Discussing the best hot sauces is a good way to start an argument. Even pro chefs catch flak for their hot sauce takes. When we wanted to know what hot sauces our readers reach for, we turned to Instagram. After rifling through your heated responses, we narrowed down GP readership’s favorite everyday hot sauces. You didn’t disappoint.
An overwhelmingly large number of readers were appalled that pro chefs picked Valentina over Cholula. The Mexican restaurant staple utilizes arbol and pequin peppers, combined with a signature blend of spices. Find this bottle everywhere from taco trucks to college dorm rooms. The signature blend is where it’s at, but chipotle and sweet habanero varieties are worth a dash.
Huy Fong Sriracha
We explicitly mentioned that sriracha was not chosen by our pro chefs as their choice for an everyday hot sauce. Readers came out of the woodwork to defend the ubiquitous Thai-inspired chili sauce. Huy Fong has become the predominant brand in manufacturing sriracha — the company uses fresh, red jalapeños and doesn’t add artificial flavors or colors.
Yellowbird Sauce Jalapeño Condiment
Yellowbird designed a mild sauce to be put on anything and everything. Its jalapeño variety is the brand’s mildest hot sauce, which adds a burst of flavor with just a hint of pain. The hot sauce is slow cooked, which allows the fruits and vegetables in the sauce to meld, creating a bolder, more vibrant flavor.
Dirty Dick’s Hot Pepper Sauce
The label isn’t the only bold thing about Dirty Dick’s hot sauce. The made-in-Vermont concoction combines the smoky, floral heat habanero with the sweetness of tropical fruits such as mango and pineapple. Don’t let the initial sweetness fool you, because once this hits your tongue you’re in for a ride.
Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce
Secret Aardvark’s Habanero Hot Sauce is a cross between Caribbean and Tex-Mex flavors — think jerk chicken enchiladas. The blend of habanero peppers and roasted tomato creates a versatile sauce that’s smoky, sweet, savory and tangy. As the product description says, “be careful if you only get one bottle.”
Hank Sauce Honey Habanero
Sweet and spicy meet in this perfectly blended bottle of hot sauce from Hank Sauce. Hot sauce should be hot enough to jolt the senses, but not hot enough to dull the other flavors of the sauce. With this hot sauce, you’ll get the sweet flavor of the honey, the pungency of the garlic and the creaminess of the butter. Try slathering your chicken wings with it.
Queen Majesty Scotch Bonnet Ginger
Like the habanero pepper, scotch bonnets provide a sweetness that quickly gives way to intense heat. Common in the Caribbean, the scotch bonnet pairs well with the spiciness of ginger and the acidity of lime juice. This blend may be on the milder end of the hot sauce spectrum, but the flavors are off the charts.
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