Best hot sauce 2022: spice up your life with the hottest sauces around

Hot sauces have never been so popular, with supermarket shelves stocked with the best hot sauces from around the world. There are even TV series such as The hottest dedicated to sampling some of the hottest sauces around.

Some of the best hot sauces combine both heat and rich flavor, which is definitely not medium heat. This versatility can be a real boon and save you from shelling out one sauce for the marinade and another for the daily dip.

Below we’ve rounded up our favorite sauces for all occasions, in a range of spicy styles. There are sauces for everyday dips and others for specific meals; some are sweet sensations while others are deep, tart delights. From Thailand’s famous sriracha sauce to culinary creations closer to home, we’ve tried to cover the full gamut of flavors from around the world, so scroll down or stop by our guide if you’re a hot sauce newbie.

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How to choose the best hot sauce for you

Why do people like spicy food?

Simply put, it’s endorphins. We can’t really taste the spice as a flavor, but we feel the pain of it through the receptors in our mouth – the ones that are normally responsible for sensing heat. The majority of spicy peppers, such as jalapenos and naga peppers, contain the chemical capsaicin which, when consumed, combines with these pain receptors to cause a reaction similar to burning your mouth with a hot drink. Scientists believe that just like when the body is in pain on other occasions, this chilli pain causes the release of endorphins – the body’s natural painkilling compounds.

Besides killing pain, endorphins are also known to bring feelings of pleasure. So, just as some people enjoy the pain of long-distance running, many people may associate the peppery pain of capsaicin with a pleasant endorphin rush. It all depends on your spice tolerance, which you can build slowly by exposing yourself to more foods and capsaicin-filled products like hot sauce.

How are spiciness levels measured?

Heat levels are measured as Scoville Thermal Units (USD). This is the level of capsaicin in a product, where a higher Scoville rating means a greater level of spiciness. Some companies may disclose the Scoville scale of their product, especially if the heat is above average, although many do not. Instead, you might see a brand use their own scale, which includes words like “moderate”, “warm” or “mild” for convenience.

How hot can it get?

Although the fiercest hot sauce ever created has scored around 16 million Scoville – similar to the rating of pure capsaicin – it is not a regular or safe way to consume hot sauce.

Common sauces start at around 400, with the absolute maximum we recommend – for the sake of your interns – being around 9 million. However, regular hot sauces will stay well below this mark, usually registering in the thousands and hundreds of thousands, rather than the millions. For example, a classic Tabasco hot sauce typically scores between 2,500 and 5,000 on the Scoville scale.

What types of hot sauce are there?

There are many varieties of hot sauce, with different countries tending to focus on particular spices and techniques. However, the only thing that ties them together is the use of chilies and peppers. Although there is a wide variety, the great church of hot sauce can still be divided into two main branches: fermented and unfermented.

Fermented hot sauces, as the name suggests, are created by fermenting hot peppers and other ingredients in a container. Hot sauce ingredients are broken down by healthy bacteria and enzymes – often by submerging the mixture in brine or letting healthy bacteria break down other ingredients over time. This produces a more tangy, sweet and sour hot sauce and can help bring out the flavors of the other ingredients. They usually taste a bit fresher and have the added health benefit of containing probiotic bacteria (like yogurt or kombucha), due to the fermentation process. It is believed to help the body break down food and better absorb nutrients.

On the other hand, unfermented hot sauces forego fermentation and are usually cooked instead. These are more common in supermarkets, as they are quicker and easier to prepare, while often having higher Scoville levels as the peppers are not broken down.

Besides these dominant hot sauce types, there is also a wide range of chili oils and other forms of hot sauces, such as jams or relishes.

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The best hot sauce to buy in 2022

1. Heartbeat Pineapple Hot Sauce: Best Tasting Hot Sauce

Price: £9 | Buy now on Amazon

In terms of sheer flavor, it’s one of the best we’ve tested. Hot Sauce Challenge Fans – Interview Show The hottest will recognize this brand from previous series, and it has remained popular for good reason.

The sweet pineapple taste and more pronounced peppery notes blended well in every meal we tested, both as a marinade and as a condiment. During this time the heat is above average but nothing that makes you want a glass of milk. The only downside is that for the price the bottle is a little on the small side – especially considering the flavor you might get through it pretty quickly. Still, it’s worth trying only the more indulgent flavor and then deciding whether to continue buying.

Key Details – Size: 230g; fermentation: Yes; Heat level: Medium to high

Buy now on Amazon

2. James Cochran’s Scotch Bonnet Jam: The best all-purpose hot sauce for any meal

Price: £6.45 | Buy now on Amazon

Chef James Cochran won the BBC show Great British menu with a goat dish containing its own Scotch Bonnet jam and luckily you can now buy this delicious creation. Although it is a name jam, it does not initially taste like one given its smooth texture and spicy touch.

However, underlying it is a sweet, tart jammy flavor that you will recognize, giving it an exquisite flavor profile. We’ve found it works well on anything from charcoal-grilled vegetables to cheese toast. It also has real warmth, just warm enough to keep you alert but not uncomfortable. Best of all, it’s vegan, which is ideal if you’re on a restricted diet (although the creators say it goes best with fried chicken if you’re not).

Key Details – Size: 310g; fermentation: Nope; Heat level: Moderate

Buy now on Amazon

3. LGM Crispy Chilli in Oil: Best Chilli Oil Hot Sauce

Price: £8 for two | Buy now on Amazon

Lao Gan Ma is the original crisp chili oil and for good reason: the company has mastered what a perfect chili condiment should be. Whether you’re giving a spicy boost to a rice dish or sprinkling it on peanut butter toast (yes, it’s insanely good), this chili oil has some upside over the alternatives we have. tested.

To taste, it’s a spicy, savory and somewhat smoky oil that’s surprisingly addictive, with a hint of Szechuan pepper for a mild numbing effect. It’s quite salty too, which means it can also be used as a simple seasoning. But what keeps you coming back is the crispy, crunchy texture that complements the umami flavors beautifully. There are some nice alternatives, like White Mausu’s cheerful mix of peanut, sesame and chilli, but nothing beats the quality of this quirky taste maker.

Key Details – Size: 210g (per bottle); fermentation: Nope; Heat level: Medium to high

Buy now on Amazon

4. Maggi Chilli Sauce: The best ketchup-style hot sauce

Price: £2.19 | Shop now at Red Rickshaw

Delightfully balanced between sweet and spicy, the Maggi Chilli Sauce takes the best qualities of ketchup and sublimates them. The salty, umami flavor is associated with many chillies grown in Malaysia and tastes divine even on its own – no wonder it’s a favorite table condiment in countries like India.

However, unlike your standard Heinz Ketchup, Maggi Sauce also works great as a base cooking sauce and marinade. Plus, it’s quite affordable, so you can stock up guilt-free. If you love a tomato-based condiment but still want that spicy kick, we highly recommend this one.

Key Details – Size: 310g; fermentation: Nope; Heat level: Mild to moderate

Shop now at Red Rickshaw

5. Flying Goose Sriracha Hot Green Chilli: Best Hot Sriracha Sauce

Price: £6 | Buy now on Amazon

If you like your sauce hot, you’ll know all about classic red Sriracha now. It’s everywhere you look, and while it’s a delicious dip, if you’re looking for something a little different, you should consider Sriracha Green. Yes, the new shade of chili green is fun, but it’s not the only thing that stands out. It is made from sun-ripened Thai green chilies and other fresh ingredients such as that all-important garlic, which gives it a tastier and tangier taste than the original.

Among all Sriracha brands, Flying Goose is the favorite for taste. This one’s on the same spice level as the Red Sriracha, but if you wanted a bigger challenge, try Flying Goose’s Sriracha Blackout, which registers a whopping 8,000 Scoville: that’s some serious heat.

Key Details – Size: 455ml; fermentation: Yes; Heat level: Moderate

Buy now on Amazon

6. Casa Firelli Italian Sauce: Best Hot Pizza Sauce

Price: £2 | Shop now at Ocado

There’s something about the specific flavor profile of this Italian sauce that works great with pizza crusts. It pairs well with eggs, prawns and pasta too, but the balsamic and apple vinegar flavor, along with the depth of flavor from ingredients such as dried porcini mushrooms and lemon juice, make it a sauce that works best when added to a relatively pristine. Cloth.

Dishes with more complex flavors probably won’t do this sauce justice. Although it does deliver a nice Calabrian chilli kick no matter how you use it. And, for lovers of beautiful bottle designs, it comes packaged in a distinct funnel glassware. If you’re a full-time pizza maker or just a pizza lover (aren’t we all?), this is the hot sauce for you.

Key Details – Size: 148ml; fermentation: Yes; Heat level: Moderate

Shop now at Ocado

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