Taste: DIY Hot Sauce

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There are a lot of hot sauces out there in the world, most with ridiculous names alluding to their mouth-burning properties. Even the guy from The Offspring is making it now. The thing is, it’s super easy to make at home to suit your own chile-loving tastes. You can make hot sauce out of any type of chiles, but I find that fully ripened red or orange chiles work best, and if you like sauce hot enough to make your ears steam go heavy on the habaneros, maybe even seek out a Scotch bonnet if you are a real hot head. You can also control the heat of your hot sauce by removing some of the seeds and ribs from the chiles which is where most of the heat lives, just make sure to invest in some rubber gloves if you are going to go that route because the chiles can seriously burn your skin.

My favorite sauce is made up of relatively mild fresno chiles with a few cherry peppers and a single habanero (seeds removed), but the trick to making awesome homemade hot sauce is to let it age and mellow for at least a few days and up to a few months. Once you’ve made your sauce, try it on eggs, in a Michelada, or in a batch of homemade hot wings. One thing’s for sure: You’ll never go back to Tapatio.

DIY Hot Sauce


Yield about 1 cup
When handling chiles be very, very careful not to touch your bare skin or eyes without thoroughly washing your hands.

1 pound mixed chiles (fresno, serano, cherry, habanero, jalapeño)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup distilled vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

1. Toss the chiles with the oil and broil for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until charred.
2. Remove the stems (gloves are a good idea for this), then add the chiles to a blender with the vinegar, salt, and sugar and blend until smooth.
3. Carefully open the blender (watch the fumes!) and press the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds and skins.
4. Pour into a glass container with a lid and let it age at room temperature for 2-7 days, then store in the fridge.