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Jun 14, 2007 07:33 PM

Tabasco or will another hot sauce so?

I'm re-stocking my pantry and I'm at the hot sauces aisle. Alongside the Tabasco are so many other tiny bottles now. I'm not a regular 'appreciator'/abuser of hot sauces -- when I've used Tabasco it's mostly been in concert with Worstershire.

Do I go for the name brand product or can I get away with some of the other firey liquids?

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  1. The brand name product? I don't know where you are living but the when seems to be 1976. I kid. I kid because I love. But really there has been an explosion of hot sauce creativity and marketing in the last 30 years. There is a lot more to the world of hot sauce than Tabasco and that stuff you buy by the quart for $1.50. Here's one selection to look at: There are lots of wonderful products on supermarket shelves and available at hot sauce specialty outlets. They are not expensive, go out and a try a couple.

    1. I like hot sauces, but I have never liked Tabasco...too vinegary for my taste. I much prefer Bufalo brand sauces, particularly their chipotle sauce.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ricepad

        I find Tabasco has a bit of a burnt, bitter flavor to it.

      2. Try Cholula for a start. It's piquante, a warming burn, doesn't have an acidic taste like Tabasco, it's thicker and more substantial (Tabasco tends to be watery, which is fine for eggs and boozy drinks), and it's tangy.

        My roasted chicken recipe calls for Cholula spread liberally over the skin (along with herbes des provence, salt and pepper, olive and sesame seed oil), which gives the skin a more refined than Buffalo Wings tang! Inside chicken, removed of gizzards and rinsed clean, place entire head of garlic, a heel of peeled ginger sliced, and half a lemon to seal cavity opening. Midway through baking (375 degrees, 20 mins per pound, or until juices run clear), turn bird over. Turn once again and squeeze lemon juice all over bird just before done. I like to carve and serve the smoky and tender chicken pieces with a little bit of skin on top of a favorite green salad lightly dressed with a vinaigrette and rice or couscous cooked in a little chicken broth or crusty French bread pieces dipped in olive oil. A favorite French white (like Trader Joe's French Market Chardonnay, or La Crema) completes the repast.

        Tapatio, a good substitute for Tabasco, is similar in taste and consistency to Tabasco, but packs more a chili punch.

        I've been buying cheap salsas from Mexico. Currently using Huichol, which I like a lot on scrambled eggs and adding as a kick to buffalo chili, and at $1.00 for a bottle was super bargain.

        Lastly, another alternative to Tabasco is Sriacha (sic) hot pepper sauce, available in the Asian foods section. It's typically identified by its tall plastic squirt bottle and orange-red sauce. It has flavors of sweet red pepper and chilies and is fantastic for soups, BBQ, Viet Namese and Thai cuisine, Indian, great for Chinese dumplings (mix a little in soy sauce ), and wherever else the imagination takes you. It's a suitable substitute for any hot sauce.


        11 Replies
        1. re: jillita

          Those are the exact 3 hot sauces I keep in my house. Something that few people seem to try is combining them. Throw some ketchup in with sriracha and tapatio and dip your fries in them...amazing if you like spicy.

          1. re: MeAndroo

            Preach on!, i love fries, but without Tabasco and catchup i don't want them!, as for cooking i have almost completely quit using hot sauces for heat, and have fallen in love with crushed red pepper!, now for flavors like chipotle i use sauces or the specific pepper it's self,oh and the recipe looks killer, can't wait to try it.

            1. re: jword2001

              Tabasco ketchup is arguably the greatest condiment to ever exist!

            2. re: MeAndroo

              Yes! I try all kinds of combos. Wonderful one is hoisin sauce and sriracha and soy sauce for dumplings and spring rolls. Also great, ketchup and Cholula for...whatever you like with ketchup. Also fantastic for those who love malt vinegar on fries, country fair style, is to add a dash of hot sauce. Texas Pete is a great bet for that, something lighter so as not to overwhelm the vinegar.

              In Indian food I love to add hot sauce to fruit chutney and then make a raita (blended yogurt, mint, onion, cucumber, paprika, mild chilis, cilantro, fennel) and have the raita on the side (take pick: curried chicken, lamb vindaloo) and add a dollop of hot chutney on top. And basmati rice. The mix of flavors and temperatures is outstanding!

              1. re: jillita

                Ditto on the Cholula. My husband -- lover of all foods hot -- prefers Cholula to many of the much hotter sauces because of the flavor. He can add additional heat as he wants, but the basic flavor of Cholula is pretty dandy.

                1. re: bards4

                  Oh, and he also loves Sriracha. We call it the rooster sauce in our house (look at the label). It's what he adds to make the Cholula hotter. :o)

                  1. re: bards4

                    Don't get me wrong, my wife is from the Caribbean and we eat hot, but we also like flavor. Many of our house-made sauces have tons of flavor even though they are also hot.

                    We like Cholula as well.

              2. re: jillita

                Can I come to your house for dinner? The chicken sounds wonderful and I WILL steal the recipe. I use all three that you talk about and am a bit of a hot sauce freak. I also use Dave's Insanity sometimes, as well as Pain sauce for heat with some flavor. Matouk's is a very tropical hot sauce with a good kick. Melinda's xxxx has great flavor and HUGE heat. I also like some of the other Tabasco brand sauces, especially the chipotle and the habanero. All in all, hot sauce is like wine, learning about it involves consuming it, and that is what is the fun.

                1. re: phneale

                  You bet. Please steal the recipe and if you have a favorite recipe using hot sauce, let us know. Matouk's sounds intriguing (the rest of your recs do as well). I'll look for it. Hot sauces are like wine, so right!

                  Happy eating!

                2. re: jillita

                  Tapatio (or "The Tap" as we call it down here in South O.C. ) is by far my favorite hot sauce. It's really good on pizza and eggs.

                  Tap into The Tap!!

                  1. re: jillita

                    I am with you exactly, jillita. The vinegar of Tabasco makes it unpleasant to me.

                    Cholula and Tapatio are staples, as well as Sriracha. These are the three brands I also see most often at taquerias around here (So Cal).

                  2. My favorite hot sauce is Louisiana Gold Green Sauce, made by Bruce Foods. It's got a nice flavor and is not too hot, made from a blend of jalapeƱo peppers and Tabasco peppers. Delicious!

                    1. Texas Pete. Made in Winston-Salem, NC. Has been a staple in my pantry for as long as I've known what it was - from growing up till this day, 48 yrs. later.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: goodeatsinadive

                        omg - we love Texas Pete. the H came home with a backpack full of "free sample" bottles from the big apple bbq festival last weekend. he has no shame!