How Do I Make Hot Sauce

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What Happens If You Forget The Gloves

How to Make HOT SAUCE

If you dont wear gloves when chopping peppers, you will get pepper oils all in your finger joints and wrinkles. Those oils will be a waking f*cking nightmare.

If you run your hands under warm water, it will feel like someone is burning your skin alive. You pick your nose or rub your eyes, you will regret every decision in life that led you to that moment.

Lord help you if you touch your genitals.

How To Make Hot Honey Sauce

This method is easy, start by adding your honey and peppers to a pan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, then cook it for 4 minutes, swirling the pan around occasionally.

Homemade Hot Honey Infused With Red Chiles Wine A Little Cook A Lot Recipe Hot Honey Recipe Honey Recipes Hot Sauce Recipes

Selecting The Best Ingredients

When you are making your own hot sauce at home, start with a basic recipe that indicates the type of pepper and amount so that you dont go overboard. Making hot sauce can be a simple or complex task, depending on the recipe you use, but all styles of homemade hot sauce have a few common ingredients.


Depending on the recipe, you may find that white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even a wine-based vinegar to give the needed acidity to your sauce. The purpose of this ingredient is both to preserve the hot sauce and also to enhance the flavor and give brightness. Some recipes also recommend an additional dose of acidity with lemon or lime juice before the blending stage. These fruits offer the same essential citric acid dose that vinegar does, and can provide a fresh flavor.

Chili Peppers

The obvious main flavor in hot sauce is, of course, the pepper. The majority of hot pepper sauces use a red chili pepper like a tabasco pepper, cayenne pepper, jalapeno, Calabrian, or Birds Eye chili pepper. Depending on the preparation required for your hot sauce recipe and what is available to you, you might buy your chili peppers fresh, dried, or powdered. Ancho powder, for instance, is what you typically use in chilis and stews, and is readily available in a pinch. Arbol peppers, on the other hand, are more often found dried in the supermarket . Finally, a typical vinegar heavy tabasco sauce style uses fresh peppers.


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What Are Some Insider Tips For Jump Starting A Hot Sauce Business

Business owners can jumpstart their hot sauce business by partnering with a restaurant to create a hot sauce. Paying a restaurant to use the restaurants name may decrease a business profits slightly. If a restaurant uses and advertises the sauce, though, their patrons will be an easy potential market to reach.

If a restaurant wont agree to regularly use a hot sauce, they might be willing to use it in a dish thats prepared for a festival or cooking competition. For example, a restaurant might use a business hot sauce in a chili. Then, the chili may be entered into a cookoff. A winning recipe can bring the restaurant a lot of attention, and an award can immediately increase the reputation of a startup hot sauce business.

Homemade Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce Recipe

Best hot pepper sauce recipe
  • First, heat your oven to 400 degrees. Set 8 ounces of Carolina Reaper peppers, 1 heat of garlic and halved onion on a baking sheet. Bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until the skins slightly char. Keep an eye on these. You dont want them to burn, and watch out for any fumes. You may want to turn on the oven fan and open some windows. See my safety notes below.
  • Add the peppers and onion to a food processor. Squeeze garlic out of their skins and into the food processor they go.
  • Add in the vinegar and salt. Process until you get a chunky mixture. Watch out for the fumes!
  • Add in a half cup of water and process again until the sauce starts to smooth out. Check it for thickness. If youd like a thinner sauce, add in a bit more water a little at a time, processing, until you reach your desired consistency.
  • If desired, you can strain the sauce to smooth it out, or use it as-is. If you do strain it, you can discard the pulp or dehydrate it to make a superhot seasoning powder.
  • Pour into sterilized bottles and enjoy. The longer you let it sit, the more the flavors will meld.
  • Thats it, my friends! This is pretty much the hottest sauce around. It will truly bring on the heat! Go for it, you crazy chilihead, you! I know you love cooking with hot peppers.

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    Become A Pepper Shepherd

    Making fermented hot sauce is empowering. And best of all, the possibilities are limitless. If you respect the process and foundational concepts, if you understand the microbes at work, there is plenty of freedom to explore flavor combinations and techniques. Kirsten Shockey uses the analogy of a shepherd. “The microbes are your flock. And lets be honest: youre not doing the workthe microbes are. Youre just providing the conditions for success. You put it together, you kind of forget about it, and it happens. I love that.”

    Bottle Your Hot Sauce

    Carefully pour the hot sauce into a container. I usually make enough to fill a gallon sized bottle or two. I then dispense as needed for myself, give it away to my friends, or sell it to people brave enough to try. It keeps in the fridge indefinitely and mellows with age.

    There are three different sauces that I make.

  • 13th Labor
  • Diabolus Sanguis
  • Screamin’ Deacon
  • *Warning: When it’s time to clean up, rinse everything that touched hot peppers with COLD water first! Next, wash everything with COLD water. Finally, wash one more time with hot soapy water but be careful not to breath in any steam coming off the hot water.

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    Perfect Your Hot Sauce

    This should go without saying, but your hot sauce needs to be the best hot sauce it can be. Test your recipes thoroughly. Invite friends over to give you a reaction. Try them out on acquaintances. Get a lot of feedback, not only on the taste, but the color, heat level, smell and more. Take notes and listen. Your product is the most important thing.

    Step : Create Your Business Website

    How to Make Fermented Hot Sauce

    After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.

    While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that its out of their reach because they dont have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

    Here are the main reasons why you shouldnt delay building your website:

    • All legitimate businesses have websites – full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
    • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
    • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You dont need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

    Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldnt take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.

    Recommended: Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders.

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    But Really Why Should You Make Your Own Hot Sauce

    I prefer making my own sauce for two reasons, the first of which is acidity. Acidity is essential to a hot sauce. Its what keeps it shelf-stable, and its also a big part of what makes hot sauces zing.

    You know that feeling you get in the corners of your mouth when you suck on sour candy? Thats acidity, baby. Thats the zing.

    When the acidity in a hot sauce is well-balanced, it adds to the overall flavor. When its not balanced, like in many grocery store hot sauces, the acidity of the vinegar overpowers the flavor of the sauce, and shows up as a separate, wholly unpleasant burning sensation, rather than a flavor-booster.

    Does Cooking Hot Sauce Kill Botulism

    Yes, cooking hot sauce at a high temperature for a prolonged period of time will kill the botulinum in the hot sauce. Various types of Botulinum spores are heat-resistant and have varied heat sensitivity, so once all ingredients have been added to the sauce cook the sauce at a rolling boil for more than 15 minutes.

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    Do The Math Add The Salt

    After breaking down your ingredients, youll need to season the mixture. Baxtrom recommends adding salt to equal two percent of the weight of your pepper-and-extras mashfor example, if your jalapeño and green apple mix is 300 grams, youll need to add in six grams of saltso pull out your kitchen scale to measure and calculate. Mix the salt into the mash very well, making sure its evenly incorporated. Baxtrom and his team use heavy-duty dishwashing gloves to do this task by hand, but stirring a little longer than you think you need to with a spoon will work as well.

    Can You Tell If Hot Sauce Has Botulism

    Simple Habanero Hot Sauce

    You cannot taste or smell botulinum toxins and if you are in doubt never try to taste hot sauce to determine if it is still safe. Once a hot sauce has spoiled there is no way to safely consume it. If the hot sauce bottle lid is bulging, swollen, leaking or if the sauce foams when opened discard the hot sauce

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    Should I Ferment Or Use Fresh Peppers

    My answer is BOTH!

    Ive made hot sauces using both techniques and I do not have a preference. Fresh chili peppers offer a big range of flavors and heat. Fermented peppers are mellower and often have more depth of flavor in comparison, but I wouldnt say better flavor. Just different, more nuanced in a way.

    Either way, I encourage you to try fermenting chili peppers and making hot sauces from the resulting mash. Then, decide for yourself if it is worth it to you.

    Fermentation does take some time, usually a couple weeks minimum, for the peppers to properly break down, though you can easily go longer.

    I often ferment my peppers for 6 months at a time for making hot sauce the next spring after my last harvest. See my

    Now Comes The Fun Partbottle It Label It Sell It

    FDA label guidelines

    Although graphic design of a label and logo can be as much fun as inventing a hot sauce the FDA has food labeling guidelines but they do not approve labels. Every food product available for sale in the US follows these guidelines and they can be very stringent.

    If your product has misinformation about its content you could be subject to audits, fines and legal penalties and this could lead to the shut down of operations. This mostly adheres to the nutritional label contents but the display label will also have guidelines to follow as well.

    How do I know what is in my hot sauce?

    Your sauce will need to be sent to a laboratory for testing so that the nutritional contents can be displayed on the label per FDA guidelines. Typically these laboratories will send a report giving the nutritional facts for your records and this is what will go on your nutritional label. Read more on How To Provide A Nutritional Label For Your Hot Sauce.

    Once you have protected your recipe, found a kitchen to operate out of and have followed FDA guidelines for labeling you are now ready for legal sales of your product. Deciding a price point and marketing to a specific audience are going to drive the sales of your product. Read more in Theres Money To Be Made In The Hot Sauce Industry!

    The importance of labeling a hot sauce correctly

    The legalities of marketinghot sauce

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    Food Safety Characteristics Of Hot Sauce

    As mentioned above, many of the ingredients that are used are considered ready-to-eat. However, depending on the source of spices, seasonings and vegetables, these ingredients may not be considered read-to-eat, as seasonings may or may not be treated, and vegetables may be processed or washed differently in the store or at home. Another food safety consideration is the water activity. Since hot sauces are liquid, but do contain a fair amount of solids, it is assumed that the water activity will be > 0.85, which would mean that the product would potentially support growth of pathogens if there was a pathogen present in the food. Therefore, water activity would not be a means to control growth or presence of pathogens. Additionally, the pH of the product should be considered as well, as many of the hot sauces are bottled and may have an anaerobic environment, which may allow for the growth and risk of clostridium botulinum. Therefore, when considering making a safe hot sauce, one should consider the pH of the product, as well as ensure there is a thermal cook or kill step to destroy any pathogens that would be present, as the pH alone would not control growth of pathogens or kill any pathogens that would be present.

    Making Hot Sauce From Dried Peppers And Powders

    Habanero Hot Sauce | How to Make Easy and Delicious Homemade Hot Sauce

    You can also use DRIED chili peppers, either whole or as powders. Certain dried peppers make for hugely flavorful sauces and hot sauces, particularly Mexican varieties like anchos or pasillas. Same goes for powders, which can turn into beautiful hot sauces.

    Learn much more about how to make hot sauce from dried peppers here and how to make hot sauce from chili powders here.

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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

    Advice From Hot Sauce Makers

    I reached out to some of the hot sauce makers I know and asked them what advice they would give to would-be sauce makers looking to break into the market. Here is what they had to say.

    The advice I would give to would be sauce makers wanting to start a new business is this: Do your research. Initially do your research on food safety and take a food safety course and read pertinent information from both the FDA and local DOH. After that, decide if you want to manufacture yourself or co-pack. Again, research. Starting up is an investment and the more you know before you start shelling out money the less you waste making mistakes. Finally ask questions. Theres tons of sauce makers that have been where you are and will be more than happy to answer questions, just dont expect them to to do your work for you. Finally test your sauces on people who will give you honest feedback. Friends and family will be biased for the most part. Honest feedback may save you from spending a lot of time and money on a sauce nobody wants. Be smart before you start. Jeremy Walsh, Bigfats Hot Sauce .

    I tell everyone that asks me this question is that you better be ready to work super long hours and have an extreme passion for the industry. Steve Seabury, High River Sauces

    On the light side I would say to remember all the people that said, This is great-you should get it in stores, and remind them of that when you need financing! Bill White, Slap You Silly Hot Sauce

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    What Is The Growth Potential For A Hot Sauce Business

    A hot sauce business can be a local, one- or two-person operation. Or, it can grow to become a national or international company. Way Hot Sauce Company in Haslett, Michigan is an example of a regional hot sauce business. Pepper Palace is a larger hot sauce company with outlets throughout the country.

    Consider Some Support Players

    How to Make Habanero Pepper Mash

    Some fermented hot sauces include supplemental ingredients in the initial fermentation step. You can add virtually any ingredient, from sweet fruits like berries and melons to vegetables and aromatics such as carrots, beets, garlic, and onions. Often, these additions are intended to balance the flavor and heat of the sauce. Heres a quick rundown:

    Fruits or Vegetables

    Fruits or vegetables are useful for tempering aggressive heat, lending sweetness or vegetal flavors. Carrots, citrus, or berries are great examples. These ingredients are teeming with surface lactic acid bacteria, and are rich in natural sugar, which drives fermentation furter.


    Ingredients like garlic or spices can bring more complexity to your hot sauce. Fresh garlic also helps fermentation, because its rich in surface lactic acid bacteria. Cumin, cinnamon, or coriander are great choices too: Their harsh, raw flavor melds over time as fermentation progresses.

    For those concerned about garlic and botulism, lets be clear: well be using airlocks to ferment the hot sauces. This means that theres oxygen involved that will gradually be replaced by carbon dioxide. High concentrations of carbon dioxide are inhibitory to Clostridium botulinum paired with the low pH produced by LAB fermentation, theres no reason to worry about contamination and food safety.

    Pre-Fermented Products

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