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Feature

June 16, 2021
The Best Hot Sauce To Buy Online, According To Our Editors
Our top condiments made with habanero, cayenne, ghost pepper, and more.
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There are certain things every home cook should have. A chef’s knife, cloth napkins, and a nice set of pans, for example. Plates and serveware are also pretty useful - but before you grab any of those things, get yourself a stable of hot sauces. Yes, a stable. You might currently have a go-to that you pour on everything, but if you only stick to one, you technically aren’t living life to the fullest. There’s a near-infinite variety of hot sauces out there, all of which are great for different applications, and our editors are here to help you find the ones that are right for you. From light and tangy cayenne/vinegar blends to mustard-based sauces and ghost pepper condiments, here’s what you should have in your home.

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Feature:

The Best Hot Honey to Buy Online, According To An Obsessive

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D'Elida's

“D’Elida’s is mustard-based, but it doesn’t taste like mustard. Not really, at least. Mostly, this dark-brown Panamanian hot sauce (made with the habanero-like aji chombo pepper) has a mildly spicy, chocolatey quality that works wonderfully with grilled meats and fried foods. It’s one of my favorite things, and I absolutely douse my food with it.”

-Bryan Kim

Get D’Elida’s ($7) →

Yellowbird Habanero Condiment

“Yellowbird makes a mini version of this habanero sauce that I keep on my person at all times while traveling. It brings plenty of flavor and heat, and the nozzle makes it easy to drizzle this sauce onto breakfast sandwiches, tacos, pizza, and anything else on the go.”

- Anne Cruz

Get Yellowbird Habanero Condiment ($8) →

Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce

“The perfect mix of sweet and spicy, you can find this on basically every restaurant table in the Pacific Northwest - another reason to take a trip to the Pacific Northwest.”

-Brant Cox

Get Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce ($9) →

El Yucateco Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero

“El Yucateco’s hot sauces are all great, but I’m partial to their green version (chile habanero) to put on literally any taco ever. The spice level is formidable, but it’s not too hot where your carnitas will be totally overpowered.”

- Carlo Mantuano

Get El Yucateco Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero ($13 for 2) →

Kitchen Garden Farm Sriracha Habanero

“I have a confession to make that I’ve been too afraid to say out loud but here it goes, I think Sriracha is overrated most of the time. Before you get all outraged, let me specify: I love it in pho and a few other dishes but sometimes there’s too much vinegar and not enough pure heat. That’s where this one comes in, it features habanero peppers so it packs enough spice that I can actually feel the burn on my tongue (I have a very high heat tolerance). The flavor is slightly sweet so it has a nice balance when I drizzle it over eggs, noodles, or takeout tacos. I’ve gone through several bottles this year alone and if prompted I could probably drink the stuff.”

- Diana Tsui

Get Kitchen Garden Farm Sriracha Habanero ($13) →

Cholula Chipotle Hot Sauce

“Cholula Chipotle is my holy grail in the Cholula lineup. The spiciness isn’t as in-your-face as the original, and the smoky flavor goes great with a lot of dishes. My breakfast sandwich game has peaked.”

- Brandon Jones

Get Cholula Chipotle Hot Sauce ($15 for 3) →

The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce

“I love the garlicky kick of The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce from Small Axe Peppers. It’s unique and just subtle enough, and the garlic perfectly compliments the bright, fresh vinegar/serrano pepper base. The serrano peppers used also happen to be grown in The Bronx, and a portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold go to community gardens in that borough.”

- Bryan Kim

Get The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce ($7) →

Huy Fong Sambal Olek

“Remember what I said about Sriracha? I might not be the biggest fan of it but I love the sambal olek from Huy Fong. The bits of pepper seeds give it the heat I require in a good hot sauce. It has a strong tart and umami flavor that I prefer to eat with Asian foods like rice noodles or even coconut curries but I’ll never dollop it over pizza.”

- Diana Tsui

Get Huy Fong Sambal Oelek ($2) →

Trader Joe's Yuzu Kosho Hot Sauce

“The yuzu hits your tongue first and then it’s followed by a quick burn that almost feels like it’s going to be too aggressive, but thankfully mellows out before things get too scary. Kind of like a firework. I end up going through this sauce like crazy because it goes so well rice, chicken, fish, and pretty much anything else that plays well with citrus.”

-Ryan Pfeffer

Get Trader Joe’s Yuzu Kosho Hot Sauce ($8) →

TRUFF Variety Bundle

“This has been my go-to for dressing up my everyday breakfast. I can’t figure out which one I like best, so it’s usually a luck of the draw. The Hot Sauces are more savory than spicy but the Hotter Sauce definitely has some heat.”

- Alexandra Flowers

Get a TRUFF Variety Bundle ($65) →

Valentina Black Label

“I will eat Valentina plain with a spoon. That is not an exaggeration. It is not rhetoric. I simply love this hot sauce, and I genuinely believe that it’s as fine as any béarnaise you’ll find at a restaurant with three Michelin stars. Valentina Black Label - which is the slightly spicier variety - is the hot sauce I consume most (i.e., several times daily), and it’s something I’ll throw on nearly anything. Eggs? Of course. Pozole? A no-brainer. Spaghetti bolognese? Surprisingly, yes.”

- Bryan Kim

Get Valentina Black Label Hot Sauce ($9 for 2) →

Crystal

“In addition to Valentina, you need a straight-up vinegar/cayenne hot sauce in your home. Could Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot work? Of course. (There’s a reason why those condiments are popular.) But my personal favorite is Crystal. I will inevitably drench any collard greens, mac & cheese, or grits with this stuff because I’m a monster who craves heat. Also, Crystal hits the spot.”

- Bryan Kim

Get Crystal Original Louisiana’s Pure Hot Sauce ($5) →

Ghost Verde Pickle Genersaucity

“This sauce is tangy and bright, while still packing a lot of heat. This has been my go-to on tacos lately, and I’ll even add a few dabs of it to cut through the greasiness of a BEC.”

- Anne Cruz

Get Ghost Verde Pickle Genersaucity ($7) →

Adoboloco Hamajang Smoked Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce

“I know I’ve mentioned a few hot sauces already, but please just hear me out on one more. Hamajang, from Hawaii-based Adoboloco, is perfect for when you actually want to feel some long, lingering heat. It’s made from both ghost and habanero peppers, and, while that might sound intimidating, I wouldn’t say it’s oh-god-get-me-some-milk hot. This sauce has the perfect balance of peppery spice and sweet tang (from apple cider vinegar), and there’s also a hint of smokiness thrown in. Toss something on the grill, then add a dab of this stuff.”

- Bryan Kim

Get Adoboloco Hamajang Smoked Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce ($11) →

Shaquanda's Oooohmami Hot Pepper Sauce

“Ryan Walker-Hartshorn wrote about this incredible hot sauce and I had to try it when I spotted it at my local Whole Foods. The name comes from Andre Springer’s drag persona Shaquanda and their line of hot sauces is inspired by their Barbadian heritage. Being that I’m a fan of habanero, I had to go for the Oooohmami, which also has blueberry and balsamic vinegar in it. It’s not too spicy, at least by my standards, and makes a fried egg on toast the best breakfast you can have in the mornings. I’ve already gone through half the bottle in a month if that tells you anything about how much I love it.”

- Diana Tsui

Get Shaquanda’s Oooohmami Hot Pepper Sauce ($8) →

Poi Dog Chili Peppah Water

“If you like a really watery, vinegary hot sauce, you’re going to love this. The ingredients are simple: water, rice vinegar, distilled vinegar, red and green peppers, onion, sugar, sea salt, ginger, and ancho pepper. It’s quickly becoming my favorite breakfast hot sauce and I can no longer have a BEC without it.”

- Ryan Pfeffer

Get Poi Dog Chili Peppah Water ($9) →

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