Hot sauce: those two words alone get some folks’ mouths watering, while they make others cringe. Some people never leave home without a bottle of the stuff somewhere on their person; others fear even a brief exposure to a pickled jalapeño on their nachos.
This list is for those of you in the former group: those brave few constantly in search of the next spiciest thing. We tracked down the absolute spiciest hot sauces out there, ranked them according to Scoville units (the way spiciness is measured), and provided you with ways to order them directly to your door. But be careful: these sauces are spicy. For comparison’s sake, Tabasco sauce clocks in at about 5,000 Scoville units, and the hottest pepper on earth, the Carolina Reaper, clocks in at about 2.2 million.
#5 Dave’s Gourmet Ghost Pepper Jolokia Sauce: 650,000 Scoville Units
This sauce takes the Naga Jolokia pepper, also known as the infamous ghost pepper, blends it with pure hot pepper extract, salt, and garlic, and unleashes unto the world one of the hottest sauces known to man. The result clocks in at a whopping 650,000 Scoville units. We’d recommend watching the video of it being eaten before making your purchase.
#4 Blair’s 2 A.M. Reserve: 650,000-900,000 Scoville Units
According to legend, this sauce was created when the company’s founder, who worked at a bar, was looking for a more effective way to close up shop when 2 a.m. rolled around. He fried up some wings, doused them in this sauce, and told the patrons that he’d let them stick around a little longer if they could eat four of them. Needless to say, it worked every time. A 3-ounce bottle can be purchased for $29.95, you’ll be asked to sign a disclaimer first!
#3 Henry Family Farm Ghost Chile of India: 850,000–1 Million Scoville Units
The Henry Family Farm has been growing chiles for 30 years in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and this sauce, a blend of pure ghost chiles with just a little salt and vinegar, is their spiciest offering. Because it’s such a gourmet product, a 5-ounce bottle sells for $24, and, because there are no extracts involved, you can really taste the chiles. If you can get past the heat. Chef David Rosengarten is a big fan of this sauce; he sells it, along with two other varieties, on his website.
#2 Blair’s 3 AM Reserve: 1.5 Million–2 Million Scoville Units
If the 2 AM Reserve isn’t hot enough for you, you can always kick it up one more notch with their 3 AM reserve. It’s 20 percent hotter than the original, and a drop of this stuff on your tongue will most likely alter your entire outlook on the universe (it's about as spicy as law enforcement-grade pepper spray). For the truly brave (crazy?), a 3-ounce bottle sells for $49.95. It comes in funky bottle signed by Blair himself.
#1 Pepper Palace Hottest Sauce in the Universe - 2nd Dimension: 3.5 Million Scoville Units
There’s a good chance that the folks at Pepper Palace weren’t exaggerating when they called this concoction the universe’s hottest. Forty pounds of ghost chiles go into every batch, and, according to the company, the stuff contains a ludicrous 3.5 million Scoville units, making it 700 times spicier than Tabasco. We’re getting into some crazy territory here. If you’re insane enough to try it, you can purchase it through their website for $14.95.