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Do you make your own hot sauce?

Glencora Dec 31, 2008 04:58 PM

The February Saveur "home cook edition" has a recipe for hot sauce that looks really easy and inexpensive. Basically, you throw a pound of hot peppers (they recommend fresno, holland or cayenne) into a food processor with 3 tbsp salt, process, let sit for 2 days, mix with 2 cups white vinegar, let sit for 5 more days and then strain. Has anyone tried this? Any tips? Pepper preferences? Ideas?

  1. k
    Kelli2006 Nov 6, 2011 02:26 PM

    I used up my ripe Serranos, Thais and Habs by making hot sauce with them. I washed them and purreed them in a food processor. I then added a pint of vinager and a TBL of kosher salt and then allowed the to steep in a mason jar in the refridgerator for 5 weeks. I need to strain them and bottle them when I rember to do it but the longer that they steep the better the hot sauce is.

    I opened the bottle last night to check and the fumes were volitile. This sauce is going to be very hot.

    1. emglow101 Nov 6, 2011 02:07 PM

      Yes, I have made this recipie. I really liked it alot. I think I used fresno chiles it's been awhile since I have made it. Easy,and tasty.

      1. j
        jack6811 Nov 6, 2011 01:40 PM

        I've been making my own hot sauce for several years with habaneros and fataliis that I grow. My recipe is based on one for "Basic habanero hot sauce" from Dave de Witt and Nancy Gerlach's "Habanero Cookbook", now sadly out of print. It's essentially a base of carrots, onions and garlic with habaneros, salt, and vinegar. The original recipe, which can be scaled up, is at http://www.pepperfool.com/recipes/hot...

        The Saveur recipe sounds like a shortcut (without the fermentation) to something similar to Tabasco- essentially a spicy vinegar. I make, and I prefer, sauces with body- chunky and thicker.

        I second a few others' thoughts here on protection. I wear a full-length apron, chemical-resistant gloves and safety glasses when making my sauce; you only need one squirt of hot (temperature and pungency) sauce in your eyes one time before you learn that lesson. I have also found that the airborne fumes can be significantly lessened- especially while chopping or crushing peppers - if you freeze them first, thaw, and do the chopping while they are still partly frozen.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jack6811
          Veggo Nov 6, 2011 01:58 PM

          I also prefer the fresh, and I have a "handy little chopper" only for salsa. Carrots are a Belizean and Garifuna contribution, enjoyed throughout the Yucatan. So good on egg dishes.

        2. l
          lowereastrittenhouse Oct 30, 2011 07:49 AM

          I make my own hot sauce all the time, using Rick Bayless's recipe in Authentic Mexican. It uses dried arbol chiles, pumpkin seeds, garlic, spices, and vinegar. One purees the ingredients in a food processor or blender, then strain through a sieve. The sauce was a revelation to me, since it has enough up-front chile bite for a good hot sauce, but also a depth of flavor.

          1. PoppiYYZ Oct 30, 2011 06:55 AM

            Awesome easy hot sauce recipe that tastes great and stores very well :

            Wash a mix of hot red and yellow peppers, remove stems, rough chop, and cook in a stainless steel pot on medium heat with a little water to softened (about 20 minutes). Blend with hand blender and add a little more water if to thick. Measure pepper mixture and make sauce to this ratio :

            3C Hot Pepper Mixture
            1/3C White Vinegar
            1/3C Fresh Lime Juice
            1/3C Fresh Lemon Juice
            1T Salt

            Cook 10 minutes longer and reblend til smooth (I also strained my last batch through a coarse sieve to remove seeds but this isn't necessary).
            Jar hot sauce into sterilized jars and seal. (1 batch makes four 250mL jars)
            Cook filled jars 10 minutes in boiling water bath.
            Refrigerate after opening.

            Makes a wicked hot sauce that is great "straight" on eggs, pizza, or chili and is also excellent to use in cooking too. We ALWAYS have a jar of this going in the fridge.

            1. o
              oldunc Aug 14, 2011 06:15 PM

              Fresnos aren't very hot, don't know Hollands- a minimum would seem to be some hot peppers. There's some cultivar, can't remember the name, that looks like a Habanero but is red and supposedly twice as hot- I grew some once, ended up turning them into an experimental gopher repellant (worked for a while).

              1. Caralien Jan 3, 2009 09:41 AM

                While I will always have a bottle of El Yucateca Green Habanero and the Chile-Garlic Sauce with the rooster on the front (plus a few bottles of habanero sauce from a trip to St. Lucia), this are my home-made versions:

                -1 pint of habanero peppers thinly sliced, put in mason jar, shaken with sea salt, filled to .5" of top with olive oil; keep refrigerated and pull out habaneros to flavour anything

                -2oz glass herb jar filled with fresh Thai chiles and filled to top with champagne vinagre; store for at least 1 month in refrigerator and then shake onto barbeque or fried foods, and replace vinagre as needed

                -random mix of garlic, peppers, and ginger blended with olive oil and stored in a mustard jar in the refrigerator

                I wouldn't heat the mixtures prior to jarring them, as the fumes will burn your eyes and make you cough horribly. I would also not strain the mixtures unless presenting the sauce in bottles as gifts, but those are my personal preferences--I like the texture of the peppers (and other ingredients), but also the ability to remove the pepper from foods I cook if need be.

                There are a lot of smoked, cooked, and pureed hot sauces which I'm happy to try, but I don't make them at home.

                1. Vetter Jan 1, 2009 12:01 PM

                  I made a big batch of hot sauce with our homegrown habaneros one year. I think there were a couple of added aromatics in it, but it was primarily a showcase for the gorgeous ripe fruit. It was much fruitier and fresh tasting than storebought.

                  WATCH OUT FOR FUMES. I had on swim goggles (yes, seriously) and gloves, but the fumes! My god, the fumes! My boyfriend and I ended up coughing hard enough that we had to go outside. It was really, really uncomfortable. Be careful if you are working with major scoville units.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Vetter
                    Glencora Jan 1, 2009 12:06 PM

                    Did you cook the peppers?

                  2. k
                    Kodozzz Jan 1, 2009 05:53 AM

                    Hi, Glencora. I've made hot sauce several times and the MOST important thing I can tell you is that it's important to wear rubber gloves in handling peppers if you're going to use hotter peppers like Scotch Bonnet or Habanero peppers. Look at the Scoville ratings of peppers and read about some commercial sauces like Da Bomb for how websites describe the sauces. I always cut the peppers with a knife and fork on a ceramic/glass plate that can be washed in the dishwasher in addition to wearing gloves. And be careful of the "fumes" that are released. They can take your breath away. I've also had success in roasting onions and the peppers themselves with a bit of olive oil on them before throwing them in the blender. I think I've decided not to bother making it any more. It's too much to have so much around in trying out the recipies. My husband and I love hot food, but have come to love Da Bomb (which I use to flavor foods, and don't ever use it directly on food because it's so hot) ... one bottle lasts a very long time. I always feared keeping my homemade sauce around too long and no one likes food as hot as we do, so giving it away wasn't really an option. Just be careful never to handle habaneros or scotch bonnets with your bare hands! Check out en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoville_scale for precise info on peppers. And Happy New Year!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Kodozzz
                      Glencora Jan 1, 2009 09:35 AM

                      Thanks. I've made the mistake of rubbing my nose after handling peppers. Ow.

                      And thanks to the others for info and websites. I see I have some research to do. The Saveur recipe seemed so simple -- maybe too simple.

                      1. re: Glencora
                        thew Jan 1, 2009 11:27 AM

                        no glencora - don't be put off by simplicity. with good ingredients simple is often the best way

                    2. krisrishere Jan 1, 2009 05:42 AM

                      If you go to www.pepperfool.com there are atleast 50 recipes for all different kinds of hot sauce...really great.

                      1. k
                        KiltedCook Dec 31, 2008 05:25 PM

                        Real hot sauce utilizes cooked peppers, not raw

                        Here's one of the hot sauce recipes I use:

                        Basic Hot Sauce
                        1 teaspoon vegetable oil
                        20 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced
                        3 cloves garlic, minced
                        1/2 cup minced onion
                        3/4 teaspoon salt
                        2 cups water
                        1 cup distilled white vinegar

                        In a medium glass or enamel lined sauce pan over high heat, combine oil, peppers, garlic, onion and salt; saute for 4 minutes. Add the water and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
                        Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. With the processor running, slowly add the vinegar.
                        Pour into a sterilized jar with a tight lid. This sauce will keep for 6 months when stored in the refrigerator.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: KiltedCook
                          thew Jan 1, 2009 05:47 AM

                          "real" hot sauce? you mean there is only one kind of hot sauce that is real and only one way to make that sauce? everything else is "fake" hot sauce? what makes it not "real"? is it not hot? is it not sauce?

                          do countries where they do not use jalapaños not have hot sauce, then? How about sauces that cook the peppers differently than yours, such as roasting first? are those also not "real"?

                          wow. that's all i can say. wow

                          1. re: KiltedCook
                            purecharger Aug 14, 2011 06:09 PM

                            I just watched an episode of How It's Made showing the process of making Tobasco, and they do not cook their hot sauce. Tobasco isn't even in my top 10 of favorite hot sauces, but there's no arguing that it is a "real" hot sauce.

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