How To Make Hot Sauce

How To Make Hot Sauce {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan

Anyone that knows my husband knows that he is a sucker for spicy food! He puts pickled peppers on just about everything, he loves sriracha,  harissa, and dried chilis probably more than any other type of food. To be perfectly honest I am pretty sure he considers peppers to be a complete food group of their own. Knowing that scalding his taste buds off brings him immense joy and happiness I am always on the hunt for the next spicy thing that will make him say ” Now that is hot!” This recipe on how to make hot sauce is sure to beat anything you can buy in the store.

If you could only take a peak into my fridge you would immediately notice that my crisper drawers are filled with peppers. Right now I think there are more peppers than any other vegetable actually. {I have got to work on that!} Anyways, when I notice that my fridge has no room for other veggies because spicy peppers are taking up all of the free real estate it’s time to make hot sauce.

Hot sauce may seem intimidating to make, but actually other than a little whirl in the food processor and whole bunch of patience there isn’t that much to it! Let’s turn up the heat!

Step 1: Gather 1 pound of fresh chili peppers and slice off the stems.

You can use pretty much any peppers that you would like to make your own hot sauce with. You can use  all one variety of pepper for your hot sauce or you can make a custom blend of peppers like I do. This time I made two batches, the first is a hatch chili – jalapeno mix and the second is a yellow sweet banana pepper-jalapeno mix.

Step 2: Place the chilis and 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt into a food processor and pulse until a coarse purée forms.

Step 3: Transfer to a 1-quart glass jar with the lid loosely screwed on and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours so that it can slightly ferment.

Step 4: Add 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar, stir, loosely screw on the lid, and wait.

Ok, so you can technically wait 24 hours then move onto to step 5, but I highly recommend waiting at least 4 days and up to 7. This allows the flavors to really deepen and makes your hot sauce that much more intense. I always wait 7 days, it is just better that way!

Step 5:Purée the pepper mixture again in a food processor or blender until smooth.

This should only take about a minute.

Step 6: Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean glass bowl.

You will want to work in batches for this step. Pour some of the pepper mixture through the sieve and press on the solids with a spatula to make sure that all of the hot sauce has been extracted.

Step 7:  Bottle your hot sauce and store refrigerated for up to 4 months.

I have been handing off hot sauce to some of our friends and neighbors since I made 2 whopping batches. This hot sauce makes a great gift or you can hoard it all for your self. One batch makes a little over two cups of hot sauce and will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 months in an airtight container. As it sits the hot sauce will separate, so be sure to shake it well before using.

This recipe adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine.

What are the health benefits of chili peppers?

Chile peppers are mainly beneficial because of its antioxidant properties. The several plant compounds help to reduce the risk of disease and cancer.

Click here for the health benefits of chili peppers.

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Ellie Davis March 19, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    I didn’t know that you could quickly make hot sauce in a food processor. Thank you for your recipe. My husband loves anything spicy and I think he would really enjoy trying the green hot sauce. I don’t have a lot of time in my day to cook. Even if I did I have never been talented in the kitchen. I think for my husband and my own benefit I should just find a hot sauce we love off the shelf.

    1. thismess March 21, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Yes!! It’s so easy and then you just have to let it sit for a few days.

  2. Ryan August 23, 2015 at 9:56 am

    How do you make the sauce thicker? Mine seems to be very runny when I make it. And also try chopping up a garlic bulb and leaving it in there for the whole 7 days. The taste is great!

    1. Meg August 26, 2015 at 6:24 am

      You could leave some of the pulp in with the liquid instead of straining it out. My husband’s favorite hot sauces are about the same consistency as these, but if you like a thicker sauce leave some pulp. 🙂 I love adding garlic in with the sauce sometimes – good choice!

  3. Joyce P. September 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Dear Meg,
    Thank you so very much for the ” Hot Sauce” recipe. Me and my husband and of course our adult children could drink it as a beverage with our meals. We are forever running out of this wonderful “pepper” condiment at the worst times. I am definitely going to use your recipe. Again, thank you. I just found your site clicking on a recipe , now it doesn’t matter the recipe because I’m sure you have it here only healthier, checking my e-mail. May God continue to bless you and your wonder family! BTW I have joined. Sorry, I love to talk, so says my husband.

    1. Meg September 21, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Joyce you are too sweet thank you for signing up for our emails! I hope you enjoy your homemade hot sauce. 🙂

  4. Gaby September 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Love this idea…looks great!!

    1. Meg September 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks Gaby!

    2. Ronnie August 2, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      I collect and repurpose fancy bottles from thrift stores. I buy fresh corks from Amazon, use bottle sealing wax and boil the bottles before adding my homemade hot sauce! 🙂

      1. thismess August 8, 2017 at 2:18 pm

        That is such a great idea!!!

  5. Mimi Alexander September 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Where do I find the bottles, (as you show), for the hot sauce? I want to make Tabasco Sauce and give out as gifts but have not known who sells the appropriate bottles. Thanks for helping.

    1. Meg September 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Hey Mimi, the bottles in the image were a gift to me and I have yet to find another set, however when I want to give the hot sauce away to someone I use a bottle like these. The link is for a set of 12 bottles with screw on lids, which is easier for giving as gifts as well.

  6. Susan September 15, 2014 at 8:38 am

    What a fabulous technique to share! I don’t use a lot of hot sauce, but I’d love to make my own. Have you ever tried it using Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers…? 🙂

    1. Meg September 15, 2014 at 8:43 am

      I have used habanero peppers before, but I usually mix them with a milder pepper too. Right now I am making a batch of hot sauce that has jalapenos, padron peppers, and garlic. Homemade hot sauce is so much better than store bought, I hope you have as much fun making it as we do!

  7. Liz @ Floating Kitchen September 14, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    I’ve never made hot sauce before. I’m intrigued by this method. I had no idea you had to let it ferment for a night. Looking forward to try it!


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