Most people who enjoy hot sauce really enjoy hot sauce. They slather it on everything, from meats and vegetables to sandwiches and eggs. More often than not, they've also got a favorite brand they keep stocked in their fridge at all times.
But most die-hard hot sauce enthusiasts don't just have a favorite brand — they have a favorite recipe for the stuff. They strap on their gloves and goggles and get to work stewing, brewing and taste-testing their very own fiery formulas. And sometimes, if you ask them nicely, they'll even share their secret sauces with you.
READ: 5 Ways to Spice Up Prepackaged Ramen
We were lucky enough to track down four of these recipes from heat-seeking foodies across the internet. Try them at home if you dare, but remember the old saying: If you can't stand the heat, get out of the chili section of your local produce store. And for Pete's sake, do not touch your eyes.
(Simple Comfort Food)
Habanero Hot Sauce
For Wisconsin food blogger Dax Phillips, nothing beats comfort food — especially during those cold winter months in the upper Midwest. To spice up some of the culinary creations he presents on Simple Comfort Food, Dax dreamed up this fiery Habanero Hot Sauce. "I wanted … to use the habaneros in a way that wouldn't kill the palette," he writes, adding that the sauce is more addictive than anything else. "This sauce has something about it," he says. "It’s hot, but keeps you wanting more, and in my book, that is something good, and comforting."
- 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium onion, halved
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 whole habanero peppers, stem removed
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, lightly chopped
- 3/4 cup of cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Ground black pepper
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Lay the tomatoes, onions and garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are roasted, about 15 minutes. Remove the sheet of veggies, place them in a blender along with the remaining ingredients, and blend until you have a pureed sauce. Pour into a container, cover with a tightly sealed lid and use as needed.
(Three Blondes and a Tomas)
Roasted Tomatillo & Jalapeno Salsa Verde
As an adventurous chef, Sara Espina at Three Blondes and a Tomas never passes up an opportunity to try something new. When she eyed a tomatillo sauce recipe, and later, a roasted jalapeno dish, she knew it was time to whip up a Roasted Tomatillo & Jalapeno Salsa Verde. "The result, I must admit, was even more delicious than I anticipated," writes Sara. After developing the flavors a bit further with her husband Tomas, Sara slathered the salsa on roasted sockeye salmon, but says it's also the perfect complement to rice, roasted pork or tortilla chips.
- 4 tomatillos
- 1 small jalapeno
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place the tomatillos (skins removed and rinsed), jalapeno and garlic into a small oven-proof dish or skillet. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil. Roast them in the oven for about 15 minutes, turning once. Once they've finished roasting, place the tomatillos, garlic and jalapeno (stem removed) into a small food processor along with all the oil and liquid from the roasting dish. (You may also halve the jalapeno and remove the seeds for a more mild salsa.) Add the cilantro, cumin, lime juice and salt to the food processor, and blend the ingredients for about 30 seconds or so. Enjoy salsa right away or store in mason jars in the fridge.
(North South Foods)
Peri Peri Sauce
Peri Peri sauce (or piri-piri sauce) traces its origins back to Portugal, but this spicy condiment is widely enjoyed throughout countries such as Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa. Recipes vary from region to region (and family to family), but they all share one factor: lots of heat. Miss South of North South Foods whipped up this thick and thoroughly addictive Peri Peri Sauce to use as a marinade/rub for a variation of barbecued beer-can chicken, although she writes that "it’s pretty hot, and fairly addictive, especially used raw."
- 8 large red chilies (or the equivalent weight of African bird's eye chilies, if you can find them)
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers
- 4 cloves garlic, separated and wrapped in foil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Juice of 2 lemons
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the chilies on a roasting tray, along with the foil-wrapped garlic cloves. Roast until the chilies are blackened and blistered, about 25 minutes. Wearing gloves, de-stem and finely chop the red chilies once they're cool enough to handle. De-stem both scotch bonnets also, and remove the seeds from one. Unwrap the garlic cloves from their foil and remove any skins. Place the peppers, garlic, paprika, salt and thyme leaves in a food processor or blender and mix until the ingredients form a thick puree. Add the lemon juice and just enough vinegar to the sauce until its consistency resembles a thick ketchup. Pour into a sterilized jar and keep in the fridge.
Sriracha-style hot sauce is ubiquitous in Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants, but it's bright, tangy flavors pair well almost any type of cuisine. Over at Blue Jean Gourmet, blogger Nishta Mehra and her friend Greg Lopp can't get enough of the stuff, so she invited him over to whip up his homemade recipe in her kitchen. "I can attest that it’s ridiculously, wonderfully simple," writes Nishta. Best of all, she says it was so delicious that she didn't crave the store-bought stuff for weeks.
- 1/2 pound Fresno chilies, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves (or more, depending on preference)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Throw all the ingredients into a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then quickly reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until everything is cooked and softened. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before transferring the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend for about five minutes. Store the sauce in a clean container in the refrigerator. "This mixture should yield about a pint of bright orange goodness," writes Greg. "After two weeks in the refrigerator, there might be some separation," he adds, "but it will stir back together (and you’ll have consumed it by then, anyway)."