Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

some like it hot essentials: louisiana hot sauce

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

I love different hot sauces, and I love making my own. This version is as close as I can get to a good Southern hot sauce. It is tangy with heat, and a vinegar hit that is common in this type of sauce. It takes about two weeks to properly ferment, but oh so worth it. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield serving(s)
prep time 30 Min
method No-Cook or Other

Ingredients For some like it hot essentials: louisiana hot sauce

  • 12 oz
    peppers, more on this later
  • 1/2 c
    rice vinegar, non-flavored, or distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 c
    filtered water, more on this later
  • 1 tsp
    salt, more on this later
  • 1/4 tsp
    smoked paprika

How To Make some like it hot essentials: louisiana hot sauce

  • 1
  • 2
    You will need a food processor or blender, a glass jar (like a mason jar), and some cheesecloth.
  • 3
    Pepper Types The type of peppers you use will determine the heat and the color of the hot sauce. To that end, any type of chili peppers can be used. Traditional peppers include cayenne, tabasco, and red jalapeno peppers. For this batch of hot sauce, I am using red cayenne peppers. Hot stuff.
  • 4
    What about the Seeds? First, we need to clear up a misconception. The heat of a pepper is not in the seeds, because they do not contain capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers hot. Capsaicin is actually contained in the whitish pithy pepper innards (called the placenta), and if you like you can remove it to make the pepper milder. When we prep the peppers, we will start by cutting off the stems. As to the seeds, understand, not only are they not spicy; they are non-toxic. You could eat them all day and they will just pass through your body. I remove the seeds when I am doing soups, stews, or chilis, because I do not want my guests seeing them floating about in their bowls… we eat first with our eyes. Since we are going to strain this sauce, I see no need to remove them. It is just busy work. But that is up to you. FYI: And do not forget that whenever you work with peppers, you should wear gloves.
  • 5
    Besides the peppers, there are two other things that can sink the fermentation process: salt and water. Read this section carefully. Salt Store-bought salt contains all kinds of things that are not actually salt. For example, iodine. Depending on the brand, and the amount of iodine, it can completely kill the fermenting process. I use sea salt for two reasons: 1. It is iodine free. 2. It contains trace minerals (from the sea water) that enhance the flavor of what you are fermenting. Choose what you will, but no iodine. Water Citified water can contains all kinds of things; two of them being chlorine and/or chloramine. Either of these chemicals will stop the fermentation process in its tracks. So, what do you do? Well, depending on which of the chemicals you are dealing with, you have several choices: Off-Gassing If your water contains only chlorine and not chloramine, you can let it sit for 24 hours and the chlorine will dissipate into the environment. Boiling If your water contains only chlorine and not chloramine, you can drive the chlorine off by boiling the water for about 15 minutes. Filtration A charcoal filter is designed to strip your tap water of chlorine and chloramine; carbon filters are necessary for effective removal. Most, if not all, reverse osmosis water systems have a charcoal filter. Chemicals There are chemical methods for removing chloramine, but I am not, and never will go in that direction… That is using one dicey chemical to remove another dicey chemical. Alternate Water Sources I will give you two: one costs; the other is free. 1. Costs… Bottled spring water. 2. Free… Rainwater. When I had my second pergola built, I topped it with a steel roof. When the rains come, the water is directed through a drainage spout into a 20-gallon storage tank. A good rain will fill it in no time. Then, I boil it, run it through a strainer with cheesecloth, and save it in 5-gallon containers.
  • 6
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 7
    Wash the peppers by cutting off the stems, and rough chop (refer to above notes on peppers and seeds).
  • 8
    Add the peppers, vinegar, water, and salt to a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Pulse until it makes a pulpy mass.
  • 9
    Place into a sterilized jar (like a mason jar), cover with cheesecloth, and secure with a rubber band.
  • 10
    Store in a room temperature place, out of direct sunlight.
  • 11
    The ideal temperature for fermentation to occur is between 60f – 75f (16c – 24c).
  • 12
    Every other day remove the cheesecloth and give it a stir.
  • 13
    After the first week, add an additional cup of vinegar and stir it up.
  • 14
    After about 2 weeks, open up, place into a blender, and give it one or two 1-second blends.
  • 15
    This will help release more liquid from the chilis.
  • 16
    Place into a fine mesh strainer and allow to drain for about 15 minutes.
  • So yummy
    Bottle and put into the fridge until needed.
  • 18
  • So yummy
    Use anywhere you need a good tasty hot sauce. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.