If you're looking for a new way to liven up your favourite dishes in the kitchen, you can't go wrong with a hot sauce. Whatever your preferred cuisine is, it'll taste even better with a splash of something fiery! But with so many different types of hot sauce available to buy (chipotle, sriracha, tabasco, habanero, jalapeño - to name just a few), you might find it difficult to choose the right one for your taste buds.
To help you decide, we've created a handy hot sauce buying guide - whether you're looking for a Mexican-style vegan condiment or a gift set for a spice-loving friend, we've got you covered. Browse through our list of recommendations to buy online at Amazon, eBay, Tesco, Asda, and Waitrose. Ready to discover our top 10 chilli choices?
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Table of Contents
First things first, what exactly is a hot sauce? Well, it's any kind of sauce (or seasoning product) made using chilli peppers as the base ingredient. Other ingredients like salt, vinegar, spices, and mustard oil are also often added to achieved the mouth-watering flavour of this kind of sauce.
Although manufacturers may use different processes to produce the sauce, such as pureeing, sauteeing, or ageing in containers, the outcome is always the same - a spicy condiment that's guaranteed to blow your socks off and leave you wanting more!
Sriracha is a Thai condiment that was first created in the 1930s. It's usually made from fresh red chillies, garlic, distilled vinegar, sugar, and salt - so it has a slightly sweet flavour with a savoury garlic kick.
Whilst Thai brands of sriracha are quite runny in consistency, those found in the UK have a texture that's more like ketchup. This makes them perfect for using as a dipping sauce for seafood and light snacks like spring rolls.
Peri peri sauce has become extremely popular with us Brits in recent years, thanks to everybody's favourite chicken chain Nando's. But did you know that this staple of Portuguese cuisine actually orginates from Mozambique and was only brought back to Portugal in the 1400s by explorers?
Typically made with peri peri peppers, lemon juice, vinegar, onion, and herbs, it has a tangy yet sweet flavour. It works particularly well as a tasty marinade for grilled chicken or as a fiery dip for chips.
Louisiana-style sauce, which comes from the Deep South of America, tastes salty and has a strong vinegar flavour. This is because it's made with very few ingredients - just tabasco or cayenne peppers, vinegar, and salt.
This type of sauce has a thin consistency and pairs best with fried foods like chicken wings or hearty Cajun cuisine such as jambalaya or seafood gumbo.
If you are after other dipping sauces, check out our chosen 10 best!
When it comes to hot sauces from the Caribbean, the incredibly spicy scotch bonnet pepper is the main ingredient. Combined with vinegar, salt, and a bit of mustard, it creates a mouth-watering sauce that really packs a punch!
This kind of condiment tastes delicious with traditional Caribbean dishes such as saltfish fritters, fried dumplings, and freshly-baked Jamaican patties.
Mexican food is characterised by spice, so hot sauces are essential for cuisine from this part of the world. Popular types of sauce include those made from chipotle (a moderately hot smoked jalapeño chilli pepper) and habanero (a super hot variety of chilli pepper).
Chipotle and habanero-based sauces are ideal for Mexican meals like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, or simply as a yummy dip for tortilla chips!
Last but certainly not least, we come to the staple of any Korean kitchen: gochujang. This thick red chilli paste contains fermented soybeans, salt, and sugar - dilute it with a little water and you'll have a pungent, super spicy hot sauce in no time!
The combination of sweet and fiery flavours in this sauce means that it particularly suits Korean recipes like tofu bibimbap, beef bulgogi, and kimchi stew.
If you're cooking Korean food, check out our 10 best Kimchi products!
The Scoville scale is a measurement of the heat, or pungency, of chilli peppers, recorded in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Whilst it's likely that you love spice (after all, you're reading this article!), it's important to be aware of how much heat you can actually handle.
To help you out, we'll be including a heat rating (mild, moderate, or extreme) for each of the products in our top 10 list. So you can safely choose a sauce with just the right level of spice to tickle your taste buds!
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Louisana-Style Hot Sauce That’s Made From Just 3 Ingredients
Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
A Low-Priced, Delicious Southeast Asian Classic
Peri Peri Sauce Hot
Get The Ultimate Peri Peri Experience With Nando's Signature Sauce
Modern Gourmet Foods
Inferno Hot Sauce Set
A Habanero Gift Set That's Perfect for Spice Lovers
Original Hot Sauce
Affordable, Award-Winning Flavour
Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
Iconic Sauce for Buffalo Wings created in Buffalo, NY
Korean Hot Pepper Paste
Bring a Taste of Korea into Your Kitchen
Smoky Jo's Chipotle Chilli Sauce
A Smoky, Chipotle-Infused Condiment That’s Not Too Spicy
Scotch Bonnet & Ginger Hot Sauce
Jamaican-Style Sauce Made From Scotch Bonnet, Ginger and Orange Bell Peppers
Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero
A Green Habanero Sauce That’s Ideal for Mexican Cuisine
American favourite Tabasco Red Pepper sauce is a classic that's been made in the same way for over 140 years! We love that it consists of just 3 simple ingredients (fully aged red peppers, salt, and high-quality, distilled vinegar), which give it a delightfully tangy flavour.
Plus, it's extremely versatile so it works well with a variety of cuisines; pour it into bolognese, splash it over seafood, or mix it into a stir fry. Affordable, delicious, and made with high-quality ingredients - what more could you want from a hot sauce?
If you've ever been to a Thai restaurant, you'll immediately recognise the packaging of this famous sriracha sauce by Vietnamese-American brand Huy Fong. Made from sun-ripened chillies and a generous amount of garlic, this condiment tastes amazing!
The handy nozzle on this bottle means you can drizzle it over any dish you like - chicken, pizza, kebab, or chips. It doesn't come cheap, but it's pretty cost-effective as you get a huge bottle!
We couldn't include a peri peri sauce on our list without mentioning Nando's! Their signature condiment gets its kick from green chilli, as well as spices like cayenne pepper, paprika, and African bird's eye chili.
This product tastes great with everything - chicken, vegetables, tortilla chips, and more. But as it's definitely one of our hotter picks, only purchase it if you can stand the heat!
This set of 4 bottles by Modern Gourmet Foods has a fantastic variety of flavours that range from moderate to extreme heat. As it doesn't contain a mild sauce, it's probably best suited to someone who has a high spice tolerance.
We think this product would make a lovely gift and the fact that you get multiple bottles for under a tenner makes it excellent value for money!
This fruity and hot original hot sauce by Sauce Shop won a Great Taste Award in 2019, and we can see why! It’s hot, but not too hot, and very garlicky!
Try this wonderful condiment with a range of foods, from Indian curries to East Asian noodle dishes - it's not too spicy so it complements pretty much any kind of cuisine!
We suggest using this product to create your own home-made buffalo wings - you'll wow your friends and family with the rich, spicy flavour!
This fermented gochujang paste by CJ Bibigo provides a yummy balance of sweet, savoury, and spicy flavours. It's ready to use as a dip or just add a few teaspoons to whatever you're cooking to amp up the spice level.
Although this tub is a little pricey, it's to be expected considering it's not available in most British supermarkets. Plus, you get a huge amount of product for your money!
We love this product as a dip for sweet potato fries or drizzled onto cheese on toast. It's not super spicy but it's a fun condiment from a small, artisan company.
This fiery condiment by Queen Majesty combines scotch bonnet, ginger, and orange bell peppers to provide a seriously hot taste. Loosely based on a Jamaican recipe, it'll taste amazing alongside a plate of fried plantain or some saltfish fritters.
The only downside to this product is the high price - a tenner for just one bottle of sauce is pretty steep! Especially when it's so tasty that you'll find yourself using it regularly in the kitchen.
Made with green habanero chillies, this moderately hot sauce by El Yucateco is perfect if you want to re-create authentic Mexican dishes at home. Put a few drops into some guacamole or pour into chilli con carne for a spicy kick.
Although this is a good quality product, it unfortunately comes in an extremely small bottle for the price, which is the reason why it's so low on our list!
Written and researched by Nicola McClements
No. 1: Tabasco｜Pepper Sauce
No. 2: Huy Fong ｜Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
No. 3: Nando's｜Peri Peri Sauce Hot
No. 4: Modern Gourmet Foods｜Inferno Hot Sauce Set
No. 5: Sauce Shop｜Original Hot Sauce
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