky: Evan Williams Bourbon Hot Sauce
When you think Kentucky, you think bourbon . While Im not a drinker of bourbon, I cant resist its lure when it is combined with other flavors. Evan Williams Bourbon Hot Sauce, bottled in Louisville, is a great way to get a little bourbon flavor with a big peppery punch. The sauce is flecked with lots of black pepper, and is the only sauce I tasted that has a bit of butter flavor as well. The sauce is part of a line of sauces and condiments from Bourbon Country Products that includes Makers Mark Gourmet Sauce and Wild Turkey Barbecue Sauce. They also make Gibs Bottled Hell in four flavors, including Nuclear Hell a name that pretty much describes the level of heat. Order from BourbonCountryProducts.com or BottledHell.com.
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The Best Hot Sauce In Texas: Yellowbird Sauce
Austin, Texas-based Yellowbird Sauce labels its products as condiments instead of hot sauces, but no matter the name, the result is a flavorful combination of organic carrots, onions, sugar and vinegar, mixed with spicy peppers. You can buy a condiment based on your favorite pepper, whether its habanero, jalapeno, ghost pepper or serrano, or you can try Blue Agave Sriracha, an agave-sweetened version of a traditional pepper/vinegar/salt hot sauce thats very garlic-forward and delicious. All the sauces come packaged in plastic squeeze bottles, which seems like a great innovation in hot sauce packaging. You can squeeze out a drop or a great big quarter-cup full. The condiments pack heat , but these thick-textured sauces also taste clearly of the Texas vegetables theyre made from. Order from YellowBirdSauce.com.
Luling City Market Barbecue Sauce
A hefty dash of Louisiana hot sauce and some yellow mustard have helped make this distinctive twist on barbecue sauce a favorite of frequenters of the Houston pit for 40 years. Those flavors also make this one of the more versatile sauces on the list, as it pairs well with brisket, seafood, or even a hefty egg breakfast.
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