Hot sauces: the ultimate guide

Do you love hot sauces? Then our guide is just right for you! We will take you through the world of spiciness, show you which hot sauces you must try, and give you tips on where to find the best ones. Moreover, you can expect numerous exciting tips and further links about hot sauces.

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Hot Sauce Guide

Dive into the fiery world of hot sauces, where every drop counts and the daring are rewarded. Here we bridge from Da Bomb’s smoky-fruity rebellion to the cosmic fire of Mad Dog’s Plutonium. These hot sauces are not ordinary condiments; they are pure passion in a bottle, ready to send your taste buds on a rollercoaster of intensity. Ready for the adventure? Then buckle up, because it’s going to be fiery!

Extremely Hot Sauces

DaBomb Beyond Insanity Chili Sauce (135,000 Scoville)

Da Bomb Beyond Insanity is an extremely hot sauce with 135,600 Scoville units, blending the fruity flavor of habanero chilies with the smoky kick of chipotle. The initial freshness is deceptive – quickly an explosive spiciness unfolds that should not be underestimated. Designed for the brave, this sauce adds an incomparable depth to dishes like chili con carne, stews, and curries without overpowering the base flavor. Beyond Insanity is more than just a sauce; it’s a challenge, an experience that one should dare to try at least once.

Order Beyond Insanity on Amazon

And for those who still need more kick, try DaBomb “Ground Zero”.

Garlic Reaper Sauce by Torchbearer (116,000 Scoville)

The Garlic Reaper Sauce by Torchbearer is a fiery blend of Carolina Reaper and garlic, delivering intense flavor and serious heat. Its creamy texture, enriched with finely tuned spices, promises a taste explosion. But don’t underestimate this hot sauce – the fiery kick of the Carolina Reaper sneaks up behind the garlic note, creating an unforgettable experience. This sauce is a must-try for those who love it extremely hot!

Buy a three-pack of Torchbearer on Amazon

The Best Hot Sauces

Crazy Bastard: Trinidad Scorpion & Clementine (55,000 Scoville)

Crazy Bastard’s Trinidad Scorpion & Clementine sauce combines the intense heat of Trinidad Scorpion Moruga with the fresh sweetness of Clementine oranges. This unique blend offers an intense taste experience for lovers of hot and fruity sauces. While it may be too challenging for chili novices, it provides an exciting taste kick for experienced hot eaters. For an even stronger kick, try Carolina Reaper & Blueberry.

Order a set of the three hottest Crazy Bastard sauces here: Amazon | Direct from Crazy Bastard

Marie Sharp’s Fiery Hot Habanero Hot Sauce (45,000 Scoville)

Marie Sharp’s fine sauces are made in Belize and are a classic in the Caribbean. This fiery sauce is based on carrots and habaneros and has a pleasant heat. For those who like it hotter, try the even spicier version Belizean Heat

Order on Amazon

Yellowbird – Organic Habanero (15,000 – 55,000 Scoville)

Yellowbird’s Organic Habanero Hot Sauce is a real insider tip for those who like it fruity and fiery. With its blend of spicy habaneros, sweet carrots, and dates, paired with a hint of garlic, it offers a great and unique taste experience.

Buy on Amazon | Manufacturer’s site

AARDVARK Habanero Hot Sauce (15,000 Scoville)

The AARDVARK Habanero Hot Sauce is an exceptional creation that masterfully combines the culinary worlds of the Caribbean and Tex-Mex cuisine. This hot sauce is characterized by a careful selection of fiery habanero chilies and juicy roasted tomatoes, creating a flavor profile that is both profound and versatile.

Buy on Amazon | Website of AARDVARK

El Yucateco XXXtra Hot Habanero Sauce (20,000 Scoville)

This hot sauce is not just any hot sauce, but a true legend from Mexico, based on an ancient Mayan recipe. Its unassuming marble-brown exterior easily deceives about the power within. It’s based on the Tamulado chili variety. Its flavor, a perfect balance between vinegary freshness and subtle fruitiness, makes it an ideal companion for any meal that needs a certain kick.

Buy on Amazon

Crystal Hot Sauce (4,000 Scoville)

This hot sauce has been produced by a family business in Louisiana for several generations. Perfect in consistency, it fits with anything that needs more spiciness, without being too hot. Ideal for marinating as well.

Buy on Amazon | Crystal’s site

Valentina Salsa Picante Mexican Sauce, Extra Hot (2,100 Scoville)

With the Valentina Salsa Picante Extra Hot Sauce, you can discover the authentic taste of Mexico! This versatile sauce is perfect for everyday use and offers a pleasant kick. Plus, it impresses with a really good price-performance ratio. An ideal beginner sauce.

Order on Amazon

Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce (2,000 Scoville)

Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce is a timeless choice for lovers of hot sauces. Since its introduction in 1920, the original recipe has stood the test of time. The blend of aged cayenne pepper and perfectly balanced spices makes it a versatile option for everyday use. Its moderate heat makes it particularly suitable for beginners in the world of hot sauces.

Order on Amazon

The Hottest Sauce in the World

Mad Dog 357 No.9 Plutonium

Mad Dog’s “Plutonium 9 Million Scoville Pepper Extract” is an extreme among chili concentrates, bursting the limits of spiciness with an astonishing 9 million Scoville. This nearly pure capsaicin bomb is 45 times hotter than commercial pepper spray and catapults every heat enthusiast straight into the hottest experience of their life. With its tough consistency and retro-nuclear packaging, it’s not just eye-catching but also a must-have for collectors and heat lovers. But be careful: Mad Dog’s Plutonium is so intense that it should be used only in tiny amounts and with the utmost care – a real trip to the moon in terms of spiciness!

Buy on Amazon

Where to Buy Hot Sauces

  • Amazon has a really large selection of hot sauces from around the world and all the above-mentioned sauces can be comfortably ordered there.
  • Here you can find not only a good selection of hot sauces but also other chili specialties from sausages to noodles.
  • also has a good assortment of chili sauces
  • The Chiliwerkstatt in Vienna produces its own hot sauces in all degrees of spiciness.
  • The sauces from Crazy Bastard in Berlin have achieved cult status and you can also order them directly from the manufacturer.

14 Tips for Eating Hot Sauces

  1. Start slow: Begin with a small amount of hot sauce and gradually increase thespiciness to build your tolerance.
  2. Learn about the Scoville scale: Understand the Scoville Index to better assess the spiciness of sauces.
  3. Use starch accompaniments: Rice, bread, or potatoes can help mitigate the heat by absorbing the capsaicin oils.
  4. Dairy products are your friends: Items like milk, yogurt, or ice cream can neutralize the heat, as the casein in dairy products binds with capsaicin.
  5. Don’t drink water with spice burn: Water only spreads the heat around in your mouth. Opt instead for milk or other fatty liquids.
  6. Learn from experiences: Record which sauces and levels of heat you prefer and how you have used them in your meals to improve your future eating experiences.
  7. Balance is important: Spiciness should complement the dish, not dominate it. Use hot sauces to enhance flavor, not overwhelm it, unless you are in for a spice challenge.
  8. Avoid skin and eye contact: Use gloves to prevent skin irritation and avoid touching your face while handling hot sauces.
  9. Experiment responsibly: Try different sauces in various dishes to find what you like best, but know your limits and act responsibly.
  10. Use hot sauces as a condiment: Instead of pouring sauce directly on your dish, use it as a dip to better control the heat.
  11. Recover after a spice challenge: Give your body time to recover after an extremely spicy meal. Avoid hard-to-digest or irritating foods for the next meals.
  12. Be aware of the risks: Be conscious that extreme spiciness can carry health risks, including stomach upset, nausea, and in rare cases more serious conditions.
  13. Don’t do challenges alone: Conduct spice challenges in the presence of others who can assist in case of an emergency.
  14. Share the experience: Enjoy hot sauces with friends or family. Shared experiences can be fun and provide different perspectives on the spiciness and flavor.

7 Things You Should Know About the Scoville Index

  • Measuring spiciness: The Scoville Index measures the spiciness of chilies by the concentration of capsaicinoids, particularly capsaicin, that cause the sensation of heat.
  • Scoville Heat Units (SHU): Spiciness is expressed in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Higher numbers indicate greater heat. For example, bell peppers have 0 SHU, jalapeños range from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU, and some of the hottest chilies, like the Carolina Reaper, can exceed 2 million SHU.
  • Historical origin: The Scoville Index was developed in 1912 by pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. Initially, spiciness was determined by a taste test where diluted extracts of chilies were evaluated for their heat level.
  • Modern measurement methods: Nowadays, spiciness is often measured using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), which is more accurate and directly measures the capsaicin concentration. However, results are still expressed in SHU.
  • Use and significance: The Scoville Index is used to inform consumers, in product research and development, and in gastronomy to regulate the spiciness of dishes.
  • Individual perception: The actual impact of spiciness can vary from person to person, as the pain threshold and tolerance to capsaicin differ.
  • Culinary application: Understanding the Scoville Index helps to select the right chili variety for a dish to achieve the desired level of heat.

Here’s a brief list illustrating the Scoville Index of some well-known chilies and hot sauces, from mild to extremely spicy:

  • Bell Pepper (0 – 100 SHU): Very mild, virtually no heat.
  • Peperoncini (100 – 500 SHU): Very mild, commonly used in Italian cuisine.
  • Poblano (1,000 – 2,000 SHU): Mild, known for being used in Chiles Rellenos.
  • Jalapeño (2,500 – 8,000 SHU): Medium heat, widely used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine.
  • Serrano (10,000 – 23,000 SHU): Hotter than Jalapeño, often used in Pico de Gallo.
  • Cayenne Pepper (30,000 – 50,000 SHU): Medium to hot, included in many spice blends.
  • Habanero (100,000 – 350,000 SHU): Very hot, commonly used in hot sauces and spicy dishes.
  • Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) (over 1,000,000 SHU): Extremely hot, one of the hottest chilies in the world.
  • Carolina Reaper (1,400,000 – 2,200,000 SHU): Currently one of the hottest chilies in the world, known for its intense heat.

The Scoville Index is a useful tool for understanding and comparing the spiciness of chilies and hot sauces, playing a significant role for enthusiasts of spicy foods and in the food industry.

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