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The 10 Best Hot Sauces To Spice Up Your Life

Best Hot Sauces

Did you know that eating spice releases endorphins? When you eat something spicy, your brain thinks your mouth is burning, so it unleashes the pleasure-inducing hormone that is endorphins, into your body. And it makes you feel good because of it. 

So, it’s no wonder that you’re reading this article. You are seeking the pleasures of hot sauce. We’re 100% on board with you in your endeavors, hence we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best hot sauces for you to enjoy:

1. Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Huy Fong Sriracha

This red, garlic-intensive hot chili sauce is the perfect mixture of flavor and spice. It is mildly spicy and goes with almost any kind of food. A strong and sweet scent is released into the air when you cook with it. The full extent of its chili, garlic, and vinegar flavor is realized when you include it in any dish you’re preparing.

2. Cholula Hot Sauce

Mix arbol and piquin peppers and you get the delicious Cholula Hot Sauce. This reddish-orange Mexican-based hot sauce goes with all kinds of foods including rice, eggs, tacos, burritos, and more.

The spice level is mild and would work great for those who can’t handle too much spice. The sauce has a watery-like consistency as opposed to the smoothness of Huy Fong Sriracha. You should definitely try this sweet and spicy flavored sauce.

3. Crystal Hot Sauce

Crystal Hot Sauce

This creation from the state of Louisiana is one of the most versatile hot sauces available. The ingredients are simple: distilled vinegar, salt, and aged red cayenne peppers.

The dominant taste of the red cayenne peppers gives off a tangy and spicy flavor. In terms of heat levels, it has a medium spiciness. It has a texture that’s thick and watery. Because of its versatility, it can be used with any of your favorite foods like pizza, eggs, steak, and even buttered bread.

4. Frank’s RedHot Original Hot Sauce

Frank's RedHot Sauce

Another red cayenne pepper-based hot sauce, Frank’s RedHot is perfect to add flavor to any snack or appetizer you’re having. It has a medium spicy level and tastes just like buffalo sauce. It tastes even stronger when it is warmed up.

5. Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce

Secret Aardvark

Secret Aardvark Habanero deserves a place at your table. The sauce is a balance between the heat of habanero peppers and the sweet tanginess of mustard and carrot. It has a moderate level of heat and can be used every day like ketchup and mustard.

6. Tapatio Hot Sauce

Tapatio Hot Sauce

Tapatio is the name given to people from the Mexican city of Guadalajara. That makes sense since Tapatio Hot Sauce comes from there. Red peppers provide the foundation to the sauce. It gives a low to medium spice level meaning, anyone can eat the sauce with no qualms about burning their mouths. Tapatio Hot Sauce has enough zing to make you come back for more.

7. Valentina Salsa Picante

Salsa Picante

This Mexican-styled hot sauce will complement any snack especially those that need a taste boost. The Valentina Salsa Picante comes as a red paste and is slightly watery. The heat levels are between low to medium. If you have a higher heat tolerance, you’ll have to repeatedly eat the sauce to feel any of the spice. To top it off, the sauce is packaged in a classy bottle which will look good on any table.

8. El Yucateco – Salsa Picante De Chile Habanero Green

Salsa Picante Sauce

Right from the heart of Mexico, the El Yucateco is a staple in most Mexican restaurants. The habanero peppers unmistakably pack a punch with their spiciness. You probably won’t be gasping for water after eating this hot sauce but you’ll definitely feel the kick, and you’ll be asking for more.

The El Yucateco Salsa Picante goes with many snacks, especially Mexican dishes. 

9. Tabasco Original Red Sauce

Tabasco sauce

Tabasco goes with everything. Really, it does. Conceived in 1868, this Louisiana-style hot sauce is a regular fixture among hot sauce lovers.

The Tabasco Original Red Sauce has a medium heat level, so you can keep going for more and more. Tabasco sauce endears itself to hot sauce veterans and newcomers too. Highly recommended for its various possibilities of use.

10. Texas Pete

Texas Pete Hot Sauce

Texas Pete has everything you’re looking for in a hot sauce: spice, a dash of vinegar, and taste. It has a low to medium heat level thus making it enjoyable for most people. The ingredients include aged red peppers, salt, and vinegar which is simple and straight to the point. Nothing ostentatious at all about it. Some have tried it successfully with ice cream too!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What to look for?

There are 3 primary factors to consider when choosing your hot sauce. They are heat level, taste, and ingredients. We explain it briefly below:

Heat Level

There’s only so much heat a person can handle. So you ought to know what your tolerance to spice is. Thankfully, the Scoville Scale exists. They tell you how hot any given pepper is by measuring it in Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Thus, you can learn how much spice you can take. For example, Tabasco sauce has a low to medium heat level and is measured between 2,500 to 5,000 SHU.

Taste

Each hot sauce has its own unique taste, and your taste buds may be inclined to a certain kind. For example, a Mexican-styled and Louisiana-styled hot sauce can be vastly different in their taste. So look for what your palate finds most satisfactory.

Ingredients

Finally, choose your hot sauce based on the ingredients. All hot sauces are based on some kind of peppers, plus other ingredients and preservatives. If you’re into consuming foods with organic ingredients, carefully examine the label to discover the type of ingredients. Some products can have higher levels of sodium so if you’re on a special diet, keep an eye out for the ingredients label.

The process of finding your favorite hot sauce may involve a lot of trial and error, but you’ll get there eventually.

What makes it hot?

The addition of ingredients like habanero peppers, red cayenne, jalapeno, etc. makes hot sauce spicy. Each of these peppers has its own Scoville Scale rating, which shows you how hot it is (and if you should be eating it). A compound found in these peppers called capsaicin is what gives you the burning sensation when you eat hot sauce.

How many calories are in hot sauce?

Most hot sauce products don’t come with a lot of calories in them. You would commonly find about 10 to 20 calories per teaspoon. Read the ingredients label for more information if you’re calorie-conscious.

How do they make it?

Making one bottle’s worth is not just a simple task of throwing red peppers, salt, and vinegar together into a bowl and stirring. The chilies are generally fermented for months or years before they’re ready to be used in a hot sauce recipe. So you can now appreciate the work that goes behind each hot sauce bottle.

What are the different kinds of hot sauce?

You can find a host of assorted hot sauces from around the globe. Right from the tip of the African continent, to Southeast Asia, and around Europe and the Americas, they’re everywhere. In the United States, you can find several styles, most notably the Louisiana and Mexican styles.

best hot sauces

Here’s a lowdown on some of the hot sauces from around the world:

North America:

  • Louisiana-Style (USA)

Hot Sauces from The Pelican State of America are thin, a little bit salty, and vinegary. They’ve been fermented many times over thus giving it a very funky taste. 

Three famous Louisiana-style hot sauces (which are also mentioned in the list above) are Frank’s RedHot, Tabasco Original, and Crystal Hot Sauce. They’re probably the most consumed hot sauce style because of their medium spice and easy availability.

  • Mexican-Style (USA)

If you were to head to the west coast and the southwest of the US, you’ll come across people who revere the chili. The hot sauce there is thicker and smooth at the same time. Something like Tapatio is a Mexican-styled hot sauce that originated in the USA.

  • Salsa Picante (Mexico)

Head further south and you’ll find the various hot sauces of Mexico. They’re quite similar to the Louisiana-style sauces in terms of consistency and appearance. Though there are some sauces, like the habanero pepper-based ones, which are potent enough. However, nothing is too spicy to stop you from coming back for more.

Asia

  • Gochujang (Korea)

This hot sauce has been a staple in Korean households since the 18th century. It’s made from sticky rice and fermented soybeans which gives it a sweet funky flavor. One gochujang-based sauce which is manufactured in the US is Mother in Law’s Sesame Gochujang sauce.

  • Sriracha (Thailand)

The Californian-based Huy Fong sauce has the same name but differs from Thailand’s Sriracha. It’s made from basic ingredients like red chilis, salt, vinegar, and garlic and is sweeter and has a more watery consistency than its US counterpart.

  • Chile Oil (China)

This Chinese hot sauce is simply made of oil mixed with red chilis. Chile Oil commonly includes other ingredients like dried garlic, paprika, and Sichuan peppercorns. It works well as a table sauce and in cooked dishes too. Sichuan peppercorns are especially hot and can leave you with an intense burning sensation in your mouth.

Africa

  • Harissa (North Africa)

Popular among the people of Morocco, Libya, and Algeria, Harissa sauce is a delicious hot sauce that has a spice level that resembles the jalapeno. It’s made from dried chilis, serrano, olive oil, and an assortment of herbs and spices. Harissa is generally used as an everyday condiment as well as in meal preparations.

  • Awaze (Ethiopia)

Awaze is commonly used as a condiment or a marinade. The ingredients include red chilis, fenugreek, ginger, cardamom, and other spices. Awaze is mixed with Tej, a sweet honey wine, and is topped off with garlic and black pepper. It is often used as an alternative to drinks like whiskey, sherry, and white wine.

  • Shatta (Egypt)

Shatta is served alongside Egypt’s national dish koshari (a street food made of rice, macaroni, and lentils). The sauce is made of red chilis, olive oil, tomato, and parsley. Shatta is loved for the heat and flavor it adds to the dishes it’s put into.

South America

  • Ají (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador)

This South American hot sauce shares the same name among 5 countries including Peru. Though the ones made in Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, and Ecuador are thinner, and slightly more acidic. It is made with green peppers like jalapenos, and with cilantro, garlic, and lime juice.

  • Molho de Pimento (Brazil)

Molho de Pimento is a constant with Brazil’s favorite Feijoada. It has a bright red color which it gets from the popular malagueta peppers. The other ingredients include olive oil, onions, vinegar, and green bell peppers.

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