Hot sauces are a great way to add flavor and heat to a dish, and once you start, you may not be able to stop! Even if you're a hot sauce veteran, there may be some kinds you haven't tried before, like sriracha, harissa, gochujang, and more. Whether you just want a slight bit of spice or to really feel the burn, there are plenty of flavorful hot sauces out there for you.
To help you find a hot sauce you will enjoy, we've found the top 10 hot sauces available online. Since the number of flavor profiles and spice levels is endless, we have picked sauces that should complement any meal. Our top pick was Original Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce by Frank's RedHot. It has just the right amount of heat to add a little kick to your food. We've also included a buying guide that will help you find the perfect sauce.
Here are the best hot sauces we could find that suit a variety of different cuisines. We've included spice levels that range from mild to volcanic!
|Main ingredients||Aged red cayenne peppers, distilled vinegar, salt, garlic powder|
|Main ingredients||Distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt|
|Origin||New York, USA|
|Main ingredients||Honey, chilies, vinegar|
|Main ingredients||Habanero peppers, chipotle peppers|
|Origin||New York, USA|
|Main ingredients||Gochujang paste, oleoresin habanero, oleoresin capsaicin, oleoresin paprika|
|Main ingredients||Red chili peppers, red bell peppers, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt|
|Main ingredients||Red chili peppers, organic sugar, white truffle powder concentrate|
|Amount||5 oz. each|
|Main ingredients||Varies by type|
|Main ingredients||Chili, salt, distilled vinegar|
|Main ingredients||Vinegar, chile extract, evaporated cane juice, habanero peppers, cayenne peppers|
Mike's Hot Honey
Mad Dog 357
Original Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce
Mike's Hot Honey
Beyond Insanity Hot Sauce
Super Spicy Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha
Harissa Spicy Moroccan Red Pepper Sauce
White Truffle Infused Hot Sauce
Hot Sauce Variety Pack
357 Hot Sauce
Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Paste
Balanced Sauce With Aged Cayenne Peppers
Just 3 Ingredients for a Classic Smoky Flavor
A Sweet Drizzle With a Slight Kick
Intensely Spicy Sauce for Brave Palettes
A Delicious Combination of Asian Hot Sauces
A North African Taste That Won't Sear Your Tongue off
Spice With a Taste of Luxury
A Great Way to Ease into the Hot Sauce World
A Hot Sauce That Comes With a Legal Disclaimer
A Healthy Hot Sauce With More Texture
|Amount||5 oz.||2 oz.||12 oz.||4 oz.||10.5 oz.||10 oz.||6 oz.||5 oz. each||5 oz.||18 oz.|
|SHU||440||Not provided||Not provided||135,600||Not provided||Not provided||Not provided||Not provided||357,000||Not provided|
|Origin||Missouri, USA||Louisiana, USA||New York, USA||Kansas, USA||New York, USA||Not provided||Mexico||Mexico||Not provided||USA|
|Main ingredients||Aged red cayenne peppers, distilled vinegar, salt, garlic powder||Distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt||Honey, chilies, vinegar||Habanero peppers, chipotle peppers||Gochujang paste, oleoresin habanero, oleoresin capsaicin, oleoresin paprika||Red chili peppers, red bell peppers, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt||Red chili peppers, organic sugar, white truffle powder concentrate||Varies by type||Vinegar, chile extract, evaporated cane juice, habanero peppers, cayenne peppers||Chili, salt, distilled vinegar|
There are a ton of hot sauces that you can choose from. We recommend paying attention to its spice level and flavor profile.
Spice levels in hot sauces are measured on the Scoville scale. This scale is expressed in Scoville heat units (SHU) and was invented by Wilbur Scoville in the early 1900s. It generally refers to a pepper’s capsaicin content. The numerical score tells you how much dilution is required to make the spicy sensation disappear completely.
For reference, bell peppers are between 0 to 100 SHU, tabasco peppers are generally between 2,000 and 5,000 SHU, jalapenos are around 10,000, and the hottest peppers range between 34,000 and 800,000 SHU.
If you’re a newbie to heat, you may want to stay under 500 SHU. Charts are available on the Internet to tell you how spicy a certain SHU score will be. Reading reviews or sampling can also be a surefire way to tell!
Hot sauces are available all around the world, but regions use different flavor combinations to suit their respective cuisine.
American-style hot sauces tend to be thin and balance vinegar, salt, chili peppers, and purees. Louisiana-style sauces, like Tabasco, are a great example.
They’re not too intense, so they’re great for beginners. They can be used in marinades, soup bases, or as a topping on your favorite foods. However, there are also super-hot regional sauces that will definitely give you the kick you’re looking for. For example, try habanero-based sauces from southern states for more heat!
Mexican-style hot sauces typically use less vinegar than American ones, and they combine different peppers for a pure chili flavor. For example, they may use chipotle, habanero, or jalapeno peppers.
Cholula sauce is the most representative of this group, and you’ve probably seen it in a Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant before. These are great for amping up taco sauces, adding flavor to Spanish rice, or enhancing your favorite dishes.
Asia is a broad region, so it makes sense that their flavor profiles would be broad as well. A popular Asian hot sauce is Thailand’s sriracha, which you can use on pretty much anything. The best part is that a little goes a long way!
There’s also Korean gochujang, which blends red chili powder with barley, rice, and sugar ingredients for an interesting mix of sweetness and heat. It’s great for stews, marinades, and noodles.
If you like a burst of color, then Indian pastes and thick sauces that contain Kashmiri peppers will dye your dishes a fiery red. This type of pepper is actually fairly sweet, so it's a good option for people looking for a milder spice level.
Many of the hot sauces listed above are well-known in America, but there are others that may not immediately come to mind. If you want to try something new, consider branching out!
For instance, Jamaican jerk hot sauce combines chili peppers, often Scotch Bonnets, with aromatic herbs. It's a great marinade for chicken! If you want something bold, North African harissa sauce is a potent blend of oil and hot chilis used as a condiment for rice or soup.
Sambal is a flavorful hot sauce from Indonesia and Malaysia. Instead of a typical thin hot sauce, these sauces have more texture. They contain chilis with a mix of other ingredients, like shallots, tomato, sugar, and lime. Some varieties also contain shrimp paste, making it a great option for seafood fans!
Hot sauces vary widely in terms of texture and flavor, but not all of them work great with every type of food. To make BBQ dishes, you will need a hot sauce with a sweet, smoky flavor.
Vinegary hot sauces, such as Tabasco, have a bright, tangy flavor that helps cut through the fattiness of greasy foods, like pizza. They're also great for creamy, rich dishes like mac n cheese, and they are indispensable for making spicy and tangy buffalo sauce.
When adding hot sauce to soups or stews, we suggest going for something with a rich flavor and high heat level since the liquid will somewhat dilute the flavor.
Hot sauces come in a variety of textures, like chunky, smooth, thick, or thin. Hot sauces with a thick consistency are great for dipping. They're also fantastic for grilling and smoking since they won't slide off your food or burn like those with a thin consistency.
On the other hand, thin sauces will add flavor to soups without altering the texture. And while chunky sauces will give your stir-fries some extra textures, they don't incorporate well into soups. In this case, you might want to opt for a sauce with a smooth texture instead.
We highly recommend trying something new to expand your palette! If you’re used to hot sauces with a high vinegar content, try something sweeter or more aromatic for a change. Or, if you're enjoying a regional dish, try pairing it with a hot sauce from that country or culture.
There are a huge array of hot sauces and flavors that haven’t been included in this article, so reading reviews or browsing recipes is a great way to find out a hot sauce’s flavor profile. You try a sampler set with different flavors, too!
Find yourself reaching for the same hot sauce again and again? It can be tricky to figure out how to pair hot sauces with different food, but there are some simple guidelines you can follow! Think about the flavor and textures of your dish to help you pick the right sauce.
You can never have enough condiments -- well, you can have as many as your fridge can handle. Here are some other sauces to jazz up your meals.
There you have it - a variety of hot sauces you can choose to enhance the flavor of your favorite dishes or introduce yourself to a world of pain. Whichever you choose, be sure to use it in moderation, and try something different every once in a while. Sampler sets are a great idea!
Author: Shannon McNaught
Chili powder can add some extra heat and depth of flavor to your dishes. If you're searching for a good one, we suggest trying out this chili powder, recommended by plant-based food blogger Anisha Chandra.
Home electronics, PC, camera
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones
Investment and asset management
Credit cards and loans