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The World’s 10 Spiciest Hot Sauces

The World’s 10 Spiciest Hot Sauces


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Hot sauce — those two words alone can get some folks’ mouths watering, while they make others cringe. Some never leave home without a bottle of the stuff somewhere on their person; others fear even brief exposure to a pickled jalapeño on their nachos.

Click Here for the World’s 10 Spiciest Hot Sauces Slideshow

So what is it about spicy food that causes such divisiveness? Like all foods, some love it and some hate it. And even among the ranks of spicy food lovers, some can only tolerate a dash or two of Tabasco while others head over to their local wing joint weekly for their XXXX-Mindkiller Special.

For those of you in the latter group, like these guys, this list is for you. 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 (Scoville Units are measured through a complicated dilution process; for example, a pepper whose extract needs to be diluted 10,000 times before capsaicin is undetectible will have a rating of 10,000 Scoville Units.)

For a bit of perspective, let’s take a look at the hot sauce standard-bearer: Tabasco. The original version of the popular hot sauce contains at most about 5,000 Scoville units, about as many as you’d find in your average jalapeño. On the other end of the spectrum, Guinness World Records proclaims that the world’s hottest chile pepper is the Trinidad Scorpion "Butch T," which clocks in at a whopping 1,463,700 Scoville units, nearly 300 times hotter than a jalapeño.

For the chile lovers out there, however, there’s no such thing as too spicy, and hot sauce producers keep finding more and more ways to pack as much capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot sauce, into their products. Just to give you an idea as to how spicy hot sauces have gotten recently, the original super-spicy hot sauce, Dave’s Insanity Sauce, which came onto the scene about 20 years ago and sparked a hot sauce boom, clocks in at about 180,000 Scoville units — it didn’t even scratch the surface of our top 10 list!

So why do hot sauces keep getting hotter and hotter? To answer that question, we went to Scott Roberts, a St. Louis-based blogger and self-proclaimed "chile-head," who’s been on a quest to track down the world’s hottest sauces for about 10 years.

"The extreme chile-heads are clamoring for more and more and more heat," he told us. "Throughout the 2000s there was a 'hot sauce race,' when everybody was trying to make the hottest product. They started to use chile extracts to boost the heat, and the advent of super-hot chile peppers has allowed the sauce makers to make their sauces hotter and hotter. It brings real notoriety if you make one of the hottest sauces on Earth, and even more if you can eat it!"

So fasten your seatbelt, folks. This is going to be a spicy ride. And if you think you know of a hotter sauce than those listed, let us know in the comments.

Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers.


15 Sauces from Around the World You Should Try

From tangy barbecue to fiery Tabasco, Americans love their sauces. But if you’re looking for a slightly different way to dip, season, marinate, or just add some extra kick to your food, you owe it to yourself to try one or more of these international selections.

1. PONZU

Imagine soy sauce with a citrus kick, and you’ve got the basic flavor of this Japanese staple. International markets carry it by the bottle, but try making it at home for a fresher, more flavorful take with Mark Bittman’s recipe. Use it as a salad dressing, as a meat marinade, or as a dipping sauce for seafood.

2. CHERMOULA

Parsley, cilantro, coriander, garlic and saffron are just a few ingredients that make up this pungent north African herb sauce. It’s traditionally served with grilled seafood, though it can also liven up lamb and other grilled meats, as well as roasted vegetables. Try this recipe from Serious Eats that adds in cayenne pepper and paprika.

3. PEBRE

Chileans always have this spicy spread on hand at barbecues, or asados. They particularly enjoy serving it over toasted bread, though it also goes well with meats, salads, empanadas—basically, anything that could use a little kick. The recipe varies by region, with cilantro, tomatoes and habanero peppers comprising the backbone of this chimichurri-like sauce.

4. SAMBAL

Sriracha fans should try this Indonesian favorite that combines peppers, herbs, citrus, and fish sauce. Traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, it’s chunkier and less acidic than many southeast Asian hot sauces while still packing a mean punch.

5. MOLHO APIMENTADO

Brazilians enjoy this versatile sauce as a marinade, as a seasoning, and as a dip for vegetables and grilled meats. It’s known as a hot sauce, but you can vary the heat to your liking while still retaining the fresh, flavorful taste. Try it with a hearts of palm salad and a New Orleans twist courtesy of Chef Emeril Lagasse.

6. TKEMALI

This plum sauce is the equivalent of ketchup for many Georgians (the country, not the state). Sour and tangy—The Kitchn calls it “a cross between ketchup and chutney”—it’s often served with potato dishes and meats, and mixed in with stews. The flavor profile varies based on the ripeness of the plums being used, from tart green plums to milder red ones.

7. GOCHUJANG

This complex hot sauce from South Korea combines chilis, fermented soybeans and sticky rice. It’s too thick and potent to use as a finishing sauce like Sriracha, but it’s perfect for cooking. Try adding it to miso soup or using it to coat grilled or fried vegetables.

8. BAJAN PEPPER SAUCE

Visitors to Barbados often try this hot sauce and swear off the likes of Tabasco forever. Locals covet it, as well. Made from mustard, vinegar and a Caribbean pepper known as the Scotch bonnet, it’s best used on meat and seafood. Try making your own or, if you’re low on Caribbean peppers, order a jar of Lottie’s.

9. CHAKALAKA

Often referred to as a spicy relish, this colorfully named South African staple began in the country’s townships, where residents combined basic ingredients like beans, onions, tomatoes, and peppers. Thick and flavorful, it works well as a side dish (think coleslaw) or as a topping for grilled bread and meat.

10. SHREWSBURY SAUCE

The English know how to do savory, and this sauce, made with redcurrant jelly, butter, flour, and red wine, is a great accompaniment for any pot roast, rack of lamb or pork dish. British chef Delia Smith has a spot-on recipe that adds in mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce. Pour it over meat like gravy, and tuck in.

11. HAYDARI

Lots of people know about Greek tzatziki, but not as many are familiar with haydari, a yogurt-based sauce that’s popular in neighboring Turkey. Made with parsley, mint, olive oil, and Greek yogurt, it's great as an appetizer served over crackers or toast, or as an accompaniment to grilled fish.

12. AGRODOLCE

Italy is renowned for its ragus and marinara sauce. Flying under the radar, though, are old-world recipes like agrodolce that show a different side of the tomato-rich country. Its name translates to “sour sweet,” and that’s exactly what you get with a sticky sauce that combines sugar and balsamic vinegar. Try it as a glaze next time you make pork chops, and don’t be afraid to customize it with fruits, spices, and other ingredients.

13. CORIANDER CHUTNEY

This chutney is a staple in many Indian households, where it often accompanies snacks like samosas and pakoras. Try it as a dipping sauce, or as a spread for a veggie sandwich. It’s easy to make, and has a refreshing, mild spice profile.

14. NAM JIM JAEW

There are many different Thai dipping sauces, but this one stands out for its sharp, smoky flavor. Dried chili powder and toasted rice powder are the key ingredients, along with lime juice, fish sauce and a few choice herbs. Mix everything together and serve it in a small bowl alongside just about any grilled meat.

15. GUASACACA

This Venezuelan avocado salsa has a rich, earthy flavor that goes well with everything from tacos to salads to grilled steak. It’s naturally mild, but can be spiced up by adding peppers or hot sauce to the mix. Best of all: It’s simple to make. Follow Chef George Duran’s recipe, which calls for rough-chopped onion, cilantro, green peppers and avocados thrown into a blender along with some olive oil and garlic. Just push the button, and voila!


The world’s spiciest hot sauces

Hot sauce — those two words alone can get some folks’ mouths watering, while they make others cringe. Some never leave home without a bottle of the stuff somewhere on their person others fear even brief exposure to a pickled jalapeño on their nachos.

So what is it about spicy food that causes such divisiveness? Like all foods, some love it and some hate it. And even among the ranks of spicy food lovers, some can only tolerate a dash or two of Tabasco while others head over to their local wing joint weekly for their XXXX-Mindkiller Special.

For those of you in the latter group, like these guys, this list is for you. 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 (Scoville Units are measured through a complicated dilution process for example, a pepper whose extract needs to be diluted 10,000 times before capsaicin is undetectible will have a rating of 10,000 Scoville Units.)

For a bit of perspective, let’s take a look at the hot sauce standard-bearer: Tabasco. The original version of the popular hot sauce contains at most about 5,000 Scoville units, about as many as you’d find in your average jalapeño. On the other end of the spectrum, Guinness World Records proclaims that the world’s hottest chile pepper is the Trinidad Scorpion "Butch T," which clocks in at a whopping 1,463,700 Scoville units, nearly 300 times hotter than a jalapeño.

For the chile lovers out there, however, there’s no such thing as too spicy, and hot sauce producers keep finding more and more ways to pack as much capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot sauce, into their products. Just to give you an idea as to how spicy hot sauces have gotten recently, the original super-spicy hot sauce, Dave’s Insanity Sauce, which came onto the scene about 20 years ago and sparked a hot sauce boom, clocks in at about 180,000 Scoville units — it didn’t even scratch the surface of our top 10 list!

So why do hot sauces keep getting hotter and hotter? To answer that question, we went to Scott Roberts, a St. Louis-based blogger and self-proclaimed "chile-head," who’s been on a quest to track down the world’s hottest sauces for about 10 years.

"The extreme chile-heads are clamoring for more and more and more heat," he told us. "Throughout the 2000s there was a 'hot sauce race,' when everybody was trying to make the hottest product. They started to use chile extracts to boost the heat, and the advent of super-hot chile peppers has allowed the sauce makers to make their sauces hotter and hotter. It brings real notoriety if you make one of the hottest sauces on Earth, and even more if you can eat it!"

So fasten your seatbelt, folks. This is going to be a spicy ride.

Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin’ Sauce: 200,000-350,000 Scoville Units
Surprisingly, one of the world’s spiciest hot sauces can be found at a Buffalo Wild Wings near you, or on their online store. When Roberts asked a representative how spicy this sauce was, they replied, "The Scoville units for the Blazin' sauce range from 200,000 to 350,000 depending on the peppers and the season, but it is always hot!"

Mad Dog 357: 357,000 Scoville Units
This super-hot sauce is a fiery concoction of chile extract, fresh habanero peppers, cayenne, garlic, and onion and clocks in at a face-melting 357,000 Scoville units. It can be purchased from Hot Sauce World for $8.98 a bottle, but you might want to read the comments section before making the investment this sauce takes its toll.

CaJohns Frostbite White: 500,000 Scoville Units
CaJohns is famous for making some of the spiciest hot sauces in existence, and this one, which also happens to be the world’s first white hot sauce, is right up there with them. It’s so hot that it supposedly "sparkles and shimmers" when you shake it, according to Roberts. CaJohns suggests using it to spice up cocktails, but even one drop might be enough to give your margarita a heck of a kick. It can be purchased for $9 per bottle.

Melinda’s Red Savina: 577,000 Scoville Units
The red savina pepper is twice as hot as a habanero and 65 times hotter than a jalapeño. Melinda’s blends the fiendish pepper with habaneros, fresh carrots, onions, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, and salt to create an elixir that’s been lab-tested and certified to clock in at 577,000 Scoville units. If you can handle the heat, this sauce actually sounds quite delicious. A 5-ounce bottle can be purchased for $5.14.

Dave’s Gourmet Ghost Pepper Jolokia Sauce: 650,000 Scoville Units
This new product from the company that started it all takes the Naga Jolokia pepper, also known as the infamous ghost pepper, blends it with pure hot pepper extract, salt, and garlic, and unleashed unto the world one of the hottest sauces known to man, clocking in at a whopping 650,000 Scoville units. We’d recommend watching the video of it being eaten before making your purchase.


The world’s hottest hot sauces

For those who are fans of spicy food, hot sauce is an indispensable condiment. But beyond the mild kick of traditional hot sauces like Tabasco and Cholula lies a huge ecosystem of intensely spicy hot sauces and their fiercely devoted fans, known as chileheads. If you fall into that group, this list is for you, because these hot sauces are the spiciest on earth.

Heat seekers have spiciness down to a science: the Scoville scale, to be exact. Scoville Units are measured through a complicated dilution process for example, a pepper whose extract needs to be diluted 10,000 times before capsaicin is undetectable will have a rating of 10,000 Scoville Units. Tabasco clocks in at a respectable 2,500 Scoville Units, Sriracha is 2,200, a jalapeño pepper is at 5,000 on average (exact heat levels can vary from chile to chile), habanero peppers have around 200,000 Scoville Units, the legendary ghost chile clocks in at around 1 million units, and the newly-crowned hottest pepper on earth, Pepper X, clocks in at 3.18 million Scoville Units.

If you thought that no hot sauce can be spicier than the hottest pepper, guess again. By extracting resins and oils, hot sauce developers have been able to ratchet up spiciness in hot sauces to weapons-grade levels (literally: standard U.S.-grade pepper spray ranges from 2 million to 5 million Scoville Units, delivered directly into your eyes). Pure capsaicin, the chemical that makes spicy foods taste spicy, tips the scales at 16 million Scovilles, 3,200 times the intensity of a jalapeño.

So read on to learn about the spiciest hot sauces you can buy (we’ve included links if you’re crazy enough to want to actually try any of these yourself). While a couple of these are pure capsaicin extracts, the majority are real sauces, formulated with care by people who are probably slightly insane. So fasten your seatbelts, because this is going to be a spicy ride.

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This is the world’s spiciest hot sauce

A stroll down the condiment aisle of your favorite grocery store will grace you with all the familiar hot sauces: Cholula, Frank’s, Tabasco, Crystal and so on. Unless you’re particularly sensitive to heat, most would agree that these are fairly mild. A jalapeño is 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville units, for example, and the aforementioned sauces range from 450 to 5,000. The hottest hot sauce in the world? Nine million.

Mad Dog 357 No. 9 Plutonium, produced by Ashley Foods, is 1,125 times spicier than the hottest jalapeño pepper. It’s made from 60% pure capsicum extract, and that’s it. The heat level is so extreme that the packaging comes with big bold lettering on the side warning customers to use as a food additive only. It should not be consumed straight under any circumstances, and don’t go sloshing this stuff on your tacos. If you do, you’ll regret it.

This product is one of the purest, hottest, most concentrated pepper extracts on Earth. It’s named after plutonium after all — a radioactive and highly explosive element crucial to atomic bombs. According to reviews on Amazon, the violent burn can last 45 minutes on the dose of a single drop.

“This tastes like pure hatred,” one Amazon reviewer said. “The first 15 minutes are almost panic inducing, but then the endorphins kick in and it’s a progressively pleasant burn. This is exactly as advertised and worth every penny.”

“I have survived, my mouth has returned from the test of hell and one day I hope my sense of taste will return with it,” another wrote. “I refused to follow the light, I am alive. Now I fear the worst, as there will come a time that I will need to use the restroom. For this I fear the most, I must choose a God as I may soon may be forced to speak with them. I must prepare.”

If you’re brave enough to try it, head to Ashley Foods' website or Amazon, where it’s currently on sale for $109.99 (normally $129.99). It’s just 1 fluid ounce, which sounds tiny, but it’ll last because you don’t need more than a drop at a time. Seriously. Don’t use more than that or you could hurt yourself. Looking for something insanely spicy, but not quite that spicy? Take your pick from the world’s hottest hot sauces.


Zombie Apocalypse Ghost Chili Hot Sauce by TorchBearer Sauces

With a name like Zombie Apocalypse Ghost Chili Hot Sauce, is it any surprise this hot sauce is blisteringly hot? Zombie Apocalypse has 16 ghost chili pods in each bottle, as well as habaneros and a mix of spices, vegetables, oil, and vinegar. Marc Lewis, general manager and executive editor at EcoWatch.com, points out another reason to love it: It's entirely vegan-friendly, all-natural, and artificial extract-free. "It's great for your mouth, the planet, and your body," he says.


The End Hot Sauce

The End is one of the hot sauces that you have to sign a waiver before trying. It's ranked at 6 million Scoville units.

There are videos of people vomiting while trying it — which we wouldn't blame you for not watching. You can buy a T-shirt to prove how badass you are after trying it. The End hot sauce has a wax seal on the bottle. Even the bottle looks scary.

A study suggests that people who enjoy spicy food may be more prone to alcoholism because the same reward receptors in the brain that are triggered by alcohol consumption can also be triggered by eating spicy food. Eating spicy foods releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy and they also make you feel like you are experiencing a high. Now, that's not to say that everyone brave enough to try The End is also an alcoholic but it would take a lot of booze to get most of us to try something so spicy that you have to sign a waiver for taking a taste test. Just saying.


How we ranked them

When you look at the nutrition label on any hot sauce, you're bound to find 0s everywhere. 0 calories, 0 carbs, 0 fiber. You get the picture. Hot sauce is (hopefully) made with a few, simple, low-calorie ingredients that have a negligible impact on the nutrition facts at such a low serving size (1 teaspoon).

However, as we said, there are two red flags that do make an appearance on the label: sodium and artificial ingredients. We ranked the best and worst supermarket hot sauces based on these two factors.

Still, it's important to keep in mind that this article comes from a zoomed-in standpoint. Theoretically, you're not eating hot sauce in massive quantities at any given meal. In moderation, the bad brands won't kill you! But the whole Eat This, Not That! lifestyle is about making small, easy swaps for overall good health.

Think about it: If you eat a certain hot sauce that is high in sodium and additives every day, over time you may see some adverse effects. Conversely, if you swap out that hot sauce for one of our faves, you avoid these negatives. It's as easy as that—just like steering clear of these 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.


Best Tasting Hottest Hot Sauces

1. Pain is Good Jalapeno Hot Pepper Sauce

Jalapenos are the most popular form of hot peppers. And that’s because of the light tangy flavor and the right amount of heat and spice they give to a dish.

This medium-heat sauce goes well with Nachos and other traditional Mexican dishes. Buy this Now.

2. Elijah’s Xtreme Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce

This pepper sauce is a combo of two hot peppers – Naga Jolokia and Habanero. Naga Jolokia or Ghost Pepper from India is one of the world’s hottest peppers. Paired with it are the super hot South American habanero peppers.

One of the best hot sauces, it has a perfect balance of lime juice and garlic and goes with pretty much anything. Did we mention that it’s vegan and gluten-free? Buy this Now.

3. Wicked Tickle Bhut Kisser Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce

It is a clear favorite among hot sauce lovers for its flavor and just the right amount of heat where you can feel it but you are not knocked out. The Naga Jolokia (Ghost Pepper) pepper, the prime ingredient in this sauce makes it one of the hottest hot sauces. Buy this Now.

4. Dave’s Gourmet Insanity Hottest Hot Sauces

You know what to expect from a sauce named “insanity”. Don’t You?

This Costa Rican sauce is known to be one of the hottest hot sauces in the universe. It is so hot that it was banned from the National Fiery Foods Show for being too hot. Buy this Now.

5. Matouk’s Hot Pepper Sauce from Trinidad and Tobago

This sauce is made from a mix of blazing hot peppers from the fields and kitchens of Trinidad and Tobago. You not only get the hot spice but also a unique flavor that is native to the Caribbean Islands. Buy this Now.

6. Pain is Good Habanero Sambal Hot Sauce

Sambal is a condiment native to the cuisine of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the neighboring islands. This Habanero Sambal hot sauce has aged Jalapeno peppers along with Habaneros. The chopped garlic and cane sugar in this hot sauce give an interesting twist to this culinary classic. Buy this Now.

7. Da Bomb Habanero and Ghost Pepper Sauce

The hottest peppers in the world – Ghost Pepper and Habanero – in this sauce make it dare-worthy. It contains zero pepper extract only pure natural heat. It carries the name “Da Bomb” for a reason. This is one of the best selling hot sauces on amazon. Buy this Now.

8. Dave’s Gourmet Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce

As a gourmet sauce, Dave’s Gourmet Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce has a fine consistency and heavy heat. Despite this, it doesn’t overshadow the original taste of the dish. It’s made of super fiery Ghost Peppers which are grown in India. This hot sauce goes well with globally inspired dishes. Buy this Now.

9. Mad Dog Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce

This is the hottest hot sauce that has a good flavor to start with but only for a few seconds. Once the burn takes over it can last a while. Made from Bhut Jolokia extract, it is only for the daring! Buy this Now.

10. Aunt May’s Bajan Pepper Hot Sauce from Barbados

Having exotic origins, this sauce features the characteristic fieriness of Barbadian Bajan peppers. This zesty mustard-based thick pepper sauce adds a yummy tropical flavor to soups, meats, and dips. Buy this Now.


5. Harissa - Tunisia

The hot sauce most associated with the North Africa and Middle East, harissa originated in Tunisia and is a paste made of a blend of various hot chiles, which are either roasted or smoked, along with garlic, olive oil, and spices like cumin, coriander, caraway or mint. One way to make harissa truly unique is to add rose petals or rose water, as they do in some parts of North Africa.



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