Written by Mr. Crumbs
You know that cool section in the grocery store and fancy gift shops? The one with those fancy sauces and spices that you just want to buy, but you’re afraid to plunk down $10 for a bottle of awesome looking hot sauce… because… well, you don’t know how it tastes (flavor wise), and you don’t know if it’s too hot or not?
If you’re lucky, some of the gift shops may have toothpicks you can dip in to sample, but usually you’re left guessing as to the flavor and heat index of the sauce itself.
Fear not! We have the perfect solution for how you can build the perfect hot sauce according to what your taste buds desire.
This recipe is truly customizable, simple and takes only 15 minutes to make! Do you want to make something truly unique, or ridiculously hot? Go ahead. Would you prefer to make something a little more traditional like Frank’s Hot Sauce? Easy. We’ll show you how.
For this tutorial, we primarily used Fresno Chile peppers for two main reasons.
- They are pretty mild with a little tang and adding heat is easy with the drop of a single habanero pepper.
- We also had a TON of them in our fridge from my father-in-law.
If you’re concerned about what’s hot and what’s not, here is a sample heat index for some of the most popular types of peppers (taken from a variety of sources and chopped to fit accordingly).
Note, the Fresno peppers we used ranked right around 5,000 Scoville Heat Units, which is further down and on the mild side of peppers.
So before you begin, safely pick your poison. : ) As in, choose the correct pepper for your desired heat level.
If you’re unsure, choose a pepper that’s on the mild side (like the Fresno) and pick up a few Habanero’s on the side to increase the heat if necessary. Also, if you’re concerned about color, you’re going to want to choose a pepper with the desired color that you want for your sauce as well.
Note: If you’re making your own homemade Frank’s hot sauce, use cayenne peppers!
15 Minute Homemade Hot Sauce
- 20 Peppers (Fresno, Cayenne, Jalapeno) of your choice
- 1 1/2 cups vinegar (I used white)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp minced fresh garlic
- medium sauce pan
The gloves are for your own protection, especially if you’re working with a crazy hot pepper. The oils from the pepper can rub off onto your hands without you even knowing it, or without any adverse reactions. That is, until you go to wipe your eye or scratch your nose or whatever. The oils can easily transfer and cause all sorts of irritation in places you don’t want to be irritated!
Special note to contact lens wearers – wear your glasses for this one!
Wash the peppers.
If you’re concerned about organic, remember that hot peppers are in the Dirty Dozen and you’ll want to buy organic (here’s a free pocket-sized printable you can take with you shopping).
Cut the tops off of your peppers and slice in half lengthwise.
Pour the vinegar into a sauce pan/pot, add peppers, salt and garlic. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low boil until peppers are soft (about 10 minutes).
Pour everything into your blender, including peppers and vinegar.
Blend it (seeds and all) until liquefied.
Add additional heat if desired. If you like it hot, add a Habanero (or half of one), re-blend and re-taste.
Note: This additional pepper isn’t cooked. We don’t recommend adding “additional heat” when you’re cooking the peppers on the stove when you make this the first time. This gives you the chance to adjust the heat after the fact, little by little. Once you determine how much heat you like, feel free to add those additional peppers to the ones you cooked earlier in subsequent batches.
Enjoy. You now have hot sauce!
- 20 fresh peppers of your choice (Fresno, Cayenne, Jalapeno are good ones)
- 1½ cups vinegar (I used white)
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tsp minced fresh garlic
- Put on gloves (kitchen-safe) and wash the peppers.
- Cut the tops off of your peppers and slice in half lengthwise.
- Pour the vinegar into a sauce pan/pot, add peppers, salt and garlic. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low boil until peppers are soft (about 10 minutes).
- Pour everything into your blender, including peppers and vinegar.
- Blend it (seeds and all) until liquefied.
- Add additional heat if desired. If you like it hot, add a Habanero (or half of one), re-blend and re-taste.
- Enjoy. You now have hot sauce!
Additional Recipes Notes and Tips
Make SURE your blender can handle hot liquids. If not, wait until the mixture has cooled before you blend it.
Also, this hot sauce continues to improve with age, after the ingredients have had time to fuse! If you’re able to, make this 1-2 days in advance.
Finally, this sauce tinted our blender a lovely shade of orange. Heads up if you care about the aesthetics of your kitchen appliances!