Frank’s RedHot, Texas Pete, and Sriracha; these are all perfect examples of the basic bitches of hot sauce. Don’t get me wrong, they still make for a great kick on almost anything, but if you haven’t tried these hidden gems, you’re in for a treat.
1. Tabasco’s Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce
If you frequent Chipotle, you’re familiar with this overlooked delicacy. However, do not be fooled. It goes with much more than just a beefy burrito. Try it with hummus, guac, or a sandwich for a spicy but tasty hint of jalapeño. This stuff ranks 3rd to last on the Scoville Unit scale, which measures the heat of peppers. So don’t be too intimidated, she’s a mild one.
2. Trader Joe’s Jalapeño Pepper Sauce
Jalapeño hot hot. This one is a couple steps up on the heat level, but it won’t kill you. Trader Joe’s has a whole lot of great stuff, and this is one of the best. This hot sauce tastes amazing with chicken, steak, pasta, or mixed in any sort of meat marinade. Like most things at Trader Joe’s, it’s minimally processed, so it consists only of red ripened jalapeño peppers and distilled vinegar. It will most definitely spice up your life.
3. Iguana Habanero Pepper Sauce
Much different than the heat of the last two jalapeño hot sauces, this habanero sauce invented the word hot. Jalapeños range between 2,500 and 8,000 on the Scoville Unit Scale, and our new friend the Habanero pepper ranges between 100,000 and 350,000 — #spiiicy. So, you see my point. You can try it with pretty much anything, but you don’t want to overdo this one. I think the “pretty damn hot” notice on the label gives a fair warning.
4. Crawdad’s Three Pepper Hot Sauce
Crawdad’s combines three of the best hot peppers to make a kickin’ sauce: habanero, jalapeño, and chili pepper. This one has got it all. Unlike the others, Crawdad’s Three Pepper hot sauce is tomato-based rather than vinegar-based. This gives it a more flavorful taste instead of just bringing the heat. It’s a great substitute for ketchup, so try it with a burger, hot dog, fries, or whatever your spicy heart desires.
5. Cholula Chili Lime Hot Sauce
I’m sure you all know the original Cholula hot sauce, and it’s pretty delicious. It’s great on burgers, chicken, steak, and my personal favorite, pizza. However, the chili lime flavor may be your new best friend. It ranks between 300-600 on the Scoville Unit Scale, and if you’re into seafood this is the hot sauce for you. It’s mild heat and hint of lime compliment fish very well, but it also goes great with eggs and other sorts of breakfast foods.
6. Bar Taco Hot Sauces: Habanero, Jalapeño, and Roja
These three hot sauces are unreal paired with Mexican food. Bar Taco only has 10 locations nationally, but luckily for us, they sell these sauces on their website. If you ever find yourself in Atlanta, Nashville, Tampa, Connecticut, Port Chester, or Reston, you must visit a Bar Taco restaurant.
The Habanero (yellow) sauce is for those looking to add major heat to their guac and tacos. The Jalapeño (green) sauce comes in at a close second. It is my personal favorite — I put it on everything I get from Bar Taco, but find it best paired with with a chicken rice bowl. The Roja (red) sauce is the most mild, which is great to add a little kick to your taco, corn, guac, or pretty much anything you could order from a Mexican restaurant.
7. Louisiana’s Pure Crystal Hot Sauce
Last but not least, Louisiana pure crystal hot sauce. Attention all BBQers! This one is for you. If you’re into the backyard cookout, Louisiana’s pure crystal hot sauce needs to be in your fridge ASAP.
You like to load up your burger and dog with the works? This sauce is the missing condiment. Made with ground cayenne pepper and vinegar, it is a tasty basic hot sauce. It is also great to add to heavier things like soup, marinades, or other sauces because it is so light in ingredients. It gives you just the right amount of kick you need.
There you have it, the hottest hot sauces you need to try. You won’t be disappointed, and your taste buds will thank you later.