Hot sauce

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About hot sauce

Hot sauce is a sauce with capsaicin as a primary ingredient. This is generally found in chili peppers, and even used in self defense pepper spray (mace). Generally hot sauces are made using 4 or 5 ingredients: peppers, vinegar, onions, garlic and tomato sauce. Many manufacturers will promote their sauces by boasting about the relative heat and problems it may cause with digestive systems.


Peppers and hot sauces are generally rated using the Scoville scale, or Scoville Heat Units (SHU). This measurement is found by extracting capsaicin and measuring how much water it takes to dilute the heat. Common peppers rate as follows:

Generally sauces made from the same peppers will have a comparatively low rating compared to the peppers themselves. Almost all manufacturers will advertise the peppers used and sometimes an included SHU.

  • El Yucateco Green Habanero Sauce is rated at 9,000 SHU, less than 1/10 the rating of the peppers themselves.
  • Z... Nothing Beyond Hot Sauce is rated at 4,000,000 SHU, which is the same range as most self defense pepper sprays.
  • T he Ghost, made using Bhut Jolokia, rates in at around 1,000,000 SHU.

Types of Hot sauce

  • Tabasco sauce
  • Pepper sauce: A spicy hot sauce seasoned with cayenne peppers, chile peppers or peppercorns. It is used as a condiment to many foods, such as meat, chicken and fish, or it can be added to other foods where a spicy flavor is desired, such as marinades, beverages, dips, chili, casseroles or other sauces.
  • Louisiana Hot Sauce: Louisiana "The Original" Hot Sauce has been mass produced by Bruce Foods Corporation for over 80 years. As a cayenne pepper based hot sauce, it is similar to other mass produced brands such as Crystal Hot Sauce, Texas Pete and Frank's Red Hot. It is usually packaged in 6 oz. shaker bottles, and sports a yellow, blue and red label. Bruce has marketed the sauce as 'Not too hot, not too mild.