Homemade Hot Sauce

Homemade Hot Sauce is budget friendly, super easy to make and makes a great gift that everyone will love. Today I am going to show you how to make Homemade Hot Sauce.  The recipes are simple with just a few ingredients; peppers, vinegar and salt. You can follow the recipe exactly how it is, or combine different types of chilis and aromatics to adjust the Hot Sauce to your family’s preferences.

Christmas is just around the corner, and as I was going through my list, I realized that I had nothing to go with the Homemade Vanilla Extract I made the girls. I looked at the leftover bottles I had from making vanilla, and thought.. HOT SAUCE. It only takes about 35 minutes of hands on time, and a little bit of patience to make this delicious homemade hot sauce. So if you’re in the same boat as me, and are looking for an easy Last Minute Gift Idea, make Homemade Hot Sauce.  If you’re worried about the bottles, they ship for free with Prime, and I got mine the next day.

I decided that I wanted to make both Red Hot Sauce and Green Hot Sauce.  I already had a few red fresno chilis and jalapeños in my fridge, so I sent DJ back to the store to get some more, and started making hot sauce.  Like I mentioned already, you can change up the chilis, or even fire roast them to a whole new layer of flavor.  If you want to roast your chilis, toss them on the grill over high heat or under the broiler, and char up all sides- this takes 5-10 minutes.  Toss the chilis in a paper bag, and let them steam for about 30 minutes.  Carefully remove the skin and stem, and then use in the recipe in place of fresh chilis.

Why Make Homemade Hot Sauce?

Because you can, and it’s extremely budget friendly.  When you make your own Homemade Hot Sauce, you can also control the quality of the ingredients that go into the sauce.  No matter what peppers you choose, Homemade Hot Sauce tastes fresher, and just so much better than anything that you’ll find on the shelves of your local grocery store.

If you’re making Homemade Hot Sauce as a gift, it’s extremely budget friendly.  Here’s the breakdown of how much it cost to make 12 bottles of hot sauce.

12 Count 5oz Hot Sauce Bottles – $12.99 on Amazon ($1.08/bottle)
24 Count Labels – $3.73 on Amazon
1 pound jalapeño peppers – $0.99 at Kroger
1 pound fresno peppers – $2.99 at Kroger
1 head garlic – $0.50 at Kroger
64 oz apple cider vinegar – $4.49 at Kroger (with plenty leftover)

Total = $25.69 or $2.15 each!

$25 for 12 gifts isn’t a bad deal at all!

Pick A Pepper

Chili Peppers are a great ingredient to add to salsas, and kick up other recipes, but chili peppers are at their best when they are made into Hot Sauce! Choose your favorite peppers to make your hot sauce – there really isn’t a wrong answer when it comes to choosing chilis.  Some hot sauces set your mouth on fire while others just leave a little kick of spice, it just all depends on the pepper you choose. What makes chili peppers hot is the capsaicin, and you can predict based on the chart below just how spicy the pepper you choose will be.  Peppers become hotter as they age, and the uglier the pepper, the spicier.  The heat of the pepper is in the seeds and the pith.  If you want a milder sauce, ditch the seeds and pith.  This little chart below from livescience.com shows the level of spiciness of each pepper.  The higher the number on the scoville scale, the spicier the pepper!

Gather Ingredients & Supplies

Now that you’ve figured out what type of peppers you want to use, it’s time to make the hot sauce! Start by gathering all of your equipment and ingredients.  While gloves are not essential to making Hot Sauce, they will save your hands, and you won’t be afraid to touch your face after.  I use disposable nitrate gloves all the time in the kitchen, and they are one of my favorite kitchen tools.  I use them to handle poultry, mix meatballs, or in this case, touch hot peppers!

Also be sure to have a well ventilated space when you’re making hot sauce.  The spice from the peppers can definitely become overwhelming, so be sure to turn on the fan in your kitchen, and crack a window.

If you’re giving the Hot Sauce away as gifts, start by sterilizing the bottles that you plan to use.

How To Sterilize Jars or Bottle

This is a very important step in making your own Hot Sauce.  To sanitize the jars or bottles that you plan to use, follow these steps:

  1. Wash jars or bottles and lids in hot soapy water.  Rinse thoroughly.
  2. Fill a large pot half way with water and bring to a rolling boil.  Working in batches, add bottles, making sure that they are fully submerged.  I like to put the 3-4 bottles in the pot as I fill it up with water to know just how much I’ll need, and then I remove the jars, and bring the water to a boil.

  3. Process jars or bottles in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove with tongs, and place on a clean surface before use.  If you’re not quite ready to use the bottles, they can rest in hot water for up to an hour.

To sanitize the lids, process in simmering water for 8 minutes.  A full boil can melt the lids.

If you live in high-altitude, add one minute of processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.

How To Make Red Hot Sauce

  1. Slice fresno peppers into 1″ pieces, seeds and pith included, and toss into bowl of food processor with 1 clove garlic, and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add chopped chilis and garlic, 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup water, salt, and 1 lime juiced and zested (if using) to a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool completely to room temperature.
  5. Transfer to blender, and puree.
  6. Stir in 1/4 cup vinegar, and  pour into sterilized bottles. Place dropper lid on bottle, and tightly put cap on.  For a thinner sauce, strain through a fine sieve before bottling.

How To Make Green Hot Sauce

Green Hot Sauce is made just like Red Hot Sauce, you just use jalapeños instead of fresnos.  The green sauce is a little more mild than the red. To make green sauce:

    1. Slice jalapeño peppers into 1″ pieces, seeds and pith included, and toss into bowl of food processor with 1 clove garlic, and pulse until finely chopped.
    2. Add chopped chilis and garlic, 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup water, salt, and 1 lime juiced and zested (if using) to a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
    3. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
    4. Remove from heat and let cool completely to room temperature.
    5. Transfer to blender, and puree.
    6. Stir in 1/4 cup vinegar, and  pour into sterilized bottles. Place dropper lid on bottle, and tightly put cap on.  For a thinner sauce, strain through a fine sieve before bottling.

How To Make Homemade Hot Sauce Into Gifts

Place a canning rack in the bottom of a large, deep pot and fill with water.  Bring water to a boil, and carefully place bottles in being sure the top of the bottle is covered by 2″.  Process bottles in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove with tongs.

Once bottles have cooled completely, add labels with the name of your hot sauce and the ingredients.

How To Store Hot Sauce

If you have decided just to make hot sauce for yourself, or if you’re going to give friends the hot sauce to put in their fridge right away, pour hot sauce into a bottle with a tight fitting lid.  The hot sauce will keep up to 6 months in the fridge.  The longer the sauce sits, the more flavorful it becomes.

Hot sauce in sterilized bottle, if processed properly can last a couple years.

11 Comments

  1. How much water for the recipe? How much lime and salt?

  2. So when you process the bottles after they’re filled… Can the lids to the bottles handle a 10 minute boil? Why is it simmer for 8 minutes to sterilize so you don’t melt the lids but 10 minute BOIL to process and the lids are okay?

  3. I’m used to canning using ‘typical’ canning jars and lids. I’m very interested in processing hot sauce into the shown hot sauce bottles. The process outlined here is pretty much the same though the jars and lids are very different from typical canning jars. How does one cover, with water, the hot sauce bottles for processing, without leakage (which could impact any potential seal) and where does the jar seal come from following removal from the water bath as it appears there is just a plastic plug with a hole and a screw on lid. Do these screw on lids include some sort of rubber seal inside? Thanks.

  4. ackkkkkkkkkkkk why no measurements

  5. Your bottles are fully submerged or floating on top? Would it work to fill them with water before submerging and bringing to boil first? I’m thinking like a canner and regular mason jars, but maybe these small bottles float no matter what you do? Planning on pasteurizing and bottling up my hot sauce ferment today. 2nd year fermenting, but 1st time with Woozy bottles. Thanks!

  6. As Rebecca asked How much water for the recipe? How much lime and salt?

  7. Beth Johnson

    I’m still a little confused on processing the smaller hot sauce type jars. How will I know if they “seal”, as there will be no popping sound like regular canning pints. Will they be shelf safe outside of the fridge? Thank you!

    • I was worried about that, too. I’m not sure how to explain to you to know if it’s stable or not, but if you just follow the processing time, they will be shelf stable.

      Thanks so much!

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