Best Hot Sauce Kits

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

12 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
220 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best hot sauce kits

Last Updated December 2019

Hot sauce is one of those food items that’s highly personal. Too hot, too mild, not enough flavor, not the right flavor, and too many flavors are all valid reasons why people give up on finding one that is just right. But don't despair; there's still hope. A hot sauce kit lets you control the mix so you can create the perfect flavor with the precise amount of sizzle you desire.

A good hot sauce kit comes with ample ingredients, so you can experiment to learn how the process works and tweak a recipe until it’s exactly the way you like it. It features everything you need to make several bottles, including instructions, and it has a wide enough variety of chili peppers so you can create mild, medium, and hot versions.

To learn more about hot sauce kits and how to use them, keep reading. If you're ready to jump right in and get cooking, consider one of the highly rated options we've listed in this article. Additionally, we've slipped a couple of assortments into the mix in case you'd like to sample some top-rated premade hot sauces.

The Scoville scale is used to alert an individual to the heat level of anything created using chili peppers. A pimento, for instance, resides at the mild end of the scale at between 100 to 500 Scoville heat units (SHU), while the Trinidad Scorpion Moruga Blend clocks in at an eye-watering 2,000,000 SHU.

Key considerations

When shopping for a hot sauce kit, there are many elements to consider, but two of them stand out above all others: peppers and bottles.

Peppers

You can't make hot sauce without the peppers. And you can't make the hot sauce you like without the right type of pepper or, at least, a wide enough assortment of peppers so you can choose the one you like best. The most important aspect is using a pepper that you can handle, one that isn’t too hot on the Scoville scale (the heat rating of peppers). The flavor can always be tweaked, but if a pepper brings too much heat, you won’t enjoy the hot sauce.

Bottles

Hot sauce is used sparingly by most people, so you need a way to store it. That’s why all hot sauce kits include those tiny bottles. However, there are a few options to consider.

Size: The more small bottles you get, the more different hot sauces you can make at once and have on hand for different occasions.

Material: You can get kits with glass or plastic bottles. In general, glass bottles are better because glass is nonporous, which means it won't retain flavors and odors from recipe to recipe. But glass can break. Plastic bottles, on the other hand, must be manufactured using food-grade plastic, so they’re safe. Depending on the design, plastic bottles may be squeezable, making the sauce easier to apply.

EXPERT TIP

If you’ll be handling hot peppers, you need to wear gloves. If you don’t, the oils will seep into your skin and remain there, even after washing your hands.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

The following are some other things to consider before deciding on your hot sauce kit. These are not make-or-break items, but they can make the experience a little more user-friendly.

Ingredients

Basically, peppers supply the heat, but the nuances in the flavor comes from other ingredients. Your kit may contain anything from dried fruit to chili powder to brown sugar. Typically, common items like salt and pepper aren't included. The greater the variety of additional ingredients, the easier it will be to experiment and tweak your recipes.

Most hot sauce kits place the ingredients in sealed plastic bags. However, it’s possible to find kits that include little plastic jars so it’s easier to store your ingredients after opening them.

Recipes

Yes, it’s simple enough to go online and look up recipes for hot sauce. However, if your hot sauce kit comes with specific ingredients, you might want to start off with a recipe that calls for those specific ingredients.

For the most part, no matter what kind of hot sauce you’re making, the recipes all involve a series of similar steps (see below). However, there are a few very simple kits specially designed for the absolute beginner. These involve only the mixing of a few ingredients, not making the actual purée base itself. If this sounds like the way you'd like to start, it may be tougher to find one of these kits, but they do exist.

Extras

Sanitizing powder: All of your hot sauce-making equipment needs to be sanitized before using. You’ll appreciate a kit that includes sanitizing powder.

Labels: If you're making your own hot sauce, you'll want to come up with a creative name and let people know it's all yours. A kit that includes labels (and a marker) makes this easy to do.

Gloves: You never want to touch the peppers with your bare hands because the oils seep into your skin and will not wash off. Latex or rubber gloves are not expensive, but it’s convenient if your hot sauce kit includes them.

Funnel: After you've made your hot sauce, you need to transfer it from the saucepan to those tiny bottles. A properly sized funnel is the only way that’s going to happen without spillage. Ideally, you want a hot sauce kit that includes a funnel, but if yours doesn't you can purchase one separately.

Vinegar: You need vinegar to make hot sauce (and sanitize your equipment). Vinegar is usually something that most households have on hand, but it's always nice to get a kit that includes everything you need.

EXPERT TIP

With hot sauce, it’s easy to obliterate rather than enhance the flavor of your food, so always start by adding just a dab to your meals.


Staff  | BestReviews

Hot sauce kit prices

For the most part, hot sauce kits cost between $30 and $40, with some a little less and others a little more. Since the price margin is so narrow, it isn't directly related to features.

Some kits offer a great deal for $30, while others skimp a little at $40. The best way to shop is to consider what each kit includes rather than letting the price be your sole guide.

Basic steps for making hot sauce

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can help to get a quick overview of the entire process. You’ll see that it's not very hard to make your own hot sauce. Not only are the steps easy, but the recipes are very forgiving, meaning it will still taste great even if you mess up a little while you’re still learning. The following steps may vary slightly from recipe to recipe, but this list gives you the basic idea of what to expect when making hot sauce.

  • Clean and sanitize your equipment. Bottles, lids, funnels, pans, and anything else you’ll be using to make your hot sauce should be clean.
  • Pick your peppers. If needed, look up the pepper on the Scoville scale (which tells you how hot a particular pepper is), so you can choose the right level of hotness for your sauce.
  • Wear gloves. You don't want to get any oil in your skin. (It won't wash off.)
  • Prepare the peppers. Remove the pepper stems and soak the peppers in a bowl of water for several minutes.
  • Purée the ingredients. Use a blender to purée the peppers and other ingredients in your particular recipe.
  • Add vinegar and heat the mixture. In a saucepan, mix the purée with vinegar, adding any other ingredients the recipe calls for at this point, such as sugar, salt, and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Cool and bottle your hot sauce. After your sauce is cool, pour it into the bottles that came with your kit and store them in the refrigerator.

Hot sauce can be used as an ingredient, condiment, or both.

Other products we considered

In the event that the hot sauce kits we spotlight above don’t suit you, we want to list some honorable mentions. These kits aren't inferior; they just have unique features that make them a better choice for individuals with particular needs. For instance, The Hot Sauce Lab Gourmet Hot Sauce DIY Kit from Urban Kangaroo features one of the widest assortments of chili peppers available in a starter kit. You get seven different types of peppers, including the extremely potent ghost pepper, along with a secret spice blend, vinegar, fruit, and 12 bottles, so you can make a wide variety of hot sauces. For the individual who wants to broaden their focus to include barbecue sauce, the Grow and Make Artisan DIY BBQ Sauce Making Kit admittedly isn’t first and foremost a hot sauce kit, but it does include some crushed red pepper, and it will still teach you the basic process needed for making hot sauce. Finally, the Bunsters Hot Sauce Making Kit is designed for the absolute beginner. There is no cooking — just grab some ingredients from your cupboard, add them to the base, and shake. This is arguably the easiest hot sauce kit on the market.

Believe it or not, capsaicin, the active component that makes chili peppers hot, is a neurotoxin that can cause seizures and could be potentially lethal in large amounts. Most people would go into convulsions before consuming a lethal dose.

FAQ

Q. Does hot sauce really help you to burn calories?
A.
Maybe. There is some evidence that the capsaicin found in hot sauce (the active component that makes it hot) can elevate body temperature. When your body tries to lower that temperature, you’re burning calories. Additionally, some studies have hinted that spicy foods can diminish hunger pangs and may even help your body absorb micronutrients, which would allow you to feel more satisfied if you’re on a restricted-calorie diet. However, in general, if you’re eating hot sauce because you think the pounds will just melt away, you’ll be disappointed.
 

Q. Does hot sauce cause digestive disorders?
A.
There is a misconception that hot sauce is the cause of digestive disorders. The medical community's current position is that spicy foods can exacerbate a disorder that is already present. For example, conditions such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and heartburn will be worsened and symptoms will become much more apparent when an individual consumes something spicy, but the hot sauce alone is not responsible for creating the disorder.
 

Q. What about the sodium level in hot sauce? Is it high?
A.
Sodium is in almost everything we eat. If you want your heart to keep beating, you need at least 200 mg of sodium each day. Consuming between 1,500 mg and 2,300 mg typically poses no health concerns for most individuals. Most hot sauces contain between 5% and 10% of your total daily sodium in a single teaspoon (any food below 5% per serving is considered a low-sodium food). If the rest of your diet contains low or healthy sodium levels, adding a dash or even a serving of hot sauce is not much of a problem. However, if your sodium intake levels are already high and you saturate your food with hot sauce, then you could be creating a dangerous health problem for yourself.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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