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Hot Saucing


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#1 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 01:59 PM

I have really turned the corner on hot sauce this last year by slowly ratcheting up the heat level. You get to a point where a guy learns to lean into the heat. You know you have hit the sweet spot when you feel that wave wash over your body, it feels euphoric. I had this friend who would always try to order the hottest thing on the menu and for years I thought it was a bit of a show off thing, he never seemed to be enjoying it that much. But back then the jalapenos at subway were to much heat for me so it was hard to imagine why anyone would enjoy really hot food.

 

Anyway buying a ton of different sauces and becoming familiar with the peppers you don't tend to see much variation out there in commercial made hot sauce. Seems like you have the staples increasing in their heat level such as, Jalapeno, Sriracha, Habanero, Cayenne, Scotch bonnet, Ghost, Scorpion, Reaper and now pepper X.  Nando's Piri sauce uses the African Birds eye chili so that one is a little off the beaten trail.

 

I had some local grown Cayenne's this year and man those guys sneak up on you, way hotter than those jalapenos

 

 

So, why do so many people enjoy spicy food?

In response to the pain, your brain releases endorphins and dopamine. Combined, these chemicals create euphoria similar to "runner's high".

 Ultimately, your response to spicy food depends on your tolerance. So, if you're the type who cries over a jalapeño, don't sweat too much.

 

Watched a video with this guy in Carolina who bred the reaper and now pepper X. He said he used to be a serious drug addict so he has replaced his addiction with hot peppers. Walking around in his greenhouses chewing on a reaper, that which would seriously ruin our lives for hours on end.

 

Anyway I was wondering what you guys thought about homemade hot sauces and any ideas  techniques for making such. What effects fermentation might have ect. One thing I noticed when I tried my first hand at it was the sauce had a bit too much plant material left over, I tried to blend it but not quite that smooth consistency I was looking for, wonder if cheese cloth strainer would make it better or worse. I remember Juthro mentioned he used smoked peppers which sounds pretty awesome to me, I do have a smoked flavor ghost sauce and It made me wonder if they used liquid smoke or the proper peppers to make theirs.


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#2 rockyfungus

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 02:51 PM

Love me some spice! My wife grew up in the NE raised on hotwings. The real shit that's in the sticks of NY and PA. 

 

I grew up in a bland household but after living with various asians/indians started appreciating some heat. 

 

While me and the lady dated we really tried some adventurous food and she eventually got me well out of my heat zone. I stopped pushing it after I reached a spot where you lose flavor. Been to a joint where the owner would look you over and say no you only get 1*. He allowed us to try a 3* out of 4* and I was ready to strip in the restaurant. Authentic Chinese or Indian have been the spiciest yet tastiest meals I've had.

 

I actually was about to remake my dry-rub and maybe kick up the heat a notch. If you want the rub I'll get ya this version (I got a base and wing the rest). 


Edited by rockyfungus, 11 November 2021 - 02:52 PM.

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#3 Juthro

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 02:59 PM

Ow hell yeah! I love me some hot sauce, though it sounds like you like it a little hotter then I do.

 

I make my sauce out of dried peppers, some of them I grow and dry in the smoker for extra flavor.   Then I soak'em in water for 10 or 15min, then I boil'em hard for about 2min (helps to sterilize the mix as well).  Add a bit of salt, sugar, and vinegar and then a good spin in the blender.   Then I run it through a fine screen strainer to remove any seeds, pieces of skin, or other larger pieces, followed with bottling.   There will be a substantial amount of solids left in the strainer that is good stuff, and is great for cooking.  Think chili paste.

 

I'll pull up my base recipe, and post it here later when I've got a minute, but basically it uses one ounce of dried peppers for a batch.  You can mix and match the kinds of peppers you want to use, depending on what kind of taste your trying to get.  A batch fills about 1.5 woozy bottles (dumb name BTW, but I didn't come up with it).

 

I like a sauce with a good base flavor + a nice but not overpowering heat.  I tend to use ancho, guajillo, and jalapeno for the base, and use arbol, and cayenne peppers to add the heat, but if you want to use some nuclear hot peppers in their place that works too.   You just need the entire pepper bill to total 1oz for the recipe. 

 

Now off through a snow storm to Fred Meyers to pick up some stuff for Ms. Juthro.  They got a deal going where if you spend enough you get a 'free' turkey.   We want ours before they run out.  You know, that means I'm going to have to drive right by Kenai River Brewing.  Now where did I leave those empty growlers.... ?

 

 


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#4 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 07:53 PM

Any recipes would be more than welcome.

 

I would agree there is this nice sweet spot of taste versus heat. I am not always in the mood for the thrill of the heat, once you get to a certain level I think the flavor tends to tank a bit.  It is a little bit of fun searching for a tasty hot one trying to find the right combination. Even some of the really hot ones are good when mixed with some sweets like blueberry or cherry.

 

It was neat noticing the variations in the peppers. Like the habanero hits you really fast but fades quickly so it might be one of my favorites. That scorpion pepper is a sneaky bugger it sneaks up on you. you think oh that wasn't that bad and them sting on the tongue mouth burn type.

 

I don't like extracts either, that is just greasy unnatural heat


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#5 Juthro

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 09:08 PM

So my recipe is

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1oz dried (and mostly deseeded) peppers

For the smoke flavor I use a heatless jalapeno that I grow here (felicity) and smoke dry for about 24 hours.  It has a good flavor, and really adds a good smoke flavor to whatever I put them in.  For the heat I generally go with arbol peppers, they tend to start off easy, and then sneak up on you.   I like this, as it lets you enjoy the taste of the other peppers, and the subtle flavor of the smoke followed with an bit of afterburn.  For the bulk of the sauce lately i've been using store bought ancho, and chipotle.  So like .3oz felicity,  .1oz arbol, .4oz of chipotle, and .2oz of ancho.

 

I really like the flavor of the ancho's,  but they can be a bit bitter.  If you want to use more of them you might want to add a bit more brown sugar.

 

Anyway, you soak the peppers in the water for about 10 to 15 min, add your salt, and sugar then bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes.  remove from the heat and add your vinegar.  Let it cool enough to safely handle then blend, strain, and bottle.

 

 

And dont make the mistake of rubbing an itchy eye while processing the peppers, you will be sorry, lol.


Edited by Juthro, 12 November 2021 - 02:09 AM.

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#6 Micogi

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 09:45 PM

I've never tried making my own hot sauce, but seeing you list the Scotch Bonnet pepper reminded me of my current fav hot sauce, Matouk's Calypso Sauce.

Nice flavor, and easy to take it up a notch with a second or third dab. Not the easiest to find though, and online is ridiculous. A local grocer carries it, almost half price of what it's listed at on Amazon.


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#7 Coopdog

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 01:35 AM

Best damn hot sauce I have ever found is called Truff. Made with truffles. Not the hottest, but it's like sprinkling crack rocks on your food. Completely addictive. 


Edited by Myc, 12 November 2021 - 10:55 AM.

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#8 bezevo

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 02:49 AM

YES ! ...Matouk's Calypso Sauce...... is Very Good . Almost ......To Hot ! but flavor Yum..
I think it was made in Trinidad ?
i was buying it at A Very Reasonable Price about $3.50 a bottle from a grocery store in kind of a rough area ..OK Real Scary ha ...Very thrifty shopping .
But the store closed ...sad......Sniff !
I looked for it on line and it was 300% more .Crazy prices like $10 to $15 a bottle .

GOOD STUFF !

BEZ !


Edited by bezevo, 12 November 2021 - 02:55 AM.

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#9 rockyfungus

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 08:58 AM

El Yucateco Green Chile Habanero Sauce is my easy to find and go to for extra heat. 


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#10 Myc

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 10:54 AM

This is a really cool thread. I had never thought about making vinegar based hot sauces - like Cholula, Tobasco, .....etc.

 

Down here in the SW we eat green chile on everything. I swear, they even put it in ice cream (LOL).

If the sign says "mild" - it's probably hotter than most people can stand.

If the sign says "hot" - you'd better believe it's hot.........

If the sing says "extra hot" - buckle-up camper.......

And that's just the green. Then, there's the red chile which is graded in the same way. A real junkie asks for "christmas" - both red and green chile on the dish. Strange how regional preferences alter the way a table is set up.

 

Ya'll keep it up. I'm taking notes and getting ready to try a couple of things.


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#11 rockyfungus

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 11:06 AM

You’re talking hatch of course. I assume you have guys roasting it in cages.
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#12 Myc

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 11:17 AM

Not trying to turn this into a chile festival but........

Hatch may be the name in chile - but it's not the best. Like Coca-Cola - they just have the biggest advertising dollar.

I'll just come out with the secrets:

For green chile, seek out the heirloom stuff they grow in Jemez Pueblo. Best green chile on the planet.

For red chile, seek out the dried pods from Chimayo. Best red chile on the planet.

25 years of research just handed over in a nutshell.

 

That's what I like about this site. You guys save me a lot of leg work when it comes to exploring new ideas. Our "tastes" run so parallel it's almost a sure bet that I'll enjoy it also.


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#13 Juthro

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 12:55 PM

Myc reminded me of a good point about the vinegar, if you're making your own sauce you should be ending up with a PH of 4.5 or less to make the sauce safe for unrefrigerated storage.  

 

I personally am not a big fan for the real vinegary sauces like tabasco, and franks, but you don't have to use that much vinegar to make it safe for shelf storage.  Also, using apple cider instead of distilled will give a hint of apple sweetness to the sauce.  

 

Just food for thought if'en y'all wanted to try your own recipe.

 

The base recipe that I gave above will give you a sauce that is shelf stable.  That's why I like it so much, it's easy to customize, and safe to make, or even sell at the local farmers market, and the vinegar is not overpowering in it at all, you almost cant taste it.

 

EDIT: damn, I'm out of likes already this morning, and I haven't even had my second cup of coffee... :)


Edited by Juthro, 12 November 2021 - 12:58 PM.

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#14 Micogi

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 01:18 PM

YES ! ...Matouk's Calypso Sauce...... is Very Good . Almost ......To Hot ! but flavor Yum..
I think it was made in Trinidad ?
i was buying it at A Very Reasonable Price about $3.50 a bottle from a grocery store in kind of a rough area ..OK Real Scary ha ...Very thrifty shopping .
But the store closed ...sad......Sniff !
I looked for it on line and it was 300% more .Crazy prices like $10 to $15 a bottle .

GOOD STUFF !

BEZ !

 

I get mine at Shoppers Food Warehouse, they have a pretty good selection of hot sauces not typically seen in grocery stores. I discovered it there as well.

Whenever I go, and usually it's just for the sauce, I buy 4 or 5 bottles at a time, but I think it was like $3.50ish. I'm about out and need to go re-up.

 

It scares me though, while not being a big chain, there used to be 3 or 4 in my area but all have closed except the one I go to.

 

Amazon has come down since the last time I looked, it was like $8 or $9 or more per bottle, but they got a 4 pack for $18.43

https://smile.amazon...73WAJKBS4DW9Y3F

 

I don't use it a bunch, I mix it in with my eggs for breakfast.



#15 rockyfungus

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 04:02 PM

Not trying to turn this into a chile festival but........

Hatch may be the name in chile - but it's not the best. Like Coca-Cola - they just have the biggest advertising dollar.

I'll just come out with the secrets:

For green chile, seek out the heirloom stuff they grow in Jemez Pueblo. Best green chile on the planet.

For red chile, seek out the dried pods from Chimayo. Best red chile on the planet.

25 years of research just handed over in a nutshell.

 

That's what I like about this site. You guys save me a lot of leg work when it comes to exploring new ideas. Our "tastes" run so parallel it's almost a sure bet that I'll enjoy it also.

Coca cola is the best cola...I'm a recovered coke addict.

 

Interesting wonder if those chiles get distributed this far. I've found the non-descript hispanic dried peppers or chiles are best. Find the little local store. 

 

Here's my dry rub: It's a work in progress it was too salty and I'm unsure if I really need all the extra spices I added. 

1/2 C brown sugar

1/2 C chile powder

1/3 C salt (may cut back to 1/2 C)

2 TBS black pepper (white pepper is nice)

1 TBS cumin

1/2 tsp red pepper (I add more usually and use a dried spicy local pepper, Arbol?)

1 tsp mustard

Then I added all my asian likes...

1/2 tsp cardmom, anise, celery salt, ginger, cinammon, and cloves...

Love it on wings, thighs etc, Throw it on the skin and all and air fry those suckers.


Edited by rockyfungus, 12 November 2021 - 04:03 PM.

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#16 Juthro

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 06:50 PM

Those arbol also go by rat tail chili, or bird beak chili.  They look a lot like cayenne peppers to me, but are generally a bit smaller.   IMO, they are also very similar to cayenne's in taste, and amount of heat they give.

 

 

 

That rub sounds like its worth trying :)

 

This has been my goto rub for some time, this recipe is much smaller then Rocky's, but you can scale up if you want more.

 

½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cyan pepper
½ tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp smoked felicity pepper powder (chipotle can be subbed)
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
1 TBL brown sugar
1 TBL kosher salt
1 TBL granulated garlic
1 TBL granulated onion

 

I use it a lot on pork chops (back when they were cheap), or chicken breasts, and it's actually really bitchen sprinkled on a hard boiled egg.....  or baked potato... or hell, just about anything, lol


Edited by Juthro, 12 November 2021 - 09:57 PM.

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#17 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 15 November 2021 - 12:14 PM

Yes that El Yucateco is a nice vinegar based sauced, I think the one I have is red habanaro. That one one is good for taco's for sure, maybe a little salty at times but that is the best part about having different kinds on hand. I remember seeing that truffle one too on amazon and my love for mush wanted to try it out, but I had already bought a ridiculous amount of sauce at that point my fridge is starting to get overloaded. Going to add that one to the list of want to buy sauces

 

Amazon does have some wild prices on stuff man. Certain sauces I wanted to get were ridiculously overpriced. I did notice it is reasonable to expect that as you increase your heat level the price of the sauce tends to go with it.

 

Spicy cross contamination, oh yeah I learned my lesson years ago on a failed attempt at making spicy pickles. Cutting habaneros with my hands was a mistake, you need to wear gloves. I woke up the next morning thinking I would be fine, washed my hands multiple times after cutting them up and heck it was the next day. Went to put my contacts in and was met with a fiery eyeball explosion. No contacts that day she was glasses all the way

 

Well all this talk has got me thinking I should try to ferment some sauce, I have only made one attempt before and I basically copied the main ingredients on the green Chaloua bottle. It was close but I felt like it was to airy or something its hard to describe, I think a finer strain with fix it. Luckily some of my questions about preservation have been answered. Had me wondering about what actually needs preservation and what doesn't, well they leave those Tobasco bottles on the table right? Ahhh PH. I do like the idea of using dried peppers I never really considered it as an option.

 

Learning lots on this rabbit hole, like the idea that chipotle is a processed jalepeno. I always assumed it was its own pepper. There is definitely more of a love and flare for all things spicy in the southwest hey. A simple observation in the us is with the regional branding of foods. The NW is all about the garlic cheese fries and the SW the Chili cheese fries. Keep going farther north and us rebels like to put gravy and cheese on them.


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#18 rockyfungus

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Posted 15 November 2021 - 12:30 PM

Ranch vs blue cheese. That’s the great debate lol

#19 Juthro

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Posted 15 November 2021 - 12:38 PM

Good call on the chipotles, they are to jalapenos what raisins are to grapes, or what prunes are to plums.   Another one like that are ancho chilies which are smoke dried poblano peppers.

 

Most dried peppers for hot sauce should be easy for you to source, but if you want to kick it up with some serious smoke flavor without the addition of liquid smoke I would be happy to share some of my home smoked peppers.   We had a really productive grow season this last year, and I don't mind sharing the wealth.

 

So if you (or any other member) would like to try a sampler, just shoot me a PM with a good address to ship to.  The peppers are all smoked, and dried, so they ship easy, and won't spoil.


Edited by Juthro, 15 November 2021 - 12:39 PM.

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#20 rockyfungus

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Posted 15 November 2021 - 08:10 PM

Another good style of "hot sauce", Gochujang.  Been seeing it more commercialized lately.

 

Gochujang, is a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment popular in Korean cooking. It is made from gochu-garu (chili powder), glutinous rice, meju (fermented soybean) powder, yeotgireum (barley malt powder), and salt. The sweetness comes from the starch of cooked glutinous rice, cultured with saccharifying enzymes during the fermentation process.[3] Traditionally, it has been naturally fermented over years in jangdok (earthenware) on an elevated stone platform, called jangdokdae, in the backyard.

https://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Gochujang

 

I'll say it's a funky, spicy, bbq sauce. 


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