Many of us can agree on liking our food with a kick — but one of the toughest things to get a majority to agree on is the very best variety of hot sauce. Among the pepperheads of the world, you have your Frank’s fanatics, your Sriracha devotees, and your Tabasco lovers, among others. It’s hard to say which sauce is best, but before long, you won’t need to — you’ll be making homemade hot sauce!
The best thing about homemade hot sauce is that you can tailor the spice and flavor combinations to suit your own preferences. Here’s a helpful scale to identify which peppers are the spiciest. Combine your favorite elements and flavor components from various kinds of peppers and sauces to see what you get. Below are 6 recipes to add some heat in the kitchen. Try them out and see which suits you best!
1. Homemade Hot Sauce
This classic, fast, and easy hot sauce recipe comes from Emeril Lagasse of Food Network. It’s about a medium spice level, but be sure to keep tasting as you add peppers to ensure it suits your preferences. This sauce is great for splashing onto fries, pizza, pasta — you name it! The recipe takes 35 minutes to complete and yields 2 cups of sauce.
- 20 tabasco or serrano chiles, stemmed and cut crosswise into ⅛-inch slices, or 12 very ripe red jalapeños (about 10 ounces)
- 1½ tablespoons minced garlic
- ¾ cup thinly sliced onions
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
Directions: Combine the peppers, garlic, onions, salt, and oil in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add the water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until peppers are very soft and almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to steep until mixture comes to room temperature. In a food processor, purée the mixture for 15 seconds, or until smooth. With the food processor running, add the vinegar through the feed tube in a steady stream.
Taste and season with more salt, if necessary. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and then transfer to a sterilized pint jar or bottle and secure with an airtight lid. Refrigerate. Let age at least 2 weeks before using. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.