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The Best Hot Sauces to Spice Up Your Palate

A person pours a hot sauce onto a taco that sits next to a stack of tortillas, slice limes, and jalapenos.

We are always trying to find new ways to spice up our lives. We change our job, cut our hair, change our zip code, or get a tattoo. Change is good and sometimes necessary. However, exploring change in your life through the Scoville scale takes another type of commitment. Literally spicing up your life with a new hot sauce and experiencing different flavors and ingredients can be a cheap and fun way to evolve your daily routine of meals. Here are some great hot sauces that we recommend.

Deciding on the Right Hot Sauce

Like each individual, every hot sauce bottle is unlike the other, so consider these important factors  before deciding on a new bottle:

  • Pick Your Poison: Some people are heat seekers, while others just want a little kick in their scrambled eggs. If you are looking for flavor, consider hot sauces that highlight sweet and tangy notes. Don’t be afraid of wild ingredients that don’t seem like they would work well together, as the natural heat of the sauce allow you to experience certain flavors in a whole new way. Flavor-forward hot sauces are typically not as spicy, so if you are looking for a big kick, then you may want to avoid hot sauces with strange ingredients.
  • The Scoville Scale: Named after Wilbur Scoville, this scale measures the amount of heat of certain chili peppers there is in your hot sauce. The higher the number, the hotter the hot sauce. This scale is a good way to determine your personal spice level and will help you decide which particular hot sauce is best for you.

Most Blazing Hot: CaJohns Fiery Foods Black Mamba 6

A hot sauce with a snake on the label.

If you like a sauce that will make you cry out in pain or if you love a good hot sauce challenge, then this sauce is the one for you. Black Mamba 6 hot sauce will bite you hard if you are not careful, with its level on the Scoville scale hitting six million. This superbly fiery hot sauce is made with a select blend of chocolate habaneros and vinegar. It is not for everyone and should not be consumed without food.

Most Blazing Hot

Black Mamba 6 Get Bitten Hot Sauce

This ridiculously blazing hot sauce should be eaten carefully and is very high on the Scoville scale.

Best Mild: Capitol City Mild Mambo Sauce

Hot sauce laying next to cheesy fries.

From the Black Mamba, we quickly move down the Scoville scale to the best mild hot sauce — the Mambo sauce. A signature sauce from the United States capital, this sauce is a staple among D.C. natives and has slowly become a popular condiment around the country. This all-purpose mild sauce is so versatile that it can be used as a marinade, glaze, dipping sauce, finishing sauce, or even for food on the grill. It is sweet, sticky, and tangy. It’s commercially bottled, but don’t be fooled. The mild Mambo sauce comes from the kitchens of Washingtonians and is now available for anyone who wishes to spice up their life.

Most Flavorful: Hot Ones Los Calientes Hot Sauce

Someone pouring hot sauce on three tacos.

If you are a fan of hot sauces or even over-the-top interview shows, then you might have heard of the celebrity interview show with hot questions and even hotter wings. From Hot Ones’ many hot sauce options, we have chosen their Los Calientes hot sauce as the most flavorful. Created by the Heatonist, this condiment is made with apricots, apple cider, agave nectar, lemon juice, and other all-natural ingredients. It’s also pretty versatile as it can be used during breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Most Flavorful

Hot Ones Los Calientes Hot Sauce - Single Bottle

This delicious hot sauce has a healthy kick that makes anything from tacos to scrambled eggs taste better.

Best Gift Set: Thoughtfully Flavors of the World Hot Sauce Sampler Gift Set

A hot sauce sampler full of many sauces.

This set is a thoughtful gift for grill masters or those who enjoy trying new hot sauces. Inspired by international flavors, this set offers 30 different sauces, with each one falling on different levels of the Scoville scale, starting with mild and ending on the extreme. The ranges of spices are inspired by places around the world, from Budapest and Brazil to Hawaii and Thailand. Each sauce is vegan or vegetarian.

Best Gift Set

Thoughtfully Gourmet, Master Hot Sauce Collection Gift Set, Flavors Include Garlic Herb, Cayenne Bacon, Apple Whiskey, Mango Habanero and More, Pack of 30

With a variety of spices, flavors, and ingredients, this collection makes a fantastic gift for a relative or friend.

Best Sweet Heat: Mike’s Hot Honey Easy Pour Bottle

Someone pouring hot sauce on a pizza.

For the best combination of sweet and heat, we recommend the highly-rated Mike’s Hot Honey hot sauce. By blending two of nature’s most unique and wonderful flavors — honey and chili peppers — this hot sauce adds a great balance of sweetness and heat that will add a kick to just about any food or dish. Because it’s so versatile and the taste of the flavors isn’t just heat, the sweetness works well in cocktails, hot tea, ice cream, and even pizza. It’s an ideal purchase if you are looking for something sweet and savory.

Best Sweet Heat
Omid Khanzadeh Omid Khanzadeh
Omid is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy. He studied psychology and creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University, and his work has been featured in publications such as Allied Forces Press and various STEM textbooks. He enjoys playing soccer and watching old kung-fu movies. Read Full Bio »
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