Read This Before Using Mustard In A Hot Sauce

Mustard is available in as many varieties and types as hot sauce products are. Some gourmet hot sauces use mustard as a base or additive in their recipes due to the tangy flavor they provide that can pair well with the pungency of hot sauces. Many of the ingredients in mustard work well with hot peppers to become a hot sauce because they will often allow spiciness along with the flavors of the other ingredients.

Using mustard in a hot sauce will utilize the tanginess of the condiment and pair it with the spiciness of the hot pepper. Honey and other sweet ingredients are often combined to balance different levels of heat. Hot sauces that contain mustard are often used as a barbecue-style sauce for grilling meats, along with the spiciness of hot sauce.

What exactly is mustard?

Mustard as a condiment has been used for many years. It has been the go-to condiment in American culture for hot dogs, hamburgers, and sandwiches. Many other condiments have been introduced over time but few have stood out like mustard…and of course hot sauce. Many different condiments have been combined to create other flavors to include ketchup and mustard, mayonnaise and relish, sour cream, and salsa. Simply combining mustard with hot sauce may not get the desired creation like some other simple combinations. Mustard may need to be used in minimal amounts or with other ingredients that support it. Also, it is helpful to know what mustard is made from.

What is mustard made of?

Mustard is made of dried mustard seeds crushed into powder form or also known as mustard powder. It is then mixed with liquids to give it a thin consistency. This is most of the contents of a simple mustard recipe and is what gives mustard its bright yellow color. Another of the main ingredients is vinegar and this is also a common ingredient in hot sauce.

Understand that if mustard is used straight out of the container and into a hot sauce the ingredients will have to be listed as part of your ingredient list. For example, Fat Cat Cat in Heat Hot Sauce lists mustard, with the ingredients of the mustard (vinegar, #1 mustard seed, salt, turmeric & spices) listed in parenthesis. This is a requirement of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if the hot sauce contains a certain percentage of mustard in the recipe. Read the new regulations on a nutritional label here.

What is hot sauce made of?

I have written numerous posts about the contents of hot sauce. A simple classic or traditional hot sauce will significantly change with the addition of mustard. Mixing one condiment with another will certainly need a higher level of experimenting to find the right combination, much like a hot sauce recipe does.

Common forms of mustard used in hot sauce

Many contemporary hot sauce recipes have used non-traditional ingredients to expand on classic flavors. This includes the uses of mustard and the ingredients used to make mustard. Here is a list of variations of mustard used in hot sauce recipes and some popular hot sauce brands that use them.

Mustard seed

A hot sauce that contains mustard seed as one of the ingredients will usually get crushed into a powder but not used whole in a hot sauce. Crushing the seeds releases the mustard flavor but this can be an intense and bitter taste if they are not made into mustard first. Be cautioned about using mustard seed in a hot sauce recipe because it is not the mustard flavor available on store shelves that you may be looking for. Mustard seed can be purchased at most stores where spices can be purchased for under $.50 an ounce. Get 24 oz of Sanniti Whole Mustard Seeds here from Amazon.

Frying the seeds

Frying mustard seeds can give them a distinct roasted or toasted flavor to them. This flavoring can stand out within a hot sauce recipe but will also require another step in making hot sauce. Frying the seeds is usually done on medium heat for about 10 seconds and is often found as a topping in Indian cuisine.

Mustard powder

Mustard powder is the pure form of crushed mustard seed. This will be a color ranging from a brilliant yellow to a light brown depending on the mustard seed used. Using this in a hot sauce recipe will eliminate the need for processing the mustard seeds but will also require other ingredients to support it. Mustard powder can also be purchased at most grocery stores but is often more expensive than whole seeds because you are paying for the processing. Get Happy Belly here from Amazon for about the same cost as seeds!

Yellow Mustard

Yellow mustard is the most classic and standard form of the condiment. This can be used as a base along with hot peppers, garlic, honey, brown sugar, molasses, and lime juice to create a grilling sauce for meats. Yellow mustard can be purchased anywhere but get our favorite here.

Dijon mustard

Although not as common as yellow mustard in a hot sauce, Dijon is used to create a variety of variations to a hot sauce. This includes barbeque sauces, horseradish. Dijon mustard differs from yellow mustard because it uses spicy brown or black mustard seeds. Many top-shelf varieties of Dijon mustard use varieties of wine instead of vinegar. Dijon mustard can be more expensive and more pungent than yellow mustard because of added white wine. Get a premium Dijon by Grey Poupon through this link from Amazon.

Hot peppers that work well with mustard

Mustard is a unique condiment and may not work well with all the different varieties of hot sauce available. Some of the more common varieties are habanero, scotch bonnet, cayenne, and jalapeno. Each of these hot peppers has a varying degree of heat as well as flavoring.


Habanero peppers are some of the more common peppers used along with mustard in a hot sauce recipe. Because of their bright orange color along with the vibrant yellow of mustard the color of the peppers can be retained.

Scotch bonnet

Scotch bonnet, like habanero, can have a fruity flavor to them and also provide a bright yellow to orange color to them that also works with the colors of mustard. Scotch bonnet and mustard are often combined with fruits like mango and coconut vinegar to get a Caribbean flavor.


Jalapeno is a common pepper used in hot primarily because of its availability and the lower heat content attract a wider consumer demographic. Jalapeno is often combined with just mustard to spice it up.

Other ingredients that work well with mustard in a hot sauce

Salt and garlic

Salt and vinegar are common hot sauce ingredients and both of these ingredients work well with a hot sauce. A premade mustard may not contain garlic but it probably contains a lot of sodium, in the form of salt. Take this into consideration when adding additional salt to a hot sauce recipe.


Honey works well with many types of mustard and you will often find it available mixed with mustard as a condiment. This sweetener also works within a hot sauce to balance out heat, tanginess, or any sour flavors that other ingredients may bring.


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