Do you find yourself adding hot sauce to every plate of food you consume? Are you constantly searching for the best hot sauce brands, and do you dream of creating your own searing hot sauce recipe?
If so, then you’re a hot sauce fanatic—and you’re not alone! In fact, in the US people buy over $1 billion worth of hot sauce every year. That’s a lot of heat!
If you’re always searching for the hottest hot sauces, here’s some more info on the best hot sauces, how hot sauces are evaluated, and how you can get in on the fun.
Understanding the Scoville Heat Scale
Before you can appreciate the strength of each individual hot sauce, you have to know how heat is evaluated.
That’s where the Scoville Heat Scale comes in. The scale measures how many drops of water it takes to dilute and neutralize a pepper or hot sauce.
So, the higher a Scoville number a sauce has, the hotter it is. We have Wilbur Scoville, a pharmacologist who invented the scale in 1912, to thank for this measurement system.
Here’s a look at some popular hot sauces that score high on the Scoville Heat Scale.
The Source Hot Sauce
With a rating of 7.1 million Scoville units, The Source is one of the hottest hot sauces on the market.
Sellers say that one tiny drop of this hot sauce is enough to add spice to an entire pot of stew or chili, so be sure to use it wisely. If you try to consume the sauce straight, you’ll likely have to take a trip to the hospital.
The End Hot Sauce
The Carolina Reaper is thought to be the hottest pepper in the world—and The End’s hot sauce is chock full of them!
With 6 million Scoville units and a dedicated cult following, The End even has its own T-Shirt awarded to those brave enough to give it a try.
Mad Dog’s Hot Sauces
The Mad Dog brand doesn’t just make one insanely hot sauce—it makes several of them.
That includes Mad Dog 357 Pepper Extract, Mad Dog 44 Magnum, and Mad Dog 357 Revenge. But Mad Dog’s hottest sauce is also the hottest hot sauce in the world: Mad Dog 357 No. 9 Plutonium, at a whopping 9 million Scoville units.
Now that’s hot!
Blair’s Ultra Death Sauce
Blair’s Ultra Death Hot Sauce comes in a package that’s shaped like a coffin and features flames and skeletons prominently on its labeling. If that isn’t enough to convince you that this hot sauce means business, one drop of it will–at 1.1 million Scoville units, this hot sauce is nothing to sneeze at.
In fact, this hot sauce is said to use ingredients that are 900 times as hot as a jalapeno. It comes with a strong warning: Dilute before using.
Melinda’s The Ghost
For 12 years in a row, the Red Savina habanero pepper held the record as the hottest pepper in the world.
While the Red Savina no longer holds that record, its hot sauce recipe still packs quite a punch—as is evidenced by Melinda’s The Ghost, which showcases the habanero’s heat. Be advised: You’ll likely break out into a sweat after trying this hot sauce, which is rated at 577,000 Scoville Units.
Stinger Scorpion Pepper Sauce
Have your taste buds ever been stung by a scorpion? After trying this hot sauce, you’ll be able to answer “yes” to that question.
This sauce comes in at a burning 2 million Scoville units. But if you’re able to move past the intense heat, you’ll be able to enjoy notes of garlic, lime juice, and carrots.
Whoever coined the phrase “Don’t fear the Reaper” probably hadn’t ever tried Wicked Reaper hot sauce.
Like The End, this sauce features burning-hot Carolina Reapers, and weighs in at 2.2 million Scoville units. Taste at your own risk!
BumbleF***ed Hot Sauce
With a name like “BumbleF***ed,” you know it’s going to pack a punch. This hot sauce recipe, which has a scorching 6 million Scoville units, has a prominent habanero presence. It also has caffeine in it, making it a very unique hot sauce option.
Another fun fact about BumbleF***ed: It was created by Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, a former guitarist for Guns N’ Roses. Thal loved heat so much that he had to make a hot sauce of his own!
Speaking of which, here are some tips for those interested in creating their own hot sauce.
Make Your Own Hot Sauce Recipe!
Do you love heat in your food so much that you dream of creating your own hot sauce? If so, you’re in luck: Making a hot sauce is fairly simple, and can be done in any basic kitchen setup!
Of course, all good hot sauces start with peppers. Habaneros, jalapenos, shishitos—you should be able to find plenty of peppers are any grocery store, and even more at gourmet specialty shops.
Once you’ve got some good peppers picked out, you’ll want to add other acidic or savory ingredients to round out the flavors and help tame your peppers. This can include lemons, limes, or oranges; fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley; other produce like tomatoes, garlic, corn, or bell pepper; and, finally, a good amount of salt.
After that, all you’ve got to do is chop, roast, char, and blend. Once you’ve got the formula down, you can mix and match to find your favorite flavor profile.
And if you really get into the hot sauce game, you can even build a custom hot sauce box to give as gifts to friends and family.
Can You Take the Heat?
Hot sauce isn’t for everyone—but if you’ve got a need for heat, then there is no shortage of delicious, super-spicy hot sauce options out there. You can even try your hand at making your own hot sauce recipe!
If you’ve got a taste for adventure, be sure to check out the other fun food and drink posts on our site. Bon appetite!