Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe

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Learn how to make homemade hot sauce in 20 minutes with this easy recipe. Go mild with Banana Pepper Hot Sauce or feel the burn with Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce.

hot sauce in jar

We are BIG-TIME fans of Mexican food around these parts. Every week, we make nachos, enchiladas, or tacos (with homemade taco seasoning mix, of course).

As I was grabbing a bottle of hot sauce at the store, I turned it around and looked at the ingredients. Apart from the preservatives (yuck!), the main components are hot peppers, vinegar, and garlic. “I can make that!” I thought, and promptly went home to experiment.

I learned a few things from making different hot sauce recipes. Some are really involved and take ages to make. This is my favorite hot sauce recipe, because it tastes delicious and only takes 20 minutes from start to finish. You could make an entire batch of hot sauce before the taco meat is cooked!

Tips for Amazing Homemade Hot Sauce

When making your own hot sauce, the most important part is choosing peppers that have the right amount of spice for your palate. You can grow peppers in your garden or buy them at the farmers market.

hot peppers

The heat or spice of hot peppers is measured in Scoville units. A bell pepper has a Scoville rating of 0, and a Habanero can rate as high as 350,000.

Here are the heat ratings for peppers you’ll commonly find at the grocery store:

Bell pepper: 0

Banana pepper: 100-1,000

Fresno chili, Jalapeno, Wax pepper: 3,500-10,000

Serrano: 10,000-30,000

Cayenne, Tabasco: 30,000-50,000

Habanero, Scotch Bonnet: 100,000-350,000

Bhut jolokia (ghost pepper), Carolina Reaper: 855,000-2,200,000

Yowza—that’s a big difference! If you’re a lightweight (like me), I recommend using mostly mild peppers and adding one Serrano or Cayenne to the mix. You can always add more heat, but you can’t take it away.

hot sauce recipe

Ways to Use Homemade Hot Sauce

  1. Add to tacos or nachos.
  2. Splash a bit into your Bloody Mary.
  3. Toss with chicken wings or roasted cauliflower.
  4. Mix with ranch as a pizza dipping sauce.
  5. Fold into scrambled eggs.

Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

8-10 peppers of your choice, depending on size

¾ cup white vinegar

3 cloves garlic

¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

Wear food-safe kitchen gloves when handling peppers! Trust me on this one.

Wash your peppers and let dry. We’re going to char the peppers on the stove to deepen their flavor and to make the peppers easier to peel. Put the peppers on a rack that’s set right on the stove burner. Turn on the range fan so you don’t inhale burning pepper fumes.

serrano peppers on stove

After all the peppers are charred, let them cool for a few minutes. Rub the peels off with your fingers (it’s OK if you can’t get all of the peels off) and discard. Remove the seeds from the peppers if you’d like your sauce to have a milder flavor.

peeling serrano peppers

Cut the tops off the peppers, and put all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring the sauce ingredients to a gentle boil. This will infuse the flavors into the vinegar and soften the peppers and garlic.

Let the sauce simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

When the mixture is cool, puree thoroughly with a stick blender (this is my favorite) or conventional blender until as smooth as you’d like.

Store in a clean, recycled jar in the fridge for up to a month.

hot sauce in jar

Tips for Perfect Hot Sauce

Your sauce will be the same color as the peppers that you use. If you want red sauce, use fully ripened jalapenos or serrano peppers as the base. Sauce made from green peppers will still taste delicious, but your family might wonder about the color.

If your hot sauce is too hot, cool it down with tomato sauce. Add a tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired temperature.

If your hot sauce is too mild, put it back in the blender and add another (whole, uncooked) pepper of your choice. Puree them together and taste.

closeup of glass jar with hot sauce and wooden spoon

Amazing Homemade Hot Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Learn how to make homemade hot sauce in 20 minutes with this easy recipe. Go mild with Banana Pepper Hot Sauce or feel the burn with Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 peppers of your choice, depending on size
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Wear food-safe kitchen gloves when handling peppers! Trust me on this one. Wash your peppers and let dry.
  2. We’re going to char the peppers on the stove to deepen their flavor and to make the peppers easier to peel. Put the peppers on a rack that’s set right on the stove burner. Turn on the range fan so you don’t inhale burning pepper fumes.
  3. After all the peppers are charred, let them cool for a few minutes. Rub the peels off with your fingers (it’s OK if you can’t get all of the peels off) and discard. Remove the seeds from the peppers if you’d like your sauce to have a milder flavor.
  4. Cut the tops off the peppers, and put all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring the sauce ingredients to a gentle boil. This will infuse the flavors into the vinegar and soften the peppers and garlic.
  5. Let the sauce simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  6. When the mixture is cool, puree thoroughly with a stick blender or conventional blender until smooth.
  7. Store in a clean, recycled jar in the fridge for up to a month.

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Love cooking from scratch? Check out Off The Shelf: Homemade Alternatives to the Condiments, Toppings, and Snacks you Love. 

It’s chock-full of recipes for even more pantry staples, made without chemicals or preservatives!

make hot sauce from any kind of pepper

Hi, Im Pam!

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13 thoughts on -Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe-

  1. One misconception you made is that the seeds will make your hot sauce hotter. It is the inner membrane ( whiter portion ) that the seeds are attached to that make the sauce hot and since the seeds cling to this membrane they too are hot. The real reason for removing the seeds is that they will clog the opening of the bottle you use for the hot sauce and they will get caught between your teeth.
    We have been making our hot sauce for a couple of years now and have done a lot of research. We make it in batches, bottle it and give most of it to family and friends.
    Our recipe is 3-4 parts Jalapeño pepper, I-2 parts Serrano or Fresno pepper ( these peppers have very little meat to them ); after blistering and removing skin and seeds place in a pot add some crushed garlic and a pinch of salt, cover with with vinegar bring to a boil, remove from heat and cool. When cool put in a blender and blend to desired consistency ( remember we bottle it so you may want to add a little water ) put in container(s) and refrigerate ( or store in pantry ) until ready to use or give away.
    AND YES GLOVES are very important, of course if you have arthritis you may not want to use gloves, LOL, as the capsaicin is the heat ingredient in peppers.

    1. Was thinking because of the vinegar it should be shelf stable. Essentially it’s pickled. So, the shelf life should be a lot longer than one month in the fridge. Hoping to just throw it in the pantry bottled for gifts at Christmas. Would this work ?

  2. Tryihng this now. I used 4 sugar rush peach peppers and 5 banana peppers fresh from my garden I just picked this morning. I didn’t have any garlic on hand so I just used garlic powder. Can’t wait to try

  3. Thanks for this guide/recipe. I know what I’ll be making my older brother for his birthday and Christmas! I ordered him a set of hand-crafted hot sauces from Etsy, but I’m excited to make my own for him. I don’t like spicy food, but he loves it; the hotter the better for him!

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