Making hot sauce can be as easy as mixing two ingredients: hot peppers and vinegar. Many well-known and successful hot sauce brands have sold their products for years with only these two ingredients and a few spices. Making hot sauce for the first time can be done following 3 simple steps.
Making hot sauce can be broken down into three simple steps: 1) Purchase a blender, 2) Follow a recipe, and 3) Choose a process to make the sauce. Hot sauce can be made by blending hot peppers with liquids such as vinegar, water, or lemon and lime juice. Many hot sauces use common hot peppers and popular ingredients but expand on or elaborate on the cooking process to make unique recipes.
Making hot sauce for the first time will require some simple kitchen appliances such as a blender, knife, and measuring cups. Many kitchens probably have this equipment but if you do not it can ALL be obtained for under $100.
Other equipment needed for the beginning hot sauce maker may be a saucepan, roasting pans, and mixing spoons. There are many processes to make hot sauce but cooking or reducing a blended sauce is one of the more common ways and is the easiest method for the beginner.
Follow these 3 easy steps to ensure success at making hot sauce
Step 1 – Purchase a blender
Steps 1 and 2 can be interchangeable and pose the question “which came first”? You cannot make hot sauce without a blender, and you cannot blend anything with just a blender alone. You need one of the main ingredients for hot sauce…hot peppers.
Step one to making hot sauce is acquiring the proper blender. Don’t attempt to make a large batch of more than a couple of bottles of sauce when you make a sauce for the first time. It is possible that the sauce may need to be adjusted slightly to your liking or may not come out as you anticipated, and your efforts could be wasted. You don’t need to make gallons of sauce only to find out it doesn’t taste good to you, is too hot, or is not hot enough!
A lot of time is not required for selecting the proper blender. Most 1-to-2-quart blenders will provide enough power to blend hot peppers into a sauce. I prefer smaller blenders like the Ninja BL660 Professional and Magic Bullet because they are easy to store, easy to operate, and easy to clean. Read the Blender Buyers Guide for more information on selecting blenders or purchase the Ninja here or Magic Bullet here from Amazon. Check out the top-selling two-quart blenders from Amazon but skip the review…purchase a blender and make a sauce!
Step 2 – Get a recipe
Don’t let the word “recipe” intimidate or deter you from making an original hot sauce. The ingredients of a hot sauce are free for the taking and are listed on the back of every bottle of hot sauce…but this is only half of the recipe. Use the simple recipe below to make your first batch of hot sauce or purchase Hot Sauce Recipes with over 50 hot sauce recipes to choose from. Available as an Instant Download, Paperback or kindle.
6 oz hot peppers + 1 cup vinegar (8 oz) + 1 garlic clove + pinch of salt = hot sauce
Add all ingredients together and blend in high for 30 seconds. This time can have a variation depending on the size and speed of the blender. The contents should be mixed until the sauce reaches the desired consistency ranging from chunky to thin. This recipe will make a thin consistency sauce before it thickens up as it is reduced.
Select a hot pepper that is available at the local grocery store. There are many exotic and Common Hot Peppers used to make hot peppers but begin with what is readily available. The peppers available at your local market will be much less expensive than ghost peppers. Once you have a recipe established many varieties of hot peppers can be swapped out for each other to create new sauce blends.
The recipe will refer to the ingredients and how they are processed. Some hot sauces can contain dozens of ingredients for flavoring, preservatives, coloring, and stability but traditional or classic hot sauce recipes usually only include a few. Sometimes the simplest combination of ingredients is the most natural tasting and can highlight the flavor of the peppers themselves.
Having an award-winning recipe to make your first batch of hot sauce is a step towards success but it is not necessary. However, understanding what a hot sauce is made with (the ingredients) and how it is made (the process) is important even at the beginning stages.
The recipe equation refers to the quantity of each ingredient and how they are combined with each other. The recipe equation will change as new ingredients are added but the example in table 1 is based on the recipe above. Many manufacturers begin the recipe with ingredients other than hot peppers. This is OK but will also mean that the hot sauce will not be as spicey and will not contain as much spicy flavor.
Step 3 – Select a process
The process refers to how the ingredients are mixed. There are dozens of different processes that hot sauce manufacturers use with some being very complex such as fermentation. This step will cook or reduce the sauce in a saucepan. Other processes may roast, smoke, grill, or boil the hot peppers first before they are blended.
Select or purchase a 2-quart saucepan with or without a lid. Combine all the ingredients from the blender except for salt, into the saucepan. Bring the contents to a boil and reduce the heat. Cook the sauce on low until it begins to thicken and stir the sauce frequently as it reduces. After the hot sauce has cooled, taste and add salt if desired.
The right or wrong process can make or break a hot sauce recipe
Use common ingredients
Reading through the packaging of many hot sauce labels will provide some of the same ingredients listed. That is because many hot sauces can use the same ingredients and process them differently. Choosing common hot sauce ingredients will provide a solid base to make an original hot sauce recipe. An ingredient label will list the contents by volume that they are used.
Keep it simple
As stated above a few simple salts and spices along with vinegar can enhance the flavor of hot peppers. Trying to create gourmet sauces before you have mastered a simple classic hot sauce recipe may prove to be difficult. Making hot sauce is easy! Creating delicious gourmet sauces can take some trial and error before they are perfected.