Thursday, August 8, 2013

Homemade Hot Pepper Sauces

Summer time is hot pepper time! 

The last few years, I have been making my own jars of hot sauce with the various hot peppers I grow. I generally grow some combination of Ghost, Thai, Scotch Bonnet, Cayenne, Kungpao, Jalapeño, Serrano and Habañero. 
Green Thai
Thai Green
Scotch Bonnets

I've grown a Bhut Jolokia (aka Ghost Pepper) as a houseplant for the past three years. At first it was just for the novelty of finding the former World's hottest pepper and being able to grow it. Turns out it also tastes amazing - a mixture of floral and citrusy notes, not to mention the hottest thing I have ever eaten (like eating lava). I see them for sale at nursery's all over the place now. 

If you're ever bored, just search YouTube for videos of people eating them whole. It's very entertaining. I don't recommend it however. A mere nibble of the sliced cap end is enough to make me hiccup for 20 minutes.
Three year old Ghost Pepper Bonsai
Even that itty-bitty red one is killer!
The following recipes are more on the "chunky" side of hot sauce, more like an applesauce consistency than liquid Tabasco. I spoon them onto food in small amounts or add to soups or pasta for a bit or a lot of zing.

Some of the recipes use cooked ingredients and some just raw.

Any of the hot pepper amounts can be adjusted if you like it less hot but still want to try a recipe. Blanching sliced peppers in boiling water also helps remove a little of the heat.


Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce (Supa-Hot!)

·        3 ghost peppers
·        5 cloves of garlic
·        1 whole onion
·        salt
·        dash white pepper
·        4 carrots
·        2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
·        1/3 cup water

In a food processor/blender, coarsely chop up the ghost peppers (handle with extreme care), onion, garlic and carrots. Add salt and white pepper to taste (plus a teaspoon of turmeric if you'd like as an additional preservative)

Add in 1/3 cup water and 2/3 cup apple cider your liking. Blend everything in the blender until it is smooth.

Store in fridge in a glass jar for up to a year.

This makes a thicker hot sauce - it will be like applesauce in consistency.  Spoon out this hot sauce as desired. But use with CAUTION....this can be a VERY hot

NOTE: The first time I made this, I blanched halved ghost peppers with seeds and pith removed in boiling water for 30 seconds to take a little of the heat out - it was still PLENTY hot!

Habanero Hot Sauce (Hot!)

·        12 habanero peppers
·        2 carrots
·        1 large onion
·        6 cloves of garlic
·        ½ tablespoon salt
·        ¼ tablespoon white pepper
·        1 lime
·        8 tablespoons white vinegar

Cut peppers in half and remove seeds (handle with care). Drop in boiling water for 30 seconds. 

Remove peppers and put onion, carrots and garlic cloves into boiling water and cook until tender. Cool the veggies. 

Squeeze juice from lime and combine all ingredients and put in blender. First chop, and then blend at high speed. 

Just put in glass jar and store in fridge. Spoon out this hot sauce as desired. 

Jalapeño Hot Sauce (Medium Hot)

·        12 jalapeño peppers
·        8 tablespoons red wine vinegar
·        1 whole lime, just the juice
·        1 tablespoon sugar
·        ½ tablespoon salt
·        ½ tablespoon onion powder
·        ½ tablespoon garlic powder

Cut peppers in half and remove seeds (handle with care). Drop in boiling water for 30 seconds. 

Squeeze juice from lime and combine hot peppers with all other ingredients in blender and whiz up. Blend on high speed to puree all ingredients together. 

Store in fridge in a canning jar or other glass container.

Three year old Habanero - I just cut them back in Spring when they get lanky.



  1. I never would have thought to make my own pepper sauce and I do love me a pepper sauce! Great idea and thanks for the recipes. Too bad I took the year off from growing peppers (replaced with beans by the way, which have not yet produced a single bean).

  2. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who gets the hiccups when I eat spicy food. You're making me think I should grow some peppers next year . . . your recipes sound great!

  3. Thanks for the recipes. I look forward to trying them out!

  4. We're not having much luck with our peppers this year unfortunatly. What do you do the habanero plant during the winter?

    Were in Wisconsin did you move from?

    1. I just bring the pot in and set it near the window. I do check periodically for spider mites, as they sometimes seem to be a problem over winter.

      I'm from Madison originally. But a lot of my family is from the GB area.

  5. We'll have to try that next year. We always vacationed in Northern Wisconsin and lived there 9 years and went to college in Eau Claire.