A mild to medium red hot sauce full of flavor that beats any store bought sauce consisting only of peppers, salt and vinegar. This sauce is a flavor combination virtually exploding with spicy, sweet goodness you just can’t buy in the store. And sharing this hot sauce with your friends is sure to leave you grinning and annoying your spouse from talking about it for days to come.
Ingredients and Equipment
- Fresh cayenne peppers
- Red bell pepper
- Fresh garlic
- Red onion
- Fresh cilantro
- Red wine vinegar
- Chili powder
- Black pepper
- White pepper
- Sea salt
- Small pot
- Glass jars
- Glass bottles
The Kitchen Experiment:
- Cut the peppers into small pieces (make sure to remove any stem pieces). Don’t worry about size, this is just to make blending a little easier. I use about a 1:6 ratio of red bell pepper to cayenne peppers. If your bell pepper is large you might want to increase the number of cayenne peppers to maintain hotness.
- Chop the red onion and garlic into small pieces. Again, this will make blending a little easier. I use about 1/3 of a medium-sized red onion and one to two cloves of garlic when I make this.
- Put the peppers, onion and garlic in the blender. Add some cilantro sprigs. I usually try to avoid using too much of the cilantro stem. The best flavor seems to reside in the leaf.
- Add paprika, black pepper, white pepper and sea salt to taste. I recommend using all four of the spices when you first make this to get a sense of how they all work together.
- Pour red wine vinegar in the blender until it is at the top of the peppers, onions and garlic. Use a good quality red wine vinegar to get the best flavor from it.
- Blend the mixture until it is liquid. How to achieve this will vary based on your blender, but you want it as liquid as possible.
- Pour the contents of your blender into a pot and heat to boiling. Do not lean over the top of the pot while cooking. What is released into the air from heating the vinegar and peppers is not fun to breathe at all. You might also want to open a window or two and/or turn on a fan.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes; stirring as necessary to prevent sticking or scorching.
- Pour the hot sauce into your jars. Only fill them about 2/3 of the way before moving onto the next jar. Allow the jars to cool if they are hot.
- Place the jars in a cool area away from direct sunlight (it does not necessarily need to be dark). Drape an unfolded towel over the jars to cover them. Make sure the towel is clean and the jars do not have lids on them.
- Let the jars of hot sauce sit and settle for 48-72 hours.
- Pour off the excess vinegar that has risen to the top. Fill your bottles with the hot sauce using your funnel. I try to either use recycled hot sauce bottles from store bought hot sauce because they have the cap with the hole in it to make for easy dispensing. You can also purchase these types of caps with bottles if you choose.
Tips and Tricks
- The hot sauce should keep for at least 3 months but might be good longer than that…mine never stays around that long.
- Wear gloves when working with the onions, garlic and peppers to prevent getting oils and odors on your hands.
- If you are making large batches of hot sauce you can keep the hot sauce in the jars and can it.