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Best Hot Sauces 2024: Reviews & Recommendations

April 21, 2024

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Over the years I’ve talked about my love for hot sauces, which has raised some questions about which ones I use, when I use them, etc. So today I’m bringing the heat with the best hot sauces of 2024. I’ll start with some of the most popular hot sauces that people know and love, and then share some alternatives that are a little more under the radar. Hopefully you’ll give one of these a try and get out of a hot sauce rut!

You’ll see throughout the post that I tried to add Scoville Heat Units (SHU) where I could find them, which is a measure of capsaicin, the chemical in peppers that contributes to their heat. There’s often a range, as some batches of peppers can be hotter than others — as most of us find out the hard way.

Now on to my picks!

If you love Crystal Hot Sauce or Frank’s Red Hot…

Chris Loves Julia | Chris' favorite hot sauces: Frank's Red Hot, Crystal Hot Sauce, Noble Made Medium Buffalo Sauce

I use Crystal Hot Sauce (4,000 SHU) similar to how I use Tabasco (2,500-5,000 SHU) in chowder and soups. And Frank’s Red Hot (450 SHU) has been a go-to for me in classic buffalo sauces, but it really bums me out that it has “natural butter-type flavor” as one of the ingredients.

I’ve started turning to Noble Made Medium Buffalo Sauce as our go-to option, which uses extra virgin olive oil and still has a creamy flavor. It’s a really tasty sauce that is sugar-free, so it’s paleo, keto and New Primal’s Whole30 approved. The Scoville level varies, depending on whether you opt for their Mild, Medium (which is my favorite) or Hot. The Medium is nice because it’s warming, but not too intense level of heat. A lot of times when we order chicken wings, we’ll get them plain and then add Noble Made’s sauce because we prefer it to most restaurant buffalo sauces.

If you love Chipotle Tabasco Pepper Sauce…

Chris Loves Julia | Chris' favorite hot sauces: Chipotle Tabasco Hot Sauce, Sweet Date Hot Sauce, Truff Hot Sauces

Well first let me just declare my love for Chipotle Tabasco Pepper Sauce. It has a smoky flavor that’s perfect for barbecue or grilled chicken. I’ll add it to hamburgers and hot dogs. It’s just an easy heat at 1,500-2,500 SHU.

If you are looking for a sauce that brings big flavor and similar heat to that one, I recommend the Truff White Truffle Hot Sauce. You’re likely not going to add this to everything, as it’s much more expensive, but I love it dabbing it onto hamburgers and hot dogs as it’s super tasty with that umami truffle flavor. I’ll use it in creamy soups too. It’s on par with Chipotle Tabasco in terms of heat at 2,500 SHU.

My other favorite is the Truff Original Hot Sauce, which has the same mild-to-medium heat at 2,500 SHU. This one makes an excellent condiment for my favorite pork rinds from Epic Provisions. I’ll just drizzle this over them and have myself a delicious snack.

If truffle is not a flavor that you care for, then I have a local-to-me pick that I actually first found at the farmers’ market. It’s CW Dressings Sweet Date Hot Sauce. (After that first bottle, I found it on Amazon so it should be easy to get.) It has a nice smoky flavor that’s more complex as it includes chipotle, scotch bonnet, cayenne and guajillo chili peppers, but it’s also very versatile. It’s a bit more sweet, and the heat level is perfect. It’s one of the most delicious hot sauces you will find out there.

If you love Cholula or Tapatio…

Chris Loves Julia | Chris' favorite hot sauces: Cholula Hot Sauce, Truff Jalapeno Lime Hot Sauce, Yellow Bird Serrano Hot Sauce, Yellow Bird Habenero Hot Sauce

Cholula is that classic Mexican hot sauce that’s great with tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas. Tapatio is another go-to that’s actually made in California, but its founders emigrated from Guadalajara, Mexico, so they know their stuff. Both of these are great on any Mexican food.

If these are your favorites, you should really try Yellow Bird. They make some of the best hot sauces in the world, and they feature real ingredients. My girls like Yellow Bird’s Serrano Hot Sauce, which the brand labels as “kinda hot.” The kids are not really brave with spice, and it’s a good one for them (the Scoville heat units are between 1,600-6,160, which is slightly more than Cholula’s 1000 – 2000 SHU). The ingredients are so clean: organic serrano peppers, fresh cucumbers, garlic, and lime juice. I use these a lot for tacos, burritos, on top of nachos. It’s a very classic hot sauce flavor.

Now the Yellow Bird Habanero Hot Sauce is punishing at 15,580-54,530 SHU, but oh so tasty. I use it sparingly, but it’s just so flavorful and fruity with its blend of orange habeneros, carrots and tangerines.

Another one of my picks is from Truff, which just came out with a Jalapeno Lime Hot Sauce. It provides an extra umami factor that’s really delicious and makes a dish feel more special. It is just above the spice level of Yellow Bird’s Serrano Hot Sauce and Cholula with 3,000-8,000 SHU.

If you love Huy Fong Sriracha…

Chris Loves Julia | Chris' favorite hot sauces: Sriracha hot sauce, Yellow Bird Sriracha Hot Sauce, Chili Garlic Sauce, Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce

Huy Fong Sriracha hot sauce is a cultural phenomenon. It’s one of the most popular hot sauces on the planet. It went through a bit of a supply-and-demand crisis recently, but thankfully it’s back on the shelves. If you do have trouble finding it or just want to try something new, I have three ideas for you.

First up is Yellow Bird’s Sriracha Hot Sauce that has amazing ingredients including organic jalapeño peppers, garlic and dates. Honestly, flavor-wise I prefer Yellow Bird’s version: it has a unique sweetness that I just love. The Huy Fong Sriracha’s Scoville units are at 1,000-2,500, while Yellow Bird’s are right on par with 1,325-2,650. So use this 1:1 for sriracha — it’s just one of my all-stars.

I also suggest trying Tương Ớt Tỏi Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce. While this is not a true replacement, it’s in the same wheelhouse. I use sriracha a lot for making sauces, and this garlic chili base is a great substitute for that. I love adding it to pho or ramen or things like that.

Finally I recommend Chung Jung One Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce. It’s a hot pepper paste that’s relatively new to me, but it’s becoming more widely available. This gochujang doesn’t have wheat or soy but it does have rice, in case that’s an allergen in your house. It has a great warm heat and sweet-tart flavor that’s perfect topping Korean dishes like bulgogi or bibimbap.

If you love chili crisp oil…

Chris Loves Julia | Chris' favorite chili crisp oils including Momofuku Chili Crunch, Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp, Don Emilio Salsa Macha

Chili crisp is a spicy condiment option that’s gaining a lot of popularity. I actually make a Chipotle Chickpea Chili Crisp that is my ultimate favorite (get the recipe here), but I do have some great options that are ready-made for you.

Fly By Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp is something special. The Sichuan peppercorn creates almost a tingling numbness in the mouth—it’s a spicy and cooling sensation, and it’s really fun to eat.

I like Momofuku Chili Crunch because it’s more tame, and it has a little sweetness. I use this in a lot of Asian soups, ramen, pho…but I also just love the texture it adds to hamburgers, hot dogs, and salads.

If you’re feeling especially bold, try Don Emilio Salsa Macha de Chile de Arbol. This one was a gift from my brother-in-law. It’s the spiciest thing I think I’ve ever eaten, which is fun to try. If you like to live on the edge, give it a go.

My literal favorite hot sauce of all time is Jeow Som, a Cambodian or Laotian spicy lime dipping sauce. I created my own version of it in this recipe. I use this on everything: rice, steak, salad dressing. The spice level is customizable based on what you like. Even if you leave the chilis out, the flavor is still worth it. You have to try this one.

Shop All Hot Sauces

These are the ones that are usually on my shelves, but I would love to hear from you about what I should try. Give me your go-to hot sauces — I’m always game to add to my repertoire!

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What do you think?

  1. Michelle says:

    I love Melinda’s.com garlic habanero and the mango variation on eggs or tacos. I found it while traveling to Duluth but now order on Amazon as my local store doesn’t carry it. I also highly recommend Oo’mamie crisps. They have four profiles, Indian, Moroccan, Mexican and Chinese and I love all of them. They really show the range that crisps can have and encourage you to experiment beyond “hot”. Adding these to rice and vegetables cooked any way with an egg on top is the easiest lunch or dinner.

  2. Liz says:

    We’ve loved several of the hot sauces from Silagy. The smoked habanero is my husbands fav! It’s a brand local to us.

  3. Jenny McCarthy says:

    Marie Sharp’s from Belize is the absolute best!

  4. Steve S says:

    Get some Hank’s Sauce especially the Honey Habanero. Out of Sea Isle City, NJ. Great consistency, good flavor up and down the lineup.

  5. Meredith says:

    I highly recommend Marie Sharp’s out of Belize! A carrot-based, insanely flavorful hot sauce that we put on everything (start with the white label, but everything they make is good).

  6. Aoife Roe says:

    Marie Sharp’s brand is quite enjoyable, it’s not fermented and it’s carrot based which is unique. We love Melinda’s hot sauce on Mexican or South American food here at our house.

  7. Liz says:

    I use the Yellow Bird Blue Agave Sriracha, which is mild but delicious. I also have issues with added chemicals and this brand is very clean! Yellow Bird also has combo packs of small bottles so you can try before committing to one flavor.

  8. Brenda says:

    Thanks for the review! I’m eager to try some of these!

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