A Guide to Awesome Hot Sauces

Created January 26, 2017
Don't Forget About the Other Flavors Included in the Hot Sauce
Looking to liven up your next meal? Why not grab a bottle of hot sauce and splash some on that dish? MORE+ LESS-

Get fiery on your next meal with just the right degree of hotness.

Looking to liven up your next meal? Why not grab a bottle of hot sauce and splash some on that dish? Alright, some are probably already cringing at the thought of munching on spicy food – might as well light your tongue on fire, right? Well, the misconception ends here!

The fact is, not all hot sauces are, well, hot. There are varying degrees of piquancy (fancy term for spiciness) to choose from. It’s all about educating yourself on the different flavors and ingredients found in these tiny bottles to ensure that you’re using just the right type on your food.

The roof (of my mouth) is on fire

What makes this awesome sauce spicy? Well my friends, it’s all about the capsaicinoids, more specifically, capsaicin that provides that tingling sensation - the higher the concentration, the hotter the sauce will be. And how do you measure the spiciness, you ask? Check out the Scoville Scale, which groups peppers into Scoville heat units, from zero (with no significant heat, like bell peppers) to 2,000,000 (super spicy – like I’m dying and would like to bathe in a tub of cold milk spicy).

So if you’re looking for something mild, opt for a sauce that contains peppers like poblano, jalapeño and tabasco. If you’re fond of torturing yourself, look for a concoction made from the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, which was recently crowned the hottest pepper of them all.

Don’t forget about the other flavors

It’s not just about the peppers – different hot sauces also contain different mixtures of ingredients like salt, vinegar and oil, among others. So look for a sauce based on your personal taste, whether you prefer something salty or even a bit of sourness.

Thinking of making some Hot and Spicy Chicken Wings with an Asian twist? The dish can easily be transformed by adding a sweet and spicy hot sauce into the mix. Grilled Fish Taco night at home? Elevate the flavor of the meal by using a mild sauce with plenty of complementing flavors like vinegar and garlic.