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Hot Sauce

  • m

What is the absolute best tasting and hottest "hot sauce" available?

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    4 Replies
    1. re: magnolia

      Encona sauce: made from Jamaican Scotch Bonnet peppers! On sale everywhere in London. I also love this green one we bought in Ohio, El Yucateco (from Mexico.) Also, Bufalo Chipotle sauce - I think we bought that one in Berkeley, CA.

      1. re: magnolia

        Encona sauce: made from Jamaican Scotch Bonnet peppers! On sale everywhere in London. I also love this green one we bought in Ohio, El Yucateco (from Mexico.) Also, Bufalo Chipotle sauce - I think we bought that one in Berkeley, CA.

        1. re: Joni

          I'm addicted to Encona.. had a bottle break in my luggage once, but I still can't resist bringing the stuff home.

          1. re: ette

            Sorry to bump this but it's the only reference on Chow....has anyone found Encona in the US, preferably on the East Coast? if so, where? (would love to get it without risking my luggage and paying for the plane ticket ;) )

      2. The best two I've had are only available in Liverpool! - one is a malaysian chilli sauce which is pretty damn hot, but tastes great, and the other is from a restaurant - the Yuet Ben - and is their own chilli oil - nutty, toasted flakes of chilli in oil - luverly

        1. Dave's Insanity Hot Sauce.
          Hottest hands down.
          Probably only available in the U.S..
          But I'm sure they have a website and ship everywhere else.

          1 Reply
          1. re: slowrider

            My problem with Dave's Insanity and all that brand's related versions and all the "hot as hell" hot sauces (all with cute names along the lines of "Burn Your Ass Off") is that most of them source their fire from something mysteriously named "pepper extract," which one aficionado assures me is merely the hot lining of peppers. That's where the Capsaicin is found, the essence of heat tasted/sensed in hot peppers. So those sauces taste more of chili powder than they do of peppers. I prefer to add my own chili powder and use the sauces for flavors that are not spice-based, but vegetable or fruit-based.

            One habanero-based hot sauce that I was just introduced to may be hard to find, but it is worth the search. Zaascila is the name of the firm in Mexico that makes it (www.zaaschila.com/index_ing.html) and they offer some "cremosa" sauces that are avocado, cheddar or chipotle based. Very tasty! They promise to get their online store up soon, but you know how that goes. If you are in the New York area you can find it in some grocery stores and Latino markets.

          2. I found one in Barbados called Delish Bajan Red Hot Pepper Sauce, blew the pants off anything that I've had in London, Encona included. Call barbados 420 8360

            1. b
              Bryan@Harrell

              My all-time favorite used to be Pickapeppa from Jamaica, but I found one that is remarkably distinctive and versatile. It's Sartain's Menu "The Sauce" made in Petaluma, California. I got a bottle of it at the Tomales Bay Oyster Company north of San Francisco on Hwy 1 between Pt. Reyes Station and Marshall. This one is incredible because the hotness comes in waves, while all sorts of flavor things happen in between. It's based on sugar, chipotle peppers and soy sauce, but also contains wild honey, garlic and tequila. Incredibly complex flavor, but hot. It overpowers raw oysters, but works well with barbecued oysters. I think I like it best with chicken or pork.

              The address on the bottle is
              Sartain's Menu
              PO Box 4728
              Petaluma, CA 94955 USA

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bryan@Harrell

                Thank you for your kind review, we were going for FLAVOR then HEAT.

              2. b
                Barb Cohan-Saavedra

                The answer depends on your taste. My advice: READ THE LABEL!!!
                Problem is, with folks now seeking hotter and hotter sauces, there are companies that will give you a nasty chemical burn with no flavor and NO PEPPERS! That is hot, but it's NOT sauce! A friend gave me a bottle of Dave's Insanity because it was too hot for him and he knew I'm a fire-eater. It was awful -- all burn and no flavor. (Some of the Dave's Insanity sauces are okay - this one was terrible. Again, read the label - mine had no peppers listed!!!)
                When I look for a good hot sauce, I read the label. At least in the U.S., ingredients must be listed in the order of volume with the predominant ingredients first. You don't want a sauce that has no peppers, or has them listed way down the end of the list.
                In my view, the best and most flavorful sauces (and often the hottest) are made with habanero (or scotch bonnet) peppers. Chipotle-based sauces are also terrific, with their distinctive smoky-hot flavor.
                When I was in London, I bought an array of wonderful sauces in the food court at Marks & Spencer that saved me from the bland food that was served at the business lunches I had to attend. I recall buying Busha Brown's Scotch Bonnet sauce (Jamaica), and a green sauce from Mexico called El Yucateco, both based on the Habanero, both divine. Happy hunting!
                (Or get a cookbook, probably available from one of the online bookstores called "HOT LICKS" and make your own!
                Their recipe for F-16 uses 16 habaneros, rum and other wonderful ingredients...)

                5 Replies
                1. re: Barb Cohan-Saavedra

                  Dave's Insanity is extremely hot, but does have it's uses. A few drops, certainly no more than a quarter teaspoon is sufficient to heat up a POT of soup, and the flavour at that level becomes discernable too.

                  You are correct that El Yucateco habanero is superb, and also plenty hot for most purposes. (Strangely enough, when I was visiting Camberwell a decade ago, I found some at Marks & Sparks to give to some local chef friends who had never heard of it.)

                  1. re: Fydeaux

                    El Yucateco red is about 4500 Scoville units if I remember correctly; the green is 7000. (that's a LOT) It is somewhat distinctive in that it is not vinegar based, in contrast to the Tabasco brand. There are uses for both. I use a lot of Cholula because it adds a lot of flavor without overwhelming the food item with heat, in particular grouper sandwiches and other mild flavors.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      Have you tried the brown xxx El Yucateco?

                    2. re: Fydeaux

                      There is one type of Dave's Insanity Sauce that is so hot that a single drop ruined a whole plate of food. (BTW, I do like spicy foods.) I realize all the sauces in his line are not the same, but I think there should be a distinction between sauces made simply from peppers and sauces that use EXTRACTS of peppers. It's not fair to compare the two.

                      1. re: comestible

                        Originally that was the one that was just called Dave's Insanity Sauce, but now there is also Dave's Ultimate Insanity Sauce and Jolokia Private Reserve, which are even hotter. I had a bottle of Insanity that I never finished because it was just too damn hot (and I'm a pretty serious chilihead) and didn't really add any flavor. I mean, I can take El Yucateco green or Melinda's XXXXtra Hot Habanero and just pour it all over a burrito and it's GOOD, but Dave's Insanity is just pointless.

                        For you other 'heads who can't get enough of Melinda's, a tip: pull out the plastic dropper insert from the top and you can get a nice pour of the stuff without having to shake it for ten minutes.

                  2. I have a pretty good (not as extensive as many of the folks on this board) selection of hot sauce. However, I always seem to come back to my two favorites, Crystal and Tobasco. For some reason they are my favorite and they always seem to remain on the table.

                    1. I like Sriracha, a thai chili sauce. It's not vinegary like Tabasco and thus maybe is not a "true" hotsauce, but it's got just the right flavor and heat for me :)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LPhila

                        There's plenty of vinegar in most Srirachas.

                      2. There have probably been a hundred threads on this topic over the years. Here's the most recent one, still active: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/592861

                        1. I've got several bottles of pepper sauce that I haven't even opened yet. Of those that I've cracked, CaJohn's 10 stands out. It is a combination of bhut jolokia, red savina habanero, fatalli and scotch bonnet peppers, among other ingredients. Murderously hot, but also very delicious.

                          Also picked up a bottle of sauce in St. Kitt's called Skyline Sauce. It has myriad ingredients including papaya, guava and yellow burkina peppers. Nowhere near as hot as the CaJohn's 10, but it packs a pretty good load and is ultra tasty.

                          Still, I'm not sure anybody will ever surpass the classic goodness of original Tabasco.

                          1. Grace's hot sauce is another Jamaican hot sauce that is hotter than Tabasco (which I personally find tame), but is not so insanely hot that it ruins food. Fried chicken with a few drops of Grace's and a small squeeze of honey is fabulous. I also use it in tacos, fajitas, etc., and certain stews and soups. Comes in a pretty small bottle, which should be warning enough that you don't need much!

                            1. May favorite is Marie Sharp's Fiery Hot... I buy it from a website called http://www.hollywoodsauce.com