A Homemade Hot Sauce recipe that tastes just like Frank’s Hot Sauce! Ready in 15 minutes and can be tailored to mild, medium or hot – however you want! Use it to make our delicious Buffalo Chicken Pizza and our One-Pan Buffalo Chicken Potatoes.
When the garden gives you peppers and chilies, make homemade hot sauce! This recipe tastes like Frank’s Hot Sauce and it’s ready in 15 minutes. The best part though, is that it costs a whole lot less to make!
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 homemade hot sauce according to what your taste buds desire.
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 Hot Sauce 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 measurements are in Scoville Heat Units, which is how “hot” the pepper actually is.
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.
15 Minute Homemade Hot Sauce
There are so many things to love about this recipe, my favorite being how customizable it is! It is also:
- Quick and easy. It takes only 15 minutes to make!
- Frugal. It is much more cost effective than bottled fancy hot sauces.
- Made With Simple Ingredients. Having only simple ingredients means that there are no preservatives or thickeners like store-bought hot sauces might have.
- Very Tasty! With the peppers, garlic and vinegar, it adds wonderful spice and tang to just about anything you’re eating!
- Healthy! Penn Medicine says that there are several health benefits to eating spicy peppers.
- Totally customizable to whatever peppers you have – tabasco peppers, poblanos, fermented peppers, jalapenos, chili peppers… choose your level of heat and depth of flavor based on the peppers!
Ingredients for Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe
- 20 Peppers (Fresno, Cayenne, Jalapeno) of your choice
- 1 1/2 cups vinegar (I used white)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
Supplies: gloves, medium sauce pan, jars with lids for storage OR an old hot sauce bottle
Note: If you’re making your own homemade Frank’s hot sauce, use cayenne peppers!
The gloves are for your own protection, especially if you’re working with a crazy spicy 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. 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!
How to Make Homemade Hot Sauce
Follow this step-by-step tutorial to make the best homemade hot peppers sauce! Remember to work in a well-ventilated area, and wear your gloves!
Step 1. Wash the peppers. Whether you buy organic or not, be sure to wash using an all-natural produce wash (because even organic foods can contain pesticides!).
Step 2. Cut the stems off of your peppers and slice in half lengthwise.
Step 3. Pour the vinegar into a sauce pan/pot, add peppers, salt and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer until peppers are soft (about 10 minutes).
Step 4. Pour everything into your blender (I use a Blendtec like this one), including peppers and vinegar.
Step 5. Blend it (seeds and all) until it becomes a mash, pulp, or puree.
Step 6. Add additional heat if desired. If you like it hot, add a Habanero (or half of one), re-blend and re-taste.
Step 7. Enjoy. You now have hot sauce!
Which Vinegar is Best for Homemade Hot Sauce?
I used white vinegar, but you can also use apple cider vinegar which will add some nice depth of flavor.
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 (onions too, if you ever happened to add them), 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 you’re able to, make this 1-2 days in advance.
Can I Freeze Homemade Hot Sauce?
Yes. If you happen to make an extra big batch, it is perfectly fine to freeze this hot sauce for up to 3 months. I’d suggest using zip-sealed freezer bags for ease of freezing. Lay them flat for space saving. Thaw in the refrigerator and then give it a good stir in case the sauce has separated from freezing. I promise the flavor won’t be affected.
What is the Hottest Sauce in the World?
Scotch bonnet peppers are extremely hot peppers, and should be handled carefully. I wouldn’t recommend making homemade red hot sauce with them for your first time.
These are the type of hot peppers that need to pair with sweet flavors (like peaches and mangoes, or I’ve even heard of brown sugar) to help reduce and balance the extremely high heat.
Should I Use a Blender or a Food Processor for Homemade Hot Sauce?
Using a blender like this helps make the smoothest, creamiest hot sauce in town. But if you only have a food processor, that’s fine too. Just be sure to process until liquified and smooth. Consider straining it through a fine mesh strainer if it is not as smooth as you’d like.
If you use a blender, make sure your blender can handle hot liquids. If not, wait until the mixture has cooled a bit (it doesn’t have to be room temperature) before you blend it. We’ve had a Blendtec for 4+ years and have never had a problem with hot liquids (or any problem, for that matter!)
Also, this sauce tinted our blender a lovely shade of orange. We have been able to get the color out over time, but heads up if you care about the aesthetics of your kitchen appliances!
Homemade Hot Sauce is Awesome Sauce!
When the garden does well and we get an overabundance of peppers, it’s time to make hot sauce!
There are times when it’s best to make things from scratch and times when it isn’t the best use of your time or money.
But if you use hot sauce on everything from pizza to tacos to scrambled eggs then you should definitely make your own hot sauce. (This is one of the key principles I teach in Grocery Budget Bootcamp to make the most of your budget!)
Looking for recipes to use your new favorite hot sauce? Here are some of my favorites we use it in:
- Homemade Buffalo Sauce
- Buffalo Chicken Pizza
- One-pan Buffalo Chicken Potatoes
- Chicken Jalapeno Popper Casserole
Watch How to Make 15 Minute Homemade Hot Sauce:
15 Minute Homemade Hot Sauce
Homemade hot sauce recipe that tastes just like Frank’s hot sauce! Ready in 15 minutes and can be tailored to mild, medium or hot – however you want!
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: Sauces/Condiments
- Method: blend
- Cuisine: American
- 20 fresh peppers of your choice (Fresno, Cayenne, Jalapeno are good ones)
- 1 1/2 cups white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 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 saucepan/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!
This additional pepper added to the blender 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.
Keywords: homemade hot sauce
I’ve got some sauce that I made in a similar way from Ghost Peppers that is two years old and still taste great. It has been in the fridge the whole time. I plan to make more this year with Carolina Reapers but i’m going to boiling bath them to ensure longer shelf life and not have to take up room in the fridge.
Thanks for this. It seemed like a lot of work to make homemade hot sauce and then it only keeps for a week in the refrigerator. Plan to make some today.
Not really Todd. The vinegar and salt act as a perservative; as, to some extent, the pepper oil does too. I have never had a problem of spoilage in 3 years-and the sauce was used for 6 months or more.
Then why does it say to use within a week?
Karen @ Team Crumbs
Our instructions for use for this recipe is to use it within one week to prevent spoilage. Hope this helps!
I never have any fresh peppers, so I use 1/8 tsp ground cayenne per pepper.
Always works for me in a pinch.