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Making Hot Sauces – Recipes, Techniques, etc.


aliwaks
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John, I started with that one a long while back and ended up with the recipe to which I linked in the post above. I think that the "throw it in a blender and serve" was a crack about how simple hot sauces are to make, but it definitely doesn't apply to that particular, cooked sauce, imo.

Yep, I went through those threads and saw your recipe after I posted the above. I'll probably end up doing something close to what you did.

I made the "Big Flavors of the Hot Sun" version a couple years ago and was both pleased by how close it came to what I remember of the real stuff and disappointed that it wasn't quite there. It didn't really taste right until it had been sitting for a few days, so maybe simmering is the right route.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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  • 2 years later...

So this weekend we had a major bumper crop of hot chiles from my garden. So much that the only thing I could think to do with them was to process them into an easily usable form -- hot sauce.

Most hot sauces seem to have 3 basic components -- chile peppers, vinegar, salt. Everything else added seems to be optional.

So this is what I did.

8751663564_943e2d0e12_o.jpg

Peppers were picked off the plants and stems removed, sorted by varietal. On the Left we have Ghost Peppers, Ornamental Jalapenos. Middle we have "Bikini Atoll" peppers and to the right we have "Ripper Habaneros" and some type of bird that I forgot the name of.

Each of these varietals were thrown into a pot, with enough vinegar to cover then, with six cloves of garlic added, and a decent amount of salt. The whole mess was cooked until the chiles were soft. After which it was thrown into the Vita-Mix and had the hell blended out of it.

8751883148_1c651f26a6_o.jpg

After tasting each "single origin" hot sauce we decided it was best to blend them. So the stuff in the mason jars on the left and the big vinegar bottle is a mixture of Ghost and Ripper Habanero. The Jalapenos and Bikini Atolls we decided to quick pickle in a simple vinegar, salt and sugar brine with some pickling spices.

hotsauce.jpg

Here's another batch I made a few days earlier without any particular attention to what kind of chiles and how much vinegar and salt and garlic I used. I just picked a bunch of different kinds that were ripe off the plants until I determined I had enough.

All the experiments I deem a success. But I'd like to hear how everyone else does this, what optional ingredients do you like to add and if you prepare things any differently.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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My late husband used to make hot sauce (in my margarita blender, dammit!) out of habanaros, vinegar, garlic, and assorted other peppers and tomatoes. I would leave the house. Could NOT breathe!

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I do something similar but smoke the chiles and garlic first with apple wood smoke . I sometimes add onion to the mix. . I don't have a vitamix so I run the chiles ,onion and garlic through our oster blender with just enough apple cider vinegar to get it moving , then run the resulting paste through food mill set up with the finest plate. .. At that point I add enough apple cider vinegar to the milled paste to get the consistency I want and salt to taste. The leftovers in the foodmill ( bits of skins and seeds ), I spread on a piece of foil and put back into the smoker until it is completely dried. I grind this up for a smoked chile powder which I add to rubs or sprinkle over eggs etc.

Edited by Ashen (log)

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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I make a lot of different hot sauces.

One of my favorites is smoke-roasted jalapeno and onion....green jalapenos (with or without the seeds and placenta) and onions are smoke-roasted in the smoker and then cooked with white vinegar, a little water, a touch of garlic, a bit of spicy brown mustard, a bit of lemon juice for freshness and just a touch of sweetener for balance.....it's great!

~Martin

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Yeah it was like a chemical weapons factory for a few hours

I fourth, fifth the recommendation to roast / char the peppers first next time.

As for the "chemical weapons" effect, if its really bad, consider buying what is called an "acid gas respirator". It covers your mouth and nose, and filters everything you breathe through (I think) a carbon filter before the air gets to you. Fabric dyers use it when they use bleach for discharge dyeing - very little is getting through this thing. You need to store it in the packaging so its exposed to as little air as possible when not in use (it continues filtering) and periodically you'll need to replace the filters, but if you don't mind having a mask over the lower half of your face, it can really relieve the "chile burn"....

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Good stuff Jason. Did you can them for preservation or just figure the virulent chili oils and vinegar would do the task? Should your surplus increase to the breaking point they freeze beautifully just plucked off the stem and tossed in zip-locs - no sticking together.

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Does anyone here make fermented hot sauce?

I tried a few months ago and had decent results- a mix of jalapeno and habanero peppers, pureed and mixed with 2% salt, then packed into a mason jar and left in a dark place for 5 days or so. Many recipes go far longer than that, but I was starting to get some mold near the top of the jar (which I hadn't filled completely), so I stopped the process and used them then.

I'm going to try it again soon, and will report back.

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On 5/19/2013 at 7:56 PM, davidkeay said:

Does anyone here make fermented hot sauce?

I tried a few months ago and had decent results- a mix of jalapeno and habanero peppers, pureed and mixed with 2% salt, then packed into a mason jar and left in a dark place for 5 days or so. Many recipes go far longer than that, but I was starting to get some mold near the top of the jar (which I hadn't filled completely), so I stopped the process and used them then.

I'm going to try it again soon, and will report back.

Pepper fermentation is a sequential process that takes time.

It requires up to a month to complete the fermentation cycle at room temperature, longer is better.

The following link highlights sauerkraut fermentation, but pepper fermentation is much the same.

http://www.meatsandsausages.com/food-preserving/sauerkraut/fermentation-sauerkraut

Here's a master's thesis that has a lot of useful information on pepper fermenting and aging.

https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5216&context=gradschool_disstheses

~Martin

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I forgot to address the mold issue.

I typically ferment in wide mouth canning jars, both quart and half gallon.

I pack the peppers to eliminate any air.

I top off with brine all the way to the rim, I then insert an empty 1/2 pint Ball quilted jelly jar to catch any expansion. (the jelly jar should fit snugly against the lid)

Making sure that the brine still comes to the rim of the canning jars, I then top the jar with a loose lid (no band), and top with a pint jar filled with water.

The jar is not opened until fermentation is complete.

No mold or yeast growth.

~Martin

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Good stuff Jason. Did you can them for preservation or just figure the virulent chili oils and vinegar would do the task? Should your surplus increase to the breaking point they freeze beautifully just plucked off the stem and tossed in zip-locs - no sticking together.

all of these are being stored in the fridge, but I've seen similar vinegar based hot sauces in the Caribbean left out in the hot sun for god knows how long. I've used enough vinegar to effectively preserve it, should last in the fridge indefinitely I'd think

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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You can safely hot pack (hot fill and hold) hot sauces without a canner and store at room temperature of the pH is low enough.

I keep several sauces that way.

http://thehotpepper.com/topic/29501-making-hot-sauce-101/

~Martin

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Thanks Martin - that's great info. I will check it out later!

The method I had used had me using 2% of the weight of the peppers in salt, and not adding liquid. Would it work/make sense to just make a 2% salt + water brine, and top off the jars with that rather than going with salt based on the amount of peppers I'm using?

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Thanks Martin - that's great info. I will check it out later!

The method I had used had me using 2% of the weight of the peppers in salt, and not adding liquid. Would it work/make sense to just make a 2% salt + water brine, and top off the jars with that rather than going with salt based on the amount of peppers I'm using?

I prefer to not dilute the flavor by adding more than just a tiny amount of brine to top off the jar if needed.

You can extract more liquid from the peppers before packing into the fermentation vessel if you chop, salt and store in the fridge overnight.

If you do wish to make a brine, adding 2% salt to the water wouldn't be enough salt. You'll need an equilibrium brine where the total salt percentage isn't less than 2% for safety reasons (some suggest more than 2% is needed, there's a lot of conflicting information).

In other words, add the pepper weight and water weight together and use at least 2% salt based on the sum of the two.

HTH

~Martin

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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  • 2 months later...

Does anyone here make fermented hot sauce?

I'm going to try it again soon, and will report back.

I did this for the first time tonight. I've done other things, mostly wild fermented. With this one, I mixed up a bunch of cayenne and yellow scotch bonnet and threw in 1/8 or so of a fermented green tomato to kick things off. I remembered this topic, and thought I'd check to see if anyone else was fermenting.

I licked the spoon after stirring. This puppy is hot. My glasses keep fogging 15 minutes later!

So this will take a month or so. I'm interested in your experience.

One thing I'd like to do is introduce some wood flavor. I'm going to buy a bunch of peppers and try some things. 1) fermented roasted peppers. The peppers roasted over wood. 2) another raw version but with raw wood chips (oak? Hickory?). 3) a raw version but with charred wood chips. Anybody have any thoughts or experience to share? I know raw peppers with raw chips has been been done before.

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I'm making hot sauce this weekend. I have some ripe jalapenos, Kung Pao, Cayenne, and Thai Hot chiles. I also like to add some home grown and smoked chipotles from last year. I remove the stems, and run through the sausage grinder and simmer in salt water until all is very soft. Strain, return to the sauce pan and add vinegar and salt. It improves in flavor after about a week in the fridge.

I have some lemon drop chiles that I will incorporate into some hard candy as well. Basic hard candy with lemon extract and a drop or two of yellow food coloring. Not too hot and kinda tasty.

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Those Trinidad's look like they might hurt! I set up about 20 ghost chiles for a sauce, and a few pounds each of some Fatalii and chocolate habaneros for their own separate sauces. The Fatalii is my favorite because of its taste ( its name is cool too).

This is my first year to ferment. I've been letting my sauces go about 3 weeks. There is no comparison to store bought and, IMHO, fresh sauce.

My best one, I think, will be one I made with about 1/2 cup of yellow and black mustard seeds (pint jar) and yellow habaneros. I can't quit smelling it, it smells so good. It's only 3 days old, and I am hoping to ferment it about a month.

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I've been growing some chillies on the kitchen windowsill for the last few months and today made Chris Amirault's version of Inner Beauty. Wow! What an amazing sauce.

I had one habanero plant, one with some generic finger chillies and one with some Numex twighlights (not heard of these before, nice little purple/orange fruit, pretty hot).

Kitchen smells great, and now I've got three bottles of really tasty hot sauce :)

Photo 3374.jpegPhoto 3373.jpegPhoto 3370.jpegPhoto 3371.jpegPhoto 3372.jpegPhoto 3389.jpeg

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Only that I used a mix of chillies instead of straight habaneros. The end result has a really, really good flavour and has been used on everything I've eaten today (ham sandwich, cheese, new bread recipe, steak sandwich, pancakes...!)

I think I may try a bit more chilli powder (or possibly just more habaneros) next time as I could take it a little hotter. I'd be interested to know how hot the original is as I've never had the pleasure of it, what does it compare to?

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I just made Chris's Inner Beauty recipe too - something I've been planning to do for ages.

I didn't have enough habaneros so I filled out the mix with some bird chiles and cayenne peppers:

chiles.jpg

Here are all the ingredients, ready to go on the stove:

inner_beauty_ingredients.jpg

I didn't have curry powder so added some of my own garam masala, plus a heaping teaspoon of ground turmeric and a generous microplane of fresh turmeric root. I used sherry vinegar in place of the palm vinegar. And I added some pimenton de la vera for smokiness and depth. (I was a bit taken aback by how much smoke it added - just a tiny pinch.)

My mango was a little short of ripe. Otherwise I think my setup mirrored Chris's pretty closely.

I seem to have maxed out my eG filesize limit so I can't post the pics of the finished product, but it was strangely much browner than Chris and &roid's versions. Maybe because my habaneros were mostly green?

But the flavor is a knockout - caramel-y, smoky, deep & hot. Not far from what I recall of the original, one of my favorite hot sauces. I'll be using this all over the place. Really easy to make too - people should go for it.

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