Ketchup and mustard used to be the nation's MVP condiments. But as Americans become more adventurous eaters, it's clear that many of us are ready to turn up the heat-and turn to hot sauce as a most-used topping. In fact, the hot sauce market is expected to grow by 5.3% to a whopping $5.8 billion by 2026, according to data from Expert Market Research. Sure, you can stock up on Cholula, Tabasco, or your favorite regional brand, but we think the best hot sauce is one you whip up in your own kitchen. Enter: These easy homemade hot sauce recipes, including jalapeño hot sauce recipes, habanero hot sauce recipes, and even fermented hot sauces-all of which make excellent food gifts (for yourself or others!) and can put a whole bunch of fresh peppers to delicious use.
If you think it takes all day to master how to make hot sauce, think again; several of these recipes take 30 minutes or less, and none takes longer than 90 minutes.
Our 5 Best Hot Sauce Recipes to Use Up a Big Batch of Peppers
While you can make a Nashville hot sauce, Buffalo hot sauce, and others, we think these options are a great primer on how to make hot sauce from scratch. So gather those hot peppers from your garden or the farmers market and stock up on bottles ($19, Amazon). Ready, set, sauce!
Fermented Hot Sauce
When it comes to fermented products, you're probably more familiar with kefir and kombucha. But one taste of this fermented hot sauce recipe will prove that the aging process creates magic with peppers too. Here, red bell peppers and habaneros join forces with carrots, onions, and garlic in the fermented base. After a week or two of fermenting, all that's left to do is process the ingredients with apple cider vinegar, strain, and serve. The result is nicely spicy without being burn-your-tongue hot.
Pressure Cooker Smoky Habanero Hot Sauce
Make quick work of a homemade habanero hot sauce recipe by pressure-cooking it in an Instant Pot ($120, Target) or any electric or stove-top multicooker model. This zesty homemade hot sauce features red bell peppers, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (including some of that smoky sauce!), habaneros, Fresnos, and/or jalapeños. Lime juice and cider vinegar add just enough tang, while carrots and onion lend a hint of natural sweetness.
Apple Sriracha-Style Hot Sauce
Red apples and a scoop of sugar offer sweetness in this big-batch hot pepper sauce recipe. It uses up a full 3 pounds (!) of Fresno peppers and uses fermentation to score its signature flavor. Master the original, then try our beet and banana pepper-green apple variations.
Triple-Pepper Hot Sauce
We call this triple-pepper sauce, but this produce-packed homemade hot sauce recipe actually features four kinds: Fresno chiles, Thai chiles, habanero chiles, and red bell pepper. Carrots, onion, lime juice, white vinegar, garlic, and salt round out the lineup. Once it's blended and simmered, use those canning skills to preserve for use down the road.
Sriracha-Style Asian Chili Sauce
Rated the third most popular sauce in America (just behind Cholula and Frank's RedHot), fans describe the store-bought version of sriracha- a jalapeño hot sauce recipe-as "smooth, spicy, and savory" with a "good balance of heat, flavor, and texture." This homemade hot sauce recipe hits all those same flavor notes, courtesy of a mix of hot chiles (choose jalapeños, serranos, Fresnos, or Thai chiles), brown sugar, salt, garlic, and rice vinegar. For a little more umami, finish with a dash of fish sauce.
All of these homemade hot sauce recipes are remarkably versatile, so choose your favorite-or choose them all-then drizzle over eggs or stir-fries, toss with chicken wings, incorporate into burger patties, stir into mayo or cocktail sauce, or stir into stews or shepherd's pies to bring the heat.