Make your own hot sauce

serannos and jalapenos

serranos and jalapenos

With the peppers still going strong, I continue to  search for ways to utilize them all.   I mean, we can only give away so many hot peppers.

When asked, friends reply they will take one or two.

That is not much help.

So with the jalapenos and serranos producing about a quart a day, I was thrilled to see the article “Hot Stuff” in the July edition of Bon Appetit.    The directions are pretty simple.

Master Hot Sauce Recipe
from Bon Appetit (July 2012)

1 lb. stemmed fresh chiles (I used a combination of jalapeno and serrano.)
2 T. kosher salt
1 1/2 c. distilled white vinegar

Stage I
Pulse chiles and kosher salt in a food processor until a coarse puree forms.

Taking the lid off the food processor at this point will make your eyes water.

Transfer to a sterilized 1-quart glass jar, loosely screw on lid, and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours to ferment slightly.

Stage I

Stage II
Stir in vinegar and loosely screw on lid.   Let chile mixture stand at room temperature for at least 1 day and up to 7 days.   (Taste it daily;  the longer it sits, the deeper the flavor becomes.)

Stage II

Stage III
Puree mixture in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute.   Place a fine mesh sieve inside a funnel.   Strain mixture through sieve into a clean glass bottle.   (Hot sauce becomes thinner and may separate after you strain it.   Shake vigorously before each use.)

Can be made up to 4 months ahead.   Keep refrigerated.

One complete bottle and one batch in Stage I.

I have had varying success with this recipe, but most of it was probably due to user error.   I made one batch with some habanareos from the farmers market.    I have not had a lot of experience with habaneros, but after six days in the vinegar, it just smelled funky.    I went ahead and pureed it, but am now using it as a spray in the garden to keep the birds, rabbits and other assorted critters away from the tomatoes.

On the last batch I made, I mistakenly swapped the instructions and let the pepper/salt mixture set out for 5 days (without the vinegar).     Well, that batch grew a nice, fuzzy layer of mold.    Obviously, that went out the window.

You can see that this page of the magazine has been well-used.

I have two bottles in the fridge and I am wondering about freezing some for chili and other winter dishes.   I am also hoping to have enough peppers this fall to make some of this up for hot holiday gifts.

Please, please, please leave me a comment below if you have any great pepper recipes.    🙂

I need them for Pepper-palooza.


16 comments to Make your own hot sauce

  • Sorry, babe … no chili recipes here 🙁

    I’m kind of a mild to medium hotness kind of gal but my hubby loves hot stuff so I’m really intrigued by your post … Love it 🙂

  • Rhondaone or

    Wish I was near you, I’d help taking some of those peppers…more than one or two. Freezing the sauce is a great idea…maybe in an ice cube tray so you don’t have to defrost much? Perfect for a big pot of chili? I wonder how they would do if you dehydrated them and then food processed them into a powder? Could be a good storage solution???? I planted one plant this year and haven’t seen it since the beginning of June…

    • Your are da bomb! That is a great idea to freeze this sauce in ice cube trays. My sister and her husband make the best chipotles by drying the jalapenos and then smoking them (or vice versa—I will have to ask). I may have to smoke them on the stove top and not outside though if we don’t get any rain soon!

      I hope McGyver and Baby Boy are taking care of your lone jalapeno plant (and your lemon tree!!!!!!!)

  • I wish I lived closer!! You wouldn’t get one or two as the reply!! Well, one or two dozen, maybe!
    Now I really want to try the homemade hot sauce!

    • I would deliver a basket full to you if you did. I love Rhonda’s idea about freezing this hot stuff in ice cube trays.

  • […] Hot sauce in two stages from “Hot Stuff,” Bon Appetit (July 2012) by Debra from Eliot’s Eats Thai Basil Lemongrass Mojito & Magazine by Danguole at 10th […]

  • I’ve made a pepper sauce for black-eyed peas and such, but have never made my own hot sauce. I should since I use a ton of it. Thanks for sharing this recipe, your process and your mistakes! 🙂 I’m going to have to give it a try. Saw your story at C.J.’s.

  • My husband likes hot sauces very much. Unfortunately my stomach is intolerant to them, but I always crave them!

  • Dan

    Awesome. I didn’t know that it needed to ferment a bit.

    And you even answered the “but how long does it last?” question.

    I’d need maybe one pepper for the amount we’d use, but we do have one or two peppers growing in the backyard (we use more cayenne powder at home).

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  • […] For the directions and original recipe, you can visit my post from last year on Making Your Own Hot Sauce. […]