Make Your Own Hot Sauce

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Why I Prefer Fermenting Over Canning:

How To Ferment And Make Your Own Hot Sauce, Easily

Fermentation creates ALIVE food- but must be refrigerated .

Fermented foods are incredibly rich in probiotics. These good bacteria are living creatures that work with our microbiome to improve digestion, boost immunity and help us maintain a healthy weight.

I prefer fermentation over canning because canning kills all the healthy bacteria and also halts the development of flavor. Fermentation keeps these healthy bacteria alive, and as a result, the fermented food actually tastes better and better with time!

Because fermented things are stored in the fridge they will remain healthy and active, continuing to ferment at a very slow rate.

Our bodies love foods packed with healthy probioticsgood bacteriaanother way to boost our gut health.

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Where do you find the best chile peppers? Of course, the answer is at Napa Farmers Market.

You can usually find jalapeños, cayenne, and serrano chiles, which are on the hot side. You can also find milder varieties such as Anaheim, Jimmy Nardello, Corno di Toro and even red bell peppers.

The combination of chiles is the first step in determining the heat level of your hot sauce. The second step is deciding how much or how little membrane and seeds you want to include. If you make a sauce and find it is either too hot or too mild, you can adjust the heat by adding more hot or mild chiles.

A word of caution. When handling chiles, wear gloves and take them off before touching any part of your body. Your skin or eyes will not be happy if they come in contact with the oily substance called capsaicin. The burning sensation you will experience will be quite unpleasant and will linger no matter what you do after coming in contact with capsaicin. I have made hot sauce without wearing gloves and have paid the price. I wont go into detail regarding where on my body the burning sensation occurred, but it hurt for a few hours.

If you like hot sauce but dont want to risk making your own, youre in luck. Both Contimo Provisions and Golden State Pickle Works make excellent hot sauces. Both are fermented.

Why Else Should You Make Your Own Hot Sauce

The second reason you should make your own hot sauce is freshness.

Bottled hot sauces are exposed to light for most of the day and can be on the shelves for weeks if not months, and who knows how long theyve been sitting in storage before that. Time and light exposure are the death of flavor.

When you make your own hot sauce, the loss of flavor and freshness to light and time is practically non-existent.

Fresh hot sauce tastes nothing like a bottled one, and once youve had it fresh, its really hard to want to go back .

Recommended Reading: El Yucateco Caribbean Hot Sauce

Making Your Own Hot Sauce Will Change Your Life

I recently moved to the Napa Valley, a land of such abundance that its almost impossible to visit a friend without leaving with large sacks of produce, dozens of backyard eggs, and cases of wine in tow.

In order to keep this food from going to waste, you must find ways to preserve, pickle, and can. Most people who regularly cook never think to make their own condiments, which isnt that difficult and always significantly tastier than store bought. But which condiment stands above them all?

Homemade mayonnaise is pure magic, but there are some folks who dont like the taste or get put off by the color and texture. I dont associate with these people. Ketchup is a little boring, and pickling has jumped the shark of hipster trendiness. Hot sauce, however, is the perfect homemade condiment. People who like hot sauce actually LOVE it, and it looks great sitting in a clear bottle in your fridge. Not only that, but after a minimal amount of work, you can enjoy your creation for weeks or months.

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law Jen made her own hot sauce and my first reaction was, Why didnt I think of this? The results were amazing. A few days later, my wife Emma returned home with a bag full of peppers from a friends yard. I knew what I had to do.

I had about 4-5 scotch bonnets and 2 other chiles on hand. This determined how many peppers I used. I had an empty sauce bottle that held about one and a half cups of liquid. This determined how much vinegar I used. See? Easy.

What Can I Do With A Lot Of Jalapeno Peppers

The Make

If youre stuck for ideas, you can always check this page 10 Ways to Use a Huge Jalapeno Harvest.

But heres a more direct idea for you. Make HOT SAUCE.


This is a fermented hot sauce recipe and it requires an entire pound of jalapeno peppers, which may not seems like a lot of weight, but it takes quite a few jalapeno peppers to weigh 1 pound.

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Starting Your Own Hot Sauce Business

Hot sauce making usually starts as a home kitchen hobby. For some, it develops into a true passion and even progresses into a business idea. There is a vibrant hot sauce market in the U.S. today, and wouldnt it be wonderful to be a part of it, selling your own brand of hot sauce to the masses of spicy food lovers?

If youve reached this level, here are some steps and advice to consider when bringing your product to market.

Reasons To Make Hot Sauce At Home

I started making hot sauces at home because I had fallen in love with many of the artisan hot sauces out there, but sometimes couldnt find them, and I wanted to experiment with different flavors.

When you make your own hot sauce at home, you are free to incorporate whatever ingredients that please you. Also, youre free to emphasize particular flavors that other sauces dont offer, such as more superhot chili peppers or a batch that focuses heavily on fruit. In this way, making your own hot sauce guarantees it will be unique.

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Do You Want To Know A Secret Hot Sauce Isn’t Actually That Hard To Make At Home

For a long time, I thought homemade hot sauce wasnt really worth making. I mean, there are hundreds of choices out there, so why bother making your own? Then, I had a bounty of peppers from the garden one year and figured I would give it a try. As soon as I dove into the world of homemade hot sauce, I realized that its not only easy to make, but its also pretty forgiving, too. So long as you use fresh chilies and a good-quality vinegar, theres really no way to go wrong.

There are many different ways to make hot sauce, from using a single pepper to blending a few together. Some rely on lacto-fermentation for added health benefits, and others call for simmering away on the stove top to let the flavors meld. For this in-depth guide, we wanted to walk you through our favorite recipe. It combines a few peppers that were growing in our gardenfresh habanero and serrano peppersalong with dried arbol chiles for depth. The addition of carrots really gives this sauce a unique spin.

Types Of Chilies To Use:

How to Make HOT SAUCE

Use any fresh chili pepper you like or a blend of different peppers . To temper, the heat, feel free to add a similarly colored bell pepper . For example- add a golden bell pepper to habaneros to temper the heat. Or a green bellpeper to serano chilies.

Keep in mind, you will be blending the sauce, so stick with the same color palate to make a vibrant colored sauce. For example, mixing red and green peppers will yeild a brown hot sauce- not the prettiest, but up to you.

Also, keep in mind, fermentation will mellow out the heat of the peppers over time.

I am hearing that frozen peppers can be fermented , but have not personally tried this.

Currently experimenting with fermenting dried chilies- will report back soon!

Read Also: Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet Golden Mustard Barbecue Sauce

Wait Do You Have To Ferment Homemade Hot Sauce

Dont get intimidated! This is a super easy fermentationeven easier than sauerkrautand it gives a complex, interesting flavor to the hot sauce. Heres how easy it is to ferment your own hot sauce:

  • Combine salt with warm, filtered water to create a brine.
  • Fill a jar with peppers and garlic.
  • Cover with brine.
  • Cover the jar with a fermentation lid or cheesecloth, and let ferment for 5-7 days .
  • Double Berry Habanero Hot Sauce

    This is a straightforward fermented mash recipe that capitalizes on the fruitiness of habanero chiles. Its inspired by a Louisiana-style saucewith a similar texture and tang. Because habaneros are thin-walled, dry peppers, I use a combination of blueberries and blackberries to add moisture and plenty of natural sweetness. The berries also temper the aggressive heat of the peppers, and are rich in pectin, which helps produce a smoother sauce. Bonus: The berries lend a vivid, crimson-purple color that looks great on the plate, or in the bottle.

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    How To Make Hot Sauce From Dried Peppers The Recipe Method


  • Lightly toast the dried chili peppers in a hot pan for a minute or 2 per side, until they become slightly pliable and loosen the oils in the skins. This step is optional and develops more flavor.
  • Remove from heat and add enough very hot water to cover the peppers. Let them steep for 15 to 20 minutes to soften.
  • Strain the peppers but keep the steeping water.
  • Add the rehydrated peppers to a food processor or blender along with 1 cup of the steeping water vinegar , garlic powder, salt, and other optional ingredients. Process until smooth.
  • Taste and adjust with salt and vinegar. Strain if desired.
  • Pour into bottles and enjoy, or simmer then in a pot for 10-20 minutes to develop the flavors even more, then cool and bottle. Store in the refrigerator.

  • Lightly toast the dried chili peppers in a hot pan for a minute or 2 per side, until they become slightly pliable and loosen the oils in the skins. This step is optional and develops more flavor.
  • Add water and vinegar, garlic powder, salt and other optional ingredients. Use less vinegar or water for thicker hot sauce. Simmer the peppers for 15 to 20 minutes to soften.
  • Add the mixture to a food processor or blender along with vinegar , garlic powder, salt, and other optional ingredients. Process until smooth.
  • Taste and adjust with salt and vinegar. Strain if desired.
  • Thats it, my friends! I hope you enjoy your hot sauce. Let me know how yours turned out for you. Id love to hear it!

    Different Styles Of Hot Sauces

    Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit

    As you dive deeper into the world of methods on how to make hot sauce, youll find various styles derived from cultures all over the world as well as some newer styles that are outside the box.

  • North American hot sauces include green sauces made from Hatch peppers, vinegary Louisiana style hot sauces, and super-hot options.
  • Caribbean sauces such as scotch bonnet pepper sauce are very high heat and pair nicely with fish and seafood.
  • South American sauces range from mild to super-hot and can even contain creamy bases that incorporate mayonnaise or sour cream.
  • Asian hot sauces like gochujang, sambal, and sriracha have become popularized in the U.S. in recent years.
  • African hot sauces include harissa, which is a paste that can be used as a base for cooking.
  • Middle Eastern styles often use Aleppo peppers and breadcrumbs or nuts for thickeners, which means they are very dippable.
  • Also Check: How To Make Louisiana Hot Sauce

    Change The Heat Level:

    Weve all done it. Bitten off more than we can stomach spice-wise! Hot sauce is nice because you can add more if its not too spicy and use it in small amounts if its a very spicy hot sauce.

    But if youre making it yourself then you can start out with a mix of peppers to suit your own heat tolerance!

    For a mild-to-medium hot sauce try using: jalapeños, serrano peppers, cherry bomb peppers, banana peppers, or fresno peppers. You can use all of one pepper or do a combination.

    For a medium-to-hot hot sauce try using: cayenne peppers, fish peppers, thai chilies, or tabasco peppers. Again you can use all of one kind of pepper or use a combination.

    For a hot-to-insane hot sauce try using: habanero, scotch bonnet, or ghost peppers. If using these peppers I would personally mix them with one of the medium-spicy or milder chiles.

    This is not a complete list of chilies of course, and the same pepper can produce peppers of wildly varying spice level. Its part of the adventure when it comes to chilies!

    I hope you feel inspired to try making your own, homemade hot sauce!


    Fermenting Time: Total Time:

    Homemade hot sauce is cheap and easy, and the results are fresh tasting and mouthwatering. It’s way better than store bought versions! This recipe can be adjusted if you have more or less peppers. If you have a scale keep around 2-3% of salt by weight, otherwise weigh your peppers when you buy them and adjust the salt based on the amount you have.

    Ingredients For Making Hot Sauce From Dried Peppers

    The only ingredients you need for making hot sauce is chili peppers, vinegar and salt. You can make some outstanding hot sauce with just those three ingredients, like this Homemade Tabasco Hot Sauce. However, that is only the beginning.

    You can add in all sorts of other flavor building ingredients, like onion, garlic, other peppers. vegetables, herbs and spices, citrus, fruits, juices, alcohol, and so much more.

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    Buying Guide For Best Hot Sauce Kits

    Hot sauce is one of those food items thats highly personal. Too hot, too mild, not enough flavor, not the right flavor, and too many flavors are all valid reasons why people give up on finding one that is just right. But don’t despair there’s still hope. A hot sauce kit lets you control the mix so you can create the perfect flavor with the precise amount of sizzle you desire.

    A good hot sauce kit comes with ample ingredients, so you can experiment to learn how the process works and tweak a recipe until its exactly the way you like it. It features everything you need to make several bottles, including instructions, and it has a wide enough variety of chili peppers so you can create mild, medium, and hot versions.

    To learn more about hot sauce kits and how to use them, keep reading. If you’re ready to jump right in and get cooking, consider one of the highly rated options we’ve listed in this article. Additionally, we’ve slipped a couple of assortments into the mix in case you’d like to sample some top-rated premade hot sauces.

    The Fermentation Of Homemade Hot Sauce:

    Louisiana Style Hot Sauce – How to Make Your Own

    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.

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    How To Make Hot Sauce For Wings

    Classic Buffalo style wing sauce is a slightly different thing from making hot sauce, but really, at its core it is a mixture of Hot Sauce and Butter. Just swirl in a few tablespoons of butter into your simmering hot sauce and youve got the makings of Buffalo Wing Sauce.

    Check out my Homemade Buffalo Sauce Recipe here.

    How Long Will Homemade Hot Sauce Last

    Homemade Hot Sauce is good for about a week in the refrigerator. Glass pint jars work well for storage.

    It might seem that with the vinegar, it would last months, but with added ingredients like garlic , you will need to use it within the week.

    The good news is that it continues to improve with age after the ingredients have had time to fuse. So, if youre able to, make this 1-2 days in advance.

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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 it’s 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.

    Homemade Buffalo Sauce Recipe

    Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit

    Learn how to make buffalo sauce and youll never have to use a store-bought sauce again. This homemade buffalo sauce is hot, tasty, and easy to make!

    Homemade Buffalo Sauce is the best way to make buffalo wings at home. Why buy a pre-made buffalo wing sauce at the store when you could just learn how to make buffalo sauce instead?

    This homemade buffalo sauce recipe is really easy to make. It only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish so you can make it just before you cook your buffalo wings. You could also prepare this buffalo wing sauce ahead of time so that its ready to go when you start cooking.

    Buffalo Wings are the best game day appetizer and theres no need to order them from a restaurant. Prepare your own buffalo wings at home AND make your very own homemade buffalo sauce to go along with them. Its SO tasty and its going to make your wings irresistible.

    Learn how to make buffalo sauce and take your buffalo wings to the next level! This homemade buffalo sauce is hot, tasty, and easy to make.

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