We love hot sauce. There, we said it, and we really aren’t ashamed. Hot sauce is probably the quickest way to add flavor and heat to any dish, and what’s great about it is that you can put it on pretty much anything. Chicken, eggs, even popcorn are all improved with a dash of some good hot sauce. After all, who likes bland, flavorless foods? No one, that’s who.
But the thing about hot sauces is that there are so many of them, in so many different varieties. How is anyone to choose between the dozens of bottles on the grocery store shelf? There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a hot sauce, and so we asked our staff to brave the heat and try 11 hot sauces to choose the best one.
The main criteria for our hot sauce taste test were flavor, heat, and smell. What we really were looking for in a top hot sauce was one that had a good balance. Too often do we find a hot sauce that is way too spicy, but not flavorful enough, or one that tastes less like hot sauce due to the lack of, well, heat. And sometimes, hot sauces just smell too unappetizing to even be tasted.
So with those criteria in mind, we had our staff blindly taste all 11 hot sauces and rank them from best to worst. We kept the identities of the hot sauces secret during the test because hot sauce is one of those foods whose brands spark intense loyalty in people, and we didn’t want that interfering. Don’t worry, though, there was milk on hand for when things got a little too hot. Eventually, a clear winner emerged from the rest, while others failed to impress. Keep reading to find out which hot sauce you should rush out to buy, and which ones you should avoid.
11. Da’ Bomb Beyond Insanity
This hot sauce was described by one of our staff as “smoky murder,” and we think that’s a pretty accurate description. It’s made with a combination of habanero and chipotle peppers, but it tastes more like a bottle-full of the fires of hell. Another editor claimed that one dot of Da’ Bomb “scorched my whole heart,” and the truth is Da’ Bomb is just way too hot. You can’t taste anything after you have it, which isn’t exactly what a hot sauce should do. It “kills taste buds,” as one of our staff said. Seriously, approach this hot sauce with extreme caution.
10. Pickapeppa Sauce
This sauce fell to the bottom of the list for pretty much not tasting like a hot sauce at all. One of our staff described it as “spicy Worcestershire,” and many thought that it lacked any heat at all. The smell of it also was a little too much for some of us. We think we might use Pickapeppa for marinades, but not as a hot sauce.