Welcome to Hot Sauce Review!

The number one place for hot sauce and chilli sauce reviews, recipes, and news. Please note, all reviews now come from the Instagram account - follow us to see the latest reviews!

24 October 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Tabasco Sweet Chipotle and Cola Sauce & Marinade

"Say the words Tabasco, Chipotle, and Cola in the same sentence to me and I'll always get very excited, until now. "

Tabasco Sweet Chipotle and Cola Sauce & Marinade

Tabasco have got to be one of the biggest hot sauce brands out there right? I've always been surprised by how little they've expanded their product range, so I was not surprised to see this Tabasco Sweet Chipotle & Cola Sauce & Marinade in my local Sainsbury's.

Tabasco have got to be one of the biggest hot sauce brands out there right?  I’ve always been surprised by how little they’ve expanded their product range, so I was not surprised to see this Tabasco Sweet Chipotle and Cola Sauce & Marinade in my local Sainsbury’s.

Say the words Tabasco, Chipotle, and Cola in the same sentence to me and I’ll always get very excited, until now.  Yep I’m not impressed with this effort from Tabasco and it’s been hanging out in my cupboard for months now, I keep trying with it different foods either as a sauce or marinade but I just can’t get on with it.

The sauce is very thick and comes out of the bottle quite clumpy, great for a marinade but not great for a table sauce.  The taste is very sweet with a tame cola-ish flavour, which then gets backed up by a slightly smoky heat which is actually quite pokey if you eat enough of it.  Strangely the heat doesn’t hang around when applied to food which is then later cooked (ribs, chicken thighs etc), which is disappointing.

Overall this sauce is overly sweet, quite bland, and doesn’t have any depth.  It could do with some more acidity and perhaps more seasoning.  When you look at the long ingredients list (see image below), it’s not surprising that this sauce just tastes a bit generic and sugary.  It’s such a shame since Tabasco’s core product has only THREE ingredients, all natural, which is a world away from Tabasco Sweet Chipotle and Cola Sauce & Marinade.

Not impressed Tabasco, you need to try much harder than this.

 

22 October 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Mrs Renfro’s Habanero Salsa

"The heat from the Habanero kicks in and stays with you...for quite a while! "

Mrs Renfro’s Habanero Salsa

I'm not a salsa guy, mainly since I try not to buy crisps for consumption at home, but when I do actually get the chance to eat salsa, then forget the opening of this sentence. I was bought this salsa as a present from a local Whole Foods store, and I'm delighted I got to try it.

I’m not a salsa guy, mainly since I try not to buy crisps for consumption at home, but when I do actually get the chance to eat salsa, then forget the opening of this sentence.  I was bought this salsa as a present from a local Whole Foods store, and I’m delighted I got to try it.

Mrs Renfro’s Habanero Salsa is clearly quite an artisan product; the packaging is classy, ingredients natural, and comes with a nice back-story.  It feels homemade, far away from glass jars that Doritos have been pushing on us for years.

The first thing that hit me when I tried the sauce was how fresh and zingy it tasted, considering the jar must have been at least a few months old and shipped from the US I thought that was quite impressive.  A strong tomato base is complimented by fruity high note which is continued with a hit of sweet and sharp vinegar.  The heat from the Habanero kicks in and stays with you…for quite a while!  Mrs Renfro’s Habanero Salsa has a long lingering heat which works really well since it can only be stifled by eating more crisps – quite clever really.

Really worth getting some and sharing with others, tastes amazing and the heat is fierce but pleasing thanks to the fresh chilli peppers.

 

20 October 2014 ~ 2 Comments

Encona Brazilian BBQ Sauce

"This sauce really offers something very tasty and unique"

Encona Brazilian BBQ Sauce

A short review today since I doubt you'll able to buy this sauce anymore because Encona released this limited edition to coincide with the World Cup 2014 in Brazil (England fans have already forgotten this ever happened).

A short review today since I doubt you’ll able to buy this sauce anymore because Encona released this limited edition to coincide with the World Cup 2014 in Brazil (England fans have already forgotten this ever happened).

This is a very brave sauce to call BBQ in my opinion, and I must applaud Encona for doing so since it’s really something quite different to other barbecue sauces.

The colour is a rich mahogany, consistency is oily and smooth, but not sticky and gloopy like a lot of US style barbecue sauces. Encona Brazilian BBQ Sauce has a nice sweet smokey taste which is livened up by a strong woody herb flavour, think thyme or marjoram.  A slight hint of citrus brings the smoke and herbs together.

There isn’t really much heat to it, but it’s got a pleasant warmth. This sauce isn’t mind-blowing by any means, especially when tried by itself alone, but add this to a burger or any kind of grilled meat or vegetables and this sauce really offers something very tasty and unique, which is more than can be send for a lot of barbecue sauces out there.

17 October 2014 ~ 21 Comments

Sainsbury’s Hot Pepper Sauce

"Well Sainsbury's, this one is a blinder."

Sainsbury’s Hot Pepper Sauce

I like to keep an eye on what supermarkets are doing with their own brand sauces, and it's great when you come across an attempt that is actually quite good. Well Sainsbury's, this one is a blinder.

I like to keep an eye on what supermarkets are doing with their own brand sauces, and it’s great when you come across an attempt that is actually quite good.  Well Sainsbury’s, this one is a blinder.

Sainsbury’s Hot Pepper Sauce is very much in the style of a Caribbean Scotch Bonnet sauce such as Windward West Indian sauce, or the Encona Hot Pepper sauce.  The sauce has a great colour and large visible pieces of Habanero within it, and has a loose and chunky consistency.

The flavour is fresh and fruity (what you’d expect from a Habanero sauce), and has short punchy heat followed by a longer burn which is actually quite devastating if you have a lot of it, we’re talking tears over a tablespoon.

A really good own-brand sauce.  Although it’s a great sauce for the price (£1.25), I personally wouldn’t buy it again since there are better examples of this style of sauce out there, however it’s worth a punt if your Sainsbury’s stocks it.

UPDATE:

After a few more tastes and chats with friends, I think I would perhaps buy this again over brands like Encona or Windward (which share shelf space) .  This sauce by Sainsbury’s has an very special individuality; for an own-brand sauce I can do nothing but tip one’s cap.

16 October 2014 ~ 2 Comments

Jalapeno, lime, & coriander chilli sauce recipe

"It's best eaten fresh."

Jalapeno, lime, & coriander chilli sauce recipe

I'm all up for spending a couple of hours in the kitchen coming up with a crafted chilli sauce recipe, but sometimes you want to come up with something quick and that will work every time.

I’m all up for spending a couple of hours in the kitchen coming up with a crafted chilli sauce recipe, but sometimes you want to come up with something quick and that will work every time.

Well, here’s a little quick chilli sauce recipe I make now and again which is so easy to do, you don’t even need to bottle it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large jar of pickled green jalapenos  (I buy the big tall jars from Tesco or if I’m in town the poundshop!  The Discovery or Uncle Bens smaller jars are fine but a lot more expensive most of the time pack less heat.
  • 2 limes
  • A handful of fresh coriander, stalks on (cilantro)
  • Salt & Pepper

Method:

  1. Add the jalapenos to a blender or food processor with all the liquid from the jar.
  2. Add some of the coriander, juice of one lime, and salt  and pepper.
  3. Bliitz to the consistency you want (chunky or smooth), and taste.  Here it’s up to you whether you add more coriander and lime, I usually add juice on another lime and a lot of coriander.
  4. If you need to loosen the consistency just add a touch of water or white wine vinegar and blitz.

You can bottle or jar this, and it will keep in the fridge well for at least a couple of months – but it’s best eaten fresh.

 

15 October 2014 ~ 2 Comments

Cholula Chilli Garlic

"This Chilli Garlic variety is not as good as the original, let's say that now"

Cholula Chilli Garlic

I'm a big fan of the original variety of Cholula, it's the perfect beginners hot sauce since it has a heat which almost anyone can manage, but packs in such a good taste. I usually have a bottle floating around somewhere since it's so versitile thanks to the big fresh flavour and splash on consistency.

I’m a big fan of the original variety of Cholula, it’s the perfect beginners hot sauce since it has a heat which almost anyone can manage, but packs in such a good taste.  I usually have a bottle floating around somewhere since it’s so versitile thanks to the big fresh flavour and splash on consistency.

This Cholula Chilli Garlic variety is not as good as the original though, let’s say that now.  The reason Cholula original such a popular and bestselling sauce is because the exceptional balance of chilli peppers and vinegar.  This Chilli Garlic variety pushes a much stronger garlic flavour but for me it’s not particularly tasty; it’s more like a dried garlic than fresh garlic flavour.  It’s also worth noting that this has no more heat than the original.

Nonetheless, Cholula Chilli Garlic is a good sauce and worth trying if you particularly like garlic, but personally I’ll stick with the original and Chipotle varieties.

08 August 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Panola Cajun Hot Sauce Salsa Picante

"Combine pepper mash with vinegar and you have a straightforward Louisiana Hot Sauce."

Panola Cajun Hot Sauce Salsa Picante

I got this Panola sauce as part of a gift pack which came with a total of four sauces, and was surprisingly quite cheap for imported sauce (£4.99). Panola Cajun Hot Sauce Salsa Picante seems to be the 'Original' variety in the gift pack so I thought I would review it first.

I got this Panola sauce as part of a gift pack which came with a total of four sauces, and was surprisingly quite cheap for imported sauces (£4.99).  Panola Cajun Hot Sauce Salsa Picante seems to be the ‘Original’ variety in the gift pack so I thought I would review it first.

The sauce comes in a 177ml plastic bottle, and has a liquid/splash consistency to it.  The colour of the sauce is blood red, and imparts strong colouring on most foods you add it to, however the sauce is 100% natural.  Just four ingredients make up this sauce, the key being the ‘Aged Pepper Mash’ which is used in sauces such Frank’s Red Hot and Tabasco.  Combine the pepper mash with vinegar and you have a straightforward Louisiana Hot Sauce.

The sauce has great depth of flavour from the aged peppers, with a rich backbone and a floral finish.  I’m a big fan of vinegar sauces, but this has a slight unpleasant acidity to it which I can’t put my finger on.  On foods the flavour tends to get a little lost, so I’d perhaps keep this sauce for adding to blander items such as nachos and eggs.

Not bad, I’d imagine this sauce sits on a lot of Louisiana cafe/diner tables, but it’s not one I’d bother with having at home.

07 August 2014 ~ 6 Comments

Crazy Bastard Sauce – Tomatillo & Habanero

"We have a standout sauce here"

Crazy Bastard Sauce – Tomatillo & Habanero

Crazy Bastard Sauce is a small-batch (15 litre) chilli sauce produced in a professional kitchen in Germany, and the website indicates that each batch may vary slightly in terms of colour and heat. The recipe for Crazy Bastard Sauce has taken three years to perfect, and I can really see why.

I was lucky enough to be sent this sauce by Jonathan O Reilly who lives in Berlin, Germany.

Crazy Bastard Sauce is a small-batch (15 litre) chilli sauce produced in a professional kitchen in Germany, and the website indicates that each batch may vary slightly in terms of colour and heat.  The recipe for Crazy Bastard Sauce has taken three years to perfect, and I can really see why.

On first taste the sauce is naturally sweet, with a rush of heat that catches your tongue after a few seconds.  Then, a strong hit of garlic follows, mellowed by a sweet tomato, and then complimented with fruity, citrusy Haberano flavours.  The sauce lets off a series of bass notes with the tomato and garlic, and the Haberano and vinegar sprinkle the tongue with high notes. Although this sauce has a simple ingredient list, it’s perhaps has the most deep and refined flavour profile I’ve ever had from a sauce using these ingredients.  Simple, but memorable.     Classy, not in-your-face.

The heat is fairly immediate, punchy, but not raw.  It’s a pleasurable heat which compliments the flavours of the sauce perfectly.  However, it you have the sauce in large amounts then it really does show it’s strength, this really is quite a hot and powerful sauce and I prefer it smaller amounts.

So far I’ve tried Crazy Bastard Sauce in a sausage sandwich, on cold roast beef, and alongside some pork chops – all fantastic.  I’ve also found myself putting blobs of the sauce on my finger while working at my desk, it’s really quite addictive, and I think the delicious flavour and balanced heat is the cause of that.

Crazy Bastard Sauce is clearly of handcrafted, artisan values, beginning at the packaging and following all the way through to the final taste.  The sauce comes in 100ml glass bottle with a nice sliver cap, kinda like an old medicine bottle.  The labels are brightly illustrated with iconic and fun graphics, and the typeface used is lovely.  The sauce has clearly been well thought out from top-to-bottom, and I’d say the hard work has been worth it since we have a standout sauce here.

Currently my favourite sauce of 2014 so far.

06 August 2014 ~ 8 Comments

Snyder’s of Hanover Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces

"Perhaps the closest as you'll ever get to a Buffalo Wing flavored pretzel piece "

Snyder’s of Hanover Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces

Artificially flavoured broken pretzel pieces, in a foil bag, seasoned with a slightly greasy coating. You could say that Hanover's premium snack sounds a little nasty, and you may be right, but goddamn do they taste good.

Artificially flavoured broken pretzel pieces, in a foil bag, seasoned with a slightly greasy coating.  You could say that Hanover’s premium snack sounds a little nasty, and proud could be right, but goddamn do they taste good.

The Hot Buffalo Wing flavour have an almost glowing orange tint to each pretzel piece, and seem to be coated quite heavily.  You can smell them as soon as you open the bag; tangy, sour, and garlic smelling.

They taste good, very tangy, with a raw heat not far away from your Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot flavour profile.  The more you eat, the more the tangy heat impact lessens which is a shame, perhaps these need to be seasoned heavier…

01 August 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Some of my favourite chilli sauce recipes

"How do you make yours?"

Some of my favourite chilli sauce recipes

Making your own hot sauce or chilli sauce is extremely rewarding since you are in control of the heat, flavour, consistency, and sometimes colour.

Making your own hot sauce or chilli sauce is extremely rewarding since you are in control of the heat, flavour, consistency, and sometimes colour. Making your own can also be very economical if you are using your own home-grown chillies, or reduced-to-clear chillies from a shop.

Usually I take a few chilli sauce recipes that I like the look of, and tweak them depending on how I want my sauce to turn out. There are thousands of sauce recipes available on the internet so it can be hard to find one that suits what your after, so once you find a good one start to build on that.

Don’t use exclusively dried chillies for a hot sauce, a lot of the fresh flavour from the chilli will have been lost in the drying process, and you will be left with more harsh heat than flavour. That said, you can combine dried chillies with fresh chillies which is useful if you’re looking to add heat from some dried chillies. I currently have a load of dried Naga chillies which are great for adding to other fresh chillies if I want to make a really hot sauce.

If you’re making a table sauce (thick consistency). you may want to consider using ‘Xantham Gum’, which you can buy online or get from some large supermarkets…  It’s a natural binder and will stop your sauces from separating when left to settle, and will also give you a thick, pourable consistency.

Here a few of my favourite Hot Sauce recipes:

Master Hot Sauce – A simple sauce to get you started

Make your own Tabasco

Make your own Franks Red Hot sauce

Slow cooker Bacon Jam

Chilli Jam – Amazing with cheeses and sandwiches

Flavourful mild and hot chilli sauces

Homemade Sriracha

A nice Mexican style sauce

And finally, how Making Your Own Hot Sauce Will Change Your Life

 

Let me know your favourite recipes in the comments below.

Photo credit

Visit The Ring of Fire Home Page
A service of
netRelief, Inc.

This site is a member of The Ring Of Fire
A linked list of Chile websites

Next - Skip Next - Next 5 - Prev - Skip Prev - Random Site

Join the ring or browse a complete list of The Ring Of Fire members

If you discover problems with any of The Ring Of Fire sites,
please notify the Ringmaster